Farmhouse Table: In Progress

Pssst! Family & Friends – Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our Open House party!

Happy Sunday guys! I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend so far. Ryan and I have had a pretty balanced work-rest-play weekend and for that I am very grateful. Slowly, but surely we are figure out how this “normal” life things works 🙂

If you are friends with me on Facebook and Instagram, you may already know we have started working on a new dining room table! I mentioned a few weeks ago (here) that we picked up some cherry wood from my grandparents in Cullman. Well, the wood spent the first few weeks just hanging out by the front door.


Just a normal scene at the Saffell house. Last weekend, we sold our dining room set on Craig’s list so we could get started on the new farmhouse table. We decided to use an Ana White plan to build the farmhouse table, only instead of using new material we reused old 2x4s studs (from our house of course) and the cherry wood.  You can see the plan for the table here.

With the dining room empty, we laid out the boards to get a feel for the size. We had envisioned from the get-go that the table would be roughly 4 feet wide and 8 feet long, large enough to comfortably seat 8 to 10 people.


We opted to keep the table 8 feet long, but adjusted the width to 42″ wide instead of 48″ for a few reasons. The first reason is to help trim off part of the wood that has some serious cupping and warping issues. The wood has been sitting in my Papa’s barn for a good long while, so it is not perfect by any means. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE IT, but it’s just not perfect. Anyways, the second reasons is to create a more comfortable walk way on both sides of the table. You would be surprised what a difference 6 inches makes!

I have to say that pretty much all the work has been done by Ryan, so he gets the credit for this one! Be sure to pat him on the back next time you seen him. Part of his “Furlough Fridays” have been spent working on this little project! He started by building the X-frame bases per the instructions.


Ryan assembled this part of the base upstairs in our workshop/master bedroom, and we assembled the rest of the base downstairs in the dining room. I am not going to even try to break down building it step by step because Ana White does it for you! And better than I would.

This is the only part I have actually helped with thus far: Connecting the two bases together!


Next, we cut a piece of 3/4″ plywood the same size as the finished top (42″ x 96″) and assembled the cherry pieces on top. Side note – we sanded the cherry before this step! We used an 80 grit sandpaper with our hand held sander as the first round. We are going to come back again with a finer grit later.


The picture above was during our sitting-height-table-test. Slightly taller chairs would be more comfortable, so I am currently bargain hunting for those.

We secured the cherry to the plywood using 1 5/8″ wood screws from underneath the table. This also helped pullout some of the minor cupping and twisting. On the top, we decided to add some decorative wrought iron nails. We decided on these from House of Antique Hardware because we loved the look and the price was right.

Can you image having to actually forge your own nails?!?!?! I am so thankful I can just buy these because I think they look awesome!!


I love the contrast of the black iron with the cherry wood. Next up is a little more sanding, wrapping the edges in some sort of trim, and putting a finish on the wood. We are leaning towards just using Boiled Linseed Oil with lacquer, but not positive.

Another exciting thing this week – FABRIC SAMPLES!


A little Happy Birthday to me – I have ordered fabric to make Roman Shades! Something similar to this DIY version here or here. So Pumped!

Has anyone ever tried an Ana White plan before? This is our first attempt. So far so good! What did you guys do this weekend? Any fabric samples happy dances? No? Just me. Oh okay…. *fabric dork*

Peace. Brittney


Saturday Happenings: Fall Garden and a cherry tree

Happy Tuesday folks! I hope you had a nice weekend and that Monday wasn’t too painful. Ryan and I had a nice productive and fun weekend! We spent Saturday morning gathering supplies for a late-summer/fall garden. SUPER PUMPED! I have been pestering Ryan for weeks about getting the ball rolling with the garden. I have also been telling Ryan that when I grow up I want to be a hippy and grow my own food and make my own soap and wear tie-dye everyday just because I can. Step 1 to becoming a hippy when I grow up: Growing vegetables.


Why is it that dirt looks so much bigger IN THE BAG?! Anyone else feel that way? Anyways, for the vegetable garden, we decided to use two parts top soil and one part vegetable/flower gardening mix, so it wasn’t too expensive. We actually have really great dirt in our area, but since we have fur babies (who love all things dirt) we opted to build a raised bed instead of tilling up part of the yard. Let’s all cross our fingers that they keep out!

