Living in a small home and having a lack of space for essentials is a challenge. It requires creativity and proper planning on our part to maximize functionality and to make sure no space is being wasted. I had been growing, harvesting, and drying a large amount of herbs from my garden and I wanted to create a space to honor their beauty that in its essence, was simply “storage”. As for every project here at Allendale, budget is also a major factor. Like I said before, it is challenging, but the beauty of it all is creating something totally customized and unique to us.
The first design issue we needed to work around was covering our well, all the while keeping it accessible for maintenance. You are probably wondering reading this, so yes, our well is located inside of our house! Here’s a before photo of the space when we moved in January, 2014:
It wasn’t long before my husband tore this space apart and built a large work surface for me. I started to learn that canning and preserving bounties from the garden required more work surface area than I ever thought as a beginner.
Above is a photo of what became only a temporary solution. You can see my dried herbs in mason jars in the one corner and a large work surface in front. Another round of upgrading came a year later as I continued growing even more of my own herbs and vegetables.
Gathering materials over a period of time is how we always begin the building/planning process. It’s great if you have a barn, or even a yard and a tarp to store useable materials you gathered for free over a period of time. (Think old windows, barn beams, roofing, stone, cement tiles, etc.! They will eventually come in handy when you need to DIY.) For this project we used rough cut wood and also foraged dead tress out back from the woods for the supports. If you do the same, just remember to leave the trunks on a porch or in a garage to dry out. You don't want to bring in wood that is inhabited by bugs!
In just about a week we were able to complete the whole project from start to finish. Here is the new apothecary in all its rustic charm! So far it has been functioning just as I had imagined, with a gigantic workspace and storage shelves to the ceiling. I hope this latest DIY from us inspires you to DIY your way through your next project!