“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens
but just those that bring simple little pleasures,
following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
–L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea
As we drift into our first summer on September Farm, our days are filled with the simple pleasures of country life: fireflies performing their dusk dance on the meadow, evening pond visits from thirsty deer, handpicked wildflower bouquets, and enthusiastic frog choruses. Bare feet on freshly turned earth delivers an unexpected peace and sense of connection. Fruit and vegetable gardens are springing to life with the promise of later bounty, the result of dear husband’s hard work and accumulated knowledge. These little joys pop up all around us and continue to awe this city girl.
While the garden is one of David’s chief joys, helping to reincarnate old pieces destined for the trash heap is one of mine. Remember this homemade bar found in the dank, dusty corner of our basement?
It was covered in chipped paneling and adorned with ill-fitting cabinet doors and smoky gold mirrors. The drawers were full of dust, incomplete decks of cards, and poker chips. For me, it was love at first sight! I knew it could be something special again. Dear husband (who really can carry out any impossible idea I throw at him) cut off the bar to counter height and made the necessary repairs to add stability to the piece.
I especially love the mid-century, gold and silver flecked formica counter that extends to add more space as needed. I primed the whole cabinet and then coated it with a $5 can of gray paint from the clearance shelf at Lowes. I used sandpaper to give it some worn spots. I finished it off with a little bit of stain to add to the rustic finish. Hubby removed the cabinet doors; I curtained the storage opening instead to adorn it with cottage charm. The final touch was to add new knobs. Here’s the final result:
Not only does our “new” kitchen island provide much needed storage, it doubled the counter space in the kitchen! With this finished, I was able to bring some yard sale treasures out of hiding to accompany the piece. I found these kitchen stools at separate yard sales for $5 each; they reminded me of a similar one in my grandma’s 1940’s kitchen where I would sit and watch her fry bologna. My son spent an hour cleaning off the rust on these, armed with a scrub brush and a can of Coke. I replaced the cushion in one with a spare egg crate mattress and recovered the seats in kid-friendly laminated fabric.
What would this lovely lady be without one more accessory? I dusted off one of the first purchases I made after we bought the farm: an old copper wood bin garnered from a barn sale ($5) down the dirt road from us. My handy husband braced it, turned it upside down, drilled holes in it for Ikea pot hooks ($8), and mounted it to the ceiling. Behold my country pot rack that hangs over the island! I love the aged patina and the extra storage it provides.
Simple little pleasures abound in our simple little home as we slowly transform it to fit our family. Just as valuable as the physical changes are the intangible ones: new memories made on this land, birthdays celebrated around the kitchen table, songs filling every corner, kid laughter and cricket chirps co-existing. Every aspect of the metamorphosis is a wonder and a delight.