Saturday, June 29, 2013

Old Doors=Bye Bye AC Unit

Not that I'd literally want my AC unit to go bye bye, especially now that our June-uary weather has turned into something even people outside of the Pacific Northwest would call summer.

No, I appreciate the function of the air conditioner, I just didn't appreciate the aesthetic.  We're putting a  sitting area at the top of the hillside and I didn't want to showcase a big metal box--lovely as it is.

I found some old doors for sale on Craigslist, doors that came out of a 1910 house that was being demolished.  For $30, they were in great shape, but the old white paint had turned to a jaundiced color that looked pretty sickly against my white house.  I'd wanted to try Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for some time and since they say you need no prep-work or priming, and since I didn't know what type of lead-based layers I was dealing with, it seemed a perfect opportunity.

I chose the color "Duck Egg" and was happy with my choice.  Lyle hung the doors and while it was certainly an improvement, they seemed a bit flat and ho-hum and if you moved too far to the right, you'd still see the AC unit, and I couldn't cheat the doors over because then they wouldn't be centered in the arbor and that would just look weird.

What to do? What to do?  
Back on Craigslist, I found some old sidelights.  Only one still had the frame, but at $10, the price was right.  I'd hang them to the sides of the doors to fill the space better. 
 But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Even without sidelights, the doors were still ho-hum.  So first I tried painting each of the panels black and then stenciling over them.  Lyle came home that day, surveyed my efforts, and gave a look like he wasn't too impressed.  I think I may have sighed and given back a look that said, I spent all day on this.  He then quickly changed his expression and said, "Oh, I'm supposed to like this?  Yes, I love it!"  But the damage was done and I knew his true feelings, and I had to admit, I wasn't sold on it either.  Didn't even take a picture.

Then I painted back over the black, figuring that I could sand down just a scoosh to see a little black and my efforts wouldn't have totally been in vain.  But it still looked too new, too flat.  Then I went over it with a tan wash and that helped.  Somewhat.

I felt determined to still do something with the panels, at least some of the panels, so I bought a 2 dollar piece of lace and a can of white spray paint.

It didn't cover very evenly, especially panel to panel, but sometimes on a project you have to decide that good enough is good enough.  This was one of those times.  I deemed it shabby chic and chose to love it.

I bought a Goodwill mirror that I gave a little "Duck Egg" wash and then I shopped our attic for a container, filled it with dirt, pulled some sedum Angelina out of our front yard and stuffed it inside.

As I looked at it from different angles,

I came to the conclusion that the mirror was way cooler than I'd imagined,

kind of an optical illusion that made it seem like there was hole in the door. 
I wanted a match for the other door, but as I said, I'd found it at Goodwill and there was just one.

I gave myself 5 minutes to find another online.  Just 5 minutes and if I didn't luck out, one mirror was still pretty fantastic.  I went inside, typed "white arched shabby chic mirror" and I kid you not, the FIRST thing that popped up was that exact mirror.  Sadly, it was more expensive than the $4.99 at Goodwill, 
but it felt like fate,
 and who am I to question fate?

Lyle hung the other mirror and today may possibly get to my sidelight windows.

Bye Bye AC Unit.  
You may be cool, but this is cooler.

I'll update once the windows are hung and the seating area's done.


Larry said...

Some interesting things happening here... look forward to the finished product! L

Betsey said...

Truly fantastic!

Monica Ryan said...

So, there you have it, your problem with aesthetic is solved. Although, in my opinion, it’s not as bad to look at. I’ve seen worse, and yours is even too little to get noticed. Monica @ Village Plumbing & Home Services =)

Jim Corrion said...

Monica is right; that AC is too little to devalue the aesthetic of your home – there are definitely way worse. Nevertheless, that’s a cool improvisation you have there. Kudos for keeping both the AC function and house’s curve appeal at the same time. Jim @ C & C