This week’s Spin Cycle is Decorating/Design, but since I’ve been up to my eyeballs in unbloggable greatness (seriously, when is unbloggables usually a good thing vs. a bad thing?  This is all good, people!  And I’m still a tease.)

Since I still haven’t gotten around to decorating the newly (but not yet finished) renovated space that is our Summer House, I thought I’d dig back a bit to when we did our remodel project inside the main house.  Because technically some of it is decor, too – and lots of recycled stuff, so what better way than to recycle a Spin Cycle post from what seems like such a long time ago?  Although I’ve redacted it, because that was a Crafty Spin, and instead of the extra craftiness, I’m keeping just the recycled part of it.

So, without further ado, here is the redacted (and edited) post originally posted on October 8, 2009:

I like creating things. I like looking at something and thinking to myself “I can do that…” and then do it. One of my favorite accomplishments, however, is when we decided to tackle the remodel project we felt was necessary a few years ago because Princess Nagger was in potty-training mode and my father-in-law was elderly. We needed some sort of bathroom on the first floor to eliminate the need for racing up a stairway to eliminate… particularly when in a hurry.

We had a brilliant idea to add a powder room to the first floor, but the quotes we got from local contractors were astronomical. We decided to do it ourselves. There was a closet just inside the back door that housed the washer and dryer, but it was too small to add a toilet and sink so we decided to take a sledgehammer to it and start from scratch. The one end of the long living room went from this:

To this:

The ‘crafty’ part started with the bar – our hot carpenter friend took some 200 year old barn timbers and with hubby’s help, planed them down to a nice flat surface, then glued the 3 sections together into a nice bar top:

He and hubby built the sturdy frame for the bar top (even bolting one side down through the floor to one of the house beams in the basement for extra security), then bolted the top to the frame, finishing it off with more of the 200 year old beams and the wainscoting we found in the Summer House:

The corner shelving was created in stages – we started with an old corner cupboard frame we found in the Summer House, decided to use that as the ‘source’ of the shelving – mounted that to the wall first, then added wainscoting to finish out the back. I cut triangular glass sections from an old storm window stored in the barn, and hubby added a great light fixture at the top. We also had some vintage mirror trays that were given to us by friends that I mounted on the back of each shelf to give it more depth:

The sink for the corner shelves was created by using a great bowl that my sister Kimn helped pick out. We cut a hole in the bottom of the bowl for a drain (we did buy 2 just in case we broke one with this experiment – amazingly we had no breakage!) We found a great faucet at Lowe’s that fit perfect in the corner, giving us hot and cold running water:

The wine glass rack was yet another collective creative brainstorm – we found an old wooden ladder in the barn that we cut into 2 sections for the main frame, bolted to the studs in the powder room wall, and used the chain from my pot rack to mount the suspended end from a beam in the ceiling. We also found an old wooden loom in the Summer House that worked perfect for the glass ‘slides’ so we cut it into sections and mounted them to the ladder in a custom size for the glasses displayed:

We found some great hanging light fixtures to bring more light to the bar top, and I mounted the speakers to my stereo on the top ladder section. I ran the wires into the wall before hanging the sheet rock and doing all the spackling and painting of the space.

It was one of the biggest projects I’ve done yet, so the next big one will be replacing the horrid yellow counter tops in the kitchen with tile and taking a sledgehammer to the stone facade above the cupboards and to the drop-ceiling in the kitchen to create more open storage space (yeah, still haven’t done that yet).

Do you like turning old into new?  Do you like getting creative in the decorating mode?  Or do you prefer to hand the reins over to someone else?

This Recycled Spin Cycle was brought to you in part by Jen, who has been exploring her own crafty/decorative side and making some cool renovation creations and unique decor.  She also happens to be Sprite’s Keeper. Stop by and check out the other creative Spinners – you just might find some inspiration!



  1. Love your transformation…great ideas and a wonderful use of recycling!! The old wood is fabulous!!
    I have a zillion ideas for my place…but I would like to design out the plans and have someone else do the work. The hard part is designing and figuring out all the twists and turns as they tend to crop up! Ha!!
    I will still to painting collages and doing sculptures!

  2. Well now I feel compelled to make myself useful in some crafty/proud end result kind of way today. That is such a great transformation!

  3. Yeah for recycling found stuff. Nick has a knack for making old stuff useful in new ways. Me, not so much. We are trying to find time and money to spruce up our front room/dining room now and finish some of the other projects that are useable, but not finished.

  4. Wow! Lots of work and it turned out great! I’m in craft mode right now and can’t wait to start creating this weekend!

  5. I’m so happy that your unbloggable is good stuff! How unusual.

    I love your 1st floor re-model. So many sinks! And a potty (indespensible, toddler and elderly aside).

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  7. I totally love it. Your husband is so very handy. I always love wood/timber for walls. My old house had pine panelling and I loved it. It wasn’t fake either. The real stuff is always better. Thanks so much for sharing. Love the sink idea you have there. A bowl for a sink. Fabulous.

  8. Somehow the show “Cheers” comes to mind when I see the decor. It’s quite sophisticated as well.

    Thanks for sharing,

  9. Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa ha, I know what the unbloggable is! Send me an update, would ya?

    Love that you added a bathroom, I would never know where to begin (where does the poop go if there wasn’t already a hole in the floor?).

  10. I am so impressed! I’ll have a margarita please! Or a glass of wine… whichever is easier! LOL

    Great Spin and great recycling!

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