A few weekends ago, we did a little home renovation that had a big impact, adding a reclaimed wood frame to our giant map and some shelves to an awkward alcove on the side of our fireplace.

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This is how the alcove looked first. It was an awkward space that was left after tearing down the wall to open the kitchen into the living room. There were some pipes in the wall that had to stay, so we were forced to build this little drywall box to hide them. We weren’t sure what to do with it.


We thought about trying to find a painting to fit there but it was such a long shape. Eventually we decided to make it a small bookshelf space, and I’m so glad we did. It’s now the perfect spot for cookbooks, right next to the kitchen.

I wanted a rustic look so we visited a local store that has a huge selection of reclaimed wood.

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That is $100 of wood taken off of an old barn in North Carolina. I realize that in most parts of the world, paying a lot of money for old wood seems ridiculous. But this is California. We don’t have old barns here.


We pressure-washed the wood and the kids helped us sand it down.


Making the map frame was really easy – we just screwed the wood right into the wall. I think the frame made a huge difference in the way the room looks, and dresses up the map to look less like a poster and more like a piece of art. The map is still uncovered so we can continue to add pins to the place we visit.

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For about $100 and a couple hours on a Saturday, I think a little reclaimed wood went a long way.

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