Sunken and Raised Spots Take Gardens Up a Notch

Keep in mind those sunken living areas of the 1960s, à la Austin Powers? The expression “love pit” comes to mind, hinting at the exotic, the close or the somewhat naughty, at least on the small and large screen. Think white leather sectionals and enormous slabs of glass for placing a martini glass. Oh, and also ultraplush shag carpeting.

Nowadays the mod sunken living room looks relegated to hotel lobbies and ski lodges; it isn’t usually inside our houses. But outside that space has its own own benefits. Even if you’ve got a 100 percent flat parcel of land, you can create excitement and energy in your garden by creating one or more levels.

Like a courtyard that gets its definition from the walls that surround it, a garden space that is lower than (or elevated above) the main grade increases instant cachet. It is set apart from the restof the

Outer space Landscape Architecture

Inside a sunken or elevated space, you’ve got an altogether different vantage point. Perhaps the layout focuses your focus, fostering intimate conversation. Or, even if the orientation is focused, you’ll see the borrowed landscape or like a bird’s-eye view of the garden.

Whenever the grade has been changed, despite one riser, the energetic is also changed. Here are a few smart ways designers have shifted the grade. I provide them an A-plus.

Step down it. In the bottom point of this narrow, steep backyard, there was lots of room for a patio. However, this is no ordinary patio. It is a dreamy destination for anyone who walks outside the back door.

The components are perfect. To begin with, the designer has done a superb job of dividing the slab into bands and squares, further defined by crushed stone. The treatment ensures good drainage and suggests a patterned carpet.

When you descend a few concrete steps to enter the underwater outdoor living room, you’re drawn to the generously scaled U-shape bench. Made from a sustainable wood, it adopts three borders of the patio and includes a gas fire bowl at its centre.

HT17ML could sit easily. Just add a few cushions and you’ve got a party.

Ziger/Snead Architects

Allow it to be grand. There is an obvious difference between the level of this home and the level of the garden. Instead of having a tiny porch with a few spindly steps just outside the master bedroom lovely sliding doors, the layout connects garden and home with a bold solution.

This garden is essentially elevated to fulfill the doorway. What could have been a tiny porch has been enlarged to a broad bluestone patio maintained by measures and a low wall.

I really admire how the flat cladding on the step risers and keeping wall echoes the home’s exterior finish. The addition of a planting margin round the terrace’s perimeter — and also the existence of large trees — underscores the importance of the new space.

The rest of the home can be seen from the elevated patio or enjoyed up close. All one has to do is descend the measures into the lower garden.

Samuel H. Williamson Associates

Be both functional and trendy. This endeavor is in Seattle, where I reside. I am particularly impressed with how in which the landscape architect has employed concrete runnels to link the upper and lower parts of this modern landscape. The runnels also help maintain storm water and transfer it throughout the property.

Together, plants (golden bamboo) and substances (poured concrete and stone) make a visual connection between the levels. A stairs physically connects the two spaces.

Viewed from above, the extended runnels draw on the eye outside this part toward the drama lawn, patio and outdoor gathering spaces. This sunken garden is well thought out and separate from the entry, although reachable from the home’s lower rooms.


Grab square footage for optimum use. A hidden wedge of land receives a major upgrade into an elegant underwater room, thanks to the low stucco wall that defines its own edge, and the freestanding stucco fireplace at its centre. The elevation of the fireplace resembles the elevation of an inner ceiling, implying roomlike proportions, so those who sit do not feel overwhelmed from the palm trees and buildings towering overhead.

The stained hardwood decking warms up this distance — and there’s lots of luxurious outdoor seats. Together, these components makes this sunken garden space feel as comfy as an indoor room.

Dufner Heighes Inc

Gain impact within an pocket-size nook. This wedge of distance supporting a city townhouse appears like a sculptural installation, thanks to the perfect placement of plants and furniture. This room may not be officially sunken, but when it’s viewed from above there’s the pleasant illusion of a change in caliber.

Tile floor creates a bold rhythm, while a trio of planters emphasizes each corner. Seating is aligned along the diagonal, creating a solid perspective. As pretty to look at as it is nice to sit and eat a meal on, the mint-green chairs — a Lutyens bench and two midcentury wire armchairs — is beautiful and lighthearted. The scalloped petal table appears like a flower from above.

