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.

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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"

Madison Bed Platform

I am now 5 days into building the dresser for the Madison collection.  Not joking.  It took my husband and I 4 days to build and finish our giant pergola in the backyard last summer, and it's going to end up taking me almost a full week of working on the dresser on weekends and every night after work to get it done.  I totally thought I'd be able to post that sucker on Monday.  I even got the hardware for it on Friday thinking it'd be a breeze.  But, alas, there are just so many little details on it that need attention.  Lemme just say, though, that it's turning out super awesome and I've never been more proud of anything I've ever built.  I can't wait to post plans for you guys!  I've been posting work in progress photos on the facebook page if any of you are interested in keeping up. In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to post additional pieces to the Madison collection, just in case you might need a bed to match the gorgeous dresser.  And, this bed is pretty cool.  Based on the Chelsea Platform Bed by PB Teen, there is TONS of storage in this thing. Not only is there the front storage, but if you check out the back view... BAM!  More storage on the back side! I also really like the unique placement of how the mattress sits on the bed.  Unlike typical beds where the headboard is at, well, the head, this one has it on the side.  This bed would be so great for a teenager looking for extra privacy and places to store all of their stuff.  This plan is meant for a queen sized mattress, but the plans are so simple that it would be easy to convert it to a bigger or smaller size. I'm going to separate this bed into 2 sections: the platform and the cubby hutch.  Today I'm posting the platform - check back soon for the hutch! Continue reading "Madison Bed Platform"

Argie Bedside Tables


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!

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Piper Bench

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"

Oxford Bar Cabinet

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!

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Firenze Dining Table

Surprise!  Weekend post!  Thanks so much Serena for requesting these plans!  Such a great suggestion.  I love the simplicity and substance of Pottery Barn's Toscana Fixed Round Table, but their version is HUGE.  (72" in diameter - who has a dining room that fits that?!)  So, I made my version a slightly more practical size at 48" in diameter.  The other reason I did this is that it is much easier to find a 48" round at blue or orange than a 72" round, and it will save you quite a bit of money.  It also makes it easier to cut-out if you decide to go that route since you need exactly half a sheet of plywood and won't have to have any cut lines down the middle.  This table would also look great with a 48" square top.  (Ah, the wonders of building and getting exactly what you want.) Hope you guys are all having a great weekend! Continue reading "Firenze Dining Table"

Dana Media Stand

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.

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Stacy Coffee Table

I'm pretty excited about starting plans for this collection - I've been planning it for quite some time.  (No pun intended :-).) A few weeks ago, I posted the Pratt Nesting Tables onto my personal facebook, because I absolutely loved them and wanted to build them.  But, I have no place to put them in my house.  (I always seem to have this problem!)  So, I sounded the alarm and my friend and fellow blogger Stacy said that she would love a set.  Hooray!  So, the plans began, and, of course, I have to name this collection after my dear friend, Stacy who is so kindly allowing me to build them for her.  (I will be posting plans for the nesting tables very soon.) In the meantime, I wanted you guys to be able to build the entire set if you wanted to, so I have also posted plans for the corresponding coffee table.  (Pottery Barn's version is called the Pratt Coffee Table.)  These might be my simplest plans yet - only 4 steps, minimal cuts, very few tools, and only 4 boards and a 1/4 piece of plywood are needed to build this awesome coffee table.  (If you have the plywood as a scrap sitting around, this table would cost you less than $10 to build!) Continue reading "Stacy Coffee Table"