Blogger Special: I Built a Bench!

header

It’s no secret that my blog has changed a lot the past couple of years. When we bought the house, my little thrifting/DIY-logue sort of turned into all-out balls to the walls renovation craziness. I’ve written (and perhaps you’ve read…) entire posts about semi-technical plumbing matters and roofing and skim-coating walls and all manner of things that were barely on my radar before all of this lunacy started. I never made some kind of conscious choice to start doing that, but this blog is, after all, a loose reflection of what’s going on in this area of my life…and that’s the kind of stuff I’ve been up to.

Sometimes I need a break from talking about that stuff, though. I miss the other stuff. The smaller projects. Those fun little things that take a couple of hours and then…BOOM: NEW THING! I lovingly refer to these projects as Blogger Projects. Projects can be more or less Blogger, depending on their materials, steps, and length of time to complete. To me the most Blogger Projects involve four basic steps:

1. Reuse a mass-produced object that a reader can go buy.

2. Embellish said object. The options here are literally endless. There’s glitter. There’s washi tape. There’s spray paint. Did I mention washi tape? Well, there’s washi tape.

3. Complete project in 30 minutes to 1 hour. Obviously then you have to photograph it while the light is still good and throw together a post so devoting too much time to the project itself is just unwise. Everyone will pin it and forget it anyway so it doesn’t even really matter if it falls apart right after the pictures are taken.

4. Promote that object because damn, you’re one clever blogger and you thrive on the attention.

Obviously there are degrees of blogger-ness, and I’ll leave it to you to create your own scale. Like, to me, if a project involves washi tape it’s Very Blogger and might score a high 6 or 7. But put that washi tape in a chevron pattern and that’s a 10 out of 10 right there. Super Duper Blogger.

Point is, a couple of weeks ago I got the itch to complete a Blogger Project. On the scale I’d maybe put it at a 4 or 5 for various reasons I’ll get into, but it’s still relatively Blogger.

ottomansbefore

I bought these funny little ottomans at Target, oh, maybe over a year ago, so I lose some Blogger Points because I can’t tell you how to buy them. They’re discontinued now and long gone. They were part of the cheap dorm “Room Essentials” line and I think they were $15-20 each. I really disliked the color of the bases and the top (it’s just a cheap piece of foam with a cheap nylon upholstery overtop), but the shape of the bases is so nice! They’re powder-coated steel, so they’re very sturdy and seem well-made, too.

Anyway, I didn’t know quite what I was going to do with them at the time, but I knew the bases would be useful for something. My other big idea was to get two pieces of marble remnants cut for the tops and use them as bedside tables. I could have sworn I bought four, so if the other two ever resurface I’d still be down to make that happen.

So anyway. Thing from Target. 1 point.

rustoleum

Where would bloggers be without spray paint? I mean really. I unscrewed the upholstered tops from the base and threw them away. Then I wiped off the bases with TSP substitute (they’d been sitting in my basement for a while and were sort of grimy), waited for them to be totally dry, and hit them with a couple coats of matte black spray paint. It was a little tricky to get into all the nooks and crannies what with all the angles on the bases, but I managed. I’m a professional.

Spray paint: 1 point

presanding

This is where things get really exciting. I’m fanatical about saving any old lumber that comes out of my house, which is becoming a huge problem over at the cottage, where there is lots and lots of old framing lumber . Even just lath and framing lumber feels totally wrong to just throw away, especially because I know it technically can be reused in interesting ways (that I am unlikely to actually do, let’s be real). Anyway. I had 4 six-ish-foot long old 2″x4″ studs that came out of our downstairs bathroom ceiling during demo. I still have to talk about how the rest of the demo of that room went! OOPS. Anyway, these studs are probably about 150 years old, super splintery and grimy and gross, but I threw them in the basement anyway because that’s what I do. My basement is truly horrific.

