Few things give off that instant “old” charm like old windows — they’re great hung on a wall as decor, and they’re a great material to repurpose into another piece of furniture for a rustic vibe. Our lovely friend Karen is back again today (remember her from this and this and this?) to share her latest work: this coffee bar/buffet from old windows and reclaimed wood.
Read below for Karen’s tutorial to build your own, and if you don’t need a buffet/console table like this, don’t let that stop you! You could also make a potting bench
or a smaller TV console
or think UP a little bit and make a great walll storage cabinet, great for a bathroom or wherever you need a bit more storage and some great reclaimed style!
Now, read all about how Karen turned a pile of scraps into a great coffee bar for her home:
Build A Coffee Bar or Buffet from Old Windows and Reclaimed Wood
by Karen from The Weekend Country Girl
Hello from Coldspring, Texas. My name is Karen and I am a weekend country girl. During the week my husband and I live and work in a Houston suburb but as soon as we can on Friday, we head out to our country home on 15 acres. For the last six months we have been busy updating a 1980’s ranch home on our property that we call Providence Acres. So far we have removed the carpet throughout the house, installed vinyl plank flooring, put in a mudroom wall, built a Murphy Bed that allowed for a guest bedroom to double as a craft room, and whitewashed our fireplace.
Our latest project is a coffee bar that has the added bonus of serving as a display space. My kids love coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea. I like it all too, but I really love the idea of having everything that our guests need set up away from the kitchen when breakfast/ evening meal prep is underway.
We have just the spot in our home for a coffee bar in the area where our front room and kitchen connect. I am a girl that loves reclaimed wood. I hoard it and try to put it to use whenever I can. I like reclaimed wood so much that I brought our stash of reclaimed cedar planks with us when we moved and paid for a storage unit until we settled on Providence Acres. I also have a thing for old windows. I currently have a stash of old window that I purchased last winter at an epic garage sale for $2.00 each.
We used two windows from our stash and let the windows determine the size of the cabinet. We laid out the windows on the floor and built the frame around them. The vintage windows are large and heavy and with them hung horizontally, the cabinet will still be slightly taller than counter height. The length of the bar is 90 inches. It is 12 inches wide and made from inch thick cedar planks out of my stash. We really do like our reclaimed wood.
The next step was building the interior skeleton for the reclaimed wood to be attached to. We had enough reclaimed wood but a mistake in measuring meant we needed two new 2×4’s.
We got a new “toy” recently…a planer. Oh my goodness my husband, Mr. Math, got a good deal on Craig’s List but I was skeptical about how much we would use a planer. I did not know how much I would love it. It makes all my mismatched thicknesses of reclaimed wood play nice with each other and knocks the sanding down to just finish sanding in minutes. We planed two 12 inch wide by 8 foot long planks for the top and sides. Any time you work with reclaimed wood and supplies it means you have to do a lot of trial and error. It feels sort of like we are playing a game of Tetris when we are at the assembly stage.
We attached the windows with outdoor gate hinges and used black iron handles for a couple of reasons; the windows are stinkin’ heavy so they needed substantial hinges and I liked how the black looked against the white and reclaimed cedar.
Mr. Math figured out exactly where to put the shelf inside the cabinet so that it lines up with the horizontal bar of the window.
The cabinet was attached to the wall with L brackets in order to keep it from tipping over but the back was left open and a space was built into the top so that I could get to the electrical outlets for coffee pots, crock pots, electric kettles or whatever I want to use on the counter space.
The coffee bar is going to serve a lot of purposes when we have a crowd. Having 90 inches of serving space that is close to, but not in the kitchen will be great.
I am going to love this piece for years to come. It is narrow and provides room for easy movement around the space and it provides me 7 and a half feet of additional counter surface. An added bonus is that it looks like it belongs in our ranch house. Be still my heart.
The house is coming along. I am proud of the progress we are making as we make Providence Acres which will be our forever home in a few years. We are not lacking in projects.
Karen, thank you so much for sharing with us! I love what you’re doing with the place.