Salvage Appreciation

This kitchen is in a 600 square foot cabin in Wyoming and I was instantly drawn to the schoolhouse light above the table.  Reading the details I found the homeowner found the light at Habitat for Humanity Restore.  That is exactly where I found mine & I appreciate that someone else salvaged the fixture as well.  The homeowner also said the light was from 1918 which confirms mine was old and age appropriate to our 1915 house.


Total Salvage by the Sea

Challanged with a barrel ceiling and low walls, I have struggled with a headboard for the loft bedroom.  Well last weekend I binge watched episodes of “Fixer Upper” and noticed how they seem to just make headboards out of shutters, doors or whatever they find.  I started snooping in our wood pile of supply and scrap materials to see what I could find.  There sat our old cabinet door from the bathroom remodel.  I measured and it was the perfect length to fit as a headboard. With a little trim here and there, we were able to install the cabinet door flush with the top of the wall.  Total salvage of a cute piece into a new function and saving a piece of history of the house.  

Galvanized Towel Rack

One of the final touches missing from the beach bathroom renovation was a towel rack for the vanity.   Inspired by shelving I saw in a recent episode of “Fixer Upper” on HGTV, I headed to our local hardware store.  Jack’s Country Store is only two blocks away from the beach house and has literally everything we need for projects.  Found galvanized pipe and fittings to make this towel rack for $12.54.  Love the industrial look with the rest of the black and white bathroom.  The doors have galvanized boat halyards we use for towel racks so this little rack is right at home.

Brooklyn Reclaimed Garden Space Inspiration

Jo Malone, the perfume genius, teamed with folks in Brooklyn near a polluted canal to build a beautiful fragrance garden with amazing hard space & plants. Diverting 150,000 gallons of rain water run off is pretty cool too.

I am using this space as inspiration in my garden as we have been clearing trees and making more useable space in a small yard. I just planted a daphne after going to 4 nurseries to find one. Here’s hoping my new fragrant plant & garden re-do is half as lovely as Jo Malones.





Good Will Hunting

I have been going to thrift stores, flea markets and antique stores for as long as I remember. I started seriously collecting right out of college- depression glass and majolica pottery. I still love the thrill of the hunt especially if it’s a deal.

This week we went on the Goodwill trail touring through Portland in search of treasures and we found some. The framed vintage German maps from 1912 were $8 each. I touched up the frames but I really like the modern black sleek lines against the old soft colors of the maps.

I am always looking for old frames and canvasses to use on my own work. I found a nice sized frame and turned it around to find a vintage oil painting of the Columbia River gorge. I recognized the view from hiking there all the time. I looked more closely and discovered an old art tag on the art board from a St. Louis, Missouri company. Sadly no signature or other marks but it was old and local- I had to have it for $7.99.

I did some research on the art board sticker and found out the company started in 1865 and changed its name in 1919, so the board had to be from before 1919. I thought the point of view from the painting pointed east from the Washington side of the river. The main attraction at that point of the river is Beacon Rock. Originally called Castle Rock by Lewis and Clark, the rock was purchased in 1914 by Henry Biddle, a famous explorer from Vancouver, who decided to save the rock and build a hiking path to the top. This path was completed in 1918.

Given the age of the art board and the excitement over the Beacon Rock path being built around the same time, I’m guessing this painting was done around 1918/1919. To me this was the ultimate treasure- a history lesson about a place I know and love and a mysterious piece of art someone lovingly painted years ago. Here’s to happy treasure hunting.





The $8 Bar

I recently read an article by a backyard designer that said you should have a kitchen, dining and living space in your outdoor design. So I went to work on creating a space like so many restaurants and coffee shops – a bench with bar stools for casual dining. I found the brackets for $3.99 at the thrift store. Next I had to find some cool wood to build the shelf. I went to Home Depot and found rough cut cedar boards for $1.50 each. I painted with 2 coats of verathane. We decided to install against the kitchen window for a pass through and it is shady there in the summer. So for about $8, I built an outdoor bar – next I need to find some bar stools to enjoy the space.