Farmhouse Style Magnetic Command Station|With a 100-Year-Old Beam!

Hi Friends,

Our doorbell rang a few months back and in sauntered my brother – I have 4 of them – with a 100-year-old beam, a piece of sheet metal, and a smile.  Superhouls shot me a quick, knowing glance and said to my brother, “Let’s hear it.”

“I need you to make me a frame for this sheet metal using this old beam from my house,” he chuckled, “and keep the rustic look of the beam.”  They recently had the house redone and he wanted to re-purpose the original beam and incorporate it into their new farmhouse style kitchen.  The house was originally built in 1876 so this beam is about as old and original as they come.

It was cold, damp and snowing – again, Superhouls and I exchanged a knowing glance – we knew this project wasn’t getting started any time soon.  My brother, catching the glance, assured us there was no rush.  Wanted us to take our time.  Do it right.  Thanks, bro!  Appreciate that!

We started with this…

…and decided that we would construct it by gluing the sheet metal to a piece of ply wood and then frame it with the beam.  And once we had a plan, we left it…for months.

⇒⇒⇒⇒⇒ Aside: I know you’re probably thinking that our next project should be to clean up and organize the garage.  Trust me, we do all the time.  In fact, I’d like to clean it up permanently and make it a guesthouse…with a loft.  Superhouls, not so much.

Once Spring arrived last week, we got busy.  Superhouls ripped the beam in half because it was about 5 or 6 inches thick.  Yeah, definitely too thick for a frame.  Then he cut it down to the measurements we needed for the frame.  This photo shows the thickness of the old beam.


So we ripped, and cut and sanded…

…and glued and stapled and stained…

And, I gotta say that I love the way this turned out.  It’s rustic and the stain gave it so much depth and character!  Ready to take a look?

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I finished the back with some burlap that I had on hand, and we added two hanging clips to evenly distribute the weight.  And…done!


Now all they need are some cute magnets.

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Be well,



Blue-eyed Romeo


Cedar Chest|Repaired & Renewed

Hi Friends,

I’m not even going to go into how long it’s been since I’ve written.  I’ll just jump right in and say, “My apologies for being a neglectful blogger!”  Sometimes life on life’s terms gets messy busy and we need to just ride the wave.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was able to spend some time with family and friends this weekend, which is exactly what I needed.  I didn’t run around shopping like crazy.  I didn’t pull all my decorations down from the attic and get busy.  I just spent time being.  In between being, I worked on a project for my son, D.  Here’s the back story on this project…

About two months ago D & D stopped by with a well-used, but solid cedar chest that he had inherited from a  friend.  D thought it would be a good storage piece for his home office, and was wondering if I would fix it  wanted a project to work on.  Into the garage it went and there it stayed until this weekend when I had enough down time to tackle it.

The chest is made of Red Tennessee Cedar.  Red cedar is easily recognized by its color, variations and knots, even when it’s no longer fragrant.  I also found this label inside the chest and learned that it was red cedar from Tennessee.  Apparently there are various types of cedar wood and red cedar comes from various places.  Who knew?


The top of the chest had a corner missing and the left side panel was completely broken off.  The hinge in the back  was also bent, so I’m assuming it lacked the proper support to hold the lid up without it falling backward and overextending the hinge.  The photos below show the missing side panel and the remnants of masking tape that someone…somehow… thought would work to put Humpty Dumpty back together again secure the broken panel.

After removing the hinges and lid, I broke out the power tools and got busy sanding…and sanding…and sanding.  I sanded the exterior three times with our DeWalt Orbital Sander, moving from course to fine grade sandpaper. I also lightly sanded the interior to release the cedar fragrance.  Then I got SuperHouls on board for repairs and had him re-attach and reinforce the broken panel with brackets, after applying  wood glue.  We also added three brackets to the right panel as reinforcement and because I like symmetry.


Then we turned the lid over to apply wood filler for the side panel.  In the right photo below you can see the line of wood filler that runs vertically.  We also added lots of wood filler to build the missing corner.

This wood filler dries in about 30 minutes.  We had to give the corner a few applications to build it up.  Then we broke out another power tool, our Dremel Multi-Max 30.  This was my first time using this tool.  It was perfect for getting into the corners, and for sanding away the extra hardened wood filler.


After sanding and repairs, I gave the outside a coat of my favorite stain – and then a coat of wax to seal it.

Once the stain and wax were dried, SuperHouls added some new wheels to the bottom and re-attached the top lid.  Finally, we added lid hinges to ensure the top stayed open on its own and didn’t extend back and bend the hinges.

I’m also envisioning this chest being used as my future grandchild’s toy chest one day, so I wouldn’t want the lid to fall forward and hit anyone in the head or cause bruised fingers.

Finally, I used glue and mod-podge to secure the label to the inside lid and called it done!

I wheeled it outside and took some final photos in the daylight before it got picked up and moved to its new home.



Then I went for a manicure.

