Mudroom bench aka boot bench!

My talented husband had four entire days off from work for New Year’s (gasp). Since Isaiah has been born his ‘honey do list’ is a mile long as I am getting into the hang of things here. I have been working him on nearly every day off he has had…So, I encouraged him to spend this time off doing something HE wanted to do, the man deserves a vacation…seriously. No time for a vacation just yet, so he made his way to his grandfather’s wood shop to get the creative juices flowing and work on a project he’s been wanting to do for some time now…to build a bench for our ‘mud-room’, you know…where you take off your muddy boots before coming in the house? This is a feature that my father has integrated into the entrance of many of the beautiful homes he has built and where we got the idea, although his benches are usually built-in we decided a nice freestanding one would do us well.

black oak bench and white oak basket my amazing husband made.
black oak bench and white oak basket my amazing husband made.

Was it last year or the year before that old black oak in the front yard died? Either way, we used to have this magnificent big old black oak that lived in front of our house. This tree is a very special tree to us and to my husbands family. It was one of the originals for the homestead planted by Jeremy’s great-grandmother, or was it his great-great grandmother…I need to ask about that. His father grew up admiring the tree and my husband had a swing hanging from it when he was a child. I wish I had a picture of it to show here. After waiting some time for signs of life, we concluded had met its demise and that it was too close to the house for comfort, it needed to come down. My husband, his father and a few friends brought it down last spring. He left a large stump that we had planned on making a thrown for our daughter (I had a stump chair/thrown when I was a little girl that my dad made for me and loved it!) Although she passed away he decided to make a chair anyway, a little memorial piece I guess you call it. It’s quite nice and special to us, I’ll post a pic at some point.  We had one of Jeremy’s former woodworking students, who now has a portable mill, come out here and put the rest of it into boards. It is amazingly beautiful wood with wormy holes throughout and striking marbling with amazing contrast. After some playing with design ideas he set off to make this bench and spend a little quality time with his grandfather. After only two days (yes ladies, he was home for dinner) he drove up with this gorgeous specimen in the back of the truck trying to beat the impending rain.

DSC_5505Every time I see my husband transform wood from boards and planks into a functional piece of art, I am reminded how blessed I am to have such a talented and capable man to spend my life with. He is an artist, although he would probably never call himself that. I’m so glad he was able to find some time to get those creative juices flowing. And hey, I win too with this lovely heirloom quality bench to grace our home. It is the perfect size for the space and comfortably allows us to maximize on the utilization of space by fitting three crates beneath for storage. The heavy contrast of the marbling is accented by black walnut pegs and he plans to inlay a arrow head that his grandfather gave him in the back (and possibly some neat veneer inlays with dogwood in the future…) The rounded edges give it a worn, antique look. I LOVE it! A garden basket (that my hubs made from a white oak tree he cut down!) has a home of easy access to the garden for picking fresh yummies. What in the world are those funny looking pumpkin things in that basket?! You will see them again shortly worked into a dinner or desert. 🙂

Now all that is really left to do is finish the floor (we are planning on using recycled pallet wood) and the coat rack he plans to make! I’m sure you will be seeing them at some point too. DSC_5504

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