The City House

Reclaimed Wood Coffee Bar


Hello from Coldspring, Texas.  My name is Karen and I am a weekend country girl.  During the week my husband and I live and work in a Houston suburb but as soon as we can on Friday, we head out to our country home on 15 acres.  For the last six months we have been busy updating a 1980’s ranch home on our property that we call Providence Acres.  So far we have removed the carpet throughout the house, installed vinyl plank flooring, put in a mudroom wall, built a Murphy Bed that allowed for a guest bedroom to double as a craft room, and whitewashed our fireplace.

Our latest project is a coffee bar that has the added bonus of serving as a display space. My kids love coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea.  I like it all too, but I really love the idea of having everything that our guests need set up away from the kitchen when breakfast/ evening meal prep is underway.

We have just the spot in our home for a coffee bar in the area where our front room and kitchen connect.  I am a girl that loves reclaimed wood.  I hoard it and try to put it to use whenever I can.  I like reclaimed wood so much that I brought our stash of reclaimed cedar planks with us when we moved and paid for a storage unit until we settled on Providence Acres. I also have a thing for old windows.  I currently have a stash of old window that I purchased last winter at an epic garage sale for $2.00 each.

vintage windows

We used two windows from our stash and let the windows determine the size of the cabinet.  We laid out the windows on the floor and built the frame around them.  The vintage windows are large and heavy and with them hung horizontally, the cabinet will still be slightly taller than counter height.  The length of the bar is 90 inches.  It is 12 inches wide and made from inch thick cedar planks out of my stash.  We really do like our reclaimed wood.

reclaimed wood



The next step was building the interior skeleton for the reclaimed wood to be attached to.  We had enough reclaimed wood but a mistake in measuring meant we needed two new 2×4’s.


We got a new “toy” recently…a planer.  Oh my goodness my husband, Mr. Math, got a good deal on Craig’s List but I was skeptical about how much we would use a planer.  I did not know how much I would love it.  It makes all my mismatched thicknesses of reclaimed wood play nice with each other and knocks the sanding down to just finish sanding in minutes.  We planed two 12 inch wide by 8 foot long planks for the top and sides. Any time you work with reclaimed wood and supplies it means you have to do a lot of trial and error.  It feels sort of like we are playing a game of Tetris when we are at the assembly stage.

We attached the windows with outdoor gate hinges and used black iron handles for a couple of reasons; the windows are stinkin’ heavy so they needed substantial hinges and I liked how the black looked against the white and reclaimed cedar.

Mr. Math figured out exactly where to put the shelf inside the cabinet so that it lines up with the horizontal bar of the window.

The cabinet was attached to the wall with L brackets in order to keep it from tipping over but the back was left open and a space was built into the top so that I could get to the electrical outlets for coffee pots, crock pots, electric kettles or whatever I want to use on the counter space.

The coffee bar is going to serve a lot of purposes when we have a crowd.  Having 90 inches of serving space that is close to, but not in the kitchen will be great.


I am going to love this piece for years to come.  It is narrow and provides room for easy movement around the space and it provides me 7 and a half feet of additional counter surface.  An added bonus is that it looks like it belongs in our ranch house.  Be still my heart.


The house is coming along.  I am proud of the progress we are making as we make Providence Acres which will be our forever home in a few years.  We are not lacking in projects.



Behr Paint with Primer, Blogging, Dresser, French Provincial, Painted Furniture, The City House

The Purple Nursery Dresser Project

If you are new to my blog, welcome.  I am thrilled to have you join us.  You might not know a lot about me, but my son, Baby Boy, and his wife, Sweet Amanda, are expecting our first grandchild May 1.  We are so very excited to be grandparents.

Our kids asked us if we would mind furnishing the nursery as our gift to them.  We were thrilled.

The first order of business was a crib.  We found an awesome crib online sort of like this one:

It was very gently used and will be painted gray.  It will be so cute for our coming baby girl.

The next order of business was to find a dresser for the sweet baby girl.  I know that my daughter in law has a soft spot for French provincial dressers (you can see their bedroom furniture here) so when I spotted this beauty for $40.00 at an estate sale I was thrilled. It is going to serve as a diaper changing station and dresser in the nursery after it has a little love.


After both of us looking online, a lot, I could tell that Sweet Amanda was leaning toward a purple dresser.  I was not in the least bit surprised when she started leaning toward purple.  Her college home had an eggplant purple kitchen, her efficiency apartment after graduation was painted what my son called Barney purple, her dining room wall was covered in frames that were shades of purple.

