Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Adventures in Building: Herringbone Daybed

I built something. Back in December. Wood and nails and glue and paint came together to make something that's actually functional. Oh, and it looks good too.

When I visited my sister in LA, I insisted we spend one day with her former college roommate and my new building soul mate, Shane, who just-so-happens to provide the delicious designs and furniture plans for her Web site, Old Paint Design.

On this lovely Sunday, Kim and Shane's husband, Brad, drank wine and relaxed with puppies by the fire. Shane and I built this daybed.

Ever since discovering Ana White over a year ago, I talked about building something -- anything -- once I had the space to work. If only I had the tools, if only I had an open garage, I kept thinking. But now, with Shane's enthusiasm and offer to let me join her anytime for building, I have no more excuses.

(For the full plans, head over to Shane's site to see how the Stacy Daybed came together. To read about my experience, well... stay where you are.)

When Jon and I returned to California from Seattle, we moved our 650 sq. ft. apartment into my parent's house. This included our bed, dressers, couch, television stand, and much more. They gave us free reign to create our own "home" with the space we were given. (I'm almost certain we have more space in my parent's house than we did in our little apartment, which is pretty significant.)

As our stuff moved in, much of what was already there had to be moved around. Our queen bed replaced a full bed and the full bed had to be moved to the guest room, replacing two twin beds. Without a room for the twin beds, I suggested moving them to the living room, where my parents had just gotten rid of an old set of couches and were not quite ready to replace them. I insisted that with a little love, and a hefty sprinkling of pillows, they would work great as make-shift couches. "Daybeds are perfectly sensible furniture, mom. Trust me."

Reluctantly, my skeptical mother agreed.

With that, I promised to build her a daybed. I consulted with Shane, originally saying I need two frames (turns out, one was enough for the space), and we looked through multiple options on Ana's site, including this one and this one. Finally, we settled on a marriage of that last daybed and a herringbone design of Shane's creation.

This was my first building project, and I can tell you right now: it was way too hard for a first-timer like me. Even Shane, a seasoned pro, found the angled herringbone cuts difficult to get perfect. Had we been able to build for one full weekend, or even two, it may not have seemed so hard, but one day was all we had. So we barreled on through; we couldn't afford to second guess our building choices.

Despite the challenge, I had the most fun building with Shane in her workshop. I was nervous about picking up tools after so long, but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself adapting without a problem. Measuring each piece, using a circular saw, learning how to use a drill press... it was easy, and within an hour, I was moving around this project like it was my 10th build. I soaked up everything Shane had to teach me.

And it's true: the kreg jig is as amazing as everyone says.

After working all day, and the bed finally built, we did our best to sand, prime, and paint as much as we could. But this bed was a beast, and it still needed to be dismantled, shoved into my car, transported to Santa Barbara and then finally back to the Bay Area. A handful of empty spray paint cans later, I realized the rest would have to be completed once I returned home.

With no functional work space in the garage, blustery winds in the backyard, and a full-time job to attend to, it took me two weeks to re-sand, re-paint and re-built the daybed. It must have taken 10 cans of spray paint to get full coverage, with the wind blowing a little bit away with every squirt.

Just in time for Christmas, and before the cold rolled in, it was finished.

My first building project.

I'm simply thrilled.

More importantly, though:

My parents seem thrilled too.

* Images property of People Just Float and Old Paint Design


  1. Aww... you're just so cute. I love how it turned out! And, man, you finished that like a pro. Anytime you wanna come sand some lumber at my house... haha. But, seriously, you did a great job! And, such a great post - well written as always!

  2. Stace, this is so beautiful! I love it so much!! And, I'm so very very jealous. It's incredible!