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living room | Building Our Nest
Mar 5 2011

DIY: Firewood Bin

You might have noticed this little detail in Kelly’s sketch from the last post:

That is not something just the future when we build the fireplace – it exists now, because I made it!

I had been wanting to keep our firewood in something other than the uber-ugly plastic milk crate it existed in all winter, and got the idea to get a little crafty with a $15 galvanized tub from my local thrift store. (And when I say “local,” I mean 6 blocks away, local…)

First, I got Kelly to find a nice modern, but not too cold, font and print out the word “Firewood.” Then, after cleaning off the outside of the tub, I used a spray-adhesive to arrange the letters around one side. It was a good thing that adhesive was labeled “repositionable” because it took me 3 tries to get the letters to fit just right.

For a little more detail, I masked off one section of the tub with painter’s tape.

Then I started priming and painting. Forgive these next few pictures – I started this project in the late afternoon and by the time I got to painting, it had gotten dark. I was working in the backyard by the glow of the floodlight.


Then, when everything was dry, I removed the letters and the painter’s tape and had a cool new bin for firewood!

And here it is with wood in it, next to our (yet to be renovated) fireplace.


Feb 22 2011

Dreaming and sketching

No new news on the stair project today, folks. We’re still working away at it. But what I do have for you today is a brilliant little sketch Kelly whipped up over lunch on Sunday. On a napkin. (I kid you not.)

It’s things like these that amaze me about my husband. (Forgive me for bragging for a second…) He is an incredibly talented designer. I’ve seen his talent first-hand with his graphic design, but I always seem to forget that he has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design (basically a pre-architecture degree), which means his designs are more than just 2-D.

You see, he has this knowledge and amazing skill in how to dream up something, sketch it and then build it. (Like all the props and scenery he used to build when he worked in theater, or the cupcake tower from our wedding, or the spice rack that is half-completed in our kitchen right now, among many other things.)

Which is why I’m so excited about what could happen in our living and dining rooms. Just look at that napkin sketch!

The top sketch is of three walls in our dining room, and what it could look like with a wall treatment of either board and batten, wainscot, or some kind of paneling. (We had just seen the episode of Sarah’s House where she puts paneling in a dining room and then fabric wall paper above it. I’m not so sure about the fabric wallpaper, but some kind of pattern isn’t out of the question for that dining room.)

The bottom two sketches are Kelly’s design for a renovated fireplace. Chunky wood mantel! Stone facing up to the ceiling! I’m so excited I’m using lots of exclamation points!! I’m also excited because we decided that unlike the dining room wall treatment, this is a project we want to tackle this year. Let’s just say we want to have a fireplace mantel by Christmas so we don’t have to hang stockings on the bookshelves again…