cedar lumber, Coldspring, mudroom, Space Saving

When a Mudroom Needs a Mudroom

As soon as we bought Providence Acres we added a wall off the carport to creat a Mudroom. We are so happy to have this space. In summer it keeps towels, sunscreen, flip flops, and outside grandchildren toys like bubbles confined. In the winter, coats hang on the hooks.

This space keeps most, but not all the clutter out our the living space.

The problem is that we sometimes have shoes that are so dirty or wet we need to take them off outside. Rain boots, rain jackets… For the last few years we have had a wrought iron and wood bench outside the door but when the vehicles are pulled up, there isn’t a lot of room to get out to the deck. We needed something a little narrower.

The solution to the problem has been sitting in the shop for two years.

I built (with help from Mr. Math) a cedar bench for my parents several years ago. He taught me how to hide all the screws and I was really proud of the little cedar bench. It was rough but I thought they could use it at their deer camp to put on and take off boots on the porch. Parents being parents, my mom thought it was too nice for the camp so it sat in their entry way for three years until Harvey flooded their home. My mom asked me to take home the bench. It then sat in my shop for two years.

Last week I got busy. I sanded down the bench, used diluted bleach to get the flood stains off the legs and then sealed it with Olympic clear outdoor sealer I already had out for the seven foot table. I am always struck by how the sealer changes the depth in color of the cedar. It turned out well.

The bench now sits outside our carport door and it fits well.

We removed the AstroTurf from the porch concrete and have purchased tile to match what we have in the mudroom to install. It is on our long list of things to do.

View from the carport door to the deck

Now we can easily get from the porch to the deck even when we have vehicles under the carport.

We are making steady progress.

I hope you are all staying healthy and taking care of yourself.



Coldspring, Ranch House Overhaul, Real Life, reclaimed wood, Space Saving

Laundry Room Touch Up

We have a small laundry room right off the mudroom and kitchen that has no door to close it off. There are two openings to the laundry room, two windows, a full sized sink and cabinets under and over the cabinets, a full sized top load washer and dryer, and upright freezer in the teeny tiny space. It is also where our mean old cat eats and has her litter box.

Can you tell it isn’t my favorite space?

It also gets cluttered in there because, well, we have stuff and a serious lack of storage space in this house. We knew we needed more storage in there so we looked to the only space we have, the space above the dryer. We made a plan to add shelving to make the room more functional. The photo below is a little late. Mr. Math got busy before I took any photos but this is how it looked at the beginning of the progress on our little touch up. Was always embarrassed for anyone to see it.

The first thing added is a white laminate board above the washer and dryer to keep things from falling behind the machines. Next, we added two very old, rough cut cypress barn boards from a barn in Kirbyville, Texas that we took down the day our first granddaughter was born four years ago.

The shelf brackets were made from pipe fittings.

I wanted a sort of closed storage on the shelves so large rustic tubs are filled with dog and cat supplies, extra cleaning supplies, paper goods, and laundry spot cleaners.

Mr. Math used more pipe to create a hanging clothes bar. We are tall so the space above the door is a great spot.

I still want to change the lighting in the room but I am pleased with how it looks.

This old glass washboard was my great grandmother’s. I hung it to remind myself how good I have it when I complain about the laundry that I have to do.

Another project done during our stay at home time.

We love hearing from you.



Behr Paint with Primer, Coldspring, DIY Projects, Ranch House Overhaul, Space Saving

A Charging Station in the Ranch House

Hello friends,  I promise you won’t be hearing from me every day but this is a project I am really enjoying already and I realized that I haven’t shared with you. Do you have a good place to get all your stuff charged? If you do, I would love to see where and how you charge all of your stuff.  Until recently we did not. It stunk. There were some things plugged in on the counter by my stove, some plugged in in our bedroom, and even the bathroom. One thing that I have discovered about an open concept home is that in order to have all that open space, you give some things up.  Things like walls to hang art on, hall closets, and other storage areas.  I love having a big open room when we are having company.  We enjoy the ability to have a pretty large group in our home for meals and entertaining so the trade off is worth it to us most of the time.