Can you say “sweet retreat”?

California Home + Design

Float the patio. Just a subtle tier change was required to give the impression that this exterior seating area hovers above the rest of the garden.

The gorgeous cast-stone patio does exactly that, relying upon thick slabs to form the ground, including a cutout niche to accommodate a nearby tree.

The modern cut-stone fireplace wall is the focal point, with all the furniture oriented around the heat source. Teak armchairs, piled with deep, comfy cushions, add a natural counterpoint to the metal and stone utilized everywhere. Step into this room and escape the world’s distractions.

environmental notion

Make the lawn sunken. 2 “area rugs” of lush, green bud feel like sunken, personal rooms. The general effect may be a hint of the eye (trompe l’oeil) created by the trimmed boxwood that defines and frames every carpet of grass. Notice how the boxwood balls punctuate the doorways and make the visual feeling of entering a sunken space.

The elevated fire pit at the middle of the pathway is sudden, changing the levels used everywhere within this setting. Altogether pleasing, these spaces are private and inviting.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Create subtle alterations. One step up is all it takes to give increased significance to this outdoor pavilion. The “floor” is really a low deck, placed above grade like a floating raft. The solid brick fireplace wall anchors the room, while the soaring, futuristic rooflines reinforce the sense of separateness.

The sides of this structure could possibly be open to the remainder of the garden, but the psychological mood produced by the horizontal and vertical lines makes it seem personal and apart.

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Walls Play Dress-Up With Children' Artwork

There are five kids living in my house, which adds up to a great deal of art. In the event that you should show up at our house on any given night, you’d observe paintings, comics and drawings displayed on the refrigerator, piled up on the dining table and spilling over the countertops. As soon as it is not logical to maintain every work of art, I really do like to maintain a sampling of our favorite masterpieces for screen.

Families everywhere are showcasing their kids ‘ art from the breakfast corner into the restroom. See how they are doing this, then implement the ideas on your house.

An obvious place to display children’s art is in their own rooms. Try out a different spin on things by using clothespins to attach images to twine to get an inexpensive display solution.

simple thoughts

Creating a casual gallery wall in a hallway is a great way to showcase your kids’s most up-to-date work. By attaching similar frames to the wall with no glass, you will have the ability to replace bits as your kids ‘ work develops.

Vanni Archive/Architectural Photography

Kids love painting on stretched canvas. A picture rail delivers a fantastic way to exhibit art in a modern, minimalistic way.

Aesthetic Outburst

Along with painted images, kids come home from school with other art projects that are exhibit worthy. Grouping them and showing them in a craft corner may get your own creative juices flowing.

Knapp Interiors, Inc..

Grouped in similar frames, these casual works of art fit right in with all the cozy decor of this breakfast nook.


Carefully selecting a couple of preferred masterpieces and hanging them in an art gallery will add a level of sophistication to your kids ‘ art.


Displaying your kids’ art alongside bits from other preferred artists will not just bring character to your house, it will certainly bring a smile to the faces of your kids.


A couple of times every year my kids come home from school with ceramic art jobs. Displaying them together on the top of a bookcase brings greater focus on their job.

A Gallery Wall for Every Character
Frameless Art Bares Its Soul

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Reclaim Room to Breathe

I’m up at 5:45 in the morning, 15 minutes before my alarm signals the start of my morning ritual of breakfast making, toddler shifting, and lightning pace life organizing. From the time my alarm goes off at 6, my telephone has beeped too many times to count, letting me know of personal sales, news reports, incoming emails and unread text messages in the night before. Our his and hers iPads are spontaneously combusting on our dresser, along with also my husband’s phone is blowing up using new information from his usual feeds.

The above scenario is plain ridiculous so early in the morning, but sadly, it’s not unusual in this time. So I’m determined to take modest steps to take back any down time that I may actually still have in the house by carving out physical and mental space for my own sanity. Here’s how I intend to do it.

Architects, Webber + Studio

Unplug. Among the things that I love about this film is the lack of plugs, wires and gadgets. I don’t remember the last time that my bedside table or wall mounted looked this spartan. The film coaxes a slow move, does not it?

