Bar None!


Here’s another installment of the staging from the 4,700-square-foot St. Croix River home project. Again, I rue that I didn’t take any before pictures of this room, which was an unused sunroom/passthrough for the homeowner on his way to the patio and river. It had lots to recommend it — windows all around, a fireplace, a stone floor — but it was mostly empty, with dirty lap siding. In some regards, it was a blank, if dusty, canvas.

After the back wall was cleaned (twice!) and sanded,, I created a floating “bar” on the back wall as a focal point for anyone not gazing at the view. It also added functionality to a room that had been a dumping ground for excess stuff.

Micah, my carpenter par excellence, built the sides of the bar to my specs, using reclaim wood (a natural choice, given the rusticity of the siding and floor.) The top is steel, purchased from a fabricator in SE Minneapolis.

It was an inexpensive fix — the materials cost about $17. It reads a lot richer than that!

The bar is attached with sturdy brackets and braces. The lanterns were standard TJ Maxx issue, which I painted in Rustoleum’s Painter’s Touch 2X in aqua (to match the wicker settee, also salavaged and rehabbed).

My color cues came from the blue water and green trees outside the windows, as well as the greens in the marble and stone floor.

And, while the original sunroom was devoid of furniture,  it did  have a string of lures tacked up over the doorway.

To play off the fishing theme, I moved a piece of original clay fish art (by potter and illustrator Kirk Lyttle, from the homeowner’s collection elsewhere in the house) to the bar, and scouted, painted and mounted salvaged F I S H letters over the bar. The metal stools, pictured, were given a coat of deep, sage green paint, also Painter’s Touch.

The apron on the bar is deep enough to hide the supporting brackets.

Continuing to build on the fishing theme, I drybrushed a frame and attached hooks to hold four strings of fishing line. Each line holds some of the aforementioned lures that at one time were tacked, haphazardly, over the doorway. Now they are art! A second clay art fish by Lyttle was moved to sit atop an elevated bar stand.

Other additions: a Suzani print rug, a throw and pillows and a chair and console to hold the homeowner’s shells and driftwood. A long wicker footlocker in front of the settee stores patio cushions in the off-season. Also not visible: a seagrass basket loaded with birch sticks, and a fireplace around the corner. That’s the homeowner’s whimsical stacked artwork, next to the bar.

Once unused, this room now beckons users to curl up on the settee (upholstered with sturdy painter canvas) to read, relax and watch the river go by. It also  maintains the very casual feel the homowner requested.

Additional installments on this home project are yet to come (and some of them even have “Before” pictures!)


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