Adventures in Carpentry and Interior Design

I like designing things. Layout, structure, how things are made fascinates me. I ruled at Legos as kid. Do I still play with legos now? Um… Yeah.  Are some people no longer doing that?  The puzzle aspect of having parts that go together to make a whole is just cool to me. These elements are clearly my draw to web design and development. But sometimes when I’m not making websites and graphics I decide to get way in over my head in a hobby for which I have no discernable qualifications… Que carpentry weekend(s).

Did I mention I like to build things and figure out how the parts go together? Did I also mention how the last time I had any wood working or shop instruction was when I was 14 in jr. high shop class? No? I left that out. Yeah… Well now you have the picture.

After a long time drooling over Restoration Hardware and West Elm bedside tables that I didn’t want to drop major change on I thought, in a brazen moment of inflated self-confidence, “I bet I can make something like that.” One long trip to Home Depot and a circular saw and some lumber later, it was go time.

I started out looking at various pieces I liked and diy patterns mostly on Pinterest, which, as it turns out, is for more than just food porn and unrealistic wedding expectations. From there I developed my own basic pattern with sketches and began measuring pieces. Did I also mention that I live in an apartment and had to do all this work on a small balcony? Yeah… Not so ergonomic, but let a kid dream.

I started by making the box that would become the basic frame of the bedside table, next creating the space for the drawer and attaching the feet. Inserting the drawer sliders as a rookie was more difficult than I anticipated. Much respect to carpenters who have to do it regularly. Next when on the top, back and trim pieces, which were essentially moulding trim that I cut to fit the edges of the table. Lastly, I distressed a mirror that I cut to fit the top to give it a vintage look and feel and ultra glued it to the top space I had left indented for it to fit into. I may have also sliced my thumb open at one point in the distressing process… but that’s neither here nor there.

The final steps were the easy ones, and included staining, sealing, and fitting the bedside table drawer with knobs from Anthropologie. The drawer is just a single drawer but has a false double drawer front. All in all, it took a weekend to do each of the bedside tables.

High and blinded by my feelings of success and accomplishment, in the following weekends I also made the pictured headboard for my bed, as well as a distressed mirror above the dresser, antiqued curtain rod, and the some hanging bookshelves. My 10-year-old Lego loving self would be proud. There is still some sawdust out on the balcony that insists on staying in the nooks and crannies, but what can I say, I love design and building things and building some furniture allowed me to try something new, do some major building, and even a little interior design. Overall, I’d call it a success. Maybe for my next whimsical hobby I can take up something a little less labor intensive like recreating a Pinterest Spongebob cake. Life is for those who dream, as they say.

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