We did take advantage of a small section of our yard that was already tilled up thanks to our awesome neighbor. He moved an entire stack of bricks one day just because and tilled up the dirt where the bricks used to be. It is also in the corner of the yard that the dogs seem to show no interest in. Of course, after Ryan and I pulled weeds and mixed in the gardening soil, the dogs started to take notice of the never-been-napped-in-dirt-pile.


Seriously, Bella?! SERIOUSLY?!?! Thankfully once Bella approved of the garden’s softness and napping capabilities, she moved back to the more exciting part of the yard, you know, with squirrels and people on bicycles.


A few weeks ago Ryan built our 4′ x 12′ raised bed out of cedar fence pickets and our fence scraps, similar to this bed here. Originally we planned on using a gardening fabric on the bottom to help block weeds, but a friend of ours (Hey Courtney!) recommended using a tarp instead. Seeing that her garden looks pretty awesome and we already had an extra, already dirty tarp, we went with that method.


We just used a utility knife to cut the tarp to size and used the portion of the tarp we cut off to cover the rest of the bed.


With the tarp in place, it was dirt time! About forty bags of soil later….


TA-DA! Raised garden bed! We decided to plant vegetables that require less room in the raised bed and save the larger vegetable plants (SQUASH) in the other bed. Our raised bed features sugar snap peas, kale, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. The other bed has butternut squash (YUM! My favorite) and zucchini. Let’s hope we can end my black thumb of death streak this year! I may or may not have prayed over the vegetable seeds…

Thn, we spent the afternoon in Cullman, Alabama with my parents. Of course, we had to visit my favorite store Southern Accents!  Part of our visit to Cullman was to my grandparents (Hey Grandma!) farm and pick up this awesome stuff:

Cherry_dining-room-tableCHERRY! It is wood for the top of our dining room table! Years ago my grandpa had to cut down a wild cherry tree on his land. When he cut it down, he had all of the wood milled, and then it sat in the barn for over ten years collecting dust.  Until last Saturday that is! We took five 12″ wide, between 10′ and 12′ long wild cherry planks home with us to use for a new dining room table. I love getting to use family stuff! I am sappy, but I think it just makes things extra special when there is a story to it.

Before heading back to Huntsville, we swung by Southern Accents Alley Party. There was live music and good food all in a fun, funky atmosphere! Who does’t like free fun? You can check out their facebook page for more pictures!



Anyone working on a fall garden? Any tips for the gardening newbie? I will gladly take any advice. Most of my family has farmed or gardened is some form or fashion so I SHOULD have the capabilities to do this. What did you guys do this weekend? I would love to hear.


Nail Gun Love: Framing & House updates

Happy Christmas Eve! Let me introduce you to latest member of the Saffell family.


This is our latest purchase in the tool department. We have only had it about two weeks, but I can already tell you it is making life so much easier! Everything is SO MUCH FASTER with this bad boy. Ryan has thoroughly enjoyed breaking it in the past few weeks.


Our carpenter is currently out of commission because he cut his hand while working at another job. Does it worry anyone else that our carpenter cut his hand on a saw?! Well, with him out of work for a week or two, Ryan and I have been taking care of a few more framing and carpentry tasks ourselves. One was framing the master bedroom closet.

Master-closet-framed master-closet

Finishing the closet also required sistering some of the wall studs so they sat correctly on the new header below. Hopefully the arrows in the photo help explain what I mean.


Of course once we were finished, Supervisor Bella had to come and inspect our work.


Thankfully she passed our work! In all seriousness, we are very happy to have the electrical, HVAC, and gas rough in inspection all taken care of! Such a relief to have three inspections out of the way! We CANNOT wait to start insulating and closing up walls!! We still have to pass our plumbing inspection, which is set for Wednesday (day after Christmas) and our building inspection. Fingers crossed those both go well!!

The other day I mentioned briefly that Ryan dug a trench for the electricians to run power to the house. What I did not include is a photo of his hard work.


