Thursday, February 19, 2015

Using an Unused Space

A few weeks ago I alluded to a house project that was in the works. It's kind of a long story.

When we moved into this house almost four years ago and started setting up and making it our own, we made a conscious decision to do things right the first time.  In other words, we didn't want to waste time and money on temporary solutions that we didn't love and would want to change later.

One of the first rooms we tweaked was our dining room.  We used a long-term-loan dining room hutch to store our school books and supplies and it served it's purpose well (large, sturdy, did I mention free?), but it was never precisely my style. We talked options including painting the hutch, but on a Sunday morning run last year I spotted another hutch for sale in a neighbor's yard. Brian talked them down from their asking price of $100 and brought it home for only $40!  The top section needed extensive cosmetic work, including removing glass doors so we decided to work with only the bottom half. 

Brian spent a week sanding and painting, and now this beauty resides in our dining room.  (I'm working on finding some artwork to hang on the once-hidden wall.)

{And where is the old hutch?  My sister took it home and made it her own.} 

The new piece has a major drawback. Eliminating the top cabinet left us less storage space.  An idea had been brewing for awhile and with Brian on his winter break, there was no time like the present.  There is a unused nook in our front entryway that was the ideal space for a large built-in bookshelf. 

We mentioned  our plans to my dad after dinner one Sunday and within a half hour he and Brian had removed the very large, very hazardous mirror with their bare hands (while the rest of us cringed at the sound of crackling, almost-shattering glass).

And that is why I have no official "before" photo.  I do have this one taken post-mirror.

Then came the work of tearing out the cabinet.

Ben was fascinated by the whole process, though the noise was a little bothersome, hence the ear muffs.
After the dirty work was complete, this is what was remained.

My dad volunteered to help build the new shelf. I provided lunch and advice, but otherwise, I was hands-off.

By the end of the day, the skeleton was complete. 

Then came the tedious work of paining-- the shelf and the walls, too,  which needed a freshen-up coat.

All the work was worth gaining this new much-used, much-needed space for our books, resources, and supplies.

Easy for me to say, huh?


  1. GREAT project! I love little tucked-away spaces that some homes have.

  2. I love your new hutch!! (It is so "you"!)
    Great new space, too. A home should meet the needs of the people who live there. I love how you're making your home work for you!

  3. Awesome transformation! And so much more useful than a giant mirror :)


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