Because there isn’t much storage space, we have struggled with a place to charge everything.  We have two laptops, an iPad, an Apple watch, two phones, a Bluetooth speaker, and wireless headphones.  All of the stuff has different cords and a a tangle of wiring. I hate it. It looks awful and is always in the way. There is just something about seeing a bunch of cords and cables that wears on me. Am I alone in my neuroses? I even had my husband wrap white tap around the foot of cord that connects our television and Dish because it drove me crazy. I started looking for charging station options. (Like these here) but they just wouldn’t work for us. They just aren’t big enough for the two laptops, iPad, phones…

I also do not enjoy things being out on our counter top in our kitchen. It is a constant struggle to keep the counters cleared. Constant. Never ending.

Fortunately we had a weird space in our house that always bugged me. Always. Like since the moment we walked into the house to look at purchasing the home. There was this little niche/shelving/cabinet thing with two bottom cabinet doors, a counter then glass shelves that were adjustable. They were the problem. The peg things were slightly off from each other- like a quarter inch. That meant the shelves were all crooked, and glass, with brass brackets. It was just enough to bug me. I don’t think I have any photos of he offending shelves because I don’t generally take pictures of things that bug me.

Mr. Math fixed both problems for me with one solution. A charging station with closed cabinet doors. The doors hide all the cords, we now know where everything is- or should be- and I can actually charge every stinkin’ thing at one time now thanks to some ingenuity from the hubby.

First we ripped everything out.

It was glorious to get those shelves down and metal (uneven) brackets out. It was so glorious that I didn’t stop to take a picture for fear of losing momentum.  Once everything was down filled all the holes, and spackled the walls.

We were lucky in that there was an outlet in the kitchen that hubby could use to run electricity into our new charging station.

He installed an outlet with two usb outlets. Genius.  I have no idea how to explain electricity but here is a blog that explains how to add an outlet.  Once all the wall work was done we painted the interior with our go-to paint color Behr Moth Gray.

The next step was to add wooden, level shelves. They are basic 3/4 inch plywood cut to fit with veneer on the front.  He attached them on little rails across the back and sides. He cut a little square on the back side of the lowest shelf so that we had access to electricity on two shelves.

shelf hole

The shelves all in and the little square cut out, we bought this great surge protector.  It was a little pricey but each outlet can move around to make room if things don’t fit on the strip and it also included two usb outlets.

charging station close up

I know what you are thinking when you look at the picture above… what a mess.  You are right, it does look like a mess but all that mess is in one location and I can shut the doors! When people come over I don’t have to rush into the kitchen and grab up cords and devices.

charging station1


We now have a place for DVD’s and cookbooks (yep we still have DVD’s -don’t judge).

closed charging station

The result isn’t beautiful but it is contained and covered with cabinet doors that Mr. Math built to match our kitchen cabinet doors.  He had to make them super tall to fit the space, but I like the look.  He is so talented.

It makes me happy to know we solved one of our points of contention.  Now on to the next project.

I hope you have a great day.  I love hearing from you.



painting, recycled furniture, Space Saving, the office

Turning a Wall Cabinet Into a Side Table

I am in the process of making my office a better reflection of who I am.  Lucky me.  I work where I have the opportunity to make where I work look like home.  I spend more waking hours of the day here than I do at home most days.

I need a table for my printer to sit on.  It needs to be narrow and have storage for printer supplies inside.  I happened to have had the exact piece I needed in the garage just waiting for inspiration.  It was designed to be a wall cabinet of a 1980’s Ethan Allen entertainment center.  I bought it as a part a set I bought for $70.00 a while back.  Two of the base sections are now my master bedroom side tables.

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The wall cabinet that was also part of the set is smaller and more narrow.  It was just too short to work for a table.

