When we first moved into our home there was one room that I absolutely didn’t like at all!
Okay, there were SEVERAL rooms that I disliked, but one more so than the others.
The main reason I disliked this room was that frankly, I didn’t know what it’s purpose really was.
It was in the back of the house, so it could have been a back porch.
Except it didn’t look like any back porch that I had ever seen.
Since this was pre-blogging days I didn’t think to take a photo of the room. But I promise you, you aren’t missing much.
The room consisted of one GIGANTIC built-in with oddly spaced shelves, indoor/outdoor carpeting and ugly-dark paneling on every wall.
The first thing we did was tear down that shelving. (FYI-the wood was in pretty good shape so I ended up making a few signs with it later on.) We also gave the walls a fresh coat of creamy white paint.
The room was pretty much a clean slate. But I still didn’t know what to do with it.
And frankly, I didn’t have time to ponder it any longer. We had WAY too many other rooms that needed attention.
So the room just sat there. Empty-except for an old sofa and a few boxes we didn’t have room in the basement to store.
Fast Forward to a year ago.
Michael and I were out at the farm looking at the devastation a recent storm had done to two outer buildings.
My heart broke as I stared at the pile of rubble that had once held so many wonderful childhood memories.
Over the years I had salvaged so many treasures from the farm. Treasures that have no monetary value but are priceless to me.
But I couldn’t salvage these old buildings.
Or could I?
A lot of the wood was rotten. Those outer buildings had sat through 100 + years of rainstorms, blizzards, and scorching heat. It was to be expected. And yet, there were a few pieces that remarkably seemed to be in pretty decent shape.
Yes, they would definitely need to be cleaned up, but they could be saved and re-purposed.
When I told Michael what I was thinking he totally agreed.
As we started picking through the wood, nails and rusty tin, an idea started building in my head about that back room that had no purpose.
It was something we had discussed once or twice but had never gotten around to doing anything about.
Michael wanted his own space. Space, where he could watch football or one of his car, shows instead of suffering through another HGTV special or Hallmark movie.
Space where he could hang some of the car signs an antiques that he’d been collecting over the years, and sit back in his favorite rocker recliner and listen to music.
With a few minor changes, the back room could be just such a place.
When I told Michael about my idea on the way home from the farm that day and he was over the moon excited!
The moment we got home he sat down and started to plan out what he wanted to do in the space.
I won’t lie. I started to get a bit concerned when he shared some of his decorating ideas.
After all, this room was right off the kitchen. It was also the room we had to pass through to get to the back deck. There was no door I could shut if I didn’t want family and friends to see the space.
There was also the salvaged wood to think about.
#1 What if we decided to move one day? I certainly couldn’t take down an entire feature wall just to keep that precious wood!
#2 What if one day soon feature walls were no longer fashionable. Would I love that wall and the history behind it enough not to care?
The answer to the second question was a resounding YES!!!
And to resolve the first issue we simply didn’t use all of the wood we had salvaged. Instead, we pieced in a few cuts of wood that we had in storage. In the end, I loved the contrast of the different colors and textures.
One thing I do want to mention briefly is that before we could install the salvaged wood on the wall, we had to clean it.
Years outdoors had given the wood a very distinct aged and musty smell. On top of that, some of the pieces had a bit of mold and mildew.
After doing some research I purchased this cleaner. I was amazed at how it took off the mold and mildew without removing the weathered patina of the wood. Once the wood was clean we allowed it to sit outside in the sun and dry completely.
Then we sealed the wood with two coats of Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin finish. Once that completely dried the wood was ready to hang.
Next to make the room cozier and more energy efficient we installed new windows, and then gave the entire space a fresh coat of paint.
Wall paint: Behr: Cool Ashes- Satin finish
Trim Paint: Behr: Ultra White-Satin Finish
Carpeting came next and then seating.
The walls aren’t completely decorated yet, but Michael has started to put up some of his collection.
And we can’t forget the big screen TV or the warm cozy fireplace.
Or that mantel that we made from a big chunk of wood that we came upon quite by accident on one of our many road trips.
Oh, how I’m going to love decorating it throughout the seasons.
And that’s okay with Michael.
Because even though this room started out being his man cave, it ended up being so much more.
It’s warm, cozy and filled with all the things we both love.
We spend most of our evenings here now, talking about our day or watching a movie.
And if Michael wants to watch football or listen to his music I head-on into the living room and give him his space.
This room has definitely become the room in our house that everyone congregates to now when they come to visit.
Everyone agrees that there is just something about the space that draws them in.
Along the way, I realized the room always had a purpose. At least for the previous owners. Maybe we didn’t understand their decorating choices but that doesn’t mean they didn’t spend a great deal of time and enjoyment in the room.
It made sense to them. It had a purpose.
Just like it does now.
And you can bet someday when the new owners of this home step into the back room they will ask the same question.
I only hope they enjoy finding the answer as much as we did!
Blessings and hugs,