Tagged: bar

From bread rack to bar cart

Apparently if I see an old, rusty metal shelf on casters in an antique mall, I will pay all the money for it.

Ok, that’s not totally true. But I will rack my brain trying to figure out how to use it in our house, remove the tag (so no one can claim it while I walk) and visit the front desk to inquire about a discount (Hello easy 10% off!), and then somehow convince my husband that said rack can be a belated birthday gift for me (my birthday was in January and we bought this in March.) Long story long, we bought a bread rack.

When we found it, it looked like this:

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But in my head, it looked more like this:002industrial_bar_cart

After a year of collecting, our decanter collection outgrew our petite bar. We’ve been casually looking for a different bar set-up. This cart totally clicked for me. The only problem (and the reason it was stored in the captain’s bedroom for many months – you can see it hiding in the corner in this post) is that the grated metal shelves offered an unstable surface. Great for bread, not for bottles.

House Hunters 2.0 gave us the boost to get this bar built. First that required a trip to a hardwood lumber place Aaron has been stalking on Craigslist. It’s a small shop filled with lots of wood, including some exotic options. While we have a serious soft spot for zebra wood, we thought it would be too loud and too pricey for this application. We mulled over the selection and almost settled on some basic poplar before noticing a pile of ambrosia maple. We learned that the discoloration and holes are caused by ambrosia beetles that burrow in and bring fungus. Those splotches definitely stole our heart. We dug through the pile looking for the perfect pieces and chose some of the “buggiest” (according to the wood shop employee.) We left with 4 boards (30.5 board feet) for a total of $91.50.

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The boards weren’t wide enough to span a shelf, so we needed to join them. The boards were rough cut and only square on 3 sides so Aaron started by trimming the rough edge off 2 pieces.005industrial_bar_cart

Then he used the biscuit cutter to create some grooves.006industrial_bar_cart 007industrial_bar_cart 008industrial_bar_cart

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Once the glue dried, he made the final cuts to make each shelf the right length and width. 017industrial_bar_cart 018industrial_bar_cart 019industrial_bar_cart

He also removed the excess glue drops and gave everything a light sanding.020industrial_bar_cart 021industrial_bar_cart

While the boards dried, Aaron tested some oil options on a scrap piece of wood. 022industrial_bar_cart

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Originally we thought we would want a darker tone, like the dark walnut. But after we chose such a pretty, defined wood, we were torn. We popped the test piece of wood onto the cart with a few bar accessories to help make the decision. But we were still torn. We worried that the light walnut would make the wood stand out too much. And we worried that the dark walnut would hide it too much.

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In the end, we decided that we loved the wood too much to tone it down. Both sides got a coat of light walnut danish oil.  027industrial_bar_cart

This involves 2 coats of flooding the board with oil and spreading it around with a brush. The second coat is applied within 30 minutes of the first so that it is still wet.

030industrial_bar_cart 028industrial_bar_cart 029industrial_bar_cartOnce the boards were prepped, we turned our attention to the cart. I gave it a good wipe down with soapy water to remove any loose dirt while keeping the rusty patina.

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Then Aaron made some vital repairs to the shelves, tightening the bolts and replacing a few lost ones.034industrial_bar_cart 035industrial_bar_cart 036industrial_bar_cart

We laid the wood in place and it really started to come together.037industrial_bar_cart

The wood adds so much warmth to this piece. 038industrial_bar_cart

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We pulled out all of our full decanters, all of our empty decanters and all of our bottles of booze. Then I uttered words I never thought I’d say: “We need more alcohol.”

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The overall effect is nice, but it’s a touch barren. I guess that’s what happens when you install 24 square feet of bar…041industrial_bar_cart

We opted to keep the styling really simple, focusing on the decanters and mixing in some bottles for interest. 043industrial_bar_cart 044industrial_bar_cart

We pulled out a wine infograph poster to add even more height to this corner of the room.045industrial_bar_cart

And we kept a little space for actually mixing a drink.047industrial_bar_cart

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So, I guess we’re just down to the super hard task of collecting more bottles of alcohol. Woe is us.

Furniture swaps

It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for the studio tipping point – the point when we actually move in, the point when the dining room starts to get cleared out, the point when we think “YES! This is why we bought this place.” I’m seriously enjoying the fact that it feels like we’re moving in. Nesting is at an all time high.

So it’s no shock that some unexpected furniture swaps have me doing a happy dance. First we moved our desks into the studio, freeing up space in the upstairs living room.

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At the same time, we moved everything into the viewing, freeing up a media unit that has always lived in the studio. Our initial impulse was to sell it, but we decided to try it out in the upstairs living room first.

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It turned out to be a great fit. We love that the TV is lower and therefore more in our line of sight from the couch.

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This freed up the record cabinet turned media cabinet/bar turned put-the-TV-on-there-for-now. We plopped it down where the desks used to sit and promptly filled it with all our bar parephenalia.

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It also gave us a chance to fill and display the decanters we’ve been collecting. Ultimately these will probably live in a bar downstairs, but it’s nice to use some of the fun things we own.

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Now the upstairs living room looks like this.

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It’s so much less “maybe you should do some work” and so much more “Relax! Have a drink!” Even the view from the stairs is better. Hello wide open goodness.

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This, however, is my favorite view. Looking down the hallway from the bedrooms, all you see is living room furniture instead of our cluttered desks. It makes me happy on the daily.

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Moving the alcohol back to the record cabinet freed up the white Ikea cubes and they suddenly looked like good temporary night stands.

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So now, we have bedside tables! Beside tables that are not made of cardboard and threatening to cave in!

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They’re definitely temporary, but the kind of temporary we can live with until we actually get to redo this room. Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I grabbed one of our favorite lamps and pulled out gobs of milk glass to hold my jewelry.

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There’s something about a jewelry in a retail display that makes my heart happy.

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The closet, former home of jewelery stuck in plastic trays and piles of Aaron’s belts and watches, also got some milk glass. My inner storage geek rejoiced.

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Can I get a ‘hooray’ for finally feeling a bit more settled?!?