A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Workbench, now Sideboard

Finally, and as promised, here is my grandfather’s wonderful workbench in its new role as our dining room sideboard.


When we initially moved it inside, I wasn’t quite sure I liked it and my heart sank. I was hoping it just needed some balance with other things. I moved a large plant near it, added some others along with extra dining chairs and a torchiere lamp from the breakfast room that we never used. I could never find the right spot for that lamp but it seems to fit pretty well here. All that seemed to do the trick.

My grandfather kept an old board across the leg braces to use as a bottom shelf, but it wasn’t secured to the bench and didn’t fill the bottom.


I wanted to use the bottom area to store liquor bottles, but it would be too easy for a bottle or more to fall off the back of the existing shelf.

Then I had the brilliant idea to reuse the beadboard that I insisted on salvaging from the cottage remodel (yes, that’s still going on and I should post an update on that). The bathroom was originally the porch when the cottage was first built, and we found the beadboard after tearing out the bathroom ceiling. It was painted on one side and peeling a bit so it was going to be tossed but I knew I could find a good use for it someday.

The opposite side was fine though and just needed a good cleaning. We sorted through the best pieces, notched the front and back boards around the workbench legs, and simply fitted the tongue and groove of the boards together. It’s solid, sturdy and matches the patina of the workbench. Love it!



Up on top, the recess at the back of workbench was the perfect setting for my Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer vignette at Christmastime.


There’s one other little thing that I want to do with the bench, and I haven’t yet decided what to hang now that I have wall space. More on that once it’s complete!

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