I ran into the man who owned my house two-families-prior (so, the people who lived in the house before the people I bought it from). He was in from out of town with his family (if I recall, they live in Florida now) and approached me while I was gardening in my front yard to tell me the house was looking nice (score). In the short 15 minutes that he was around, I learned volumes about the history of the property, repairs that were made, and events that took place. He even shared details about the initials written on the garage ceiling, the children’s handprints in the cement by the gate in the backyard, and the awkward inset shelf off the dining room.
That awkward shelf.
When I purchased the house, I puzzled about why there’d be a open built-in shelf on the backside of the fireplace that opened to the kitchen and dining room. I was also curious about why a 4-plug outlet had been installed in it. Long story short, after a chimney fire damaged the kitchen in the 90’s, part of the house was gutted and rebuilt; the wife of this man decided she wanted a place for her radio so she could plug it in but keep it off the counter, and so I was left with that strange shelf. (Full Disclosure: this is the house the first day I viewed it. Property shown is that of the sellers.)
Even more unlikely an encounter than meeting random old owners, I tripped over a square cabinet door one trash-day morning while I was walking Cody. I carried it home with the thought that it would be a perfect fit in that awkward shelf – and it was. It went up smoothly, and was cleaned up with a coat of white paint and a dainty yellow flower knob from Anthropologie.
But the paint and cute knob have been a facade. The built-in has been a dumping ground for random home decor, art, and gardening stuff. And once I emptied it out to organize a bit, I realized it looked like this (Full Disclosure: It looks very dirty because I had tossed lots of random rocks in there. Beach rocks are dirty.)
And so, I just got around to cleaning it up and making it a prettier space. I chose light blue satin (because I had leftovers on hand from when I painted Cody’s room). And I tapped into my plain white paint for the bottom of the shelf and the trim; what a difference a coat of paint will do.
Next on the to-do list is to create a small shelf to go within (I’m thinking about reusing some of the lumber left over from that basement demo that I wrote about all last week). Stay tuned!