Well... this is embarrassing. I've literally been working on these side tables on and off for 2 months. They were supposed to be for my friend Argie's birthday... in November. (We have almost the same birthday, mine is the 6th and hers is the 8th. Cute, right?) Anyway, the problem was definitely not the building. That was about an afternoon. It was the finishing. How come the finishing always seems to take 10 times longer than the actual building? And is 10 times less fun? Anyway, there is a TON of edge banding on these suckers, and it took me a while to get the stain right. I used 2 coats of Dark Walnut Gel Stain by Varathane, and then one coat of Minwax Jacobean on top to get it a bit darker. (Which I like to pronounce as Jacko-bean much to the annoyance of my husband. It's so much more fun than ja-co-be-an, though, isn't it?) On top of that, there are three coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly for superior protection and shine. BTW, this is my first time with wipe on poly, and I must say, it is an amazing product for this lazy girl. You literally just... wipe it on. Genius.
Anyway, lets move on to the fun stuff. Like how awesome these bedside tables turned out! I modeled them after PB Teen's Booknook Bedside Tables, which is such a fun design. (After staring at these tables for so long, it kinda looks like ET with the big head. But in a cute way...) I love all of the extra open storage at the bottom. It's segmented for better organization.
I'm also a sucker for hardware, and these bedside tables are no exception. Anthropologie was having a 50% off sale on a lot of their knobs, and I picked these up for half off. (score!) Hardware is definitely the "bling" of any furniture, and with Argie meaning "Silver" in Greek, I had to get serious about the bling.
The other great thing about these side tables is that it uses exactly a half piece of plywood. So, if you're making 2 to match, it works out kinda perfect. Anyway, enjoy!
So, I'm sitting in my office at about 10PM last night looking up West Elm furniture that I could build, and I find these super awesome Alto Bar Stools. I'm calculating how much they would cost to build, and I'm coming up with about $10 worth of lumber. That's right - $10. Irresistible. So, I ichat the link of the bar stools to my husband, and here's how the conversation goes:
"Hons, do you think I could talk anyone into taking bar stools if I build them?"
"Probably. Why? Are you building bar stools?"
"I'm thinking about it."
"What about the side tables that you're building in the garage?"
"Meh, I can do them both."
"What about the media center on the other side of the garage? And your mom's outdoor chairs?"
"Yeah... I probably should finish those first, huh?"
So, I'm banned from building anything else until I finish at least one of those projects. I just really really really hate finishing, that's my problem. Especially staining, which is what I've been taking my sweet time on. And these bar stools are just so easy, you could build one in less than a few hours. Since I can't get a house elf that loves to sand and stain, I didn't want to hold the plans back for any of you. So, enjoy!
Continue reading "Soprano Bar Stool"
With the holidays just behind us, I spent a lot of time trying to get gift ideas from Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids. I rarely ever look at those sites since I don't have kids, but now I just can't stop. Their stuff is just so cute. And now I'm dying to build a play kitchen. Seriously - where is my little girl who lives close to me that I can spoil rotten and build a play kitchen? There have been quite a few builders that have posted their kitchens on Ana's site from her plans, and I've been drooling over them like crazy. And while I make the play kitchen, we may as well make a doll house, too. And a dress up vanity. And a play house. Where are my friends with cute (girl) kids?!
Anyway, while I was looking at all of those amazing kids furniture sites, I spied LON's Beadboard Bench and knew I had to make plans for it. Such a great piece of kids furniture, but it's also adult enough that you could get away with it in an entryway or mudroom. And, it's so easy an inexpensive to build. Who doesn't love a cute bench?
Since the only child I have is a furry one, I named this bench after my little monster dog, Piper.
Continue reading "Piper Bench"
Well, my friends... first and foremost, I need to apologize. Most of you probably thought I was dead as I haven't posted anything new or even answered emails in quite some time. It's been a rough few weeks. As soon as I got back from Mexico, work has been a little crazy. Lots of late nights and weekends trying to deliver a few movies. I've even been building the exact same thing in my garage for 3 weeks. (You know, a little time here, a little there whenever I get 10 minutes.) It's out of control. So, I'm sorry. I don't want you to think that I forgot about you, and thanks for continuing to check back!
Anyway, moving on to the fun stuff! I'm kind of obsessed with Pottery Barn's Cambridge Bar Cabinet. I think it's just stunning - and so easy to build! Enjoy the new plans!
I know, I know, ANOTHER Pottery Barn piece, but I really just couldn't resist. It was too cute and simple and elegant and perfect. I had to make plans for it. I'm typically drawn to furniture that's a bit more substantial and masculine, but there was just something about the feminine lines of PB's Barrett Media Stand that I just couldn't pass up. So, I apologize if I've gotten a bit predictable, but there will definitely be some non-PB pieces on the horizon. (Otherwise, I may as well change the blog's name to "Pottery Barn Design".)
Speaking of things on the horizon, I feel like I have about 20 unfinished projects going on at one time. I have five half-built things and the lumber for another one sitting in my garage begging for some love and some time. (Which happen to be the two things I haven't been able to give my garage lately.) I am very excited for the weekend. There will be lots of building going on. Which means hopefully lots of posts next week. So, bear with me. Good stuff is on its way.
PS- I always try to name my pieces something clever if they're not named after the person I'm building them for. Anyone get the Dana Barrett reference? Nerd alert, I know, but I couldn't resist.
I love building pieces of furniture for other people. While I definitely love making knock-offs for myself, there's something about using a friend as a loving "client" to build for. To take their ideas and style and mold it into my own is such a fun challenge for me.
Do you guys have that one like-a-sister person in your lives who knows exactly what you're thinking before you even think it? Enter my super cute, super stylish, BFF, Brina, who has been living with ugly, mis-matched end tables for her master bedroom for WAY too long.
Continue reading "Brina Side Tables"
Picking up where we left off, I had just finished my last piece of frosted glass in preparation for the closet door build.
With the glass behind me, I focused my attention to the fun part: the building. I'm a bit of an over-planner when it comes to building. Every time I try something new, I always make a scale model of it in sketch-up to make sure it all works out. (Maybe it's my visual effects background?) I always read about people who are able to buy wood and start building without plans, but I'm just not that cool. For me, the research and planning portion sometimes takes even longer than the actual building.
Waking up today was not easy. It was one of those mornings where everything hurts - legs, back, arms. At least I know yesterday's wall-building was an effective workout. And there was still quite a bit more to get done today.
Where we left off yesterday, we still needed to cut the blocks for the side, add the top layer of blocks, and also level out a whole lot of dirt inside of the retaining wall.
Continue reading "Building a Retaining Wall (pt2)"
A few months ago, Brad and I paved an entire patio with a built in pergola all by ourselves. It was not easy... it took us about about a week and a half to get the whole thing done, but we love it, and it's kinda amazing.
But, the worst part of the patio was the digging. And, there was a lot of digging. About two full days of it. And that dirt was awful. It's not the good dirt that they show you in the how-to Lowes video that we studied before we got started. That looked like it came up pretty easy. It was the crappy clay dirt that has been sitting stagnant since probably 1963 when our house was built. But, the previous owner had a giant shed where our patio now is, and the grass never grew back right.
Continue reading "Building A Retaining Wall (pt1)"