The story of The Magic Shed...
Sometimes decorating a house requires a little magic.This is my little breakfast nook, located right off the kitchen. Years ago, a previous owner enclosed the back porch to create a laundry/mudroom and I believe added this little space at the same time. It's cozy and warm and bright ~ perfect for a breakfast nook.
The space is long and narrow, though, so a typical table won't work. I thought a door might be the answer after seeing a table created from one in a magazine.
This is where The Magic Shed comes in.
Longtime readers of my blog might remember me mentioning The Magic Shed in passing, with a note that one day I would explain. Since I've moved from California back to the Carolinas and am living once again in my fab old home that goes with the shed, now seems an appropriate time.
The Magic Shed was just a shed for all I knew when I bought this house nearly eight years ago. The shed was built to coordinate with the house and is about the same age (nearly 60 years old). As I was getting settled for the first time in the house, I noticed the shed was full of stuff ~ I'm sure some of it has been in there since the day it was finished. I spent some time rooting around to see what was what and that's when I discovered an old door.
We brought the door inside and it was a perfect fit for the breakfast nook. My friends and I attached four legs to it and made it into a table. We then made benches to go on either side and I had a glass topper cut to create a level surface. It turned out beautifully and the table is one of those things that everyone who comes to the house loves.
But back to The Magic Shed.
I love yellow and red in the kitchen and since the walls in the breakfast nook were yellow, I knew I wanted to paint the table red. When I saw the door in the shed, it was leaning against a wall and the visible side was white. Once it was out of the shed and I saw the other side, I was surprised to see it was already the exact red that I wanted to paint it. I took it as a sign that it was meant to be and sure enough, it was. I noticed the red on the door matched the red of my front steps and I realized this must have been the old front door to the house. It had been out there for years, just waiting for a new lease on life.
The door that became a table was the first of several fabulous finds in my shed. When I needed a bookcase for the hall that was oddly narrow in depth, I found one in the shed ~ old and dusty and in need of paint, but a perfect fit. When I decided I wanted something different than the mirror I had over the mantle in the living room, my shed once again provided. Among a bunch of stuff propped against one wall was an old, large watercolor painting, matted and framed and ready for hanging. I cleaned off years of dust and discovered it was perfect for the room. I couldn't believe it. So over the fireplace it went.
It was then that one of my friends said the shed had to be magical and thus it became known as The Magic Shed. Everyone calls it that, even men who are skeptical of such things. The Magic Shed has provided so many times that people really do believe it is magical ~ it's as though there's some sort of weird and wonderful alchemy that occurs from the blend of items that have been put out there over the years. I'm not sure how it seems to know what we're going to need next, but it does. Friends call and ask if they can root around in The Magic Shed because they think they might find what they're looking for in there ~ usually an old tool or something for an old house ~ and to this day, they always have. Just last weekend I went digging in there and came out with what I needed. Over the years I've made sure to add items to the mix, not just take things out. I think it has to be replenished to keep creating its magic.
Earlier this month, a couple of friends helped me clear it out. Oddly enough, I was tentative to do anything to it but it really did need a little TLC. We were careful to only throw away items that were truly trash while we straightened up. Anything we weren't sure of or that looked like something someone could use one day stayed put. Once it was cleaned up a bit, I had room to put some other things out there. I even swept the floor, something that hasn't been done in years and years. I just hope I didn't sweep out any of the magic.
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Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully