Life on the creative side

Posts tagged “refinishing salvage furniture

A Cabin Kitchen Remodel

country french inspired kitchen island remodel with antique rain gutter wine rack

We are finally finishing up or winding down our summer projects at the cabin and studio.  Actually my studio has been commandeered for storage and work space until hubby’s workshop/barn is completed. Fortunately not having my studio hasn’t been too much of an issue, as I’ve been so busy with house and yard projects over the last few months that I haven’t needed it; come fall however, it will be a different story. But now, as promised, is one of the projects that we have completed.

My kitchen started out last summer like this.

punched tin pine cabinet

Now, as it should be, it is my favorite room in the cabin.

Cabin kitchen remodel

Our first step was painting the bead-board ceiling a creamy white to help light reflect around the room. We then rearranged the appliances and added some old heart-pine cabinets that hubby had made almost thirty years ago for another house.  Because the cabinets were not designed for this space, we created open shelving, with painted bead-board backing (a wonderful green), to fill in the empty spaces. I loaded the shelves with lovely things – all mice proof of course, as this is an old cabin in the country.

Open shelving in farm kitchen

I love that all the textiles in the space are mismatched; my sister donated light airy curtains for the windows; vintage embroidered pillowcases cover the chair cushions; instead of doors under the counter we used French inspired table clothes as curtains; different patterned tablecloths also flank the sliding door which leads out to the new deck with twisted vine rails, which leads to the new patio…but all that will be in another post.


Cabin kitchen remodel with tablecloths as curtains

 Light airy curtains and landscape painting by kathry t lundberg, lighten a kitchen

The counter top and back-splash is walnut from an old tree that fell on the home place years ago and has been stored in my sister’s barn; Hubby roughed up the surface and rounded the edges to give it an aged look, then sealed it with food safe oil.  The sink was in the structure when we found it and was moved along with the logs to the current location. A few years ago hubby built the sink cabinet and I painted and finished it to look like an old piece of furniture (what a team we make)

cabin kitchen sink

The island was constructed from the very first piece of woodworking hubby made for the cabin, all those years ago; a pine cabinet with punched tin doors perched high on tall legs.  We removed the legs; painted and distressed the whole thing; added reclaimed porch posts and a couple of salvaged angle brackets from an old farm-house to support the new shelving and bar height counter. Finally we topped it off with a beautiful piece of marble given to us by a friend.  I finished the bar shelf with a primitive painting of the houses along the ridge. Hubby even put power in the island so at this Christmas’s tree trimming party I won’t be crowded in the corner with my back to the revelers while preparing the grilled cheese sandwiches.

french inspired kitchen island

distressed French blue kitchen cabinet doors

recycled porch posts for kitchen island

primitive folk art painting on kitchen counter by kathryn t lundberg

folk art painting on kitchen island counter

The lighting is the final project; I’m just waiting for the perfect fixture to find its way to me.

Country French inspired Cabin kitchen remodel with antique rain gutter wine rack

 vintage farmhouse


Our Booth Of Eclectic Home Furnishings And Collectables!

booth at renninger's extravaganza


booth at renninger's extravaganzaAfter a very long day our booth is ready and we are so pleased with the way it looks.  We had a lot of positive feedback and several sales offers. While our closest neighbor comes across a little abrasive at times, I think the elderly man and his wife are probably nicer than their first impression would indicate; we certainly hope so, but tomorrow we’ll have a stash of sangria on hand, just in case we need to calm our nerves and shore up our patience.

booth at renninger's extravaganza

Check back to hear how it goes.

A Story About Hubby

 I want to tell you a story. This story began several years ago, when my babies were really babies, and my young family was spending a long weekend at a friend’s condo on the beach. My hubby, as he has most of our married life, had to work half a day on Saturday, so the plan was for him to join us in the early afternoon.  But as the kids played in the sand and the sun drifted further and further toward the west, there was no sign of hubby.  Back in the ole’ days when the world was not tethered together by cell phones all I could do was wait and grow more and more impatient.  Just as I was about to pack up, he came hurrying across the beach, still wearing his work clothes.

 Like a little boy bursting with a secret he could hold no longer, my hubby sat down in the sand beside me. Barely aware of the kids crawling over him in their daddy’s home euphoria, and seemingly oblivious to my annoyance, he began…

  “There was an ad in the paper for reclaimed lumber”, he paused, I’m not sure if was for effect or to gauge my mood. Then he rambled on excitedly about an old man, a garage stacked full like a warehouse, something about cypress maybe pecking cypress, walnut or heart pine: Whatever, I knew where the story was headed so I finally interrupted with “How much did you spend?”   He fought a sheepish grin as he held up four fingers. “You spent four hundred dollars on a pile of old wood” I asked accusingly. The sheepish grin took total control as he slowly shook his head no. “You spent four THOUSAND dollars!” I all but shouted.