Anyway, I’m going to give myself a Blogger Point for reclaimed lumber. I’m on the fence about this but I think it qualifies.

sandingprocess

Anyway, after yanking and hammering through all the old nails, I sanded the old studs. I generally find sanding wood pretty exciting, especially when it’s like this! The wood on the right hasn’t been sanded and the other two boards on the top have—huge difference, right? I just used 60 or 80 grit on an orbital sander and went over all sides until the studs no longer seemed super rough. It’s hard to know when to stop with wood like this, and a lot of it comes down to personal taste. Trying to get the wood too smooth would sacrifice too much of the dark spots and overall patina, so I tried to keep the sanding fairly minimal—just enough so the wood didn’t seem like a splintery hazard. Remember that any type of finish will also darken the wood and bring out the natural tones, to the post-sanded, pre-finished wood is much lighter than it will look when all is said and done.

polycrylic

Ideally I like to use more natural-looking, oil-type finishes for stuff like this (like Tung Oil Finish or Danish Oil), but in this case the wood was still kind of rough and I decided good old water-based polyurethane was the way to go. I have to say, I really like this stuff. The satin finish gives a nice amount of sheen without looking shiny or plastic-y, and it does a really effective job of not only sealing the wood, but also smoothing out imperfections and sort of filling in the grain on softer woods like this. The water-based stuff dries super fast, too, so usually I brush it on, wait half an hour, lightly sand, and brush on another coat, and repeat. 2-3 coats is usually best.

construction

Constructing the bench was very simple. I just used 3 12″ steel mending plates (which I also sprayed black—one on each end and one in the middle) and screwed them into the wood with #10 1″ zinc wood screws. Done. After that, it was just a matter of screwing the bases into the new wood top through the original holes. Easy peasy.

Basic pieces from hardware store: 1 Blogger Point.

roomshot

Aaaaaand, bench! Done! In the dining room! I like this thing. It was simple to make (the whole thing took a few hours, but most of that was just waiting for stuff to dry), and it’s high enough to act as additional seating if we have lots of people over and need to expand the table. I like that I don’t have to keep extra chairs floating around in the room for that. I threw an IKEA sheepskin on top because, well, it’s very Blogger to do that sort of thing. 1 point.

wood

I really love how the lumber turned out. It’s really smooth to the touch because of the polyurethane, but it still looks rough and worn and old, like I like it. The color is so rich, too. See why I can’t just throw it out? I have a problem.

So anyway. Thing from Target. Spray paint. Reclaimed lumber. Basic hardware store supply. Sheepskin. 5 Blogger points. Not too shabby.

OK, back to our regularly scheduled programming super soon. I have COTTAGE DEMO to discuss!

EDIT: It has been requested (mainly by my mother and brother) that the dogs be included in this post, so here we go. Mekko wasn’t in the mood to have her photo taken but Linus doesn’t know what’s going on either way, so here! He’s getting groomed tomorrow.

linus

 


131 Comments

  1. Love it. I have a problem with saving old wood, too. I wouldn’t call it a problem. I just see potential where others see trash.

    • It’s not a problem until your garage and basement look like mine! It’s bad. Real bad. I need to start making stuff!

  2. Use of the words ‘easy peasy’ to describe project merits at least another half point. Love the bench!

  3. the bench is wonderful, love it :)
    greetings from Poland :)

  4. Love it! I need a bench like that for the shacklet.

  5. Looks great, but I think you sold yourself a point short. You DID include a faux sheepskin, after all.

    • Oops! bad skimmer. I have no idea how i missed it but obviously you DID give yourself credit! sorry :(

  6. I can’t believe you couldn’t have snagged even one picture of the dogs near the bench. We are going to think they ran away from all your commotion. I even responded to your tweet with: blog about anything as long as it includes the dogs. ;-( Shows how much Mom’s opinions really matter, like not at all. BTW, cool bench.

  7. Very clever! And timely, I need a bench and this is very inspirational. Love it.

  8. “After” pictures featuring better composition and lighting than the “before” pictures: 1 point.