Moon Design + Build

Find quiet in sudden places. It’s no surprise that flashes of brilliance almost always come at times when we allow our minds a couple of minutes of peace. The persistent hum of the dryer is just like a salve to our weary minds, wounded from information overload, so it’s no surprise that the laundry room makes for a simple yet often overlooked sacred space.

Stonewood, LLC

Take a second look at the guest room. My favorite guest room in the whole world is what my mom calls the “blue room,” since this guest room has everything a person would have to feel relaxed and comfortable, and always has new bed linens, and cut flowers and towels in each shade of relaxing blue. The demands of everyday life might not enable you to unplug in your own bedroom, but stealing a hour of calm and quiet from the guest room is completely possible.

Jeanne Finnerty Interior Design

Dishwashing meditation. You do not need to be a Zen Buddhist to practice a little mindfulness. I like to meditate when I’m washing dishes; I zero in on how the water clears the messes of this afternoon, all laid out on a single plate, using a couple of sponge swipes along with a comprehensive rinse. Add a small aromatherapy with a lemon verbena soap and I’m as pleased as a monk.

Birdseye Design

Read a book for pleasure. And rest. I understood that times were awry when my absolutely smart friends were studying the same names as teenage girls were. Too often, we are picking up names based on best-seller evaluations and reviews instead of going to the bookstore and buying something that simply looks intriguing and appeals to our personal preference. When was the last time you read a book for the sheer pleasure of escaping into someone else’s world? And when was the last time you allow yourself fall asleep midafternoon without setting a wake-up alarm?

Charles Rose Architects Inc..

Say no to high-tech showers. Among my most beloved sacred spaces in the world is my very best friend’s outside shower in the tropics. It’s nothing fancy, only a rock shower area with some homemade soap and coconut oil bottles. However, no one actually bothers me when I’m out there, and I never consider where my telephone is midlather. TVs and music players and phones have their place in the interior, but keep them from the shower.

Susan Jay Design

Take care of the porcelain throne. The most basic, cleansing need is fulfilled at the restroom toilet, yet how many times have we seen friends’ Facebook status updates that they have dropped their phones in the bathroom? Stop texting and emailing in this sacred space.

Blakely and Associates Landscape Architects, Inc..

Enjoy your own outdoors. We always need to be doing some thing. Even in the garden, people find it difficult to park themselves on a bench to watch a hummingbird lap up nectar (or else they do so while pressing Send in their telephone) for only 10 minutes. Using a green thumb and nurturing one’s garden is perfectly nice, but our souls would probably benefit from activity-free garden time as well.

Lewis Aquatech

Go underwater. I hope the day never comes when smart phones have lives under water. The ocean, the pool and the bathtub might be the last places in the world where we can disconnect for extended periods of time.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

Locate a distance. Any distance. It does not need to be elaborate. You do not need New Age music playing in the background or even a bucolic cottage in the south of France to find down time and emotional clarity. You simply need space. Find it, and if you eventually have it within your grasp, protect it.

And if you really wish to disconnect, ensure that your sacred space does not have Wi-Fi.

ers, inform us : Where would you go in your house to disconnect? What does your sacred space look like?

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We've Got a Golden Ticket

Can you remember how you felt watching Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory when Charlie opened the Wonka Bar and you saw the glimmering gold ticket? I feel that way in chambers when gold is used at a manner. I feel fancy sitting in an area with delicate touches of golden even when I am not elaborate, which is the majority of the time.

The late American fashion designer Bill Blass, famous for utilizing pattern and texture within a neutral palette, used gold in this manner. In his designs he would utilize an unexpected golden button. In his home he would put a brass fire screen on his hearth that would shimmer with the flames from a neutral palette.

I am not going to say that gold is back, since I don’t think it ever endured. Have a peek at these designers are pulling the gold prize in their own spaces.

J. Hirsch Interior Design

My treasured gold ticket is this powder room with its tasteful gold sink and tap. Now that’s fancy and enjoyable.

For People design

One of my favorite accessories in a while, this gold pachyderm retains its own in this whimsical arrangement.