All in all, not a favorite project of mine and definitely too much sanding for my liking.  But…when you bring me an old piece of furniture that is constructed to last, and can be restored to its original workhorse status, I’m in.  And…if you also happen to be my son bringing me the old piece of furniture that I envision may be used by my future grandchild… you know…down the road.   I’m. All. In.

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Be well,



Wait…I thought I was the grandchild.


Apartment Reno Update – Modern Corner Shelves

Hey Friends,

Just seven school days left before I have some time off for reflection, relaxation, recuperating and…projects.  Yes, I have been seriously slacking when it comes to my project to-do list and as a result, the list keeps getting longer.  I’m so looking forward to getting my hands dirty and being creative this summer.

I did manage to complete some shelving for the apartment reno that I shared about last year.  See here, herehere and here to revisit that project.   Once D & D moved in, they needed a break and wanted to spend some time living in the space before taking on additional projects.

After living with boxes cluttering his home office for too long a year, D was ready to commit to some additional updates.  He asked me for my help with some shelving solutions.  Ladies, what mother could say no to her son?


D’s design aesthetic is very different from mine.  I love historic homes with cottage design elements, and D likes modern homes with every technological update imaginable.  He has an affinity for mid-century furniture and design and the more wood, the better!

Looking to Pinterest for inspiration, I was inspired by this shelving system that Shannon from Burlap and Lace created…


How cool is that?

What I most like about Shannon’s system is that the shelves are very low to the floor. This not only maximizes the vertical space and adds functionally, it leans modern.  I knew that D would like the design and the fact that it would incorporate more wood into his space.

I was working with a corner space in his office and I wanted my version to wrap the shelving around the corner to increase functionality.  I started by outlining the walls with painter’s tape to determine the number of shelves I needed and the best spacing options to accommodate his books…


Then I headed to Home Depot to buy some cabinet grade plywood and brackets, and I got to work cutting and staining.

Of course I ran into a little problem during the install when one of the bracket screws wouldn’t screw into the wall.  The harder I tried, the more red clay I hit.  Yup – behind that plaster wall was brick.  Nicole Curtis may have been thrilled, but this mama wasn’t looking for brick!


SuperHouls came to the rescue with his masonry drill bit and we were back in business…

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I quickly placed some items on the finished shelves and snapped the above picture with my Iphone before I left.  Since then, D emptied the boxes of books and got some help from his girlfriend, D, with the styling.  Here’s the finished product all styled and prettied up…



And here’s some photos of the rest of the space…like this desk from West Elm…LOVE!

Of course, in addition to having three monitors, you also need a whiteboard.  A HUGE whiteboard…


D brought in a professional to install the whiteboard.  It’s enormous, made of glass and heavy, so securing it to the brick wall was best left to the professionals.  Now more touch-up paint is needed and the empty  corner will eventually have a reading chair and floor lamp to finish off the space.  The painting is an original by his girlfriend.

I’m really happy with how this turned out but more importantly, my boy is happy.

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Be well,


Romeo & Floyd

Romeo & Floyd in the garden at the abode.



The Man Cave Makeovercation Featuring Billy

Hi there friends,

It’s been a busy few weeks for SuperHouls.  Every other year we share the same Spring Break vacation time.  This is one of the years that our vacation time does not coincide so SuperHouls has been busy with a project all his own.               The.  Man.  Cave.

 According to Urban Dictionary, the man cave is described as

“A room, space, corner or area of a dwelling that is specifically reserved for a male person to be in a solitary condition, away from the rest of the household in order to work, play, involve himself in certain hobbies, activities without interruption. This area is usually decorated by the male that uses it without interference from any female influence.”

All true except for that last sentence.  Let’s be honest, it’s still part of the house.

So SuperHoul’s man cave is getting a makeover and Billy…who’s that?… is on board.  SuperHouls is a man of many talents so his man cave will need office space for him to work and write, creative space for him to play guitar and compose music, and of course relaxing space in front of the big screen.

Currently, the man cave is in process…

Man Cave Before

…which, if we are keeping it real, means messy.

We have some painting to finish up this weekend and should be ready for a full reveal next week.  In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek…


Hey, if you enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments below and then share it with a friend, because #sharingiscaring.

Be well,



Being that we are males, we won’t wait for an invitation to the man cave. See you there.

Happy Memorial Day and Apartment Reno Update

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you all enjoy this holiday and have something fun planned with family and friends.  D & D are taking a break this morning from the renovations and we are heading out shopping. I’m tagging along because, well, I’ve never been one to turn down a good sale. 

Before I go, here a quick update on yesterday’s renovation progress…

SuperHouls got the cabinets installed.   

Of course, we made a few runs to this place for those “oops we need” moments…  

 Nothing is square in old homes so there’s always a bit that needs to come off to make it fit.


And just when SuperHouls was thinking he could really need some assistance, my brother JAT showed up. Love when the universe simultaneously responds…so does SuperHouls. 



Together they got it done. 


All the while D just kept right on painting…


all that moulding and trim…


What are you doing for Memorial Day?  Anyone one have fun projects happening?  Barbeques? Shopping? Beach?

Be well,


Oh, and before I go…Happy First Anniversary Michele and George!!!!