Remember The Potting Bench?

Well, here she is in all her glory. She's spent time on the porch, at another house in another state, where I found her at a consignment shop and used her in the kitchen to hold pots and pans. And now she's got a white paint job and is!

Some of you are probably saying: "But she already has a coffee station/bar in the kitchen." And you'd be right. I certainly do. And now I have two. I already had the little Cuisinart coffee pot. It wanted to come out of hiding.

When you start moving and shifting things about, you often get left with a dilemma. A lone piece of furniture with no where to go. I wasn't putting it outside, the round table under the window. Although that's where it spent it's first life. 

You see, when I moved to Tyler in 2005, that table was a green outdoor table that was apparently so ugly they didn't even bother to move it to their next destination. So I was left with it. 

I of course painted it red. And brought it indoors for its second round.

Well, hi there, Charlie Ross. How is it you finally got in a photo that Abi didn't?

So now you're probably wondering, if you haven't already deemed me a bit eccentric, am I doing with two tables in the dining room, another coffee station or hot chocolate bar if you wish, and a bunch of gardening books and magazines?

I've always said, make your space anything your heart desires it to be. Don't follow rules. There are no rules. If your mother gave you rules about what to place in a room, throw that all out right now. 

I remember when my girls were little, and there were various neighbors that had "formal living rooms." You remember those. They had formal-type furniture and collected dust. Rarely used. What a waste, I remember thinking.

You are looking at my farmhouse-inspired, garden reading and planning, coffee drinking...bistro. I don't have to go out among the noisy crowds with a sore ankle. I have my own right here. With things I truly love: books, coffee, and quiet.

You're probably saying now: "I've never heard of such a thing."

Well, you have now. 

What do gardeners do in winter? Avid gardeners. They drool over seed catalogs and plan garden spaces in notebooks. They scan their books and magazines, trying to decide next spring and summer's landscape. So now I can just pour a cup of coffee and sit down and plan.

That is the bistro sign I found at Target for a whopping $1.78. I guess that kind of got me thinking along these lines. The buffet, or sideboard, whatever you choose to call it, will serve as a place for desserts. What's coffee without something sweet on a cold afternoon?

I don't have anything written on the chalkboard yet. Target didn't have chalk. 

The vegetable-inspired dessert plates came from the same consignment shop in Texas where I got the potting bench. 

So what did I spend on this redecorated and renamed room? 

I purchased a painting at a junk shop which is now the chalk board. It actually had a painting of Tulsa's famous Swan Lake. But it had a lot of pastel tones, so I wouldn't have used it anyway. And there were two, so it's not as though someone who loves Swan Lake can't go buy the other one. 

It was $20, and on sale. I got it for $16. I bought a can of yellow-gold spray paint, which was under $4, and I already had the chalk board paint. 

So that would be around $45. If you count the fittings for the mason jar lights.

I purchased this little lamp for $19.99. I looked and looked for a lamp shade to go on one I'd painted white, but came up empty. I already had every thing else.

I had a couple of paintings that are bistro-ish. Brought them from Texas. I didn't get a photo of the one on the other side of the opening to the living room, but it's the famous cat photo that matches this one.

There's no electronic device in the world that I'd trade for my gardening books I've collected over time.

And if you happened to miss the post where I showed my new mason jar pendant lights, here they are again. That little project cost me less than $5. I just needed some plastic fittings.

I imagine eccentricity runs in my blood line. I'm not exactly the type to just connect the dots.

When you somehow end up with two tables and no place to put one, it doesn't have to go to the curb. Just like the potting bench didn't have to stay outside. Just like the round table, left behind when its owners moved, didn't have to remain a cheap ugly outdoor table.

Now I've got some decoupaging to do in the office. It never stops. My mind just keeps on conceiving new ideas these day. Pretty soon I'll run out of projects. I'm due for a dry spell.

If you're ever around these parts, come in and join me in this oddly named and rather strangely created room. You can have any seat in the house.

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  1. I love what you did and I look at it this way. It is your house and you can do anything you want to. Your house looks so pretty and inviting.

  2. I love your 'bistro' space, and I'd love to visit it, too! It's funny-at my shop yesterday a customer and I were talking about how there are no decorating 'rules' anymore; that you can just mix and match different styles, eras, etc.
    It definitely makes for a unique, interesting home! I'd rather have that any day than boring and conventional :)

  3. Love that little coffee space and the whole room for that matter! :-) I am off now to read about that mason jar light, must look into that! Thanks for sharing hun and have a blessed day! :-)

  4. I really like how you repurposed the potting bench into a Bistro coffee center! Eveything does look so cozy and bright and happy!

