Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Part One: The Inherited Shed/ first, it was a love/hate thing.

When we first laid eyes on our little hill property we simultaneously fell in love with and felt dismayed by, an old dilapidated shed directly between our backdoor and the outlying fields.  My love for all things old compelled me to fix it, make it into something....a planting shed perhaps.....but my desire to see further than 10 feet from my back door compelled me to, well, smash it into smithereens (I am 99% certain that is a word by the way).
Shed/Barn with junk pile.
The smashing quest began with an ad on Craig's List, "Looking for Old Barn Wood?  Come knock down our old barn and keep the wood for free!"  We had 10 responses within hours.  I gave a "first come first served" response and lined up a few guys who came and quickly turned around when they saw our old "barn" was actually an old "shed" with grizzly, useless wood.  One guy, who showed up with crowbar in hand actually seemed pretty ticked off that we had lured him with our false claims to having a barn.  What did we know?  We were fresh in from the city, the shed was about the size of our old seemed like a barn to us!
And the wood....what was so wrong with soft, warped, mismatched wood, fraught with large indentations and worm holes?  Nothing like a little adversity to get the creative juices flowing.  Before long, the wood became priceless to us and we were ready to fight off anyone who tried to take it...granted no one tried but oooooh the whooping we could've given!  Free no more, this wood was our inheritance.
Saffie yanking off a piece of shed-wood.  In the distance, the studio....more on that later.
Saffie selected pieces for shelving in our kitchen, for a tv stand, a sign and eventually for our bed.
We got on the phone with my Uncle in Wisconsin, a master woodworker and got recommendations for how to clean and preserve the wood.  Saffie asked for a special sander for Christmas and project #1 was born....

I have a habit of pinning poems around the house...this one by David Wagoner 

Shelf brackets with birds....reminded me of the Sufi poem Conference of the Birds...spent too much money (but couldn't resist!) on these at Anthropologie
My dad's wooden shoe from when we lived in Holland...he really wore these in the garden!
The details of how we cleaned and preserved the wood will be in a post next week with more on what we did with all this now beloved inheritance.  Thank goodness no one else saw in this what we eventually did or we wouldn't have experienced the fun of reclaiming it for ourselves.
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. this turned out beautifully - and as a city perons, i totally would have advertised this as "free farmhouse lumber" he he!

  2. Glad you like it! "Free farmhouse lumber" may have been the exact choice wording....not a barn, not a shed but still from a farmhouse!

  3. not much but it depends on how picky you are. We had a friend who wanted a piece to build a shelf but couldn't find anything to her liking....

  4. I think it was a good idea that you kept it. Those shelves look great AND it makes for a interesting blog post. Yes, it looks like that little shed definitely paid in dividends. Smithereens is totally a word BTW.


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