February 2010: D.I.Y. Diary with Spackled Egg


The benefit to living in an old, not-at-all-well-preserved house is that one feels free to add almost anything into the mix that one bloody well feels like adding. You wouldn’t do this at, say, Montpelier, but our house is not “historic,” it’s just old. So we gleefully throw in an element here, an element there, in hopes of ending up with a serendipitous scramble.

An example? You got it. My mother also lives in an elderly, eclectic dwelling, and has a good collection of house parts in her barn. I took from there a wooden panel, with a decorative carved scroll, probably once part of some unidentified furniture piece. I wasn’t sure how we’d use it, but I liked it. And eventually we realized that it would fit nicely into the space at the head of our attic stairs.

Installing it there—which we did as we were trimming out the rest of the stairwell—was not tough at all. A couple of finish nails were enough to fasten the somewhat fragile object to the painted plywood that we used behind it. And we discovered that a nearby spot would be the perfect place for a second salvaged piece, this one a wooden drawer pull, with a similar dark finish. See what fun this is?