Being the proud owner of only the third build site that was sold in this 75-home section of the subdivision, I spent almost two years watching every possible construction scenario unfold here. I was constantly bothered by the degree of waste that was occurring. A giant heap of construction debris would form unceremoniously in the front yard of each new house as it was going up, and most of it was actually valuable stuff. I would go around pilfering the piles, documenting my dealings with cell phone pics in case I ever had to prove that I wasn't "stealing" valuable construction supplies. Because you really couldn't tell the difference, eh? If I was discovered trotting happily down Arlington Pointe with a wheelbarrow full of Austin Chalk, who's to say I didn't pull it off the new stone pallets instead of from the dump sites?
|I mean recycle - I don't mean five-finger discount. Oh, waitaminute - I actually mean upcycle.|
|It's a great big sucker, as garages go, and there were several Parallam beams supporting the roof load. You can see two of them here, at right angles to each other. The piece I rescued from the trash pile was trimmed from one of those.|
|Parallam is freakish-looking stuff - this is a view of the end grain of my scrap piece, post-finishing.|
|...and I'm channeling Christopher Walken as I say that...|
Trouble was, my house is already chock full of furniture and I didn't need a bench - at least not a conventional 18-inch high sitting bench. I needed a squat bench, which could be used for several purposes that I will explain in a moment. Here is how I constructed it.
|This is the bracket that I used to attach the legs to the Parallam slab. About a buck and a half each at Lowes.|
|These structural pieces were not intended for finish carpentry, of course, and I had to cut off these tabbed ends to give the piece a finished look.|
|A chick and her power tools... it's a beautiful thing. Dremel, in this case.|
|View of the underside, two of four legs attached. There is no bracket portion showing from the front or side of the finished bench.|
|Et voila - the finished product in situ.|
|Almost two years ago, I published a post titled "Modernizing a traditional home design with color, Part 1: Fireplace make-over" in which I described how one could spend less than two hundred dollars on natural slate tile and paint and achieve a fireplace look that was similar to a two thousand dollar all-stone fireplace. My version is obviously not quite as grand, but it has analogous visual impact and focal-point weight at only one tenth of the typical cost. Judging from the blog stats, it was a very popular post and I was probably the first person to do this - but others have since followed suit. And every time I see someone channeling "my" fireplace on HGTV, I pause the program and take a commemorative pic of the fireplaces side by side, as this example shows. So, yay design coup on this idea. I appear to have influenced the course of residential design in America. Many of the others even appear to be using the same shade of paint (Valspar Ocean Storm).|
BTW, speaking of the five year anniversary of Centerpointe Section 9, you can tell that our TV is also five years old - the wide outer border is a dead giveaway of its advanced age (the body is also much thicker than current models). It was cutting edge technology five years ago but it's obsolete today. That's fine with me because we don't have to worry about anyone stealing it any more - it's no longer worth anything to speak of!
|It's also an under-window bench. This is my second bloom cycle for this orchid, which prefers this exact spot at my home office window. Trouble is, it got too big to sit on the window ledge proper, so it needs something else to sit on. I can move the bench here in warmer times when I don't need it in front of the fireplace to help the warming of my ancient bones.|
You can also see my oft-discussed principle of cross-referencing in this photo (what HGTV designers call "repetition"). The legs of the conference table, squat bench, and cabinet are all three different woods and different finishes, but they are all square, so they still look like they go together.
|Because you have to have stuff to support your orchids. Life would not be complete without orchids.|