I always wonder how it is those people who live in what they call "Tiny Houses" manage. Every little bit of storage space is already spoken for, just so you can move around in the space during the day. I don't think I would live very long if I had to live in one of those. I'd die of Cabin Fever. Oh, I am spoiled, aren't I? Hubs' Oklahoma Pioneer grandparents lived in a one-room cabin, as did everyone they knew, back in the early 1900's, with seven children. And my Kansas grandparents probably did the same, when they first came to Anderson County, with seven children from the first wife and more being born as they went along, to the second (younger) wife.
But I digress. As usual.
You've seen this wall over and over, so I won't bore you with a "before" picture here.
I've had these in mind for this spot, almost as long as we have lived here. This is a pretty wasted space, normally. It is the north end of the room. The door to the entry hallway is to the left. Of course you recognize that fireplace by now.
There is a bit of a challenge back in the corner. Originally there was a small base cabinet tucked in there, with a wall-hung cabinet over it. The counter on the base cabinet was a good space for a telephone, but it's closer to use the wall phone in the kitchen. You saw this little Hershey-painted cabinet in the previous blogpost.
This could be, however, a good place to stash bulky things, or things we don't use very often. Firewood in the winter. Blankets and extra throw rugs in summer.
I always line my cabinets -- kitchen, bathroom, or otherwise -- with stick-down vinyl floor tile. I use the cheapest I can get, and I line the drawers, too. The cheap ones are thinner and easier to cut with kitchen shears. Once installed, they are easy to keep clean with just a wipe, everything glides across them with no catching or bunching, and they look nice forever. When you have your house up for sale, your cabinet doors and drawers always get opened, and it's just a little something that says, "I am clean and have been well cared-for." It's funny, the little things that make favorable impressions on prospective buyers when they ought to be looking at more important things...... They cost about 68 cents apiece now. They were half that price when I first started using them.
We were fortunate enough to have a couple of days during which we could actually open up doors and windows. The stain and even the polyurethane stunk up the house horribly. Neither of us slept well that first night after the stain went on and I think it was because the odor filled the whole house. Bowls of vinegar set out, and candles burning during the day didn't help much that first day.
When I saw how orange the stain went on I was pretty disappointed. It's the same stain I used on the oak stair treads and the color looked so much the same as the floor that I had to put a rug at the bottom of the stairs because we nearly had a bad accident in missing that last step on the way down. It just kind of blended in to the floor and looked like it wasn't even there! This stain color is called "Gunstock". In this picture we don't have the kick-plate up. I can't get the wood to take the stain. More work needed and I'm going to spend the afternoon in the garden today.
So I'm not sure I like this as well as I thought I was going to. It seemed like the application of the polyurethane toned it down just a little, but not as much as I'd hoped. My only other options are to sand it off and start over again, which I'm not up to, at least for the time-being, or painting it. I've decided to live with it awhile and see if I can tolerate it. I was shooting for a "built-in" look, and I was afraid if I just painted it, it would just look like kitchen cabinets. Which is, afterall, what they are.
Eventually I want shelves on the wall that will hold some of my flea-market and garage-sale finds, maybe a few books and pictures, and so on. I can't obstruct that return-air vent and they will have to be built around the TV. So I haven't decided just yet exactly how these should be built. They will only protrude half as far from the wall as the cabinets do. I've not even broached this subject with Hubs. He thinks he's done and he's ready to be done and starting to get a little sloppy. Truth is, so am I. This is a project for another time. Maybe next winter.
We like to watch those shows on TV where people buy a dump of a house and redecorate it, then sell it for a profit. There's one where a realtor and a decorator team up, the realtor finds a house the homeowner might like better and the decorator tries to fix up the current home so they'll want to keep it. It's called "Love It Or List It". I get a little tired of the decorator telling the owners, "It Won't Work", which is something Hubs loves to say. There are also a couple of shows where there are realtor / contractor teams where they find a dumpish place that has good bones and convince someone to buy it based on how cute the contractor can make it look. Ordinarily you might think this is a bad idea for Hubs to let me see these shows, due to the ideas they might cause me to get. But a lot of what they do is not my style, and if it is, they do it by ripping out and starting all over, something that spikes the price tag of the remodel. When they buy new stuff for the remodel, they always go to The High-Dollar Store, or they pay some renowned craftsman to custom make it. I can't usually do that, although Hubs often can substitute for the "renowned craftsman". He and I, together, have enough homeowner skills that we can muddle through. I don't like how they take a sledge-hammer to perfectly good windows and cabinets that might be repurposed, or at the very least, sold to someone who could use them. It's mostly done for effect, and they let the homeowner wield the sledge, which I guess makes them feel powerful, I don't know..... It always makes a huge mess that would be avoided otherwise. Redecorating is messy enough without THAT. But that and contrived bad stuff that they worry about happening, such as how the roof might fall in if they don't take out the window just right, or things that they find in the walls, ceilings, or under the floors that they don't expect, is the drama of the show. Personally, I'd rather skip that kind of drama completely. Even on a shoestring budget, such as our redecoration projects usually are, it can get expensive. There are some things that just can't be skimped on, and some things that can, with a little extra thought and/or labor, to give the look I want.
Oh, here's the little chest you saw in the last post. It was tan. Someone had carved a swastica in the top. And it smelled funny once I got that tan paint off. It turned out to be just a little pine chest, like a kid would make in shop class, but I have always liked its shape. Not a good candidate for staining, however. So, a good coat of polyurethane to seal all the unpainted areas, some filler and sanding on the outside, some digging in the drawer for fancy knobs, (it had wooden knobs before, and one was broken), and about three coats of paint later:
We are having a beautiful day today and I have beet seeds and potatoes to plant, so I'm off to do that. Hope you're having good weather where you are.
Rock on..... xoxoxo