Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I've been seized by fits of DIY lately. A couple of weeks ago, while Mike was out of town, I decided to pull out the ugly kitchen cabinet that the previous owners had installed in the mudroom. It didn't match the kitchen or bathroom cabinets, and though our house was built in 2000, it was a "faux pickled" sort of finish popular in the 80's. Weird.
I wasn't exactly sure what was involved, and I had already asked the guy who was coming to install crown molding to do it for me, but ever since I bought that bench and mantel at the auction, I've been itching to get it done. Also, I was in a mood to rip something apart. Don't ask.
Remember these?

I jumped the gun a bit and pulled off the counter top before I remembered to take a picture, but you get the idea.
It wouldn't be a big deal, except everyone who knows us, comes to this door, and walks past our boots and muck shoes, plus we really needed a place to sit and change our shoes. Very important when you have a barn. With manure.

Removing the counter top, which had been glued, was the hard part. It involved a crowbar and some bad language, but once I got that off, I only needed to remove a few screws and wrestle the cabinet away from the wall. Then, there was a little drywall patching, sanding, and painting. The bench needed a good scrubbing, and the mantel got a fresh coat of paint and coat hooks. Ta da!

This morning I made a nice plump cushion for the seat, which has storage underneath.
A few of my favorite things sit on the mantel...our girl's first pair of paddock boots, the sea glass that I'm always bringing up from the river, an old milk bottle for change that I find in the laundry, and a favorite picture or two.
These pictures aren't as sharp as I'd like, but it's a drizzly day, and there isn't much natural light there. Nevertheless, I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Finding the mantel and bench at the auction saved hundreds. We had picked out a bench and shelf set in Pottery Barn, but truthfully, I'm just as happy with this. 
All Mike had to do when he returned, was hang the mantel. It weighs a ton, and I was pretty sure trying to do that myself would end in disaster. 
Gotta run. There's some DIY in the barn, with a manure fork, waiting. XO.

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