Creating a cozy hearth for the family
Jaclyn Kennison is a freelance writer living and playing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She owns and manages an art gallery and event venue between fits of shopping and redecorating.
In case you hadn’t noticed from previous posts, I am a bit of a tree hugger. Not just in my shopping and traveling choices, but in my most basic design ideas. I just love trees.
This week’s idea was inspired by an artist that brought some of his stunning work to the gallery. Over the years, this sweet old gentleman has collected a variety of interesting branches, dead roots and stumps during hikes through the beautiful Black Hills. When the piece pictured below came down the stairs, I was thrilled.
While for him this piece is a display for the jewelry he wants to sell in our gallery, it inspired me to adapt the same concept for my home.
The idea here is to create a visually pleasing place to store jewelry. In a big enough bathroom, a small tree would work nicely, I think. For smaller spaces, it may be preferable to mount a small branch to the wall.
If you have the room for it and would like to try the tree concept, I would start by selecting a slender, sturdy branch. Oak works well because it is a strong wood and the branches are numerous. In the case of oak, I would strip the piece of its bark and seal it with an appropriate and eco-friendly oil. Sink the branch into a pot sized to accommodate the branch and fill with small stones or concrete. Hempcrete is an excellent choice as well; it's light, strong and sustainable. Place on a counter and hang your necklaces and bracelets either from the branches or from small nails hammered into the branches.
In my space, because it is so small, a branch would have to be mounted to a wall. In this case, I would choose one that is of a manageable size and trim the branches on one side so the piece is relatively flat. When mounting it to the wall, you have a couple of choices. Bore a hole the size of the branch base through a small block of wood and mount the block to the wall. Alternatively, you could re-purpose wire or plumbing brackets. Half-round pieces of metal with tabs on either side for mounting to the wall may work well. Even a strong screw twisted directly through the branch and into the wall would do the job. Again, hang your jewelry from the branches themselves or tack small nails into the arms of the branch and hang your items from them.
This project is an easy way to utilize a fallen branch in a way that not only adds an eclectic and artistic quality to your bathroom, but also provides storage that is pleasing to the eye.