Repurposed Headboard Banquette

For weeks, we tried to sell this headboard. I still liked it, but we simply had no room for it; and thus it sat in the basement collect-all room, gathering layers of dust and cobwebs.  Although we asked practically nothing for it, this enormous slab of wood would not leave our house.


We first resigned ourselves to giving it away–but then a DIY fairy tapped on our shoulder and said, “Ahem–!”  In other words, what creativity could be done with this thing to make it of value to us again?

The answer—banquette seating!


Banquette seating is many things:  stylish, practical for multiple children and easy to build are the top attributes that come to mind.  And with a carpenter husband, there was no earthly reason why NOT to repurpose our old headboard into a banquette. And so we–well, my husband–did.


I pondered over how to finish it, then concluded that is must be painted rather than stained.  The bench was a completely different wood than the existing headboard (we stuck to a pretty strict materials budget for this project.)  And my kitchen is a wee bit boring (tans, whites, black–blah) and so I wanted a statement of color.  Blue, to be exact. A traditionalist in that respect, I will never stop adoring pops of blue in kitchens!


I finished the piece with dark wax to make it appear more aged/weathered because–well, for a few months, I was REALLY into finishing pieces with dark wax.  My nails can attest to that.

It’s not perfect (nothing in my home/life is–who would want that?  Too much pressure!!!!)  But I love that it works for our lifestyle.  Four kids can cram onto it if need be–and they have!  It mops up easily…

And I can almost guarantee it is not something everyone else is going to have sitting in their eat-in kitchens.

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Midcentury Modern White Dresser

Another midcentury modern dresser we upcycled!

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This is definitely becoming our favorite style of furniture–and I especially love to dip the legs in gold.

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This time, we painted it white and finished it with a high gloss polyacrylic which won’t yellow over time as polyurethane tends to do.

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Maybe one reason I love these pieces, with their simple gold accents and sleek lines, is that they remind me of vintage Chanel.  Like this:

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Nothing competes–only compliments.

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The subtle, yet seductive curve of the top drawer:

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I feel like these pieces can stand either alone–perhaps paired with one or two special art pieces.  I am currently on the look out for art and accessories that do not distract from the silhouette of midcentury modern.  I am struggling a little with this, but—well.  It’s a journey.

DSC_1212 (2) Simple. Sophisticated.  Understated elegance.




Such a mellow week; nothing too pressing or stressful. Haven’t experienced loads of motivation, either. Or excitement, but this is okay.  I used to feel that life had to be very dramatic, all the time.  And that if it wasn’t, something needed to be altered to make it so.  Now, I am learning to appreciate that these mellow spells are useful, too.  They let one crawl back inside oneself for a brief interlude to recharge and renew. Explore the value found in freedom from effort.

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One doesn’t stay here, of course–nothing would ever get done!  But neither should one despise the occasional dalliance. And, mellow as I was, a few things managed to occur:

For starters, we finished the Midcentury Modern White Dresser.

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B finished it.

When we first started refinishing furniture, we both plugged in with paint brushes, foam rollers and sand paper. Some things turned out, other things did not—but it was like cliff diving into Lake Superior. We clasped hands, gave a little victory holler and plunged into whatever awaited us below the surface.

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Recently, we discovered a new technique: spraying the furniture with a paint sprayer. This is definitely a one man job—but the results have been promising thus far. Smooth, hard, shiny finish. No drips, brush marks, weird flashy spots. B has been heading all of the furniture renovations lately so I can focus on my writing projects, and I’ve actually missed it, somewhat.  But he’s doing so amazing, my skills are becoming obsolete–fast.

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I do still take the pictures.  After recently learning my current camera is broken, (it only works part of the time–something I always believed was operator error), plans have been made for a new camera.  But until it arrives, I am wringing all I can out of this one-winged bird.

This week, I interviewed the owner of the Henry Ford Bungalow which sits just north of Pequaming, Michigan. He and his wife conferencing in from Madison, me in Minneapolis—it was lovely and we talked for well over an hour.  The conversation ended at this point only because I suddenly remembered reading about not trapping people in an endless interview.

Someday, I will tell my own story of Pequaming. Why a ghost town matters to me. Why I write so much about it.


For now, the story is the Henry Ford Bungalow, that white plantation-styled historical landmark, overlooking the Keweenaw Bay and a century of compelling sunsets. Available to the public, and yet practically unknown, which is why I am writing the article. Why, in a few weeks, my husband and I will drive up to that isolated world of water, forest and sky to visit and photograph the summer house Ford had escaped to nearly one hundred years ago.

I am dreaming all sorts of dreams about that upcoming trip. There will be a post, of course, a new camera and a fresh load of pictures (one hopes, anyway!).

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We ended the week by meeting some friends for bowling at Pinstripes and then dinner at Fogo de Chao. It was a first for B and I—that mecca of succulent meat. Full to nearly bursting when we left, I had to forbid myself, in the name of good manners, from curling up in the back of our friends’ SUV and drifting off into some sort of meat-induced coma. My husband sang the praises of the whole experience, and while I did enjoy it, I had a haunting hankering the day after for some sort of spinach or kale smoothie. Something not meat.