  9. love it! and I’m off to Pin it – and of course, promptly forget about it. ;)

  10. Love the bench. Love the ironic angle. Hate the absence of cute dogs. Love the absence of book piles with random bowls on them for decoration of a bench (that would have been worth 24 blogger points).
    Overall, love to see something else than the cottage for a change. Well done!

  11. Yes, but this resulted in an actually useful, seemingly quite durable, attractive item that does not at all look like a craft project.

    You have missed the whole point of Blogger projects. Negative 11 Blogger points.

    (Maybe if you had reversed the before and afters. That would have been spot-on.)

  12. You know, I wanted to snag one or two of those I found on sale in hot pink at a Target store in Phoenix a year or so ago. Till this post, could not imagine how to do them up as carry-ons for the flight back to Boston. I think Target discontinued them too soon. I would like to acquire one of those wooden boards for a rustic ledge over my fireplace. It’s in the kitchen at cooking level although I don’t fire it due to allergies. I would like to create a simple mantel effect using nails/brackets into the mortar I have already reinforced but have been at a loss as to where to find one certified old board. Tried some old weathered molding on hand but the proportion was wrong.

    • Since you probably live in an area with lots of old houses, you might be able to ask some contractors or just swing by houses that are being worked on and ask if they have any old framing lumber they’re throwing away! It usually just ends up in the dump, which they pay a fee for, you they might be happy for someone to just take it!

      • You would think. For two years now I have not encountered an active demo or reno on something from the early 1900’s or earlier–and the local provenance is really important to me. Maybe I’ll install a “placeholder” board and start asking at the lumber yards and dumps. However, break my heart to hear stories about CT Yankee thrift–keeping the old wood to burn for firewood. Guys, hold on to that old wood you know where it came from!

  13. Love the bench, love anything with powder coated steel. But more importantly, WHERE oh WHERE did you get that painting?! Who made it? The color and the scale is so perfect – please tell us more!

    • Oh, I should have mentioned! I’ve had the painting for a couple of years now…found in the trash!! I wrote about it a little here.

      • I LOVE this painting and so glad you found a good space to hang it. Nice job on the bench, BTW!

  14. Cute! I have one of those Target bench things kicking around my house but haven’t ever gotten around to doing anything with it. Now I’m wishing I’d bought two!

  15. Fine, you earn one point for use of spray paint. Sadly, what this project is really missing, though, are ‘pops of color’. Therefore, not pinterest-worthy…

  16. If you’d used a pallet instead of reclaimed lumber, that would have been at least five blogger points instead of 1.

    Looks sexy as hell.

  17. That thing is GORGEOUS. Seriously, seriously gorgeous. Damn you, stupid discontinued thing that I will never be able to find and thus recreate this using the old lumber I was not actually saving!

  18. So beautiful! I have that exact little yellow/gray stool (and fabric to reupholster it, when I stop being terrible and actually just do it) and now I wish I’d bought two when I found them on clearance for $9. Harrumph.

  19. Love it! Totally looks high-end and not based on something you bought at Target. Although the original yellow bases were kind of poppy (if that’s a word) and fun, the black spray paint makes them look a lot less dorm-room-ish. Nice!

  20. I made a bench out of those stools too! For the bench seat, I reused the top of an old console table that I had inexplicably saved when I threw out the rest of the table. I didn’t spray paint the stools because I liked the way the neon base looks with the dark wood top.

    Anyway, your bench looks waaay nicer. Probably because of the sheepskin. :)

  21. I am always saving old wood… I just had to remove 100+ year old shelves (coated in numerous layers of paint) from a closet and I refuse to toss them… Of course in an apartment I have no basement/attic to stash em, but I will find a way to keep them.

    I wish Target was easier to schlepp to here in Manhattan (It’s at least a 45 min trip), they frequently have things which can be re-purposed for other things. Great find on those stools! Agreed, yellow not so much.

    Looking forward to the next cottage update!

