Renovating the Triangle T Ranch
How to Create Roped-Off Floating Shelves
If you want to add a little ranch-style texture and charm to ordinary floating shelves, it's pretty simple. First, decide what thickness of rope is the right size for your shelves. When you're finished, the shelves should appear to be hanging from the rope, so be sure it doesn't look too skinny! (My shelves were over 10 feet long, so I used rope that was more than 1 inch thick.)
Next, using a drill and a hole saw that is just a little larger than your rope, drill 2 holes in each shelf at equal distance from the outside edges and 1 to 2 inches in from the front edge. The holes in the shelves should line up directly over each other. Then, screw 2 large metal hooks into the ceiling, directly above the new holes. Knot one length of rope on each hook, and then thread it down through the holes in the shelves, knotting it once under each shelf.
After the last shelf has a knot underneath, trim the rope and secure the knot with a little clear epoxy or glue. Your standard floating shelves now have rustic charm! Giddy up!
How to Create a Reception Table
If you're going to be receiving guests into your home, or if you're hosting a gathering outside your home, consider setting up a self-serve refreshment table. It's an easy way to make sure your visitors are refreshed, and it can be the perfect way to introduce your party to its new arrivals.
First, find a location that's near the entrance and easy to get to but that won't create a traffic jam if people gather there. Next, decide what to serve. Your items should reflect the event: hot chocolate for winter parties, lemonade for summer. (When in doubt, do something simple -- you can't go wrong with the classics.) Also provide a few finger foods, but nothing that requires more than one hand and one bite to eat. You don't want guests juggling that glass of lemonade they just poured right onto your floor.
Then, arrange all of the refreshments on a pretty tablecloth, add any necessary glasses, mugs, etc., and finish off your vignette with a bouquet of flowers in an unexpected vase, like the brass spittoon I used at the Triangle T Ranch. (Also, remember to put out a basket or trash can so crumpled napkins don't litter your table tops.) And that's it! Stand back and watch your guests serve themselves.
How to Create Rustic Baseboards
It doesn't get any easier or cost-effective than this. If you like the rustic look of raw wood, consider using planks of unfinished redwood or pine instead of typical fiberboard for baseboards, crown and trim. You can find it for a steal at the hardware store or lumber yard. (Note: The less finished the board, the more potential for splinters. So, think twice if you have little ones in the house.)
Simply install the board as you would any other type of trim, with a circular saw to cut it to length and a nail gun to attach it in place OR tell your contractor to do it. The material is so affordable, and it adds an instant rustic feel to the architecture of any room, feeling a lot richer on the eye than on your wallet.