Entryway Bench from Re-purposed Hutch

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For over 6 months I’ve had the top half of a hutch sitting in my entryway, collecting clutter and dust, welcoming sets of keys, cups of coffee and the occasional knick-knack from the children as this busy family constantly goes in and out of the door. The complete hutch was purchased last summer at a yard sale for a whomping $10.  The bottom half acts as additional storage in the kitchen and anxiously awaits some much needed TLC. Here you can see the hutch top, sitting just inside our door with a nice pile of clutter atop it just before the entryway and hallway were redone:

Hutch Top

The hutch top literally sat here for 6+ months and collected clutter

When I decided it was time to redo the entryway/hallway with a board and batten applied to the walls it meant the hutch top needed to move out of the way for incoming paint rollers, drop cloths, strips of plywood and air compressor for the tools. More on that transformation later…

So the hutch moved from the area beside the door to the opposite end of the hallway, smack in the middle of the house. It sat here for a couple of weeks before the idea hit me. My search for an entryway bench had come up empty and here was this perfect piece of furniture begging to be used. My idea was to cut the top in half horizontally and turn the top portion into a bench while the decorative bottom portion would be “re-purposed” for another project. Out the door it went, to the garage where it became familiar with the power tools.

Here’s a close-up of the hutch top:

IMG_0338

Doorless Hutch Top

Doorless Hutch Top – Sorry for the blurriness

 

The doors were removed and a few cuts were made. After some adjustments and some measuring, we had  the beginnings of a bench.  Sorry, I forgot to snap shots of it during this phase.

The wood finish got covered in glossy black spray paint with a couple coats of clear for protection.  A shelf was added about 11″ down from the top to allow for baskets to eventually be added to hold shoes, toys and the like.  The last thing the bench needed was a padded seat. A quick visit to the local thrift store fabric shop produces two options for upholstery.

Thrift Store Fabric Finds

For the cushion portion, we opted to use a piece of particle board cut to the size of the top of the bench and a portion of an old memory foam mattress cut to size.

Foam & Particle Board Cut to Size

Yes, the foam looks disgusting – but the dark stains are actually some of the black spray paint that it was sitting on

After cutting the material slightly bigger than the cushion/board combo, I stapled the material all the way around to secure it tightly in place. The completed cushion was placed atop the bench and screws were used to hold it in place.

Cushion Assembly

For roughly $15 and a couple hours of time, we now have an entryway bench that will see a lot of use

Finished Entryway BenchFinished Entryway Bench


Lemony Chicken Breast w/ Rice

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chicken-rice-ay-1875585-l Courtesy of All You magazine (May 2008)
Prep: 10 min.
Cook: 3 hrs
Serves: 4
Cost per serving: $2.25

Ingredients –

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
4 cups canned, low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cupss long grain rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions –

1)  Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Scrape into slow cooker.

2)  Sprinkle chicken with salt. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter in skillet over medium-high heat until foaming. Add chicken breast halves and cook until browned, about 2 minutes perside.  Transfer to slow cooker.

3)  Add 1 cup brother and lemon juice to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan.  Add to slow cooker along with remaining broth, rice and 1 tsp. salt. Stir, cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, 2-3 hours.

4)  Remove chicken, stir parsley into rice and season with salt and pepper. Divide rice onto 4 plates and top each with a piece of chicken; serve immediately.

Nutritional Info-

534 cal.; 15g fat (8g Sat.), 54mg Chol., 2g fiber, 20g Pro, 80g carb., 323mg sodium


Lilacs

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One of my most favorite things about spring is the fact that it’s when Lilacs bloom.  These are my most favorite flowers of all time.  Today I was able to take some pics of them:

Lilac Bud

Lilac Bunch

Shaded Lilac