  22. Wow. LOVE this!

  23. ohmigosh – your dog looks exactly like my mom’s old dog. Her name was Cream Puff. :)

    The only thing you could’ve added for more blogger points would be a “Pinterest” picture with a fun font describing the project.

  24. Hi! New reader. Feeling a little bit like, Am I cool enough to comment here? Anyway, I am smirking so hard at the “blogger points” system, and I wanted to contribute… Some things you could have done to pad your score: art project over the bench with (dubiously-free) paint chips, refer to your partner as “the Hubs” (wait, I forget whether you are married, but regardless), and of course, succulents. Bonus points for succulents in a macrame hanger. :)

    Thanks for the fun writing and the overall inspiration! Love following along with the cottage.

    • The Hubs!! Hahahaha. That’s, like, every blogger point available in the whole points system. Never. Never!

      • No, no, a cutesy name, like Mr Nest, and the dogs would be NestJr and Nest III.

  25. Cute bench, cute pup. Hi Mom!
    I love it when you come up in my feed, and look forward to the next cottage update.

  26. “…but Linus doesn’t know what’s going on either way” 10/10. You deserve all the blogger points. This post made me laugh out loud several times. Can’t wait to see the cottage demo and I LOVE the bench.

  27. Love the bench! Love that this is a post about something pretty instead of ugly old plaster! Hate the flokati. If I could ban anything from the bloggersphere it would be flokati. Also black grout. I guess that’s two things.

    • OMG. I just ordered a rug and it showed up as a FLOKATI. I couldn’t get it out of here fast enough. YUCK! Where the hell does that thing come from and it smelled alive.

    • Well, for what it’s worth, sheepskins and flokati are totally different things! Sheepskins are, well, the skin of a sheep (like a cowhide) whereas flokati is a manufactured wool shag rug. No flokai here, but I do love a sheepskin, admittedly. I love black grout, too! Ha!

      • Right – one the animal has to be killed and the other it just needs to get a haircut…
        PETA on line 1.

  28. Nice, nice,soooooo nice…I’m in love with your bench!

  29. Thanks for adding Linus! Poor Mekko. :-(

  30. Fabulous! I must admit, as much as I love your house renovation posts I do miss these types of “easier diy” posts…as a renter, albeit one with a lot of free range to make changes to my apartment, I love these types of posts. But who am I kidding, you could write about reading the phone book and I’d still read and probably recommend others to read it too–you’re just that good.

    Now, if only Target Canada could actually stock things I would have so gotten these stools. I remember seeing them when I was visiting the US and thinking they’d be perfect for a makeover but didn’t have a way of getting them home. The availability of products from Target in Canadian stores is notoriously terrible.

  31. Awesome project! I bought one of those ottomans last year. I tried making the bench like you did but it just ended up being a seesaw. Ok, just kidding, but I think I will make it into a single stool.

  32. My father saved old lumber and used some of it to store the rest of it. The bench is beautiful and so is Linus, sweet shaggy soul.

  33. I liked the “before” better.

    ;-)

  34. 😍😍😍😍😍

  35. so the bench is fabulous (of course)

    but the best part of this post is reading the comments (esp from Mom!) ;o

  36. It. Looks. Fantastic.
    Also, I want to have it in my house. Like now.

  37. Kisha stole my comment….Target Canada is a JOKE…of course that being said they maybe will have these in stock soon since they seem to be a couple of years behind the current stock in american stores.

    So I will be watching for these fab bases and getting my spray paint out toute suite.

  38. BLESS YOU FOR POSTING. I have honestly been clicking “manhattan nest” in bloglovin’ for what feels like too long to look for a new post. can you just walk around with a gopro on? I’m only half kidding. but seriously – love, love, love the progress you’ve been showing on the cottage. and your house. so good! keep it coming!

  39. Now if only you’d applied a stencil, or even better, drew on a pattern with a sharpie. Sheesh.
    Your bench looks great!

