Gaby Kitchen Island

Hello busy busy busy summer!  So much has happened this month.  Between us going to Tucson to visit my Dad for Father's Day, working, training, having birthday parties, planning bridal showers, and being the most dutiful matron of honor to my best friend Brina that I can be, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for building.  But, with some very special new building friends, I am so proud of this new kitchen island we built! Gaby and Andres, two of the kindest people I've ever met, needed an island to add storage and functionality to their kitchen.  Gaby loves all things Restoration Hardware (which automatically means that we are soul mates) and really liked the look of Restoration's Salvaged Wood Kitchen Island.  There were three problems with the island: 1. It's $3000.  Holy crap.  2. It was way too big.  3. They really wanted drawers for additional storage.  So, together we came up with this project plan. One of the best parts of building this island was that Gaby was able to find this stunning reclaimed wood.  We used a mixture of pine and oak for a  "patchwork" look.  We wanted it to feel like someone really took whatever they had to piece it together. Check out this detail on the top from the milling.  You can't fake that! Here's another angle so that you can see how the drawers seamlessly fit in: On a side note, we also had a very helpful assistant, their pup, Africa.  Poor thing pooped out about 5 minutes in.

I had so much fun building with Gaby and her husband, Andres.  Even though this was their first build, within about an hour it felt like we had been building together forever.  I can't wait to have them back to build something else!  (There are talks of a bed in our future...)  But, man, they've gotta whip that dog into shape!  Then again, this is about how much fun Piper has in the garage:

Yeah.  That's a yawn.  She is clearly her father's daughter.

Continue reading "Gaby Kitchen Island"

Simple Sink Console

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!  I hope you all are having a wonderful day, celebrating with family and friends and remembering what is important.  It is also my mom and step-father's anniversary, so Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids.

I love sink consoles.  I think they add so much character to a bathroom while getting rid of that "builder grade" feeling of the built-in.  As with most furniture items from Pottery Barn, I always look at their sink consoles and go: "Wow!  That is so cute!  And, that would be SO easy to build!  Why are they charging $2,000 for that?!"  You guys may remember when I hacked Napoleon a few months back, and since I'm very busy planning our VERY near future bath remodel, I was in a bathroom kind of mood.  So, here you go!  Here are the plans for Pottery Barn's Classic Single Sink Console.

Continue reading "Simple Sink Console"

Ana White Lap Desk

You know... it's been a crazy few months. All of April I was asking myself "where did March go?". And now I feel like I'm asking myself "where did April go?" as well. I've been working like a crazy person until about a week ago. I've seen my colleagues about 10 times more than my husband, and I've started getting texts and facebook messages from my friends saying, "are you still alive?". Last weekend, I literally slept for 2 straight days... my first real weekend off in about 2 months. It was glorious. This last week I only worked 45 hours. It felt like a vacation. What to do with all of this extra time?! I don't want to make it sound like I'm whining or complaining about work... I absolutely love my job. So much that it's been my entire life since my husband and I got back from our vacation back in February. I've just been... tired. Too tired to build. I woke up on Saturday morning so excited to get into the garage and build something... anything. I've had materials for about 3 projects ready to go, I just need to build them. But, I derailed from my building plans to build this lap desk for my best friend, Brina, for her birthday. (You may remember the side tables I built for her a while back.) She's going to nursing school and also carrying 2 jobs... that girl is superwoman. What I love about this design is all of the extra storage inside of the desk. Room for her to keep her extra papers and highlighters both inside the top and also in the side compartments. I modified Ana's design a little bit to use my Kreg Jig and get tighter joints and have less holes to fill. (It's so cute seeing Ana's plans pre-Jig and see how far she's come!) For example, I assembled the sides as entire pieces and then attached them to the center box rather than screwing all of the pieces into the center individually. The best part about this desk? It cost me $0. That's right. Awesome birthday present that she loved for $0. I had the extra set of hinges from another project and used all wood scraps. I also have a collection of spray paint colors that I bought because I really like them, not necessarily because I have a project in mind for them. (The paint color is "hot pink" spray paint by Valspar that I purchased at Lowes. It has 2 coats of paint with a layer of Killz Odorless Spray Primer underneath.) While I felt a little rusty having not built anything for about 2 months, I started building at about 10AM and left my house with the desk in hand at about 5:15. Not too shabby to build and finish the entire piece, huh? For the full project plan, here is the link on Ana's site.

