Best of Salvage 2014 Final Countdown #5,4,3,2,1

When I looked back at everything we accomplished over the past year, the one room that had the biggest salvage was our beach bathroom. From my rough original design sketch in April to where we are in December, it has been an amazing journey. I have included a photo of what the 1970s bathroom looked like before and the demolition we did to salvage the space.

We have dabbled in DIY but never done a room from bare walls. We ended up having to take the entire wall out behind the shower all the way to the concrete foundation and rebuilt the subfloor. Even though this was way beyond our original estimation of the scope of work, we rallied and kept on budget and got the subfloor, new wall, insulation, new window, tiling, electrical wiring and plumbing all done between July 7 until our first shower in August. Plus right in the middle of the shower install, the toilet cracked in two and we had to replace it.

This included a lot of 12-15 hour days because my husband and I did all the work ourselves. That is the thing we are the most proud of because a lot of DIY blogs show great before and after projects but they only paint the walls and sub contract out the plumbing, electrical and construction- we did all of that ourselves.

So here in no particular order, the final five salvages of 2014:

#5 Vintage Schoolhouse Light

This light became the basis for the color and design ideas for the bathroom when I found it hanging at Restore. Our house is from 1915 and I think this light is from the 1920-30 era. Found at Restore for Habitat for Humanity for $10.

#4 Framed Vintage Map

The old map of Willapa Bay was hanging on the wall in the living room when we bought the house. Framing it and adding it to the bathroom seemed a fitting honor. Poster frame was $20.

#3. Vanity Area

We found the vanity at the Rebuilding Center for $15. Repurposed the mirror. The light was $6 and the faucet was $50 from Habitat. The IKEA sink was found in the as-is room for $30. We built the vanity top out of tongue and groove Douglas fir for $20.

#2 Vintage Clawfoot Tub

I found the tub on Craigslist for $150. With a new coat of paint and a good scrubbing, it was ready to install. Used a bar faucet for $49 from Home Depot and a new drain and stopper for $10. Looks like it should have been in the house originally which is exactly what we were going for plus it is a awesome soaking tub=design and function.

#1 The Total Bathroom

I have never designed an entire room much less built one. Together I feel like we really pulled off a fabulous space. Not only is it exactly the way we wanted it to look, but it feels like a lovely spa as well. Including the shower tile, plumbing, wiring, paneling, boards, paint 2 windows and the items listed above, we probably spent around $1,500. I give this project an A+ for value and design because we love it! Only thing left to do is install the hardwood floor…

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Best of Salvage 2014 #6 IKEA Butcher Block Cabinet

Well this is the project that got me using power tools. I’m a power tool chicken and I had to cut the back trim off the cabinet to attach the IKEA butcher block. It was a successful hack- the butcher block only had to be trimmed to fit the top of the cabinet and we screwed it on from underneath. The result was tons more workable countertop space in a small galley kitchen. The salvage grade for this project is an A- because I’m still working on how to polish the butcher block and the cost was a little high with $90 for the IKEA butcher block. But overall it is a great polished finish to the kitchen space.

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Best of Salvage 2014 #7 Retro Bar Cart

I noticed more and more bar carts online and in magazines so I thought it would be fun to try and make one out of a salvaged item. I found this old cart at a rummage sale for $5. The rollers on the cart were in bad shape so I went to the local hardware store and got replacements for $15. I painted the table a shiny black enamel paint to cover all the brown and purple paint from its days at a summer camp.

We already had an IKEA cutting board that I wasn’t using so I repurposed it for the top which fit perfectly. I found the silver tray for $4.99 at a thrift store. The bar supplies we already had on hand.

I would grade this salvage project an A for $25 cost and overall appeal.

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Best of Salvage 2014 #8 Old Boat Wood Coffee Table

My husband found an old boat rotting on the shore of the harbor near our house. He grabbed a couple of the boards, well mostly because he loves old boats. I thought the wood was gorgeous. The colors of old boat were faded but gave it a rich patina.

At first we were going to use it for a headboard but didn’t have enough wood. Then I remembered the hideous Pottery Barn coffee table that still had a nice base but whose top was a rotten DIY project gone wrong with bad tile and grout. I broke that all off and cleaned up the rotten iron base.

We measure and shaped the boat wood to the base. The wood used for boats is heated and shaped to fit the hull so it was a little tricky getting the pieces together in a new shape on the table. Once we got the wood cut and screwed on to the table base, I used Verathane to coat the wood. The finish is glossy and brought out the old color of the boat.

I didn’t realize it until we took the table into the house that the colors of the wood matched the wool rug. Happy coincidence. The grade I give this salvage is an A+ because I loved the end result, it was salvaged entirely with $0 and it preserved a piece of local history.

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Best of Salvage 2014 #9 Redwood Slab Table

The redwood slab was found at a yard sale for $20. It is pretty cool because it is finished on top but has the bark left on for what is called a “live edge”. But what do you with a 100 pound block of wood? Make a table!

I went on the hunt for a table stand. The one I used was an old metal water heater stand I found for $5 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. I painted it black and we sat the slab down on it for a lovely table. For a salvage grade I would give it a B+-the $20 cost was great but I would have preferred a thicker base but it was a great value and look for the money.

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Merry Proper Christmas

Merry, merry, ho, ho,ho! Here’s to celebrating a proper Christmas with my all time favorite- a trifle filled with lemon pound cake, fresh pears and raspberries, whipped cream and a vanilla custard. I make my ingredients by scratch, but you can buy all pre- made. Just assembly in a glass dish bowl starting with the cake, then custard, fruit and top with whipped cream. Repeat layers ending with whipped cream and decorate with fresh fruits & greens. Enjoy! (Can eat right away but best to let chill for couple hours. Holds up for several days in fridge so you can enjoy for a while.)

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