He went on to assure me that it was a great deal and he would get more for the lumber than he had paid and still have extra for projects.  Well all these years later he has yet to sell a single board foot; not that there haven’t been buyers, but all have failed his screening process.  Through the years he has however shared his treasure with like-minded lumber lovers with  plans deemed worthy; and of course our beloved beach house has lovely cypress doors and window trim, an amazing handcrafted fireplace mantle and a family sized farm-house table for gathering around. This one I have to give him – you did good hubby.

Wine rack created by hubby from salvaged wood…

 The beautiful trim crafted from hubby’s beloved lumber…

 Family gathered around a table designed and built by hubby.

Little Table Makeover With Mosaic

My sister-in-law is moving into her new home and fortunately for me she is using the opportunity to thin out or replace some of her things.  This little table is one of the items that did not make the cut to move on to the new place, so it found itself in my studio waiting for a makeover.

Umm, what to do?

Simple, sweet lines…

not in love with the glass top, seems a little dated…

oh what to do with you, little table?



Of course!

lilly pad mosaic table

small mosaic top table

Thanks Carol.

I’ve joined the party over at


More Fun With Repurposing


More treasures for our upcoming sale.  Now along with the chair we re-upholstered in a soft plaid flannel, the room divider we created from an old picture screen and yellow chenille remnant,  a redesigned lamp and shade and  a re-finished end table embellished with a gold leaf starfish; we now have a set of shelves an old painting and an oak table ready for our booth.


I’m particularly pleased with the set of shelves that began life as slated multi colored cubes in a modern design.  But after some paint and creative use of old wallpaper, they have been reborn into a unique set of shelves that exude   vintage charm within its modern lines. 

 ← Before

                                                                                               After ↓


I painted this painting thirty years ago on a canvas board.  Over the years the canvas began to separate from the board so I went ahead and peeled it completely off. Then after serendipitously laying it on an old beat up table with pealing paint, I fell in love with the look and had the idea of mounting the old canvas on weathered paneling.  So my dear “doer” hubby put together a board constructed of tongue and grove boards and mounted them on a piece of thin plywood.  After scuffing and beating charater and age onto the surface, I painted, crackled and sanded them into a beautifully distressed condition.  Finally, using upholstery tacks, I mounted the canvas to the panels.


 This old oak table had sat in my dad’s barn for more years than I can remember.  The veneer had long ago peeled away and the base, held together by wire twisted around the pedestal by some long ago owner, was coming loose from both the table top and the legs; it was in rough shape.  First we reinforced the weakened structure then coated it with soft oatmeal white paint.  Then we glued a colorful remnant of outdoor fabric to the top, trimmed the edge with some antique rick rack and coated the whole thing with several layers of polymer.











Refurbishing with Paint, Stitching and Silver-Leaf; A Lovely Little Table to Treasure,

I grabbed this little wobbly table right out of my dad’s hands as he reared back to toss it into the dumpster, now you know something is in sad shape if  it’s not worth the space it takes up in a barn full of junk! Anyway that was a few years back and since then it has lived by mytt's barn bed, on the porch and finally in an out building.  But with Lisa and me looking for items for the booth we plan to set up in January, I pulled it out and took a fresh look at its possibilities.

The black paint concealed the colors but not the ragged texture of the multiple layers of paint globbed on beneath. The legs were loose, very loose; one had actually broken through the table top which had also shortened one side considerably. It was in sad shape, but there was just something sweet about its form. So after my hubby stabilized the top and legs, the best that could be done, I started to work painting. I decided to use a dry brush technique that embraced its primitive nature; and I chose a beautiful blue that puts me in mind of the sea.

Lisa had been looking for a project to try a technique she had seen somewhere that involves stitching on wood.  With that in mind we developed a plan to transform the little ugly table into a beautiful home accessory.

Using a new piece of plywood cut to fit the top of the table, we painted on layers of paint that we then distressed and crackled.  We stitched on a border using a beautiful multi colored yarn and applied a single starfish using gold leaf.

This is what we ended up with…

a lovely little table to treasure.

How to stitch on wood:

We drilled holes about 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the wood using a 3/16 inch bit.  The needle was a six-inch piece of thin, flexible wire folded in half and, using pliers, pinched at the fold to make it small enough to fit through the drilled holes. Sliding an end of the yarn onto the makeshift needle and starting on the underneath side, I pulled the yarn up through a hole and down through the next hole, creating a running stitch; tying off the ends on the underneath side.  To compensate for the bulk of the yarn on the bottom of the stitched piece, we glued very thin strips of plywood along the underneath edge and a couple of strips along the center. Finally, we applied glue along the strips we had added and attached the completed piece to the table top; clamping in place until set.