Charmean Neithart Interiors

I think that the glimmer of this faucet indicates the versatility of gold. Here it is perfectly paired with all the trendy colors of the background and the antiqued mirror. Yes, gold and silver do play nicely together.

Shirley Meisels

Even though this is technically not a metallic gold, the lush gold vibe with this settee is brilliantly positioned one of a variety of shades and textures. If I clarified this room until you could see it, you’d probably say”no method” into its gray walls and hot pink, chartreuse, acrylic and striped rug details — no way would they work together. Way, they can!

Cravotta Interiors

I included this picture simply because it is so over the top. Gold doors embossed with dinosaurs that result in your own personal movie theatre? Why not?

The splash of gold from this pendant is simply enough to set a dramatic tone for this entry, with its own geometric background.


I really like the imperial elegance of the gold-toned frame on this oil painting. This is just plain stunning.

J. Hirsch Interior Design, LLC

This elegant area of neutrals is perfectly paired with a splash of gold leaf on the legs of the rocking seat. Along with the amber tones of the lamp put off the hanging cloth in the background.

For People design

I adore this vintage-inspired brass division, particularly when paired with the gold tassel lamps and blush shade of the walls.

What will Veruca Salt, the spoiled girl in Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, say? “Gold splashes! Do not care how; I want it today.”

Old Gold Is New Neutral
Taking Home the Gold
Metallic Home Décor Shines On

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Bright, Polished Vermont Cabin

I don’t know a lot about playing poker, but I have been told that a pair of aces is the best starting hand in Texas Hold ‘Em. Architect Joan Heaton was holding the equal of this blessed set — a keen eye for clean, contemporary design and a husband who is a builder — when she started construction with this 800-square-foot cottage in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Heaton’s footprint for the cottage was set because she followed the foundation of a home that was already on the site. “For me personally, this is an chance to try to construct an extremely small and affordable home,” she states. “I needed it to be open however able to sleep up to six individuals.”

The floor plan is really wide open, but subtle design and architectural choices supply a cozy feel to the bedroom, and windows on each side contribute to the sense of a much larger home. “I was motivated somewhat by fancy resorts where all you need is in one space,” Heaton says. By the appearance of this location, her guests will soon be lining up for bookings.

Joan Heaton Architects

Clean, simple furnishings define the most important living space. The Scandinavian-style sofa is fabricated by Softline and was chosen for its trendy practicality: It converts to two twin beds or a king-size one. “Not only do I like the form of the furniture, but it is slipcovered so I will alter the fabric if I select,” says Heaton.

Joan Heaton Architects

The southeastern exposure provides a welcoming glow as you approach the cottage.

Joan Heaton Architects

To provide the bedroom a cozier feel, the ceiling was lost and drywall was used instead of timber. Drapes provide solitude.

Joan Heaton Architects

Heaton attempted to incorporate as many local woods to the design as possible. The ceilings throughout are walnut, the doors are hemlock, and the window and door casings are ash. “The warm tones of the polished concrete floors complement the rest of the endings,” she states.

Joan Heaton Architects

To carry on the perspective but still allow for ventilation, the kitchen sink is centered between 2 different-size windows. The one on the right opens, while the left portion is fixed. The cabinets are cherry, along with the countertop is slate.

Joan Heaton Architects

“I particularly like the window in the shower. You do not feel exposed, but you get to check out the perspective,” Heaton says. A larger window floods the room with light. Its placement was ordered by Heaton’s want to have plenty of counter space and a big mirror. A wall-hung vanity leads to the room’s spacious feel.

Read more cottage designs

Joan Heaton Architects

A variety of different-size windows (in the economically priced design window lineup by Marvin) capture light and the perspective. “I needed the windows to work from the outside but relate to the inside space too,” says Heaton. A channel rustic profile was used for its rough-sawn bamboo siding.

Joan Heaton Architects

A deck that wraps around the cottage nearly doubles the living room.

Joyful, Earth-Conscious Home in Vermont
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Attic Bedrooms Turn a Corner

When homeowners begin to feel helpless, they do not instantly consider upgrading to a bigger house. Instead, many are looking for strategies to maximize the space they have. One area that may offer major square footage without even adding on to a house is the attic. In case you have an unfinished attic, consider the potential for turning your unused space into an area.

