Renovating a stairwell? Looking to replace an old, dated railing, but custom metal fabricating isn’t an option?Â How about copper plumbing pipe?Â This whole rail and support materials are found at big box home stores like Lowes or Home Depot. We used 1″ diameter pipe and In these photos, the copper was “aged” with 2 shades of a faux patina found in art stores.Â Seal with buffed beeswax and then you’re done.Â Make sure you mount at least 2 of your supports to a stud for stability. All parts cost about $60.
I needed an outdoor table that was lightweight and didn’t need repainting every 2 years like all my others. Modern Outdoor, DWR, even West Elm didn’t have quite what I was looking for. I’m in Home Depot and as I turn the corner in the plumbing section, there it is…gleaming galvanized metal.
It’s a stand for a water heater tank, but it was my new outdoor table…for $19.99.Â I’ve had it 4 years and it looks as good as new – takes the weather like a champ, is easy to move around and has a nice amount of table top space to use as either a coffee table or a side table.Â Loft livers might like this indoors as well and the smooth table top surface is good for kids arts and crafts too – just hose off the paints!Â Get a couple more and you can group 3 together as a long coffee table for appetizers on the deck.
I’ve always dreamed of owning a Nakashima table….maybe when I win the lottery.Â In the meantime, I’ll settle for a tiny knock-off found at none other than TJ Maxx.Â One of my better fashion bargain stops is slowly becoming a real contender in home decor.Â Most urban areas have one and it’s worth sifting through the piles of ugly floral plates to find something like this.Â It adds the rustic touch to a modern setting without screaming “log cabin”.Â It doesn’t have the elegantly honed legs that a real one would have, but for $35 vs. $3,500…I can live with that.Â If $295-$350 sounds like a deal to you, then Pearl River has a nice option.
Another strategy is to buy a slab top from someone like Newton Woods and adding your own legs.Â For example, the piece below is currently selling for $249 – plus shipping. I have also seen slab tops on e-bay for a wide range of prices – many affordable.Â Classic mid century turned legs or retro metal hairpin legs would make your table a showstopper.
Not even close. Porcelain. That beautiful rare Congolese wood is now the inspiration for a new range of tile from Porcelanosa in Spain.Â Now I know what you’re thinking…”Ew, fake wenge – it must look terrible…” I too have a snobby bias against one material masquerading as another, but this seems to be the exception.Â The tile is called “stick wenge” and has a matte finish.Â I’ve attached a photo from their website as well as one where it is used as a backsplash in a kitchen.Â The company also makes a bamboo series which is shown on the contrasting lighter colored wall of the kitchen.Â Expo design centers sell it, but if you don’t live in a city that has one, the Porcelanosa site can help you find a distributor.Â How much?Â $6.50 sf.Â Yep, that’s right.Â Bargain.Â I’ve posted more photos of the kitchen here.