Low maintenance – I don’t think there is a better concept. We love getting a maximum result with minimal work involved, that is exactly what succulents are in the the land of house plants. They look incredible, you can plant them in almost anything, they are near impossible to kill and they almost multiply themselves.
Interior plants can soften a room and add life to your spaces. With an opportunity to create a kitchen feature as part of a house renovation, a green herb wall was the perfect option - and recessing it within the studs creates a subtle point of difference. Heres a guide on how to create your own recessed green wall.
They don't come much easier than this. If impact and functionality is what your after for minimal effort and cost, then this is a project for you. A wall mounted shelf to add some style to your hallway or living space.
The wood used for this shelf was a recycled joist from a demolished house, which had been dressed by a local joiner and stored in my garage for a few years unused. The wood itself has had no staining or oils, the nail holes are still visible - beauty in its imperfection. The hard wood and pattern creates character and warmth, but any form of wood can be used. Be sure to secure the fixings into studs to carry the weight of the wood and its contents.
Whilst projects vary in skill and cost required, there are many projects which are both simple and low cost. The beauty of this project is the impact it creates far exceeds both the effort and cost required to create it.
Supplier & Decor Details:
The brackets are from Akia, a NZ importer of Ikea products. Being the Ekby Valter wall fixing, $8.90 each. www.akia.co.nz.
The concrete planter is from Lilyjane Boutique, a Dipped Concrete Planter, $24.95 www.lilyjaneboutique.co.nz.
The navy planter is a standard pot and base from Bunnings coated in navy spray paint.
With some leftover Kwila decking timber from building our deck, I had the idea to put this to use and build an outside table. My goal was to make something quick, reuse as much existing timber and something that looks decent. This is what I ended up with, a X table frame with hardwood top:
The first step is to always work out a plan and make sure you have the materials and equipment to complete the project. Confirm the size of the table you want, then sketch up the 3 layers of the table. The more you plan the easier the project will be. I made this table 1,000W by 1,600L – to suit the space I was going to put the table, but measurements can be adjusted to suit.
This project is essentially made up of 3 layers of timber. Being:
1. Table top
2. Table top frame
3. Table legs and stringers
- Cut the lengths of the table top, frame, legs and stringers to correct length. Refer Materials list below for lengths used for this project.
- To check all correct, lay the timber and frame on top of each other upside down.
- The simple way to join the X legs is just to overlap them and bolt through. A nicer finish is to notch out half of each leg and overlap them and make flush. To do this, mark out exactly where each leg will cross the other; adjust the depth of your skill saw to half the thickness of the leg. Make multiple passes next to each other within the area to be removed. Using a chisel and hammer, remove the fillets of wood. Use the chisel to level the inside of the notch.
- Stain frame prior to fixing together (optional).
- Fix the table frame together.
- Fix the strips of table top to the frame. I recommend pre-drilling holes and also counter-sinking the screws to get a cleaner surface.
- Bolt the 2x X legs together
- Fix the 2x X legs to the table frame.
- Fix stringers between X legs.
And after this work, the finished product. Ready to have friends over and celebrate with a bbq and a beer.
This is the wood I used, but substitutes can be used
- 7x 1,600L of 140x19 decking (pine / hardwood)
Table Top Frame (50x50 treated pine)
- 2x lengths at 1,000, with ends angled
- 2x lengths at 800
- 2x lengths at 1,200
- Legs - 4x lengths of 100x50 at 1,000 (with 45 degrees cuts on each end)
- Stringers - 2x lengths of 50x50 at 1,200
- 2x Bolts for X legs
- Dropsaw (preferable, but skill saw adequate)
- General tools (hammer, drill, tape measure, etc)
I used existing timber I had available to me on the most part for this project. If you were to use pine decking, then I estimated that this would be in the order of $170-$200 to make.
4-6 Hours (excluding allowing stain to dry)
If you do make this table, would love to hear how you went, any comments and of course some pictures of your finished product. Email them through or add your comments below.
After using my sisters hall table in our house for several years, I almost forgot it wasn’t ours. When they needed it back, we began our search for a suitable replacement. Not finding anything to our liking after a month of looking - or at a price to our liking - we decided to do some DIY and restore.
Restoring and/or repurposing furniture in most cases can be an easier process than starting from scratch as you already have a starting point, something to work with, and the scope of the restoration project is decided by you. Whether you want to include additional features, only repaint, or replace as much or little of the existing - you can decide. Each restoration project will be unique to what you are restoring.
We searched Trademe until we came across something we liked. The hall table was already in usable condition - so we did have some control over the extent of the restoration. This particular project involved replacing the top, tidying up the base and refinishing all to fit in with the style in our house.
After confirming the measurements on the size of the tabletop I wanted, we visited and purchased our wood from the Kauri Warehouse in Otahuhu, Auckland. They have a wide range of recycled wood in various sizes and profiles.
Our selection was recycled Rimu floorboards. We could not find a single piece we liked with the width we needed, so went with 4x floorboards. This would mean more work laminating the tops together, but we would get the detail and finish we were after.
Rimu is one of the most popular NZ native timbers and is regularly seen in character homes in NZ. It is versatile, receives oils and stains easily, and is a beautiful finishing timber. We intentionally chose pieces which weren’t perfect (which is most often the case with recycled wood regardless) which would create interest on completion.
Finalise measurements of table top.
Trim the tongue off the face of the outside floorboard with skillsaw.
Cut each floorboard to correct length.
Laminate floorboards together
- Make sure all surfaces are clean and dustfree
- Moisten faces being glued with a damp cloth to add some moisture
- Fill the groove and add a line of adhesive to the tongue. You do not want air gaps remaining
- Once all glued and in place, apply clamps and tighten
- Leave for minimum 24 hours clamped for glue to cure (refer curing times with the glue purchased)
- I also screwed in 3x strips of timber to the underside of the top as a stiffener. As the top is only 20mm thick, these strips of wood will act as a lateral stiffener to ensure that the top will not cup over time. (With the correct glue, there is no concerns with keeping the floorboards bonded).
- The top had hardened glue out of the gaps.
- Starting with 80grit sander on a belt sander, I removed the glue and got consistent level across the top.
- Used lighter grit on belt sander and down to even lighter on a orbital sander until happy with level of finish
- Clean all dust off thoroughly, use damp cloth.
- Apply sealer coat as first coat (stain diluted with 25% turps - or water if using water based finish). I used a sponge applicator to apply the stain.
- Dry for 24 hours then give light sand with 240grit sandpaper. Clean dust off thoroughly.
- Subsequently apply 3x top coats. Allowing 24 hours to dry between each. Apply topcoats in an environment with minimal dust where possible.
When I was happy with the finish on the top, I fixed the top to the base using 4 L brackets from Bunnings. Then went on to give the base a paint using a Dulux semi gloss.
We were very pleased with the finish product. The detail and colour of the rimu top is the hero of the table. The complexity on the face of the unit provides another element of design and age that is not often found in new furniture.
- Old hall table $160 - Trademe
- 6 l.m of floorboard (90mm x 20mm) @ $10lm = $60 - Kauri Warehouse
- Stain $30 - Bunnings
- Total Investment $250 (Paint and glue already owned)
- Dropsaw (preferable, but skill saw adequate)
- Sanding equipment
- Wood for top (floorboards in this case)
- Wood glue
- Stain, applicator, turps
- Fixings / brackets