Not all attics will be suitable for conversion to a living space. Here is what you want to consider. Is the distance easily accessible (are there stairs)? Do you have high enough ceilings for people to walk around comfortably? If the answer to both is yes, call in a contractor to find out if the existing joists can support the weight of a floor and if there are any technical concerns concerning electricity, heating or cooling.

Here are 11 bedrooms under the eaves to inspire one to make on your attic space.

Aquidneck Properties

In this relaxing area by Aquidneck Properties, the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Quiet Moments in an eggshell finish, although the ceiling has been coated in white-painted beadboard, which adds cottage charm.

Sullivan Building & Design Group

Sullivan Building & Design Group made the most of the space using an interior renovation that made a bedroom with built-in beds and book nooks. An multi-colored palette keeps things from looking cluttered.

Birdseye Design

A custom bed with built-in drawers and drawers makes the most of the little space under the eaves. Built-ins and wall-mounted lights are excellent choices in supertight spaces.

A loft conversion doesn’t have to have a country look. This distance by Catalin David demonstrates that an attic bedroom may easily take a contemporary twist. The inclusion of skylights creates the space feel less cramped.

Gast Architects

Follow the guide of Gast Architects and treat sloped ceilings like walls by wallpapering them in a pretty, petite print; here the remedy softens the expression of the angles.

Amy Lau Design

A solid wall colour paired with a crisp, white ceiling and trim accentuates the angle of the roofline within this springlike bedroom. A built-in window seat is a excellent way to make the most of a corner beneath the window in a converted attic space.

Alix Bragg Interior Design

Two twin beds are tucked beneath the eaves of the space, decorated by Alix J. Bragg. To take advantage of the little space, bedside lighting is wall mounted and under-the-bed baskets provide extra storage.

David Howell Design

Do not be afraid to put pattern into a low-ceilinged space. David Howell Design of New York has made this attic bedroom into a cozy retreat with white and black toile wallpaper.

Johnson Berman

Ceiling height wasn’t an issue within this room, in which a canopy and a hanging fixture emphasize the loftiness of the space. This hunting lodge by Johnson Berman was created with reclaimed materials and furnishings to evoke the feel of a rustic yet luxurious 18th-century retreat.

Meredith Heron Design

A headboard echoes the lines of the back in this bedroom that is sweet . An occasional seat takes advantage of a nook created by a dormer window.

Soorikian Architecture

Atlanta’s Soorikian Architecture working with Dovetail Craftsmen cleverly renovated this kids bedroom in an attic. A bed with built-in storage drawers is tucked beneath each eave.

Browse thousands of bedroom photos

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Sparking Interest with Nonworking Fireplaces

I lived with a stunning but nonworking fireplace for years. It was utterly useless except as a decorative feature, but I loved its mantel and its scrollwork and its existence. Much like”The Dude” in The Big Lebowski famously stated,”It really tied the room together”

It also introduced an interesting design challenge. Decorating the mantel was simple, but what exactly to do with the actual fireplace part? I alternately stuffed it with books and candles, and covered it with a screen-candelabra combo. But first I painted the entire thing classic white. Here are more ideas of what to do with a nonworking fireplace, a space which can really be an advantage.

Marcus Gleysteen Architects

Fill it with wabi-sabi decorative logs. They hint in coziness, aren’t too formal and need no more games.

Reynaldo Gonzalez Design

Birch, aspen and chewing gum all have lovely white bark. A symmetrical stack of clips is a style component and a nod toward coziness.


Felt logs – $27

These felt logs are a true no-mess alternative. They also have a particular handmade design cachet. Plus, they’re just kind of humorous.

Tree of Life Fireplace Screen – $295

A decorative spark screen could be all you require.

Home & Harmony

Cover it up and then paint it with chalkboard paint. There’s something quite Parisian looking relating to this. Plus it can change with your mood, bearing everything from love notes to to-do lists.

Lauren Liess Interiors

A custom-cut mirror adds measurement and design cred.

Jeanette Lunde

Candles create a sense of warmth and light without the pesky smoke.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc..

