Monday, October 28, 2013

A Blank Canvas

We've got this wall...well I mean, we have a lot of walls, but the wall in question is this empty one in the living room...
...yeah, that one.  You can't really tell in the picture, but the wall to the left is also bare, aside from the TV, and will likely stay that way, so in person the room is pretty sterile.  I wanted a way to show of pictures without putting a ton of holes into the plaster, because as I learned recently, patching plaster bites the big one.
 I saw this picture and the wheels in my head started to turn.  I really loved the big ol' corbels and the rustic ledge, but I knew that the height of something like that would not only eat into the little space that we have, but would also put all the pictures/decor/treasures at the mercy of the little hands in my house.

But nonetheless, from then on I kept an eye out for corbels.  Which is how I learned that those suckers are expensive! New at Lowes they run about $80 a pop (the kind I was looking for anyway), and since I knew I wanted added up quickly.  I checked a few local shops that recycle house-type goodies, and even there I couldn't find anything even close to what I was looking for, for the price I was willing to pay.

Enter the Antique Marketplace in Lemoyne, PA.  I didn't know this place was there until recently, but MAN am I glad I found it!

Their picture, not mine!
Wedged in the back of the HUGE warehouse of treasures is a stand devoted to salvaged architectural pieces, and I found EXACTLY what I was looking for, for a much more reasonable price.  4 chippy beautiful corbels ran us right around $65, which was great for what I had in mind.  
Totally neglected to get a picture of the corbels before we used them! Bad blogger! 
We picked up four metal L-brackets at the hardware store, and we got to work! We selected a beautiful piece of rough-hewn oak and ripped it down to fit our plans.  Since our corbels are four inches deep, for both aesthetics and strength our shelf is only six inches deep.  Some corbels will come with hanging hardware on the back, but ours did not, so it required a good bit of "making it work".

We mounted our metal L-brackets first (after finding the studs, measuring and leveling of course), and then we put up our shelf.  Once the shelf was secure we actually hung the corbels from the shelf to give the appearance of a supporting element, but they are not actually doing anything other than looking pretty and covering the supporting brackets.  There is only one spot that you can see one of the brackets, and only if you get a few inches away and know where to look!
Once we had it all hung up, I had some second thoughts on the height.  I feel like it should be lower....but Matt feels like I should cork it! Haha truth be told, neither of us want to rehang it lower, and I also think that the massive ceiling fan is making it look lower than it actually is.  The fan hangs too low for this room anyway,'s on the list :)
 Overall I really do like the way it looks up there, and I REALLY like that I can swap out pictures and pretties without fear of damaging the walls and/or little hands breaking them.
 I was so happy to unwrap both ou2 blue glass collection and our collection of bottles containing sand from various vacations.
 Below is one of my favorite views, because you can see the sweet little flower cutout in our corbels.
I am especially excited to have somewhere to hang our stockings this year as well...I have been wondering about where I would do that since we moved (overthinker much?).

And for the record, Jack and Luke approve! They walked into the living room that first morning and Jack said "Mommy! Come see what is in our house!!"


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