  40. You are hilarious. I’ve become such a skimmer lately, but I make myself take the time to read what you’re saying… so funny, so informative. Just goodness, thanks! And a bloggy project I’m really pretty impressed with! Thanks :)

  41. I love this post, and, YOU, as always. Just wait until Target sponsors you and you can show w Room Essentials piece three ways…none of which you actually use or display in your house in the same form or fashion. [Side Note: I actually heart Target and its blog sponsorships…even if I don’t actually buy any of the things they tell me to buy, except the organic cotton Threshold blankets, because, khaki and white herringbone FTW. They pick bloggers who take pretty pictures, and I will sign up for that every day and twice on Tuesday.]

    • Ha! I helped Max a lot for that very post for Design Sponge, so it’s ALMOST like they sponsored me. Except for the part where they give me money, haha.

  42. ah! i made a bench with those ottoman bases as well. though your execution is far superior to mine! : )

  43. Am I to insinuate that Linus doesn’t have much in the brains department?

  44. Maybe you could ask Ariele Alasko or another woodworker if they can use any of the leftover wood?

    • Ariele and I have talked a couple of times! She might take some of my lath collection off my hands. :)

  45. A must have in any blogger project: odd, non practical styling like a pile of pretty and unread books on the floor, fiddle leaf tree in either a white ikea pot or a chinoiserie style pot, or disco ball in a corner of the room. so many missed opportunities…. ha!!! Love the idea and execution. Yours is one of the rare blogs I do enjoy.

  46. I’ve been wondering about those dogs! My dogs have been enjoying lying on a sheepskin rug draped over a foam-filled dog bed propped in front of a space heater. Your dogs will thank you (esp. Mekko).

  47. Looks great!! You should seriously consider starting your own business someday and making things like this to sell!! You know, just so all that wood doesn’t go to waste haha

  48. So we know, now, there is no limit to your talents. OK then!

  49. I have always like your blog and the clean look of your website. I have no problem with well-chosen adds along the right side, but seeing the clickbait photo of hardboiled eggs in the main body of the page, really disappoints me. these cheesy ads are the hallmark of crappy websites. Please rethink this decision.

    • I’m sorry to hear that, Jo! I try to keep the ads to a minimum, although they are one of the main ways I make money from the blog. Can you describe more what you’re referring to specifically? There should be a few ads in the sidebar, and then one between the post and the comments. If something else is showing up for you, I’d like to know about it so I can get it sorted out! There DEFINITELY shouldn’t be any pop-up ads or anything showing up in the middle of a post or something.

      • for the record, i am seeing no pop ups or eggs or anything in the middle of posts…

      • I don’t see the ad featuring the photo of hard-boiled egg slices anymore. I commented on it because it really didn’t seem like your kind of ad. If I run into anything like that again, I’ll get a screen shot for you. Good luck on all your projects and then give yourself a nice break in a warm place!

    • me either
      its all good

    • Yeah, no hard-boiled eggs here, either.

  50. This is beautiful! I love it!
    I give you 10 points for not incorporating chevron Washi tape.

    • I had no idea what washi tape is….googled; find out I HAVE SOME from a Japanese paper store in Toronto. No idea what I’ll ever do with it; just such pretty colors/patterns. Probably just sit there, collecting dust. Sigh.

  51. Your sense of humor always makes me laugh, so thank you for that. :) I really love how it turned out. It’s substantial but not bulky. The bases are awesome. And I happen to love the throw. They look so warm and fuzzy. Great for texture in the shot. I always love to see the goggies. Sorry Mekko wasn’t feeling it. Linus is such a cutie.

  52. Daniel,
    Linus is beyond cute. I sort of like that raggedy-muffin look. My daughter came by and saw the last picture and threw him a kiss. (She is 3). Your bench is lovely too. Good job!

  53. Quick, use frog tape (sponsor) to mask off the the ottom of the legs and paint them in milk paint or rub n buff, your choice, then mask off and paint some blackboard paint chevrons on the wood. 10 blogger points! bonus ten if you use it to stage for a party featuring paper straws.

