A Handyman Is Handy Around the House

After converting a dairy barn into a commercial tearoom and shops, which was a huge project in itself, we set out to convert our shops into a barn home. Seventeen years later we are still finishing projects. While I am the decorator and furniture restorer, my husband must tackle the carpentry, plumbing and wiring. This last winter he finished two projects that have added welcome finishing touches to our kitchen.

My husband made a cash register counter out of some of the salvaged barn boards from the initial restoration. When that main floor shop became our kitchen and great room, we used the heavy counter as a kitchen island with open shelves in the back covered with a linen curtain. Using purchased bead board paneling, Butch created two rustic doors for the island and stained them to match the weathered barn board. Now all it needs is another coat of polyurethane on the top to cover wear from years of use.

The second-floor tearoom of our shops had a 3-compartment dish washing sink and a double prep sink. We loved these deep stainless steel sinks for their versatility and durability. Although there is a porcelain double sink in the main kitchen I use as the new prep sink, the double stainless steel sink was brought downstairs and put in an annex just off the kitchen between the kitchen and laundry room. Now we use it for dish washing and it holds the largest pots and pans and canning equipment I own. However the steel legs of the sinks were exposed until Butch made a barn-board cupboard to fit under the sinks to match the wood in the dishwashing annex.

Having a handy husband is a blessing!

Kitchen Island Doors

Kitchen Island Doors

Dish Washing Sink Cabinet of Rustic Barn Board

Dish Washing Sink Cabinet of Rustic Barn Board


About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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