Driftwood can help turn a space into an oasis
If you are a regular reader of my columns, you may have noticed that I like to incorporate elements of nature into my decor. But nothing in my house is more natural than the bedposts I created from driftwood from Lake Erie.
I already mentioned that designer Birgitte De Paepe (@zebodeko on Instagram) is a big inspiration to me. Each room she designs is an enchanting creation, deeply rooted in nature and finished with a bohemian charm. But what really stands out are the rooms she creates, designed time and time again with new variations of rattan, dried palm leaves, and – my favorite – driftwood.
Its whole vibe exudes careless living in a rustic French seaside villa, and this was one I knew I wanted to recreate.
OK, so Lake Erie isn’t exactly “the seaside” and Cuyahoga Falls isn’t particularly close to the lake anyway (let alone France). But that didn’t stop me from wandering the shore with my sister on a cold day last spring to see what I could find.
I had heard that Wendy Park in Cleveland, near Edgewater Park, had some great driftwood pickings. It certainly did not disappoint. I have been back there several times, and each time the driftwood has been plentiful, arranged in piles piled up towards the left side of the small beach.
Although this beach is normally relatively uncrowded, I have to warn you that the birds seem to like it. And the driftwood isn’t the only thing washing up on the left side of the beach – the pungent smell of the fish gives a taste of what you can find there. Not really “enchanting”.
But while avoiding the carcasses of goose poo and sea creatures, I came across some incredible pieces of driftwood, some nearly 7 feet tall with their own twists and notches that made them unique. They were perfect for my project.
My sister and I carried the giant pieces of driftwood to the beach as the cold wind whipped us back and forth and shoved them into my SUV, where they barely fit – it was probably quite an entertaining sight for all. those who have seen us.
The driftwood sat in my garage for a few months as I thought about the next steps. Most blogs will tell you to boil the wood or let it soak in a bleach bath for a few days, but I couldn’t think of a container large enough to soak them.
I might have been able to put one end in a trash can full of water and bleach for a few days and then turn them over, but my mom’s friend, who makes amazing driftwood furniture, me advised to water them, rub them with bleach several times and let them dry in the sun. Now I can’t say if this is particularly the right thing to do – all I can say is that after doing this and applying a few generous coats of polyurethane to each piece of driftwood, I don’t Haven’t had any issues with unwanted smells or bugs.
Figuring out how exactly to attach each piece to my bed frame and stand up was my biggest challenge. I tried all kinds of makeshift bases, but the wood was too soft to hold a fastener at the bottom. In desperation, I tried to explain my predicament to a Home Depot employee, who basically gave a sympathetic shrug to the driftwood bitch.
After weeks of trial and error, I finally landed on a solution: put each piece of driftwood in a slat in my pallet bed frame, secure the bottom with heavy string, and secure the top with a transparent cord attached to a screw in the ceiling. (It would probably work great with any bed frame; I don’t think the slats were necessary.)
It wasn’t exactly easy to accomplish, and it took time (and frustration), but it was worth it. I tied one end of the cord near the top of each piece of driftwood, making sure it was under some kind of notch so it wouldn’t slip over it. Then I inserted a toggle bolt (or screw in areas with a joist) into the ceiling until it was about flush. Finally, I tied the other end of the cord to the end of the screw, making sure it was tight and secure before I finished screwing it in.
And There you go ! After months of planning, I had my charming, nature-inspired bedroom oasis. We may not be by the sea, but my room is now quite close – and the work and creativity that went into it makes it so much better.
Email your questions to Theresa “Tess” Bennett at [email protected] and follow Tess on Instagram @homewithtess