  54. THIS is fabulous! (PS Did you get my email from about 2 weeks ago?)

  55. Man, what a missed opportunity. Instead of the handsome product you created by marrying 2 geometric modern bases with time-worn boards, you coulda had a dozen Blogger Points for slapping on a design of free PAINT STICKS (from Lowe’s, of course) stained in OMBRE gradations AND arranged in a chevron pattern. Or, to be seriously “on trend,” arrows, or a vinyl Swedish cross stitch pattern you made from your Silhouette machine. And for all the Blogger Points in the world, you could have painted your own “statement” abstract art, with help from someone’s child or your dogs.

    • All good ideas, but please make sure your own abstract art is painted on a large painting with an ornate gold frame that you got in a thrift store and primed and painted over. You of course used tape to create arrows and lines for a cool geometric piece of art… Duh….are you a blogger or are you not?

  56. Liiiiiiiinnnnuussssssss. So cute :)

  57. You are awesome, love the way you write. I’m excited to see the cottage transformation. Beautiful bench too!

  58. Also, using polyurethane is one point. So is including your dog in the after photo. The painting pulled from the dumpster also should count for one point. Boom. 3 more points.

  59. Nice! So glad you went for a wood bench and not marble tables.

  60. Love this post. I had to google chevron pattern… I think you did the right choice with the poly for this one, since it is a bench. For the rest of your lumber-treasure I can recommend hard wax oil, satin finish. It is natural oils, but it fills in a bit more and gives a surface. Often used on pine floors here if you want to keep the wood feel and look, but not the work with a linseed soap-washed untreated floor. It is sold as Osmo polyx hard wax in the us. I used it on my brick floor in the orangery, it is dirt repellant but leaves the stone natural. Also it will never crack like synthetics eventually do. I also blackened an oak countertop and sealed it with the hard wax oil, I would guess only 4 points, since it is a bit too builder-y.

    • Thank you, Louise! I don’t know why I’ve never tried Osmo, but I’ve been reading a ton about it and it sounds amazing! I think it’s what I’d like to use on our floors when we refinish them. I’ll definitely get myself a can!

      • You will enjoy it! Just remember to apply thinly, for floors I would recommend a polish machine, to get it thin and worked into the wood properly.

  61. When I saw the picture at the top, I thought….”Oh…love that.” As I scrolled down and saw the yellow with gray fabric, I though…”Lord, NOOOO, please don’t tell me that is what he did to that lovely stool!”. I should have known better because you have GREAT taste! You took something ugly and made is beautiful so you should get two additional blogger points!!!!!

  62. P.S. Love seeing pics of the dogs!!!!

  63. Great project. Great post.

  64. Not sure if someone’s already pointed this out or not, but this reminds me a lot of the side tables Jenny designed over at Little Green Notebook. Very similar aesthetic.

    http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2014/07/onyx-x-base-side-tables.html

    Oh, and I LOVE IT. :)

  65. You must sell this to me! I need this bench in my life! Please!!!! :)

  66. It looks so good! I love the reclaimed wood! My husband is always trying to keep old scraps of wood, and I make him throw them away! Maybe I should start a wood pile of my own! :)

  67. Amazing as per usual Daniel! BTW, that last pictures warrants extra bonus points on all sides.
    I don’t know if you are familiar with the blog ‘desire to inspire’ but they have a post every monday or so about pet’s on furniture! You need to submit that last one with Linus!
    Example:
    http://www.desiretoinspire.net/blog/2014/11/3/mondays-pets-on-furniture.html

    Warning: that website is a dark hole of inspiring projects where one can lose a couple of hours…

  68. I have two of those Target stool/tables also – got them on clearance for $7 each. I will have to recreate something like this in the near future. Now I wish I would have bought four of them.