This flat stack of boards is equally”design-y” and plausible. It echoes the flat lines in the rest of the room, and it’s a smart nod to traditional fire stacks.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

Paint it with an accent color and use it like a nook.

A vertical stack of books is linear and design savvy. You can also pile books in willy-nilly to get a more diverse, natural look. But no publication burning allowed.

A screen serves as a bit of art and also covers the cavernous black hole of an empty fireplace.

Artisan Custom Interiors

You are able to fill a fireplace with knickknacks. Here they used cubes, but there’s not any reason this couldn’t be a screen spot for all sorts of collections. A vintage typewriter lived in ours for some time.

Melissa Lenox Design

And you can always simply block off the fireplace with wood or sheetrock, maintaining the mantel as a focal point and design component.

Make Your Fireplace the Focal Point
Mantel Mania: Sprucing the Space Above Your Fireplace

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Kitchen of the Week: Warm and Modern in Maryland

The kitchen is regarded as the core of the home, which feels even more true for bustling families. This family of four loves to play host to children and adults within their own neighborhood. “They’re fun, young and love to cook,” says designer Nadia Suburan of the customers. “Their house is definitely hangout central from the area.” But their previous kitchen made it difficult to let everyone remain in precisely the same area.

Together with Fox Architects, Suburan and Aidan Design reconfigured this Maryland kitchen into a warm and open area with a large arched ceiling lined with wood. An eat-in breakfast nook, a butler’s pantry, a desk and a food pantry allow for things to be tucked away, while providing plenty of room for a significant family’s odds and ends. “It pushes modern, but is not so ultramodern that it does not feel warm and comfy,” says Suburan.

Aidan Design

Suburan installed an 11-foot-long island for prep work, eating and doing homework. The beautiful barrel-topped ceiling has been installed within this addition that raised the ceilings. The original kitchen had ceilings which were only 8 ft high, but the family wanted a more open area. So they were increased to over 10 ft, and beautiful paneled fir was added to warm it up. The higher ceilings allow the customers to enjoy the entire view of the stunning woods beyond their dwelling.

Pendants: Thomasville
Countertop: New Cambria Black Granite, White Princess Quartzite
Flooring: oak

Aidan Design

To maintain the kitchen feeling open, Suburan maintained the perimeter of this room as much light as possible and refrained from installing an excessive amount of upper cabinetry. The double-thick quartzite countertop on the island offer a stunning contrast to the darker cherry island. Although the customers wanted light chimney, they opted for a darker wood on the staircase. The dark stain will wear well, and it is particularly important on this particular remodeled island, where children are certain to kick the wood. Large drawer brings prevent sticky fingerprints out of appearing on cabinets.

Sink: Franke
Faucet: Blanco
Oven: Wolf 30-inch E collection

Aidan Design

Two adjacent spaces on both sides of the main kitchen area enabled Suburan to keep the kitchen open while still providing plenty of storage. A butler’s pantry and food pantry shop canned goods, drinks and serving pieces.

The remaining part of the kitchen has been filled up with base cabinets, all especially designed and organized to hold pots, pans and other dishes. Suburan oversize the hood left room for the tile backsplash to go all of the way up into the ceiling — a technique that mechanically draws the eye up and provides the illusion of a higher ceiling.

Backplash: glass subway tile, Best Tile
Range: Wolf 36-inch
Hood: Zephyr

Aidan Design

A convenient breakfast nook with a stunning view of the outdoors has been tucked into the far end of the kitchen. A custom seat seat was upholstered in a wipeable vinyl for simple cleaning after messy meals. Since the kitchen is situated in the middle rear of the house near other main living spaces, Suburan considered traffic flow. The kitchen island has been pulled in to create a galleylike design and boost circulation, and to direct visitors between the island and the breakfast seat.

Table and chairs: Saloom Furniture Company

Next: Read thousands of kitchen layout photographs

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DIY Project: Artful Scrap-Wood Bench

About a month ago I was wandering through my inspiration folder and came across a photograph of a timber floor that I’ve had stored for a few years now. It is not too often that a photograph speaks to me for such a length of time, but this one was different. It was a photograph of a flooring laid out into a quilt of mismatched timber, all of which seemed to be salvaged from several resources. From the moment I saw it, I wanted something similar.

