A while back there was a show on HGTV called “Decorating Cents”. Joan Steffend did inexpensive home decorating projects. Every so often she would visit an architectural remnant store in a segment called, “Trash to Treasure”.
It was filmed in Minnesota, where I live.
I really love the idea of adding character to a home with re-purposing old items in new ways. The first project I ever undertook to do that was creating a headboard.
I knew I wanted to use something that wasn’t a headboard to make a headboard. I thought a door was my best bet. I looked at new doors and old doors. I looked at a lot of doors.
And then I stopped in Art & Architecture, the store that Joan Steffend used to spotlight on her show.
Next to the doors that I was looking at, were pieces of molding. They were perfect! Just perfect.
I found out that the one I chose had been salvaged from above a door in an old church that was being torn down.
It had a thick coat of white paint, and I could tell by the chipped areas that there were more coats of paint underneath.
My plan was to strip the paint, sand it and repaint it.
I scraped and chipped away at the paint. My kind father, my own personal home project engineer, who helped me with my window to light fixture project (also from Art & Architecture), offered to help.
He took over the second half of the paint stripping, and said he would prime it for me to paint.
But he didn’t. He finished stripping it…mostly. But then he had an idea.
It looked really cool.
Instead of painting it, we decided to leave it as is. We applied a light coating of a dull, quick drying acrylic spray to seal it after making sure there were no flaking pieces of paint.
Because it’s so heavy, we added some thin wooden pieces to the back that act as legs to support the weight. We then screwed the legs into the wall (with anchors) to keep it in place. You can see one of the legs in the picture below.
Having these re-purposed pieces in my home that have this whole former life, like the island in my kitchen, intrigues me. The old saying, ‘If walls could talk’, comes to mind. What did this church molding see in its former life. Weddings, funerals, laughter, tears…
You know, I ran in to Joan Steffand once in a Mexican restaurant. Maybe it was the margaritas, but I interrupted her guacamole to tell her how much I loved the show. She was just delightful and put up with my fawning. That was a long time ago, if I saw her again what I would say is, “Thank you.”
You don’t have to necessarily come up with good ideas on your own, you just have to know where to glean them. I hope that some of the projects I’ve undertaken might inspire you to create something new for your home.
Are you looking to add some furniture to your home? Have you considered something totally unique with a history?