Madison Bedside Table

Well, guys... it's been a while.  And, I'm sorry.  Work has been the most out of control that it's been for me in years.  Lots of late nights, midnight conference calls, and harsh deadlines have been going on at my office to get the latest movie we've been working on out the door.  We have one more big project we're working on right now that's wrapping up, but after that's over I'm really hoping we get a break so that I can do more of what I love... building.  Now that it's spring time I have so many outdoor projects I want to do.  I just need more time to do them!

I want to thank all of you who've stuck with me.  I really do have the most kind and loyal readers that anyone could ask for.  I apologize for not answering your comments, responding to emails, doing all of the things that I'm usually so on top of.  Your patience is appreciated, and I promise I don't take it for granted.

Since I've been so MIA, I wanted the first thing I came back with to be something that was "reader requested".  Special thanks to Jessica for emailing me about expanding the Madison Collection!  Based on the Chelsea Bedside Table by PB Teen, this side table goes great with the Madison Dresser and Platform Bed with Cubby.

Continue reading "Madison Bedside Table"

Bristol Outdoor Loveseat

First off, thank you so much for being patient with me.  I know I've been a little bit absent lately, and I'm going to be honest with you: I just needed a break.  I'm working on 2 big movies right now in addition to several commercials, and maintaining my day job (visual effects) with my night job (old paint design) just got to be too much.  So, to save myself, and my sanity, I took a little break.  But, not to worry.  Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder for this girl, and now it's back to business.  I miss sleep, but I also miss my garage.  The garage will probably win as it usually does.

There are some other fun things that have been happening behind the scenes during my "break"... one of them is the first video to my "getting started" series.  Hooray!  I hope it's helpful for those of you who are excited to build but don't know how to... well... get started.  One thing I learned about myself, though: I am a TERRIBLE actress.  There is a reason that I stay behind the camera.  (Or, in my case, behind the computer.)  It's harder than it looks!  I get all mumbly and nervous and then I curse a lot from being mumbly and nervous which doesn't help the situation.  Lets just say that there were a lot of takes.  I have faith I will get better as the videos continue.   I'm also prepping a little "about me" section which should also go up soon.  It's so easy to write about building but so daunting to write about myself.  In other words, lots of growing pains and new things coming up for the blog in the near future.  So, don't think I've forgotten about you guys.

Anyway, we are almost wrapped up on the Bristol collection!  While I have been building several of the pieces (posts here and here), there are a few that I don't necessarily need... but you might.  So, I wanted to post plans just in case some of you need an outdoor love seat based on Restoration Hardware's Belvedere Sofa.  The plan is sized to fit the cushions from Restoration Hardware, but for this plan you could easily modify it to fit whatever size you choose.  (Keep in mind that the cushions slide underneath the arms, so make sure you get one that's wide enough if you choose a different size.)  Enjoy!

Continue reading "Bristol Outdoor Loveseat"

Bristol Outdoor Side Table

Don't you just love it when a project turns out exactly how you want it to?  That's how I feel about this side table.  The entire build took me less than 2 hours, and that's including planing all of the lumber.  Super quick, super easy, super modern... why would anyone pay $625 + shipping for the Belvedere Side Table from Restoration when you can build it for about $25? For my side table, I used cedar, and the wood was just so beautiful that I left it unfinished.  Since cedar is naturally bug and rot resistant, this table will last for many years without any paint or sealant.  Hopefully my mom will enjoy quite a few cocktails on this side table while lounging on her patio in her Bristol Lounge Chairs! Continue reading "Bristol Outdoor Side Table"

Bristol Lounge Chairs

This is about to get embarrassing. So, remember when you were a teenager and you had a crazy fan crush? For me, it was Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet. While most of my friends were drooling over the middle brother from Hanson, I was the weird kid that watched R+J on VHS almost every single day. (For those of you born after 1995, a VHS tape was a bulky contraption that had tape in it that would play your movie. You had to rewind it. We also had to blow on the cartridges of our video games to get the dust out so we could play them. Ah, the early 90s.) Anyway, there is a reason why I'm mentioning my years of braces and pom poms. Even though I'm all grown up, I still have a fan crush. But now it's on Ana White. And everyone who knows me knows about it. The conversation usually starts with me talking to anyone who will listen about whatever she's posted that day, and then they say: "Who is Ana White?" and I go, "Only the BIGGEST building blogger EVER! She's amazing. She's building a duplex in Alaska right now. Like, with her own hands. Building it." and then I get a "Woa, that's crazy." to which I say: "No, that's AWESOME." You guys understand. So, when Ana contacted me about possibly collaborating on a few things, I was elated. Here was the lady who taught me how to build, now asking me if I maybe wanted to build with her. (Heck yes!) I had promised my mom that I would build her some outdoor chairs for her birthday... which was last June... oops. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to make good on my promise and finally build them for her. The design is based on Restoration Hardware's Belvedere Lounge Chair. I got the cushions on final sale from Restoration ($100 off per cushion + free shipping) and the wood is cedar. In order to save some money, I purchased rough cedar from my local lumber yard and ran it through my planer at home. I've found that if you buy rough, it is half the price of milled cedar or redwood. Here's a quick look at the back to get the full view: Head on over to Ana White for the full project plans!

Bristol Outdoor Coffee Table

Some of you may have noticed that I've been a little slow responding to my comments and that I'm not posting as frequently this week.  That's because... I'm in Disney World!  Woo hoo!

I'm sure that many of you wouldn't exactly consider Disney World to be a relaxing, romantic vacation with your spouse (and no kids), but Brad and I love it.  We both went to film school at Chapman University which is only a few miles away from Disneyland, and we have been annual pass holders ever since.  (It's pretty fun when you have a few hours in between classes and can hop over to Disney for a quick ride on Space Mountain.)  We still go to Disneyland every few weeks on a random Sunday night for a few hours at a time.  In fact, we love Disney so much that we even got engaged next to the Rivers of America.  Yeah, we're those people. We've been having a blast.  So far, we've hit the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot on the Disney end of our trip.  Believe it or not, there really is an "adult" way to enjoy the parks.  In Epcot, we spent the afternoon drinking around the world.  Strawberry margarita in Mexico, pear cider in England, sake in Japan, red wine in France... you get the drift.  The husband and I shared the drinks.  (If we didn't we may not have been able to walk to the next country...)  He did take one for the team with the Glacier Shot in Norway.  I took a sip and couldn't handle it.  When we purchased it, the cast member said "If you can drink it without making a face, you're a true Norwegian."  I failed that test miserably. We also took a day to hit up Hogwarts at Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

If you're visiting, definitely grab a Butter Beer.  It's a must.  (And, unlike the previous day, completely non-alcoholic!)  It tastes a lot like if you mixed root beer and butterscotch together.  Yum.

Anyway, enough vacation pictures.  Lets get down to business.

This coffee table is the beginning of a rather large outdoor collection that I'm working on based on Restoration Hardware's Belvedere Collection.  I'm building several of the pieces, and I will post plans for even more so that you can have a full set.  I love this collection because it's really easy to build and inexpensive.  (This coffee table can be built for under $50!)

One thing to mention as you're going into building outdoor furniture: you should really consider using redwood or cedar.  If you're painting, cheap-o pine will do the trick, but if you're staining or leaving it natural you're going to want something naturally bug and rot resistant.  One way that I've found to save costs when it comes to outdoor wood is to purchase it rough.  I own a bench top planer, and that thing has definitely saved me quite a bit of money in lumber costs by being able to plane my wood at home.

I know that it's still snowing where quite a few of you live, and the groundhog did see his shadow this year, but in LA it's almost time for spring.  And, you know what that means!  Lots of fun outdoor entertaining!  I need to get you guys prepared.  So, enjoy the coffee table!  Lots more to come!

Continue reading "Bristol Outdoor Coffee Table"

Madison Dresser

We all have favorites.  Lets not even pretend like we don't.  And this dresser is my favorite piece I've ever made.  Ever.  Even better than Napoleon who was the reigning champion for a really long time.  Did you ever make something and then stare at it for hours on end thinking "Holy crap.  I actually made that!"?  Yeah, that's been me for the past few days over this dresser.  Even the husband is super impressed.  He's told me several times that it's "the best thing I've ever built", and I totally believe him. This dresser was not easy.  Or quick.  It was incredibly challenging, and I'd like to consider myself to be a pretty proficient builder.  It took me a total of 6 1/2 days to make it, start to finish.  So, go into this warned: If you decide to build Madison for yourself, she will consume your soul for a long time.  This is not a weekend build, friends.  This is a please-let-me-out-of-work-early-so-I-can-keep-working-on-my-dresser build. In order to make this a little easier for you guys to build, I've included some "helpful hints" and additional pictures in the project plan to help you ensure accurate placement.  When I build, I can usually hear myself saying things in my head like, "meh, that looks like about a 1/4".  Good enough."  Not with this project.  To make this plan work, numbers have to be exact or else you're going to have some really weird drawers.  But, trust me, it's SO worth it. Lets go into some details, shall we? First off, I have a mild obsession with hardware.  I feel that it's the jewelry of a piece - kind of like back splash in a kitchen.  So, I splurged a little bit for Madison.  (She's such a pretty girl, I couldn't resist.)  I used Anthropology's Gardening Indoors knobs in Aqua, to give it that extra "bling" that it needed. I couldn't find the perfect "slightly" antique white that I wanted, so I actually hand painted this piece.  Let me just say, I never do that.  But this was an an exception.  (Man, I really need to invest in a good paint sprayer.)  Anyway, I finished with two coats of Valspar's Polar White in semi-gloss, purchased at Lowes.  I also primed with Killz Odorless Spray Primer. I tried a new technique with the drawers this time.  Instead of using actual drawer slides, I used 1x2 boards that sit on top of each other and slide.  After using it for a few days, it's been working out just fine!  If you want to use actual drawer slides instead, just build your drawers a bit wider, Making them 27 1/8" wide to accommodate your slides. I figure that I should also explain the artwork sitting on the dresser in the opening shot since all you can see is a dude getting eaten by a shark.  Yikes.  It's a limited edition print by one of my favorite artists, Shag, called "Watson and the Shark".  It was my 1st anniversary gift from my husband.  (First anniversary = paper.  Such a smart boy.) Oh, yeah, and then there's Hooter.  (Anyone get the Captain EO reference?  Even though their Hooter is an elephant...)  I'm going through a pretty serious owl phase right now, and when I spotted him at West Elm on sale a few weeks ago I knew he had to be mine.  I went in for shower curtains, and I came out with Hooter.  Isn't that always how it goes? I'll give you guys a few more detail shots when I get into the moulding in the building plan.  Without further adieu, here are the project plans for the Madison Dresser based on PB Teen's Chelsea Wide Dresser. Continue reading "Madison Dresser"

Madison Bed Cubby

Do you guys ever just feel like there aren't enough hours in the day?  Or, like you need just one more weekend day to get everything done that you wanted to?  That's how I'm feeling right about now.  My husband and I are going out of town next week for our first vacation since our honeymoon, which feels like a really long time even though it was only a year and a half ago.  I feel like I'm trying to push two weeks into one to get everything done.  But, I'm so excited to take a much needed life break next week.  It's hard to relax at home when there's work emails that are coming through every minute and a garage that's constantly calling my name and a voice in the back of my mind telling me I need to get my butt back in the gym and a kitchen that doesn't clean itself and... you guys know what I'm talking about.  Sometimes you just have to leave everything behind and go to Disney World for a week. Anyway, back to business.  I really hope one of you guys builds this bed.  It's just so unexpectedly different and full of storage.  I love it.  Maybe I can talk someone into letting me build it for them... I posted the plans for the platform section of the bed last week, and here is the follow up for the cubby.  Just for fun, here's another view of the back to see the immense amount of storage in this thing. One important thing to note before starting this plan is that you should make sure that your 1x12s are exactly 11 1/2" wide.  This plan is very dependent on standardized board sizes, and if your boards run 11 1/4" wide or smaller, please make note of it and modify accordingly.  Enjoy! Continue reading "Madison Bed Cubby"