  69. Love your style, writing and the meaty posts! Also, -50 blogger points each for failing to mention either BlueApron or NatureBox in posts completely unrelated to cooking…:)

  70. Your cutting off the fur coat right as it starts getting cold???? Poor Linus!
    How long have you had him now? I’m still in awe of his transformation, before and after street dog AND before and after grooming sessions.

    • It grows back! He has really dense, sort of wiry fur that mats up super quickly if it gets too long. Even though I think he’s cutest when he gets a little shaggy, it’s the best thing!

      We’ve had Linus about 2.5 years! He’s doing great! I swear he ages in reverse.

  71. Today I popped over to a local warehouse thrift store where 95% of the stuff is nasty but it’s sometimes worth sifting, and on the way out, I spied what looks like your original stool but in lime green with a navy cushion. At $4.99 and holiday sale of 25% off, you know I walked out with that thing and only wish there’d been two. I wouldn’t have looked at it twice if I hadn’t just seen what you did with a pair of them, so thank you!

  72. If you’re a fan of waterbased poly, you HAVE to try this. http://www.amazon.com/Aqua-Zar-Water-Based-Polyurethane-Finish/dp/B000TD1F66

    My friend used it on some custom furniture and the finish is like silk. It’s a little more viscous than the Minwax stuff, and it’s SUPER forgiving. You can slap it on, and it self-levels and leaves you with a perfect finish every time.

    • Thank you for the recommendation! You know, I JUST used up the last of my can of Minwax, so why not!

  73. Minus one point… You didn’t show a high priced, reclaimed wood bench for comparison of how much money you saved by being OMG SO THRIFTY. Otherwise, excellent blogger project.

  74. OMG, it’s so nice to see I’m not the only one who can’t part with old wood. We have a heap of lath in our basement and I’m looking for something interesting to do with it. Sometime. In the future. The very very distant future.

  75. LOVE. i love that it’s legit wood and not pallet (reclaimed) wood which seems to be all the rage.

  76. Daniel,
    You are just darling. I found your blog a couple of months ago and binge-read the whole thing over the course of a few days. I laughed out loud so many times as I read. Your topics and writing are fascinating and your sense of humor is priceless. Thank you for all those hours of pure enjoyment.

  77. I have to say, it worked out great. It’s more than just the sum of it’s parts, you can probably fool people into thinking you bought it like that. I know the feeling about keeping way too much stuff, luckily we have a large shed in the back of our garden :)

  78. The bench is great, and even better with a dog on it! Can’t have too many pictures of Mekko and Linus, IMO.

  79. I love the bench and I love the styling. Linus looks both humble and entitled. Not an easy thing to do. Kudos.

  80. I wish all bloggers were this clever and witty. 10/10 would read again.

  81. 5 blogger points for humor. Love this post, and the bench.

  82. very nice! it looks like something out of a west elm catalog.

  83. I love those Target stools! I bought one full price, another when they were 25% off, and two more when they were 50% off. I wish I had bought more!

    I used two of them to make a last minute bench for a party last year. I wasn’t ready to commit, so I just set some leftover plywood on top and put it up against the wall under a large window. My husband was nervous that it would fall apart and skeptical that anyone would sit on it. But people totally sat on it. We left it up after the party, because our pugs love sleeping on it (lots of sun).

    I still have plans to recover the other two, but you know…lazy. I love the marble idea, though!

  84. Re: medallion
    Who wouldn’t be thrilled with 32″?
    OK, so maybe the guys who develop female breast tissue from taking RIisperdal, but if a dude develops female breast tissue they’ve got much more important issues than wiener-envy.

  85. Blogger Points? Wait, what? Where do I get those and how do I hand them out?
    D-man’s “got his finger in SO many pies” – L. Rowbotham
    PS I like your shoelaces.

  86. Love love love! I bought one of those stools along with a side table from the same line. Now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy two stools! Good news is I’m sure they’ll begin to pop up in thrift stores sometime soon…

  87. Nice work!

  88. Ugh. I love your bookshelves. I need to up my DIY home reno game.

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