If you are thinking, “That sure looks like a lot of work,” you would be right! Ryan was such a trooper and did it by himself while I was out Christmas shopping with my grandmother and cousins. He made sure to let me know at every chance how sore he was. 🙂

Another few new additions to our house include a new back door…..


which is 36″ wide instead of 30″ like our other exterior doors. Hopefully no more squeezing in appliances or furniture like we had to with the stove!

We also have a new electrical panel…



and it is in our dining room. *Womp womp* It was the best location for us to easily access it without it taking up storage space in my pantry. We thought about putting it in our guest bedroom, but we figured if the power goes off and we are upstairs in our bedroom, the less we would have to fumble in the dark the better! So dining room it is. I really did not want to give up storage space in my lovely walk in pantry. An electrical panel would totally kill my walk-in pantry dreams! Here is a few pictures I am using for inspiration for the pantry.


pantry 2

*Sigh, wipe drool* I cannot wait! Back to the electrical panel. I plan on hiding it behind some sort of hinged picture frame or mirror so it is not an eye sore. I will be honest and say the panel is a little larger than I was anticipating, but Ryan is pretty excited about the giant electrical panel.

Another thing Ryan is excited about is our surround system in the living room. My Dad is putting in for us as a house-warming gift. What an awesome Dad, right?!


While it is a nice gift for us, I think it is just as much for Dad 🙂 Heaven forbid we invite my parents over for a movie and not have surround sound!! Haha. My Dad is kind of techy, so his standards for TV watching are a little higher than mine, ya know, the “artsy-fartsy” type! 🙂

Well that’s a wrap for today. There is more to share, but I need to start cooking and wrap a few more gifts! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Be safe traveling! And a little bit more nail gun love. It is not only handy for framing, but Christmas crafts as well!


Peace and Blessings.


House Progress: Whole lot of random updates!

A lot has happened this past month. HVAC is 95% done. Plumbing is 75% done. We even made a few plumbing related purchases.

Apparently you have to have bath tubs installed to pass the rough in inspection. Who knew?! (not us!) Our carpenter has also framed most of the master bathroom. Take a peak at our walk in shower.

It is LARGE and awesome…er….will be awesome….one day. Anywho, the back porch is complete DONE!

Like, done, DONE, done, yo. Staining it will have to wait until the spring, but we are happy to have it completed for now. True story – as soon as the back porch was finished, we started moving stuff from the inside to the outside. Our game feels like a constant game of shuffle board sometimes! We have piles of lumbar, scraps, and salvage materials everywhere. While moving supplies from inside to outside we found more…

Vinyl in the dining room. Bummer! I almost forgot I had more to scrape! I am also now able to scrape the rest of the wallpaper in the bedroom downstairs. Oh, joy!

I realized after about 10 minutes of scraping wallpaper that I had lost all of my hard earned scraping muscles! Not cool. My muscles screamed even more when I started scraping the final section of the dining room ceiling wallpaper.

All done! With daylight at a premium now with day light savings (which I HATE by the way, HATE!) we have started scalloping the fence. It looks great!

Isn’t Ryan doing a great job? I give credit to Ryan because all I am doing is tracing the curve while he is doing all of the actual sawing and cutting. Props go to Ryan. We also put up some really awesome porch railings….

Classy, right? Oh yes. Actually, we do have real gates, just not at the porch yet 🙂

You know what is classier than our fancy gate? The new spot for our old refrigerator.

Why, yes, that is a refrigerator in our yard. We moved it out of our small shed to make room for Ryan’s tool chest we finally got out of storage. The fridge has now joined two large piles of scraps, a toilet, chain link fence remnants, and an abundance of leaves. I am expecting that yard of the month sign any day now!

While we are on the subject of kitchen appliances, we made one of our first fun purchases: a new range! We took advantage of a Veteran’s Day sale at Lowe’s to snag our new gas stove.

One thing I haven’t probably told you during our remodeling adventure is that ALL of our exterior doors are only 30″ – 32″ wide. The standard for exterior doors now is 36″ wide, so you can fit things,…stoves through them. Do you see where this is going?

The box is 29 1/2″ wide. Our door way is 30″ wide. It WILL fit. Ryan just had to remove the screen door.

