In our living room there is an area that is dropped down from the rest of the room, with built-in couches. When we built this house, I remembered some new "California-style" houses that had been built near where we used to live. Those houses had built-in couches surrounding a fireplace and hearth, and I liked the concept. We didn't plan to build a fireplace (this was when I was married to my first husband and he was no mason. I had to marry a mason to get a fireplace built. Um--that's not serious, yall!)
So we built our version of the Virginia sunken seating areas, with a wood stove instead of a fireplace. Over the years (and after I married him!) Larry put in a brick floor and a brick hearth. Once every 5 years or so, I had to re-cover the seating areas. At first, I used carpet, but that was so hard to do I started using fabric. That wasn't much easier and I was never satisfied with my handiwork.
The couches needed covering again this year, in a bad way, and in just as bad a way I did not want to do it. But what else could I do? Then I had an idea: rather than going through the struggle and dissatisfaction of the whole re-covering process, what if we just stripped off all the padding and cloth and covered the couches with wood? They would become more like benches and I could toss pillows on them to soften them up a bit. The more I thought about the idea the better I liked it.
Last week Larry stripped down the couches (and found a shocking amount of dirt--if you've ever pulled up carpet, you know what it's like). Even now, with nothing but the framing showing, they look better! We measured and figured out what wood we would need for the project.
What I found was a stack of knotty pine cabinet doors, 21 in all, and all marked $1 each. Would these work for my couch project? I thought they would and Larry agreed.
So the cabinet doors will become the wood that covers the couches. I don't think this is going to be easy, or fast either. But I sure do think it will look beautiful when we are done. What do you think?
And $21--can't beat that price :) and the good feeling that comes with recycling. Of course, by the time we're finished, sanding and finishing, staining, etc. we will have a little more into it. It will take a while to get done, but when it is, I will share the "after" photos.
Have you ever tried using used building materials for a project? Got a story to share with us?
(That's Charley wanting in the door. I love the way cat's eyes gleam for the camera.)