In an effort to break free from the chains of Ikea, and to continue to promote a new way of living for both eunice and i (one with a focus on self sufficiency and golden retrievers and less so on laziness and television), we set out earlier this year to build some of our own furniture. With no tools or skills, we partly expected to end up with a living room of picasso-esque monstrosities destined for the bonfire, however, in the end we were pleasantly suprised with our results and how truly simple it was to create multiple pieces that put Ikea to shame.
Our first project was a small end table for our living room. We followed plans from the website formerly known as Knock-off wood, now called ana-white.com
, that mimicked a set of furntiture from a well known retailer. The larger pieces we had cut at home depot given their girth, but i hand-cut all the other pieces. The assembling was quite easy, the key being to keep the piece square and level. we made several minor errors, but these are barely noticeble; and the ones that are add character (i will use that excuse for all mistakes from here on out). after assembling, simply sand, then distress (or just hit many times with a 7 iron like i did), then a few coats of stain, polish and you’re done!
sound technique and appropriate tools are very important
Our next project was a step up. We used the same website for plans to construct our dining table and benches. Despite some minor problems with keeping the project square, it again turned out great.
These were both finished relatively quickly, a week or so for the first table, and the table and benches took several weeks at most. The last project we completed was a console table to place in the entry way of the house, basically something to throw the mail and keys on when i get home. starting this table however coincided with the start of our intern year, and what should have been a week long project took several months of snail-like pace working to complete. It is based off similar plans from the end table we built first, the only difference being the finish. i decided to try my hand at some shabby-chic and was pleased with the result. for this finish, i applied a single coat of the same finish used for the other tables, then applied 2 coats of white indoor paint. once dry, i hand-sanded several areas for a distressed look, then used a fine grit sandpaper to finish, then varnish and done.
it is really satisfying to have furniture in the home that we constructed ourselves, and the projects themselves have been very easy. can’t believe the prices people are paying out there when you can generally get a similar outcome for 1/4 of the price and have the fun and satisfaction of building it. next projects will be a coffee table and tv stand, the only 2 ikea furnitures left in the entire house.