  5. Hi Brenda! No body does cute like you do. I love it and you're potting bench looks wonderful. I love the little red coffee maker too. I'm glad you're happy - your room makes me happy. Could I make a suggestion? I think some little red and white checked or black and white checked ruffled valances would be just perfect on your windows! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  6. I love the little Bistro room. I can just see people sitting there chatting and having coffee with you! You never cease to amaze me, you're always coming up with something so cute.

  7. Bravo and well done, indeed. What a great idea to use your potting table for a drink station - even for just the holidays it makes perfect sense. I wonder how crowded my kitchen would feel if I moved the table over and tried it? My wheels are a churning, I think it is an excellent idea.

    More than anything I am glad your space makes you happy - you could use a little more happy. Hugs.

  8. I love how colorful everything is Brenda, it looks super cozy. I think Charlie Ross approves of the new coffee station as he,s checking it out pretty thoroughly lol. I agree with you about putting whatever furniture your heart desires into any room. I have an antique dresser and mirror in my dining room and I love it there! Keep the projects coming Brenda, you're giving me some great ideas.

  9. Brenda, you are fortunate to have acquired so many nice pieces of furniture.. They go so well with your style/idea of decorating..
    I think what you've done with your dining room looks like a little "tea room" with coffee on the side.. Everything looks like it belongs in the space that it's in. It is so colorful and inviting..
    Charlie Ross looks like he's looking for a cookie or a treat of some kind.. Bless his little "boy" heart.
    I really like what you did with your potting bench.. Are you sure you're going to want to put it back outside in the Spring ? I don't think I would want to do that.
    Have a cozy week..
    Charlotte in Virginia

  10. Well, I love it! No matter what you call it! it looks as happy as you "sound" talking about it. I hope you spend many wonderful hours in this unique, wonderful space.

  11. Love the potting bench inside and you've styled it so beautifully!

  12. I love outdoor pieces inside Brenda. I have a patio table for a coffee table.

  13. the other day you told us to look for a hint and I'd guessed I want to come :) It would make a nice morning visit :)

  14. I love your kitchen red accents! The potting bench makes a great coffee station!

  15. That is perfectly darling and what fun to have everything close by!!! Company will love it too!

  16. This room looks so welcoming, and I hope we'll see it in Country Sampler someday. I can't wait to see what you'll do in this room for Christmas and other seasons. A few years ago we started using rooms in different ways. For instance, we use the largest, or "master" bedroom as the office/craft room, and sleep in a smaller bedroom. A smaller bedroom just can't hold the computer, my husband's drafting table, bookshelves, copy machine, and so on. So I agree -- use your rooms as they suit you best.

  17. Brenda, you rock! That's the cosy-ist, cutest little multifunctional room I have ever seen. Bright and cheerful, so darling. And those die for.

    What's the scoop on the mag? I keep reading bits and pieces.


  18. You create the cheeriest and coziest ambiance, Brenda!! I was just thinking how fun it would be to sit at one of your cute tables and chat over coffee.
    Mary Alice

  19. Love it, Brenda! It is so cheery! I somehow doubt that you will every run out of ideas! I'll look forward to each and every one.

  20. I think it is wonderfully inviting!
    xo Kris

  21. What a smart thing to have done! I love it! I agree with the principle behind it and the beautiful results. If eccentric means knowing your true needs and following them then be glad to be eccentric.

  22. I love it! It really is like your own little bistro.... And, that potting bench looks as if it were made to be a coffee bar.... fabulous! :) I agree with the folks above - I can't imagine you running out of great ideas!

  23. I don't drink coffee, but I would love to drop by to chat.

    Love the white with red tablecloth on the round table.

  24. I personally think that all of Brenda's readers who live around or in Tulsa should all show up for a tea/coffee party. What do you all think? Our own private Bistro!!


  25. I would love to join you right there, Brenda. I would feel so at ease and at home-comfortable and easy. I love my gardening books, too. I just can't bear to part with them. xo Diana

  26. It looks gorgeous, Brenda! So warm and cheerful and inviting! Love the things you transform too....always so inspiring!
    Helen x

  27. Great repurpose for your potting bench, Brenda! I'm loving the mason jar light, too!

  28. One more thing -- I love the glimpse of your personally decorated kitchen cabinets through the doorway.

  29. My potting bench is my favorite "furniture" to decorate. I think it's an inspired idea to bring yours inside, and it looks great!

  30. I love the acquired look of your new bistro. What a charming place to have coffee with a friend and dream of spring. Just beautiful!