The dilemma is that flooring is not very high on my list of priorities at this time, since there are a whole lot of other things that require attention. We’ve got this odd recess in our dining room which has bugged me since we moved in, but I still have not had the spare cash to spend on a remedy.

And suddenly it dawned on me. I had all these tiny pieces of wood sprinkled throughout my own garage and studio which I didn’t have a clue what to do together, and that I really could use them to make a bench resembling the timber flooring I was later.

And because the bits were imperfect, my bench could be imperfect, since let’s face it I am not a woodworker. Low anxiety, low cost, high impact. Perfect.

Erin Lang Norris

When all was said and done, this is what the bench ended up seeming like. It’s not quite completed yet, but it is close enough for now.

This thing is megaheavy, like 64 pounds thick, and hauling it across the cellar, around four corners and up the staircase was a massive success for me, but I was determined to have it wrapped in its new area before my husband got home. Therefore, in the event that you make something like this, plan to conquer a similar endeavor.

The dimensions are approximately 82 inches long, 22 inches deep and 19 inches high. I utilized materials I had available for the entire thing, with the exception of one 4-by-4 and yet another 2-by-4.

Erin Lang Norris

When I came up with the idea to produce this bench, I could not resist the urge to rummage through all the timber I have been collecting over the past few years. Everything from vintage signs and pop crates to private artwork pieces which didn’t make the cut soon formed a towering stack of multicolored wood on my living room floor.

Erin Lang Norris

Like most of the projects I do, my goal was to spend as little money as possible. I was thrilled to find a few 2-by-4s from the stash of timber in my cellar. I used a circular saw to cut them to size and then screwed them together to produce the frame.

Erin Lang Norris

I was not worried about the way in which the wood looked because eventually it would be covered anyway. I laid my arbitrary pieces of plywood down underneath the framework and tracked along the outer edge with a pencil, suggesting where to cutback. I discovered this easier than measuring because I was using numerous pieces of plywood. When everything was cut, I secured the timber with nails.

Erin Lang Norris

Once the framework was built, I started laying out the scraps of timber to get an notion of how much more I would need. I made a decision to shape long, straight lines instead of randomly matching pieces together, which appeared to work out fairly nicely.

Erin Lang Norris

Taking a break from the fun area, it was time to lower the legs. I used 4-by-4s that I cut with a circular saw about 18 inches in length, then screwed them to the framework.

You’ll be able to observe that there is an opening with no plywood, which I later turned into a secret compartment. Nothing is complete without an added element of fun.

Erin Lang Norris

Here’s a picture after I inserted the thighs one late night in my cellar. As you can see, I kept all the pieces lined up on the floor to make it easier to reassemble. Once it was time to begin attaching the pieces to the framework, I used black finishing nails to keep everything in place.

Erin Lang Norris

Here’s a close-up of those top after things were secured. I was happy to use up a great deal of old artwork bits that I’ve had laying around, but I did not have quite enough timber ready to go. I must pull out my paint and block-printing supplies during construction. The Suffolk Sheep signal came from an auction, and the Celo piece came from a classic soda crate. The rest of the wood bits in this view are my own creations.

Erin Lang Norris

Here is another view of this very best. I used white and black spray paint together with a ribbon stencil onto a lot of the bits to add visual interest and to help everything feel much more cohesive.

Erin Lang Norris

I ended the edge of this frame with vintage yardsticks. A few of them I had available, and a few were given to me by a friend. My favorite is that this blue one.

Erin Lang Norris

Here is the compartment I created. I thought it made a good home for all the tiny toys I have collected through the years.

I also kept a few pieces of wood unattached so they can be lifted off the top. Underneath the bits are funny comics and photographs.

Erin Lang Norris

And it is finished! Here is the completed bench snuggled to its new home. I have not decided what color I would like to paint the legs yet, so for now I am just going to leave them as is. I am guessing they’ll probably wind up being a vibrant shade of yellow or blue, but I will most likely change my mind again before I buy the next form of paint.

Inform usWhat projects are you working on? Share your photos and ideas below!

More of Erin’s DIYs:
Stacked-Stone Fire Pit
Side Table With Novel Twist
Block-Printed Coat Hook

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