Sunday, March 23, 2014

Feathering my Nest

One of my greatest joys in life is creating a beautiful, inviting home.  Sir Knight has come to know, just by the faraway look in my eye, that redecorating or rearranging is imminent.  I especially love to use things in creative and unexpected ways.

Over the years, I have found that I can dress my house up any way I like with the things I already have.  Sometimes I wander through the "shouse" looking for a table or lamp to move to another area.  Sometimes, I look through the shed, the container or even the burn pile for inspiration.  Lately, I have been feathering my nest with anything and everything galvanized.

My romance with galvanized metal began a number of years ago when I was desperate to clean up the backsplash behind my sink.  When Sir Knight and I had brought in our old restaurant cupboard to serve as a kitchen cupboard in the "shouse", we put bead board behind the sink and counters.  After years of service, the bead board had deteriorated to the point of looking dirty and impossibly worn.  Wanting something that I could clean easily, I looked no further than our building material pile.  A number of pieces of metal roofing caught my eye and I knew they would be perfect for my purposes.  Master Hand Grenade and I put a metal blade on the circular saw, donned eye protection and used the kitchen table as a work table.  We measured and cut and used roofing screws to install our new black splash.  Perfect!  It is easy to clean, rustic and suits our rowdy family perfectly.

Our backsplash

Taking a cue from the back splash, I began to look for other ways to incorporate galvanized metal in our home (have I mentioned how easy it is to clean?).   We had junked a few beehives that were past their usefulness but I saved most of the components to be used for some as of yet identified purpose or another.  One day I was wishing that the table that sits next to the love seat in the kitchen had a bigger tabletop and suddenly I though "Hive Top".  I quickly trekked to the shed, grabbed a galvanized hive top and fitted it snugly over the existing wooden top of the side table.  It was just right, big enough to give me extra space but not so big that the table became unstable.  As of yet, the hive top is just sitting on the table, however, Sir Knight has offered to screw it to the wood with nice rounded head screws if I would like (I'm just sure if I'm ready to commit).

Hive top fitted over the top of a wooden table
Sometime later, I saw a gorgeous wooden wine barrel lid fitted with a metal band that was intended to sit in the middle of a table and hold a cheese board and wine or a lovely loaf of artisan bread.  I really wanted to bring that lid home, but it was exorbitantly expensive and I knew, with a bit of thought, I could come up with something that I had laying around.  In came yet another hive top.  The galvanized metal looks great against the rustic backdrop of our worn pine table and if I flip it over, it works great as a serving tray!  Multipurpose!

And as a table centerpiece
Last week, I was cleaning out the pantry (you should never have to use a broom and dustpan to clean the pantry!) and was looking around my various spots for some make-do shelving to make the pantry shelves a bit more useful.  I didn't find anything very romantic (a plastic milk crate and soda crate), but did spy an unused chicken feeder, galvanized of course, that was just begging to be used for something.

After I finished the dreaded pantry job, I fetched the feeder and scrubbed it clean, all the while trying to decide just where it should go.  First, I put it on the propane fireplace in the living room, filled it with burlap ribbon, electric candles, pinecones and antlers.  It was nice, but just not quite right.  While I stood there surveying my work, I heard the beeping of the washing machine in the bathroom.  I ran in to put another load of laundry on, glanced at the bathtub, and knew that my chicken feeder had found its home.

A 36" chicken feeder with the swivel top removed

The legs fit perfectly over the sides of the tub!
Disassembling my initial chicken feeder efforts, I moved the feeder to the bathroom, flipped down the legs and fitted it over the sides of my cast iron bathtub.  A galvanized, fitted bathtub caddy!  Perfect!  I added a few candles, some washcloths and a jar of homemade bath soak - creating a simply lovely, romantic bath accoutrement.  Because the feeder has sides, it holds a book quite nicely and the galvanized metal is the perfect medium in a bathroom setting.  I couldn't have purchased a better tub caddy!
A grain scoop candle-holder

After moving things from here to there, I found my coffee table (also a medical storage box on wheels) depressingly empty.  Keeping with the farm chic theme, I rescued a bent, slightly rusted grain scoop, scrubbed it up and set about creating a simple center-piece.  I fit two electric candles (not as romantic as the real deal, but better with pets and children) in the scoop, added a few berry branches and a bit of moss.  Simple, classic and just right sitting on a piece of reclaimed rustic barn board.

I love to feather my nest with unused things I already have.  Between the great outdoors and my burn pile, I have a unique, warm and quirky home that I love.  And with the incorporation of a chicken feeder, I have literally "Feathered my Nest"!


  1. Enola,

    There is nothing better than recycling items on your homestead instead of buying brand new items. I just love your ingenuity!!! That's a beautiful bath caddy :-)

    I don't know if this site helps, but I was warned years ago about galvanized metal and you should be careful with it's usage.. It looks neat though.

  3. Thanks Enola for an inspiring post! I'm going to walk around my home and see what I can reuse/repurpose! I love rustic wood and galvanized metal as well. ~Cricket

  4. Enola, You have inspired me to get up and get busy! I have been putting off rearranging my pantries!! even dreading it! It has just been easier to simply close the door. Yes, I have two and they need much tender loving care. I LOVE your creative ways of seeing 'ordinary things' as 'useful other things'. So clever! And so pretty! I adore your delightfully 'new' bath tub gadget! Your photography is certainly a gift, that I appreciate!

  5. It's all beautiful. Shopping the house or the curb is a favorite pastime of mine.

  6. I'm sure that all of your ingenuity gives you so much more pleasure than something you bought at a store. Good job!!

  7. Enola, you are a genius! Seriously. I love the candle holder from the scoop and the chicken feeder for the tub!