Fortunately I remembered some legs I bought at the ReStore garage sale last year.  I bought 8 brand new legs for $2.00.  They sort of had a mid-century look about them and I thought they would be perfect for the printer table.

Attaching them was easy with the brackets included.

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I used Rusteoleum Seaside to paint the side table.

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The table is going to go on a wood wall when all is said and done so I wanted to show you how pretty it looks up against my reclaimed wood door.

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The office is almost ready for me to show off.

I hope this inspires you to think outside the box when it comes to remaking items.


Have a great day!






collecting, moving, Space Saving, the suburban home

Garage Organization DIY

Having me give advice on organization is humorous at its best, but after spending the better part of a weekend organizing I feel like I can at least tell you what I did and brag on my Husband.  When we moved into the new suburban  house everything that we were not sure we wanted or had a place for, ended up in the garage.  Sound familiar?

It was GROSS.  I literally had to climb over stuff to move through the garage if I wanted to go from the front to the laundry room.

messy garage

Sooo If you are in the same boat as we were above, here is my advice:

  • Take it all out of the garage.  We move the cars and drug it all out on the driveway.  IT WAS EMBARRASSING FOR OUR NEIGHBORS TO SEE OUR MESS but it was the only way to sort it all out.  We needed to be able to see everything.
  • Sort before moving it back in.  Open every box, pull it all out and make sure you want to keep it. We had our trash can full before we got anything put back in the garage.  We had three sorting piles once we decided it was not trash; garage, tool shed, and inside the house.  We moved stuff to the right piles then took it to the correct location before we started on the garage stuff.
  • Go vertical.  See this awesome cabinet?

tool cabinet

My Hubby made it using a pattern from Home Handyman magazine.

home handyman


The whole one day thing did not work for us, mainly because tools are scattered between the two garages.


It is great to store stuff on the wall.   It has a dry erase board on the front.  I love that it holds drills, caulk guns, safety gear, and levels all at eye level.


See how much like the magazine it looks?



We also installed a small pegboard for me to keep paint brushes, screwdrivers, and spray paint cans.


The blower and extension cord now have their own hooks, the lawn chairs have another set of hooks, and the toolbox is a rolling vertical chest.  Probably the best use of vertical space is storing my wreaths.  See where I have them?  They are up out of the way not getting crushed.


hanging wreath

  • Zone it.  We now have a paint zone, a car stuff zone, a tool zone, and a nasty chemical zone.  No photos of the finished product  because we need another cabinet.  It will be done soon.  Here is the start of our garage cabinets:


  • Get rolling storage.  See this rough looking chest?  It was built by my husband out of scrap tongue and groove pine 30 years ago.  It weighs a ton but it holds our chop saw, our circular saw, and grinder along with other assorted electricity requiring power tools.  It rolls in and out of where we need it to be.



Like I already said I am no expert on organization, but this worked for us.  In the future we plan on adding some more wall cabinets along the  side wall but some stuff still needs to come out.  The Coke machine is getting a makeover soon and will be moved to the Garagemahal and the table and chairs are sold as soon as I get them redone.  If it ever stops raining, sleeting, and in general being winter here in south east Texas.



It is my plan to add a narrow work bench to the space.  I have been eyeing this one on Pinterest because it stores wood and has two levels.

Even though we were both tired and sore when we finished, we were also pretty proud of our efforts.



Dining Table, DIY Furniture, Space Saving

Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill

I LOVE this table and the benches!

When we bought Star Hill the one area we did not think about was a place to eat.  There was a small, narrow space at the end of the kitchen area in front of a set of patio doors and we thought it would work. We were wrong.  The space was WAY too small for our family.  Hubby is about 6’3″.Baby Boy is about 6’5″, Joe, the Southern Bell’s fiancee, is probably 6’7″, three of the nephews are way over  6′.  Beside the size of us are a lot of us too.  At times we have had 8- 10 people eating in the house.  Now we LOVE Star Hill.  It is truly a peaceful spot and has been a comfort to us in our busy lives, but it is only 950 square feet bedrooms, living space, bathroom and laundry room included. Space is at a premium in the main room.  Hubby has done everything he can to make my kitchen function better but I still only have five full cabinets and a bank of drawers.  He has added drawers inside the island cabinets so that they are used to their full potential and has built a buffet and hutch out of fencing material that was being thrown away to add storage.
I started searching my favorite site, Pinterest and found several ideas for banquette seating.

This was my inspiration from troveinteriorsblogspot

Pinned Image

We knew what we had to work with would be small so we took out the sliding glass doors and a window in the corner.  We put in a single glass door with blinds inside the glass to make up for the lost light.  We bought the door at one of my favorite spots to get new stuff: Pasadena Builders Surplus.  The cost for the door was over half what it was at Lowe’s or Home Depot. 

The Window

I measured the height of counter height chairs and tables then got busy drawing it all out.  I sketch out what I want then Hubby tells me what is possible and what is not.  I knew I wanted a pedestal style table along with storage in the benches.  The extra height means that my stand mixer, blender, and food processor can easily fit in the benches. 

The Required Storage for my Banquette  The small one has stuff for the deck table in it.

Star Hill was built from a kit back in the 70’s  by the original owners so nothing is plumb, square or level. (Think Wacky Shack from AstroWorld and you are close!)  In order to get the bench to sit level and the back to appear level the back had to be attached directly to the wall, not to the bench. 

We used more of our reclaimed cedar to clad the benches and make the back. Apparently the trim boards once were white then were painted a red color.  When I sanded them both colors came through.  I left paint on some of the trim boards.

The short section of bench is not connected to the long section in case we ever reconfigure the layout.

Hubby cut plywood to cover the tops and we upholstered them with upholstery fabric off the clearance table at Hancock Fabrics.  I got enough fabric to cover all the cushions and a bench I have at home for $8.00. The trick to good looking upholstered cushions is to have an electric staple gun, an electric knife to cut the foam straight, and have someone stand on the plywood while stapling the fabric to the board. Clip off the corner of the fabric before wrapping the corners like you would a present.

The table was made from reclaimed cedar and left over scraps of wood.  The only cost was the plywood that went under the reclaimed wood on the top.  We did the top just like we did the farmhouse table.  I have included a link here:
Making a Farmhouse Table on the Cheap

The base was made from a 2X4 skeleton covered with reclaimed wood.  I didn’t sand this wood because I wanted to paint over it and let the old paint come through.  The cabin had cedar siding when we bought it that had been painted brown with red trim.
Hubby ran the edge of each board through the table saw to make sure they were not damaged on the edges and that they were close to being straight. 

Hubby requested that two of the red boards be left with a lot of paint on them for the top.  The top has 7 coats of oil based Polyurethane that were sanded between each coat with super fine sand paper.  Because we have such limited counter space I need the table to be tough enough to serve as extra prep area in the kitchen.  We made the table three inches shorter than the long side of the bench so that it can slide in close to the benches when not in use.  When we have it turned out it can easily seat 6-8 people around the table.

I am not going to lie… it took three tries to get the table and benches the right height.  We seemed to have trouble with the math regarding adding the reclaimed wood to the skeleton frame.  Hubby had to totally take the benches apart two times and cut off the bottom another time to make it work.  He did not love my measurements at that time. 

 I painted the base of the table the same blue that I used on the farmhouse table.  Everything in our cabin has a denim, red and white theme. 

The 4 counter height chairs came from a resale shop for $10.00 each.  They look really modern and I am not in love with them but they are functional.  I am waiting for inspiration to figure out how to make them look more like the rest of the cabin.

The total cost of the banquette and table was just over $75.00 including the Polyurethane, plywood, sanding pads etc.  The chairs added $40.00 to the project so for just over $100 we now have a functioning seating area with storage that can double as additional counter space and actually takes up less room than a traditional table.  It is steady enough to use but easily moves position. Yeah us!