I Think I May Have Decorated Something. Weird.

For the last three years my concept of “decorating” has been limited to compulsively saving things to my Pinterest boards. Because, you know, I’ve been in a constant state of tearing houses apart, rebuilding them, and then moving out before I get a chance to hang so much as a picture on the wall. But lo’ and behold folks, I do believe I decorated something this weekend…


Granted, I used galvanized pipe and old barn wood, but I’m not exactly one for rearranging candles and throw pillows or whatever. I like to build stuff.

This was a bit of an unintentional project, but it only took about an hour and I squeezed it in among some of my other weekend activities. But before I start in on what I did, let me talk a little bit about why…

After the painters finished up Thursday (and more than one late-night painting session by yours truly) the front entry looked a little something like this…


I know, I just snuck that whole “hey look, I painted the doors in the entryway red” thing in on you, didn’t I? Well, I may have given you a sneak peak on facebook, but this is how it all turned out in the end.

The walls are BMoore’s Roycroft Mist Gray, and the doors are Valspar’s Heirloom Red. I went with Heirloom Red out of sentiment, because it’s the color I picked out to paint the kitchen cabinets in my very first house seven years ago. This was when I a.) just started blogging, b.) frequently buzzed my hair, and c.) had no idea what the shit I was doing.

New Red Kitchen

(No kidding, when I bought that house I told all of my friends I would have it fixed up in three months. Ha. Ha ha. So effing clueless.)

The much older and wiser version of me has no illusions about anything in this house being finished in the next three months, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a little progress here and there. In the entry, for example, getting most of it painted was huge progress, and even though I really like the colors, something about the very clean and flat looking paint just didn’t feel quite right. And you know what happened then… I had an idea.


I felt like I needed to add a bit of that farmhouse industrial look (that I’m so fond of pinning) to this space to make it look a little less pristine, so I started toying with some ways to add some old barn wood to the room. Almost immediately I decided to use some of the 1″ galvanized pipe I’ve been hoarding in the shop to hang my wood “sign” from. An idea definitely reminiscent of my favorite closet that ever existed in the Memorial House…


So I’ve basically managed to combine my favorite features from both of my previous houses into this eight foot space in my entry way. I’m not sure if this is impressive, or if I’ve now just used up all of my good ideas.

Regardless, once I figured out which pieces and parts I wanted to use, I pulled together some pipe strapping and hooks to attach everything together…


Here’s how I made the straps to hang the S-hooks from..


I toyed with the idea of leaving the metal galvanized, and if it had a nice patina to it, I would have gone that way. In the end it was just too shiny though. (I like how I say “in the end” as if I spent more than 38 seconds thinking about it.)


Flat black spray paint and a little time in the sun, and she’s ready to hang. Which hanging a seven foot long pipe contraption that weighs a good 35-40 pounds is a fun little challenge, but don’t worry… I outsmarted gravity this time.


I actually only put one extraneous hole in the wall doing this, which, for a girl who isn’t overly fond of taking accurate measurements, is pretty good.


It’s currently a blank sign because I wanted to get a feel for it before committing to either painting something on the wood or potentially finding some old metal letters to use. Once I got it up there, though, it occurred to me that this is the first non-functional thing I’ve built or hung in this house. Which I do believe qualifies as decorating. My Martha gene may be making an appearance after all.

When you look at what this room looked like just last week…


I think you could say I’ve made some progress.


It’s nowhere near done (fourteen passes with the sander over those floors next weekend, anyone?) and as much as I’m loving the change, I’m not sure it’s quite “me” yet. But, then again, for the last three years “me” has basically been subfloor and sawdust, so my barometer for what a finished space should feel like is probably a little off.

What I know for sure is that I’m definitely having fun figuring it out.


34 Responses

  1. It’s beautiful! I love those colors. The red looks much better on the doors than on kitchen cabinets. And your hair looks much better long!

  2. Hadn’t seen the Memorial House master closet before today, but it reminded me of our closet as we also used galvanized pipe (we didn’t paint ours, however, and I do like the look of the black). I LOVE how your entry is shaping up – the wall color, the RED DOORS!, the “decor” … It is going to be lovely (does that word translate for you because I could use some cuss words to add emphasis/meaning?) and very welcoming.

  3. I think that was a seriously cool decorating moment. I kidded my carpenter about his “inner Martha” when he set-up this really attractive, well-designed coffee station from scrap 2 x 4s in a shop he was building for my brother. He was mortified, but it really meant he has a good design sense.

  4. It looks wonderful – I love the pipe and the old wood together.

    I’m thinking I might have to steal your pipe idea for curtain rods in my dining room – hmm, pipe and dropcloths masquerading as actual window treatments. I may be on to something! (or probably just reaaally late to the party. Again.)

  5. That definitely qualifies as decorating. I love how your home is shaping up and reflects the journey you’ve been on. Your house is SO perfect for a farmhouse industrial look (and you didn’t ask for my opinion but your entry room is just screaming for a spindle back bench). Can’t wait to see what you (inadvertantly) decorate next.

    1. I actually had no idea what a spindle back bench was, lol. But you’re right that would be perfect in here, since I still have no idea what to do with this space.

      I’m always happy to receive your unsolicited design advice! lol. In fact, I think I need your opinion on possible window treatments for the pink parlor…

  6. Wow. The difference is ASTOUNDING (I mean, I had to go all caps, so that just proves it, right?) It looks so much more spacious (not that you needed that here) and lighter. Great job!

  7. This may be the very best before and after of all time! As to what to put on your sign, it will come to you.

  8. Heirloom Red!! I just painted my front entry doors that color, and th french patio doors! It’s an awesome color! As is, of course, your entire entry. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. This looks absolutely gorgeous – don’t change a thing (well, except for those floors, but you haven’t gotten there yet)! Trust your instincts, because you’ve obviously got good ones.

  10. Wow! Just WOW! That room looks so much better. And that little industrial-rustic bit is perfect.

  11. Hello there, first time poster, a-while lurker over here. What prompted me to comment? Those doors! I would totally paint them tardis blue and hang a “Police Box” sign – but then I’m a gigantic geek ๐Ÿ™‚

    nice progress on the house! I’m impressed!

  12. Night and day difference. Well done! I know every time you enter this room (which, I’m pretty sure won’t be that often because I bet you enter through the mud room addition most, right?), you’re going to feel such warm fuzzies.

  13. Love this. (1st time commenting, but long time reader). You do a great job with all your projects, but your work on your new house is incredible. Great job! (And I wouldn’t put anything on it, no letters, I love the simplistic beauty of it as is.)

    Oh, and I “pinned” it, hope that’s ok. If not, let me know and I’ll take it down.


  14. I’ve had trouble painting galvanized surfaces in the past. Just curious what kind of paint you used and if it’s holding up. Neat idea by the way. It looks really awesome.

  15. To the comment “And your hair looks much better long! men always say the like long hair even – you could be grey and 80! The truth is not everyone can wear short hair and you look marvelous!

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