My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

More on Tinker

Hello my friends!

Lately, I have received several emails about Tinker House...

Do the doors really move? Is that a Chandelier inside? Why must you paint?

So, I thought I would try and answer of few of them...
And give you a little bit of insight as to why and how tinker came to be.

Most of you know, we have been renovating our home for over 4 years now!

this is my bedroom just this morning!
 So many doors, windows, stacks of millwork that were still lovely...

but not going back into the house for one reason or another.

I couldn't part with them and wanted to use them...somewhere on the property.
I decided to build a potting shed and use my goodies instead of using new lumber.

I come from a long line of Gramps built walls in our garage from some of these very same doors! Alot of the screws were from his tiny baby food jars that hung in our garage until we tore half of it off and rebuilt!
All but the front two arch glass panels, the antique pocket doors, a few pieces of lumber and two windows came from our homes renovation!
Every piece of millwork we could possibly attach to Tinker...
we attached!
I wanted it all ... or at least as much as I could keep...
at the house it was made for!

Most of it was milled for this house
(the address is handwritten in pencil along with where it's placement was to be  on the back of every board! cool is that?)

For the most part...
I hung every door (sidewalls)...
60% of the windows
and 50% of the trim.
Mr. Bill is working all of the time and well...
someone had to do it!


The doors function! as do the windows directly over my potting bench! They are originally the upstairs windows of my home!
The pocket doors are  also vintage and so Mr. Bill  had to make the mounting hardware...
but they work!

The burlap drapes stay right where they are when the doors open and close!
I do not remove anything!

There is a narrow gap designed just for this purpose!

It has to be painted inside and out because it currently is about 5 different colors on the sides! (That is why I haven't shown them to you!)
the doors are black and aqua...the siding is powder blue and some of the windows are green and yellow! UGH!

In the Spring...

if not before, I am going to whitewash the entire thing on the outside...
letting it distress from that point!


I have not decided!

What would you do?

Yes! I have a chandelier in my potting shed!

I had to...
it just needed one!
Don't you think?

And as far as timing?

I had been saving all of these things in what will be my bedroom.

It is time to get it emptied so that new windows, electrical, heat/air forth and so on could be installed.
I had to use it or lose it!

Now...this may not happen until March!
But I didn't want to be outside in the cold working on it and needed a place to save my plants!

Our new kitchen area is just that now...
(Okay, sort of)
I can't have it filled with plants and such!

So there you have it...
The why's and what nots for Tinker House!

There is a really cute little movie called Robots with Robin Williams.they have a little saying:
See a need....fill a need.

That is just what we did with Tinker. I needed a place to what I do.( And protect my plants.)

I had the stack of stuff..
.jars of doo-dads and well,we made it happen!

It didn't cost hardly anything...just time.
I don't have much of that either but I just had to do it!
Aren't you glad I did?

I cannot even tell you how much I  LOVE and  NEED your comments and encouragement!
I have really been doubting myself lately about every little thing on the house renovation!
No kidding...every little thing!
I just feel better about my projects when you...
my friends, put in your two cents...!
Tell me what you think...
Let me know if I have gotten off track,
And gone down some silly path!

So...if you get a chance...let me know what you would do.
It means the world to me!

Thank you so much for listening...And thank you for being there!
Until next time!

Lately...I have considered deleting my blog...
So Thank you for your encouragment to keep it going!


  1. If I had those materials, and talent, like you, I would have done the same thing! It is just fabulous!! The whole thing! The doors, burlap, especially the roof. And the name is sooo appropriate. Look, please don't ever delete your blog. I am one of so many that gets so much inspiration from you...just keep doing what you are doing. LOVE your blog!
    Becky C

  2. i love the Tinker House everytime you post bout it i go back in time to my playhouse my grandpa built for me, i had electric....roof that didn't leak....2 doors a sink (no running water) windows and lots of mix match wood walls.....oh i had a golf course too he put in for me....ahhh the days and memories

  3. Now Donna if you delete your blog I will just have to have a hissy fit right here on the spot and that would NOT be pretty! I LOVE, ADORE, CHERISH your blog!! You inspire me and I love to see what you are up to. I showed my hubby tinker house the other day and said I WANT ONE! hee hee I now understand why you need to paint her. I too was one that wondered why you would paint her, but it is okay have my permission! HA!! Keep tinkering and sharing PLEASE!!!

  4. Your blog is beautiful so I am glad you have NOT deleted it...and tinker is a DREAM! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  5. I find it totally amazing that you can do all this stuff--I mean actually hanging doors and windows etc. That's awesome! I've never had the ability to do anything like this at all--so I'm a little green with envy.

    I love that you use salvaged wood etc for the Tinker House. It makes it even more special. I can't wait to see it after its painted. I just love the sliding doors and their special hardware.

    Thanks so much for inspiring us all. I think that you have a knack for this sort of thing. And even if you doubt yourself along the way, it will turn out amazing in the end.