I Love a Finished Project- The Purple FramesThat sweet girl loves herself some purple.

There are lots of examples of beautiful purple dressers out there.  Sweet Amanda is weighing her options carefully before giving me the “go ahead” on colors to make sure it goes with her bedding.

Project Nursery

Project Nursery

By Stephanie Lynn

All Things G & D

Probably My favorite is the brightest purple dresser from Project Nursery below, but I will be happy to do whatever the mother to be wants.


Because the dresser has a formica top, I am going to be trying out a new primer on this project that is supposed to stick to plastic surfaces better.  Kilz Adhesion.   I had to have it shipped to the house because our local stores don’ t carry it.  I will let you know how it works.  This weekend the project is to get the dresser cleaned, repaired, hardware removed and the dings fixed so we are ready for primer and paint once the Kilz arrives and we have the color nailed down.  It is going to be stunning.  When I was a teenager, my parents let me redecorate my bedroom and I ended up with a purple bed, purple headboard, lime green bedding and curtains having a brightly painted dresser is not so unusual in my world.  Of course I have done my part to make sure that a few more dressers got a coat of paint along the way, too.

French Provincial Dresser

Black Dresser and salvaged chair

dresser to bar

Funky Dresser

Having a grandsweetheart on the way is exciting.  Having a daughter in law who lets me participate in the decorating is awesome.

I am blessed.

I love hearing from you,



Country living, family, Fun with friends, Lake Livingston, San Jacinto county, Star Hill, The City House, The Garagemahal

Star Hill Send Off

This past Saturday we gave Star Hill a proper send off.  There won’t be tons of pictures because I was pretty busy with our guests but we had a crowd.  There was corn hole to play, horse shoes to throw,  catfish to fry, stories to tell, and time to remember.  

It just seemed natural that we should throw one last party for friends to enjoy this place we have loved and where have welcomed family, friends and adventure.  

The weather was too windy to get the boat out, but the rain held off.  We had friends that visited for the first time, those who have visited many times, old friends, new friends, and even the soon to be owner.  Yep.  The guy who is buying our home showed up, hung out, brought his dog, daughter, and girlfriend.  True story.  He is going to love the place and has plans for what Star Hill is going to look like when he is through with her. 


 We are blessed.  The sale of our lake house has been quick, if not eventful, up to this point.  We had someone drive up today who wanted to make an offer on the home if you can believe it.  He insisted we take his number in case the sale falls through.  

      It is our prayer that our new, unnamed place is a destination for family, friends, and others who need a place to rest, relax, laugh, and unplug.  We are getting excited about the opportunity to share our home and are purposefully trying to figure out a way for more company to stay overnight.  There is a guest house, potentially we are going to have two bunk rooms, and my dream is to convert the barn into a gathering place.

Today we got busy packing.  Four truck loads of stuff was taken to storage. 

By the way, the secret to Mr. Math’s amazing catfish… Yellow mustard in the batter. 

I hope your weekend was restful.  Come see us if you are in the area.



Blogging, Building a Home, Decorating, Decorating with mirrors, Dining Table, French Provincial, home decorating, master bedroom, mid-life, Mirror Display, new home, Ornate mirror, The bedroom, The City House, the guest room, the suburban home

Weekend Home Tour

i love to visit model homes. Near my sister in law’s house they have 7 model homes open for touring.  It was a muddy, stormy Sunday afternoon so she and I headed out to walk through the homes.  This builder’s homes are well built and are part of a 55+ neighborhood.  Today you get to see the first two. 

I have never seen this designer/ builder’s work, and I really enjoyed getting to see their ideas.  They had the most creative ceilings I have ever seen.  My favorite home happened to be the first home we visited. 

The very first room was… Navy and coral with a rustic, modern vibe.  I can honestly say it was the only room I could see myself in,  but I did take away some ideas.

We didn’t plan on going so excuse the iPhone photos. 

House One

I loved this house.

The front bedroom was so cool.  I really liked the china cabinet and the matching crib springs.  The stripes wet navy, burlap, and a cream color.  The art was stenciled canvas.   


Loved the coral tailored cloth on the night stands. 


Here is the rest of the house:

  The master was a little too fussy for me.  The side tables were way too full and the picture above the bed was too much.  The mosaic tile panels are throughout all the homes.


I had to ask myself if that design in the shower would get old?

I loved the zinc topped hammerd table.  


