Playroom Progress :: The Shelf

It’s been a while since I mentioned the playroom! We’ve been using and enjoying it, but it’s not finished. The piano still stands. BUT, there is progress! The Shelf that I’ve long waited to rescue is now out of the rat building—I mean the red building.

This gem was part of the stash of old goodies that came with the house when we bought it 10 years ago. Along with some old windows and other random architectural pieces, it was stored away in a shed in the backyard.

In the shot below (from 2008), you can see it back in the corner. In addition to it being hard to get to, it’s also been a high-rise rat condo for many years, which, of course, has made it easy to procrastinate its revival. Harper has serious issues with mice, rats, or anything that resembles them, so he has had no interest in my ideas for anything in that building–unless it involved blindly throwing rat poison inside.

I had made my plans clear to replace the piano with the unique shelf ever since we started the playroom, but I don’t like to nag. I think it was the stacks of toys with no home in there that finally inspired him to help me pull it from its smelly resting place.

As soon as we got it out, he looked at me and said, “You’re going to get rid of it, right?”

Nope. Not getting rid of it.

My goal was to just get rid of the rat smell before bringing it into our house. Amazingly, even though the stench inside the building is overwhelming, the top board is the only part that I can smell, and that was immediately after removing it from the building. It’s been airing out under our carport for over a week now, so we’ll see if that has helped. If not, it should be pretty easy to replace one board before I paint it.

I love imagining the past life of old treasures like this. I think it might have been used for nesting boxes in the red building. Before that–maybe in the Schmid Brothers Building/Savital Grocery, which is now the Ant Street Inn. (This house belonged to the Schmid family.) Anyway, it’s fun to think about its history.

There are lots of long nails protruding, formerly used to hang or display who-knows-what.

I love the pointed scallops (is there a word for that style?). And the tapered shape of the shelf with its deeper base makes it more interesting.

This shot really shows how nasty that top shelf is. Sorry. I know it’s gross. I’ve rejuvenated lots of old barn-stored furniture in the past, but that top shelf is the worst one I’ve attempted. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I know it’s going to be worth the effort!

–Natalie

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