Monday, May 10, 2010

Turning Our Interior-Exterior Kitchen Window Into a Wine Rack

AFTER photo of our new wine rack -- in our kitchen.

When we bought our log "cabin," situated on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, we inherited a rather bare-bones design. That's not such a bad thing, since it opens up all kinds of possibilities. We've been working on the house, as of late, to make it ours -- to reflect our own personality and tastes. 
A little history behind this particular project:  The previous owners had decided soon after the construction of the house to add another room. As a result, the back exterior kitchen window became an interior one, which offered a nicely framed view into the newly added mudroom. Here's the BEFORE window:

BEFORE shot. I had to zoom in to show this area of the kitchen. So, it's fuzzy.

My BFF, Barbara, visited this "cabin" before it even became ours. I think her first words were "wine rack," as she pointed to this odd interior-exterior kitchen window. My husband, Jimmy, tackled this project soon after he retired. As you can see from the AFTER photo at the start of this post, he applied some creative genius (I think).

Here's an up-close look at the shelving (can you guess what he used?):

Jimmy used old dead Rocky Mountain Juniper branches found on our property for shelving. You can't really tell here, but each shelf is comprised of two similar-sized branches. 

Jimmy found these little Juniper pieces and transformed them into shelf braces. The other wood -- the top shelf and backing -- is cedar lumber.

Some pointers and tips (in no certain order) from Jimmy, should you be inspired to undertake a similar project:

1. Make sure any found wood you might use is dead, dry and void of any sap.
2.  Scrape off the bark and sand it.
3. When using found wood to form shelving, as in this case, select pieces that are similar in width and bend.
4. Apply Tung Oil to bring out the color and luster of the wood.

Before screwing in the back cedar lumber pieces, he used screws to secure the branch shelves. And he placed small plastic bumpers (found in the photo section of stores) on the limbs to prevent the wine bottles from rolling around. Alternatively, you could sand out groves in the limbs to hold the bottles. 

On the back side of the wine rack, inside the mudroom itself, Jimmy added open shelving. Since it's where my washer and dryer are located, I keep supplies there on those shelves.

8 Responses to “Turning Our Interior-Exterior Kitchen Window Into a Wine Rack”

Diana Joy said...

Cool idea. The branches are beautiful and creative.

How fabulous is this. What a great idea. I love his creativity. Hugs, Marty

Tricia Rose said...

That is so ingenious! It looks so in keeping, especially love the brackets.

Neat idea! I love your blog!

Janine Marshall said...

Hi Susan,

My you have been a busy bee with these posts, that, I might add I have been enjoying. Bit time poor today, so will try not to ramble on to much! A couple of posts ago, with the home tours of Galveston, I would so love to do these. Enjoyed seeing the pictures, just gorgeous. Nice to see a picture of your husband Jimmy!! And for this post I really liked how the wine rack turned out. The colour of the wood for the shelving (and supports) are really lovely, it turned out really well, isn't forced and ties in with the structure/architecture of your home. Oh by the way, your new header is looking good Susan!! I have a really soft spot for Sam, I think he needs to come back here to Australia, promise to take good care of him!! Is the header picture in your home in Colorado?? Looks really nice Susan. Anyway, hope you and your family are well and will call in again soon. Hope you had a great Mothers Day and found time to do something nice for yourself!
Take care
Tasmania, Australia

Atticmag said...

Boy, you folks have quality wood out there. Those shelves are wonderful looking and any wine stored on them is bound to taste better for having rested in such an elegant rack. Great project and so glad to stop by to see it. Thanks for coming by to check out my kitchen. Jane F

Love your use of the branches in their natural state...Wonderful!

Lisa said...

Love the idea! Great way to make use of that space. I just used some backyard branches for drawer pulls. Aren't we clever! lol
I really love it, very earthy!

Come on over for the giveaway
Would love to see you there.

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