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DIY Reclaimed Barn Wood Beams

8 Jul

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! We had a great time camping up in northern Michigan and visiting Mackinac Island–a stunning island in Lake Huron that only allows two modes of transportation: horse-drawn carriages and bikes.

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But on to today’s project. If you are new here, we removed the wall between our kitchen and living room. Because it was a structural wall, we had to install a 1,200 pound, 26 foot long, 8.5″ wide and 18″ deep beam to hold up the house. It sat exposed for a couple months while we searched craigslist for barn wood to wrap the beam.

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As planned, we also added dimmable can lights in the living room (there was no lighting in the room previously). Here’s what those looked like before wrapping them in barn wood. We built boxes around them and had an electrician wire them up.

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IMG_2901And here is how they look today!

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We still have to drywall the end supports, and patch and paint the ceiling, but things are shaping up!IMG_3242

IMG_3241We’re really happy with them and think they add a lot of charm and character to the house. Not to mention function with 9 new lights.

And we have a little bit of scrap barn wood left over that we will definitely put to use somehow (maybe frames or shelves?).

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“The best money I’ve ever spent”

21 May

That’s what Ben said last night about our newest upgrade- Sonos. For those not familiar with Sonos, it is a wireless home music system that you control on your iPhone, iPad or computer.

I have to admit I wasn’t as excited as he was about getting the Sonos (guys go crazy over that stuff), but now that it’s in, it is awesome!

Ben had been eyeing getting a Sonos system for a while, so when we had the ceilings open after we took out the wall, it was the perfect time to get it installed. Ben became friends with one of his subcontractors, Ish, who is a audio/video specialist and he put together a package for us which included:

  • Two in-ceiling speakers for the kitchen/living room/dining room
  • Two rock speakers by the pool
  • One dual speaker mounted outside on the back of the house.

Speaker collage

Because Ish is a contractor he was able to get it a little cheaper than consumers. Plus being a friend, he installed everything for just $200. Ben was his helper for the afternoon and assisted him running all the wires and cutting holes in the ceiling.

Ben and Ish enjoying a beer after install

Ben and Ish enjoying a beer after install

Both of us were surprised about how cool it really is and how easy it is to use. We just downloaded the apps on our phones, and can now play our iTunes, Pandora stations, radio stations from around the world, and more (Sirius, Spotify, etc). You can play the same or different music inside or out by the pool. Friends who come over can play from their devices. I really like the “queue” function where we can each add songs to a playlist. Ish was even able to hook up our record player (Ben has started a pretty decent record collection), so we’re now able to play records inside or outside.

The Sonos website says their goal is to “make listening a valued experience again” and it is kind of cheesy but true. We sat up until midnight last night just listening to music, each alternating playing D.J.

We’re looking forward to listening to music a lot more and having some fun parties out by the pool!

Once said pool doesn’t look like this…..

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