  I liked  the wood squares on the laundry wall.    

I loved the wood flooring!


House Two

This house was totally not my style but still fun to look at and even in this house there were elements I really liked.  I called this the mirror house.


Imagine dusting all those mirror frames.


A wall of mirrors in a 55+ guest bedroom? 


I really liked this piece.  

Loved the formal dining table.


I like the light fixture but two breakfast tables?



The backsplash was fun.


Oh my, the master was sensory overload. Tile and beam ceiling, tile insets on the wall, mirror edged headboard…


I did like the slate look ceramic tile.

The City House

Updating a Tired Porch

Our wrap- around porch was looking tired.  There was peeling paint, fine cracks, stains and unpainted porch rails. 

Our wooden deck was weathered, and there were cracks in some boards and slivers were all over the place.

What a difference resurfacing the concrete with Quickcrete Resurfacing concrete and using Olympic Rescue It made on both the deck and the porch.


The City House

Indigo Blues My Bedroom Color Dilemma

Hello friends.  I am so happy with our new bedroom.  I love the wall we did and am thrilled with the bed.  I also am crazy about the beautiful navy blue quilt set I bought for $56.00 on sale at Tuesday morning it is cotton so it washes well, and it is light weight enough to be used in the Texas summer.


I knew immediately when I saw the navy that it would  be perfect for our bedroom. The shiny satin turquoise pillows are just in the photo to add a little contrast, I promise.  They are all wrong for the room and I know that.

I must admit I was a little shocked when I showed the quilt set to Mr. Math that he hated it.  I mean the turn-up-your-nose, that-looks-like-liver-smells kind of look. After telling him why I chose navy ( indigo is the name but it looks darker than indigo to me) and about the cool map I plan on adding to the room of the county where we plan on retiring, he was a little better.  By the way, if you love historic Texas maps, this is the place to shop for them inexpensively.  ( Texas General Land Office)  This giant $20.00 1889 reproduction is the beauty that will go on the wall beside the bed once it arrives and we build a frame for it. This map is over 36 inches wide and 42 inches tall.

I won him over with the navy, I think when I reminded him that a Windberg print he bought for his mom was the inspiration for the blue.   It hangs on our wall as a reminder of her.

It was the sentimental touch that won him over or he may have just given in.  


What we just cant seem to agree on is an accent color to go with the indigo/navy.  It may end up just blues and burlap.  I do know that I do not want red.  We have that in our lake house and I love it but I want this house to have a more unique color choice.

I want something a little more fresh and offbeat in the room.  Remember people, it is only color.  I am not moving walls or taking out windows.  Color is easy to change.  I do it all the time.  (Insert I am glad I am not married to her right here.)

Here are three options I am thinking about:

Navy and Green

By green, I mean a bright kiwi green color.
Nice color palette. Website is just a larger picture.Stolen from Taylor & Angie Heilman.... love it!  I think this might be my bedroom.

The Company Store
Navy and Coral

I really like this one.  I like it so much that I bought fabric already.  I just am afraid Mr. Math will not be crazy about it.

navy and coral palette  This is for you @Kristin Plucker Plucker Plucker Plucker Harker

 Centsational Girl

Navy and Teal

I love teal and mixing it with the blue would be great…I think.  I mean the Caribbean water is navy and teal.

color palette | Dreamp Studios | blue, green, gold, navy |


Navy and Gray

I really like this room.  A friend, who by the way has amazing decorating sense, suggested navy and gray.  The problem is that all of the grown up rooms I saw were dark and moody.  I need light.  I crave light.  Dark walls just don’t work for this girl.  If I had windows twice the size I do now I would consider painting the walls gray.

gray + navy bedroom. Just too keep a vision of the "feel" of navy and gray together, especially with a more neutral wall like the gray in your room.  (Love these navy hanging end-table lights!!!!)

Restoration Hardware 

Navy and Burlap

This really may be it, folks.  I think it is funny that the rooms that appeal to me most are the children’s rooms.  I guess that says something about my emotional maturity.  If this is my choice there will be different patterns in navy and colors of burlap.

Suitcases as nightstands add an element of adventure to this boys' room! And the burlap pillows are to-die-for.

What are your thoughts on the colors?

Any suggestions for other “navy plus” color schemes?

I am open to suggestion folks and even if he doesn’t admit it, Mr. Math reads the blog, too so he can see how you all weigh in.

I love being able to share with you and I am thankful you take the time to read what I write.