Let’s be real. I would totally build a wall just for sconces in my house. But, that’s not what this post is about, and I haven’t reached that level of crazy just yet. Excuse the non-traditional post, but this ended up being a pretty cool project, and I think it could be modified for use in a house in some great ways, which is why I wanted to share!
We’ve been restoring lighting on commission for Madison Street Salvage, which is the Salvage Store run by the historical society in town, Franklin Heritage. We’ve been having a lot of fun, restoring lighting, helping other people find great pieces for their restorations, supporting the preservation efforts of Franklin Heritage, and being able to make a few extra dollars to help with our renovation of our house. It’s a win-win.
Madison Street Salvage has been in their new building for several months now – a restored bakery in town. It’s pretty great.
A little backstory : in 2008, Franklin was hit with the big Midwestern Floods. This was when we lived in Jackson Street (not even a year yet!), and while we were lucky, it was still pretty surreal. This is the view from our house in 2008.
Our house sat up a few feet from ground level, which saved our downstairs. Our basement filled from bottom to top – this is what you saw when you opened the basement door. It truly couldn’t have been more water, or our floors on the first floor would have been ruined.
But seriously, we were lucky. On the other side of town, entire neighborhoods had to be demolished after the flooding was so severe. And that’s how Franklin Heritage came to start a Salvage Store.
Madison Street Salvage’s foundations began when volunteers from Franklin Heritage, Inc., the non-profit 501c3 historic preservation group that owns and operates Madison Street Salvage, salvaged homes that were destroyed in the 2008 flood that devastated many parts of Franklin, IN. These homes were forced to be demolished by federal regulations, with complete neighborhoods being wiped out. The city of Franklin generously offered to let Franklin Heritage, Inc. use a street department warehouse to store these architectural items.
So many historic homes had to come down, which is terrible, but at least many parts and features of those homes could be saved. That brings us to today!
The store has a great place for hanging lighting, including a few pieces we’ve worked on :
But, sadly, sconces and smaller flushmounts just sat on tables. There was no great way to display them, and Danny Causey, the proprietor of the Salvage Shop, and I wanted to change that, by building a wall that could showcase the lights, and be accessed from behind. Doug and I volunteered to build it.
We brainstormed some things, and Danny drew this sketch. Three pegboard panels, hinged together, with a “ceiling” for flushmounts.
We started with panel one, which required drilling into brick.
We built a frame out of 2x4s, and then attached pegboard paneling to the front.
And then, used hinges to attach the panel to the wall.
Two to go.
The next two went way faster since we had already made one. The plan is for each panel to hinge together, so the whole wall can move in and out to access electrical in the back. This will allow the fixtures to be lit, but be able to be put up and taken down for customers easily.
Each panel has wheels, which is AWESOME in theory, but not totally great in execution – because the old concrete floors are really sloped. But they kind of work. In some spots.
Panel number two!
Before we installed panels two and three, we decided to build one of the top ceiling pieces, to make sure it would all work. This involved building a smaller frame, and attaching it to the lower wall panel.
Then, we made angled cross pieces, and added those for more stability.
We opted to hinge panels two and three together, or the ground before installation, which was much easier than it would have been to do this step in the air.
Three panels, up!
When they are out, there is plenty of room to access behind the panels. This is where outlet strips will go, and fasteners to hold the sconces in place.
Three panels, with three top pieces. It was late at this point, so it’s pretty dark – I’m sorry for the grainy pictures!
Since it was late, that first night, we just hung a few things to make sure it all worked.
And now, a couple of weeks later, it’s much more filled out, and really shines!
Now, it looks like a legit historic lighting department. Hooray!
I wasn’t initially planning on making this into a blog post, but as we were working on it, it’s so simple, and I thought of so many ways it could be modified, so I wanted to share. For us, I could see us adding panels like this in the basement, to cover the walls with small entrances to the crawl spaces. The crawl space storage could still be accessed, but the peg board in front could be used to hang tools or supplies. In a craft room, you could replace a closet door with something like this, to store ribbons and scissors, and whatever, and make a whole wall system. Same thing for an office. I want to use this idea in my classroom, using pegboard to make percussion instruments easily organized and accessible. My friend Adam Noel built a pegboard wall that’s AMAZING for his band room in California! It’s like “Field Of Dreams.” If you build it, they will come. If you build an organized percussion section, your percussionists will become organized overnight! Right?
I could see taking this a step further, and using the pegboard to swing out like we did, to access even more storage, or a bookshelf, or a cabinet, behind.
Have you ever seen Julia Child’s kitchen? It’s in the Smithsonian. Her kitchen has a fabulous amount of pegboard storage…. and again, what would happen if this could swing out, and reveal a pantry, or even a floor-to-ceiling 3″ deep spice rack behind it?
So many possibilities! So, that’s why I wanted to share. Take it, and make it yours!