Hold our breath…

and TA-DA, praise God from who all blessings flow, the range is in the building! Yay! *Insert huge sigh of relief from yours truly*

Lastly, we have made progress replacing the rotten floor joists in the pantry (what used to be the kitchen). The entire sub-floor and joist under the bathroom were rotten (image that?) so took on the task of replacing them.

Very quickly we realized the exterior of the bathroom/pantry wall and the exterior of the kitchen wall (what used to be an exterior wall) were no where close to level.

The floor is about 1 1/4″ out of level. Ryan will be talking to our carpenter about solutions this week, hopefully one that doesn’t involve a step into the pantry. We will see!

There you have it. A quick covering of what has been happening at our house. What you are guys up to? Can you BELIEVE Thanksgiving is next week? Crazy town!



Adventures in Wallpaper Removal: The Steamer Method

While hammering out the final things with the bank (PRAISE THE LORD), we have been trucking right along with removing wallpaper. I mentioned using a paint scraper and wallpaper removal spray here,  here and here. It has worked GREAT for areas with just glue and residue left, but it doesn’t even touch the layers upon layers of wallpaper on the ceiling.

Gross. I am sick of looking at the nasty wallpaper on my beloved bead board ceilings. I am pretty passionate about my bead board ceilings. Just ask Ryan. I just love them, and I am SO excited we are able to keep them! Back to scrapping wallpaper…

Like I said, the paint scraper and spray just aren’t cut out to handle multiple layers of wallpaper.

You read that right. FOUR layers of wallpaper ON THE CEILING and those were under ceiling tiles! People are crazy.

I did a little research and decided to take a stab at using a steamer (thanks Wes for the suggestion, too!). My mom was nice enough to let me borrow hers. She did ask that I keep it clean, ha! I just chuckled and said I would try my best to not destroy it 🙂

In order to actually reach the ceiling, I have to put the steamer on top of a ladder. I was really nervous at first the steamer would just topple over gushing bowling water and steam everywhere, but thankfully it held steady. The first thirty minutes it went pretty well. I would run the steamer over a 2 to 3 foot area several times (about 3 or 4), put the steamer on pause, and scrape the wallpaper with a 1″ blade. It definitely helped, but it wasn’t as magical as I had hoped for. I was really hoping the wallpaper would just fall off on its own. A lot of what I read led to me to believe it would just come right off, but I found myself still have to use a lot of force to scrape. It was progress, but not magic.

Then, the steamer started POURING out water from the sides. Picture me on a step stool yelling for Ryan while attempting to turn off and remove a VERY HOT steamer off a ladder to the floor without getting burned by bowling water. Yea. Thankfully Ryan ran in and rescued me from the demon possessed steamer. It was probably pretty funny to watch. You should have been there. We then quickly cleaned up our lovely puddle of hot water.

Not cool steamer. Not cool. I am still not sure what exactly went wrong, but I decided to give the steamer another shot, only this time, Ryan joined in on the fun.

He looks excited, huh?? It turns out that this method of removing wallpaper works a lot better with two people instead of one. Ryan would run the steamer over a two foot(ish) area until it was soaked, and I would come right behind him and scrape it off. It would just peel right off! HALLELUJAH!!

We moved out way around the entire dining room ceiling.

It was our experience that the wallpaper came of a lot easier with two people working (one steamer and one scraper), by HEAVILY soaking a small area, and just being patient. I also encourage wearing gloves because 1) wallpaper is gross and 2) steam is hot. I probably didn’t need to tell you that, but just in case, now you know.

After about four hours of scrapping wallpaper on Saturday, we removed about two-thirds of the wallpaper in the dining room. Can I get a *Woot Woot* for that?

We scrapped until my shoulders cramped. No joke.

Yuck! It is a messy job. Are you in love with my bead board ceilings yet? Ignore the fact they are Army green. They WILL be pretty, I promise! Now we just have the living room left….

Awesome. *Sigh* Hurray for progress though! We got a lot done on Saturday. Ryan even said it was worth scrapping all the wallpaper. Yea!

What did you guys do this weekend? Any work around the house or just enjoying the beautiful fall weather? I love your comments!

Thanks for reading!