  31. I love all of the red in your rooms! If you get in a dry spell with your decorating, you can work on my house! I would love to know what you would think up for our tiny home!

  32. I love how you repurposed your potting bench! The blue and white cups mixed with the red is beautiful!!
    The whole room is a great idea!!!

  33. Love seeing little Charlie Ross checking the new arrangement out. It looks great, Brenda.

  34. Love, love, love it!!! and I agree that some books do NOT need to be electronic! (most of them, for that matter)

  35. I love how you always make it perfect for you and so pretty too. Hugs, Marty

  36. THis is very cute (of course)! A suggestion: make a skirt attached with tension rods for the bottom to cover up your necessaries. This whole room looks heavenly to me!

  37. I love it! But I love your style, so I'm not surprised. You make your house work for YOU, which is key. Keep on keepin' on!! :)

  38. I love your style. Of all the styles I see in blog land, yours is the one I like most. There is just something so homey and cozy about your place, it looks so comfortable and inviting. Your blog name is so apt!

  39. I love your style. Of all the styles I see in blog land, yours is the one I like most. There is just something so homey and cozy about your place, it looks so comfortable and inviting. Your blog name is so apt!

  40. I like Judy's idea of us all showing up at your Bistro for coffee, how fun! I think this is such a great room...I could move right in. I like to blog at my kitchen table, I tease everyone that this little spot is "my office". It's nice to have a place for everything. Does that window look out at your garden? That would be the icing on the cake while you looked through your gardening books and catalogs!

    I left you a comment on your last post after getting caught up with all that I've missed. Blogs are falling off my Reading List and I have to Re-follow blogs all the time. I contacted Blogger and some twit told me I couldn't follow over 300 blogs. Why would they randomly cut blogs off my list? And they still show up as blogs I follow in my settings. I went through and deleted a lot of blogs that I don't go to anymore, etc. I really don't know what else to do do. Sometimes I'm lying awake at night and I think, "I haven't heard from so and so for so long." and sure enough, I fell off their follower list. People must think I'm just rude.

    Anyway, let's carry on. Have a good week and go back to read my comment. I'm here for you.

  41. Your bistro room is charming and looks so comfortable. I, too, love to have my books nearby for quick perusal when I need a little inspiration. And, I second Scribbler's suggestion for a little skirt for the potting bench--maybe made out of red and white gingham!

  42. Love it Brenda..It makes me feel as though I know you...Your house makes a statement for sure..Love the red too..

  43. If you can have two coffee stations instead of one, you have them! Every nook and cranny is creatively cute and cozy! The problem is where to sit, what view to take in and what specialty coffee to sip, as the choices are many and marvelous!!

    I don't live in the same state, country or continent as you, my friend, but there is always Skype, and if that's how I can join in Judy's soiree, then so be it - wouldn't want to miss all that caffeine induced conversation! ;-D


  44. Such lovely pictures the potting bench and the canning jar lights are great.

  45. Brenda, your 'Bistro' is perfect for reading any and all books, gardening or not. How cozy it is; a condensed version of a library/lounge bookstore!

  46. Hi Brenda, I love your darling Bistro space and the red is gorgeous. It is so inviting and cozy. Wonderful repurpose of your potting bench.
    How sweet your little pup is checking it all out. too cute!

  47. Hi Brenda - I just love your Bistro/coffee room. It's so warm and inviting - would love to come by for a "cuppa", but it would be quite a jaunt from Massachusetts!!!! I agree with the suggestions of little black and white valences on the windows and a cute gingham skirt on the new coffee station....I enjoy all your ideas so much and love your little "red" house - my favorite color....Every day I look forward to seeing what your're up to.....

  48. I am glad you would put IN Your HOUSE what you love
    Keep up the good work great blog

  49. I love your little bistro. My dining room was turned into one on Saturday. We were able to seat 16! I'll have to post a picture. J

  50. Well Brenda I just love your Bistro/reading room. I would so enjoy coming over for a cup and conversation! But I live far away so will enjoy all your beautiful pictures as I sit with my own cup of coffee and drool over your gorgeous re-de. You always have such beautiful pictures to share. Thank you for the view!

  51. HI Brenda
    OMG, I l.o.v.e. your coffee bar! The burst of red color in your kitchen is so welcoming! I'll be right over!


I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!


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Author Bio

Brenda has been writing since grade school. She majored in professional writing/journalism in college, where she won awards for her feature writing. She loves to decorate, garden, enjoy nature, read and spend time with her Yorkies.


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