    I'm glad you are still blogging. Just keep doing what you are doing, and we will keep reading and cheering you on.

  6. What??? Don't even think about second guessing yourself. I absolutely love your style 100% +!Your colors, photos and subjects - even your fonts are just wonderful. I am a super busy crazy person and do not have a lot of time to spend reading and commenting on blogs - but when I do - I always cruise on over to your place ~ you inspire me. Tinker House is phenominal ~ I wish Icould get my husband to help me out with something like that - he's probably just pull the snowblower in though.

  7. I really really love that house!!! it is wonderful !!! like a dream !! love Ria...

  8. Your shed is beautiful and because of the several different colors then yes I too would paint it, of course my favorite would be white, but we must each do what pleases us the most. A chandelier why of course, I have two in my shed/cottage and one on the back deck. The one on the deck is the prettiest when the snow is falling, I don't know if I can take a picture that would capture how wonderful it looks in the wintertime with the chandelier and the christmas tree lit up at night with a light snowfall. So yes you make your shed pretty as pretty as you want it, and we love to see it.

  9. Tinker is so adorable I could weep.



  10. everything you do just blows me away! sorry to be soooo long responding to your sweet comments. chipping away at the inbox still...

    chat soon.



  11. You know how I feel about even the thought that you'd delete your blog! You can't go by comments. Many people don't take the time to comment...there's just too many peeps they follow.
    I showed your tinker house to my husband again hoping he'd say...ok honey I'll get right on that!!!


  12. Donna, you are so talented! Trust yourself, you have gorgeous, gorgeous taste! I say go with whitewash! XX!

  13. That. Is. Amaaaaazing! Do you have any more pictures of the inside?

  14. Still loving Tinker ~ and waiting for mine ;-) ... someday. Till then I will imagine myself visiting and enjoying your piece of heaven. Hugs ~ Rebecca

  15. Donna I can't say it often enough, your Tinker green house is the most charming and special one I every saw! I even love the different colors it still has! That chandelier is perfect in there, love the bottles, cups and cuttlery hanging from it instead of crystals, it fits your whimsy style so well!
    Don't you ever dare to delete your blog! We need you here and the inspiration that you so generously share with us!

    xoxo~ Carola

  16. I had the cutest comment wrote to you then my computer bombed!

    Anyway I love the shed, the outdoor room what ever you are going to call it. I would say dream outdoor cottage.
    I bet the inside looks good not painted, just put lace curtains over the walls. Can't wait to see it completed.


    ps I am jealous

  17. Donna - Self doubt is really something, isn't it. It can sneak up on us when we least expect it. I know it does with me. And why can we make decisions for our client's likity-split, but for our own homes???? I truly have been there! Whatever you do, please do not delete your blog. You are very inspiring to me and so many others. Slow down, take a deep breath, and repeat after me, "I know what I'm doing and I know what I love. If I give it a little time, the vision will come."
    Chin up, sweetie!

  18. HI Donna ~ I finally have a day off to send out my giveaway gifts ~ I know you sent meyour address earlie butI misplaced , of course. Can you please send it to me again - Thanks Dee

  19. Hello sweet friend! Please don't delete your blog, we love you and LOVE viewing all of your talent as it unfolds!!! This outdoor greenhouse is a prime is INCREDIBLE!!! Seriously, I have always wanted something just like it! I LOVE, love, love it!!! It will look so fabulous white washed. I am dying to take a trip back to IN and see your amazing work at Horton's again...when do you put your Christmas displays up? Maybe I can take a Sat and come and see it :)) You have so many wonderful doors and windows there too.

    Hugs ~

    :) T

  20. Hey Girlie Wirlie
    Love the Tinker...
    Hang in there and trust your instincts, you've got an amazing talent, just do what makes you happy. It's your house, if you end up not liking something you can always change it...
    Love you girl.

  21. Please do NOT delete your blog!! I have you saved in my favorites and it is all so unbelievable that you would comment on my own blog today which I have had my own doubts about lately...but I will get caught up one day.

    Ok - back to this post! This is EXACTLY what I have been after my husband to build for me for almost 15 years! You have now put it into something I can see, not just in my head. I cannot wait for him to see this and hope he will finally get started. I ADORE it!!! Wow! What a fun place to tinker.

    So glad you stopped by. I will be back to see you soon.


  22. Oh my! How dreamy! Your entire blog is just divine. Thank you for finding me! I'm honored to return the favor. Really in awe of everything here and can't wait to browse around some more.

  23. That's it.... I'm moving in! xo

  24. Hi Donna,
    I would paint the inside a washed shade of pale slate blue...kind of like the sky...and how you see those gorgeous blue painted porch ceilings! You have been so patient with all of your day you will look back and say I would not have done it any other way!
    Keep pressing on!
    Your touches make everything beautiful and perfect!

  25. Deleting your blog??? Hey, wait a minute, I JUST GOT HERE. Lovelovelove Tinker house. Can't wait to see the rest <3


Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment!
I love reading them~they truly make my day!
~Donna Reyné