Having Fun With Creative Repurposing

chenille room divider

Lisa and I are happily busy these days collaborating on a new exciting project.  As I don’t have the resources to open a real brick and mortar shop, which is my dream, Lisa has agreed to join me in setting up a booth at a local antique/craft fair in January. Our husbands think it’s an excuse, as if we need one, to collect more junk.  But really part of the motivation is to thin out some of our junk, like having a big fancy yard sale; OK, maybe some shopping will be involved. 


However, after taking a look around our homes, we were reminded how much we struggle to with part with our precious junk/treasures. So far the things we are willing to let go all need drastic styling and repurposing to make them worthy of our stylish display.


Of course, and this will not surprise anyone, I took a trip through my dad’s barn;  as always, I was not disappointed.  I found several things that will fit the modern, airy, causal cottage vibe we’re channeling. Again much of the items will need some work to fit our style vision, but with a little elbow grease,  paint and fabric and a lot of creativity the random pieces will meld into a cohesive, beautiful collection.


Some before /after and in the process.










Here’s a sneak peek at how the look of our booth is taking shape…







More Mosaics

More beautiful mosaics have been created through the inspired efforts of Blue Antler Artists.  Diana and Edna, who have been meeting regularly at the studio to learn the art of mosaic,  have finally completed their first projects in the new medium. 

Edna designed a porch stand using a re-purposed bamboo table and old plates.  After breaking the plates and prepping the table, she used the broken pieces as her tile with lovely results.  Diana designed a mosaic depicting one of her beloved humming birds that frequent her feeders.  First she drew out the ambitious design then, after painting the small round table  she was re-purposing, she tiled both it’s top and bottom shelves;  lovely!

Congrats Edna and Diana, you  are now mosaic artists!




Viva la Flamingos – In Mosaic

The prep work is complete and the cabinet painted, I love the effect of the dry brushed blue, but now I must decide how I will finish the top of my salvage project.  Originally it had a faux-aged mirror, which had shattered, and gold accents. My first thought was simply to replace it with a vintage mirror, one with much of the silver backing cracked or pealing. It would be a great look and very French, after all the vibrant French shutters were my inspiration for the blue base.  Of course a painting is always nice, perhaps a French pastoral scene.  Maybe decoupage, like my recent trash can project (see sidebar – Arts and Craft Projects/Vintage Florida). I could apply images of France, I have some great photos of my travels there; all great options, but I’m simply in the mood to mosaic.

one inch glass tilesSo the top will be a mosaic, now I need a pattern.  Digging through my collection of   tiles, it seems I’m consistently drawn to bright orange, coral and pink. But there’s a problem with these particular tiles, well actually two problems, I have a very limited number of them and the cabinet is blue. None the less these intense colors, spread flamingo pattern for mosaic projectout in front of me like a dramatic sunset, excite my imagination. Logic suggests a floral pattern, very French, but my heart is saying flamingo; definitely not French! I will design a flamingo in blue water,I have a myriad of blue hued tiles; aqua, sage, teal, Mediterranean, even the French shutter blue of my inspiration.

The top will be bright-colored flamingos wading in a pool of blue hues; Viva la flamingos!

Refurbishing Trash Unto Treasure

In preparation for its reincarnation, my treasure has been cleaned, re-cleaned and cleaned again, but still a heavy odor of cigarette smoke clings tenaciously to its walls; such are the challenges of re-purposing junk.  It has been scrubbed with soapy water, odor neutralizer and baking soda.  I have sanded, primed and painted my smelly little treasure. Now it spends it days in the sun with its cabinet door wide open. Mother always says that fresh air and sunshine is the best remedy for musty smells; fingers crossed it also works on cigarette smoke.

Even as I struggle with the lingering effects of my treasure’s previous life, I begin the refurbishing.  From the first moment that my heart attached to the discarded piece, I knew that it would be reborn in a lovely shade of blue.  My inspiration was a pair of amazing, vintage, French shutters I recently saw at a flea market.  What I didn’t know, until I began the process, was that it would be applied with a dry brush over the palest shade of aqua, sanded to a worn patina and rubbed with stain to a mellow finish. Simply lovely; but now, how to finish the top… mosaic?

Funky Refurbishing Furniture Project

On my last trip to the beach I happened upon an unexpected treasure. As is the nature of treasures it was buried; unfortunately it was buried under a large pile of trash alongside a quiet, sandy street.  The little bed side stand, discarded and in rough shape, had little or no monetary value, but it did have great proportions, interesting form and wonderful possibilities. But, having been blessed with my dad’s junking spirit and my mom’s artistic eye, I knew the little stand could be salvaged. Fortunately I’m also blessed with a very patient husband, who dug out my buried treasure and brought it home for me.

Now this lovely little treasure is sitting in my studio waiting for its reincarnation,