When I got married, I was in Pottery Barn heaven. I got so many gift cards that I was able to buy a set of dishes and a vase or two at the outlet. I’m being tongue-in-cheek, but we drove down to the outlet (like I said…a couple of perfectly matched tightwads) and went nuts. I ended up with a darling little coffee creamer and sugar set that turned out to be broken when I took it out of the box at home. I had lifted it partially out of the box at the store and so didn’t see that the bottom of it was hanging off. Oh well.
In addition to the broken creamer set we bought an iron coat tree since I had always wanted one. And here is a fuzzy picture of it with our crap hanging on it.
Moving forward two years, and we had a child who was crawling and pulling up on stuff. Including the coat tree, which would wobble every time we would pull a jacket off. Of course, the kid was not allowed to touch it, but crawling older babies have a way of doing just that when your head is turned the other direction. So we knew we needed to replace it, but I didn’t like a lot of the alternatives I saw, and I especially didn’t like the prices attached to them.
Enter Ana White. When I first saw her site, I thought it was a joke. Or something. I don’t know why, but I guess I thought it was too good to be true. Then I thought that was too bad because I really liked her designs and the pictures people were uploading of stuff they built. And then I saw she had a Facebook page and built her own house. And I saw this plan and knew that was the one.
So I showed my husband and told him I wanted to build that. Could I spend a bunch of money on lumber? He said, “Ok.” I knew jack about dimensional lumber, counter sinking screws, how to hold a hammer correctly, and I was terrified of the idea of power saws.
After that conversation, I mentioned to my neighbor that I was considering trying my hand at building furniture since I had the plans. He responded that he grew up working in his dad’s woodworking shop and put himself through school designing and building furniture for people. Bonus. And that he had a miter saw that he would be willing to let me borrow to see how I liked it. SCORE.
I bought the lumber. My neighbor brought over his DeWalt 10” miter saw and showed me how to use it. I cut my lumber, nailed and screwed it all together, and painted it in 2 days. Then I told my husband I needed his help hanging it. And went out and bought my own saw. I was in love.
Pulled out the chalkline, level, drill, bits, and screws. It felt like it took longer to hang it then it did to build it. Our walls are not straight and our floors aren’t quite level, making it harder, and we have kind of bad luck hanging things on the wall for some reason. It was just the 2 of us, hoisting it on our shoulders, hurriedly drilling pilot holes, and yelling at the other to hurry because this was extremely awkward. And we did it. And my husband loved it. And also told me never to build anything that had to be hung ever again.
“I figured, why not. I don’t have anything to lose, and if anything, we’ll only gain furniture,” he told me tonight when I asked him why he was willing to take a chance. I asked him what he thought when I told him I wanted to build us a hanging shelf. He replied, “To humor you. And of how much I hate hanging things on the wall,” he said.
I eventually also repainted the moulding at the bottom on a whim. The texturing was awful – thick, goopy, and didn’t match the orange peel above the chair rail, which is why there is picture (the front door is an ongoing project):
And here is the result of him taking a chance on me.