When we last left this area, the baskets were waiting for a bench to cover their contents. This was four months ago. That's embarrassing.
Last week, I finally corrected this issue and made the whole space much more effective. And obviously the door was painted and casing was installed.
I can't say what took so long because we had this concept for months: a bench wide enough to span the baskets. Finally, using the Ana White book I got for Christmas, I modified bench plants to fit both the baskets and to use as much of the thicker lumber as possible.
Those thicker pieces are from my grandpa. I always pick through his barn when I'm visiting and he offered this raw slice of lumber with the cool knots and bumps. I wanted to use it as a showcase, either as a table or this bench, and it happened that I could squeeze three pieces for the bench.
It wasn't a perfectly straight board, thus the gaps. Those really bothered me at first, but in the week that we've lived with the bench, I've thought less of it. That's incredibly unusual - I'm a dweller. The legs are angled. They're cut at an angle (it's not a mistake), and I think that gives it something a little special.
The bench frame got the same treatment as the towel hooks in the guest room but in a different order because it was originally a huge mistake. I painted the frame thoroughly - primer, two coats of paint. Obviously I was painting it to last. Then I sanded with the intention of just hitting the corners and applying a bit of stain in those areas. I messed up and covered everything in dark walnut stain and really liked the result. It's the aged look I wanted and didn't know how to achieve. The top was sanded and a light coat of Ipswich pine stain was applied to the filler boards. I was trying to match those pieces to the larger board pieces. I used teak oil on the larger boards which I think protects and enhances the wood without changing its color. I used the same stuff on the coat rack boards and our pallet door. I opted not to poly because I don't love the shinyness all the time.
I'm really happy with it. That's a weird feeling because I rarely feel like something is completely done, especially when I was solely my responsibility. Zach was finishing the firepit this day - another post for another day. It's a good feeling.