Thursday, August 11, 2011

In which Mama builds and a Happy Anniversary

I've always loved  home and furniture design and have really lucked out having a hubby who can build things. And particularly in having a father-in-law who can build things really well--and who doesn't know how to sit still.  The process usually goes something like this:  Me:  "picture x here. It would come out like this, and the lines would follow across here, imagine it darker like y..."  To which Rob's typical response is, "are you serious?" or "Its not happening anytime soon", or if I'm lucky, "build it yourself."  Well, being as he is, fairly anal about most things, I know that if I actually start building he will quickly take over.

That's how it went for the couch.  I'd been designing a built in couch to replace the old one we've had ever since we moved in together (that came from Rob's dorm, and his parents living room before that.)
I had gotten to the point of threatening to make a trip for plywood, when luck came my way, and Grampy became "trapped" at our house while his motorcycle was being repaired.  And so the couch frame was built.  Thanks Grampy!

The old couch was torn apart and sent to a friend's dumpster (I know, more waste!  But really I could see no other option for the sorry thing. Though I've saved the cushions for some possible future project).

We bought material from Fabric Depot and ordered cushions to be made to our design by Coastal Canvas , owned by our neighbors from Belfast.  And when they finally came, we loved them.

Love them.  I love the simplicity of it.  Love the single long cushion so there is absolutely nothing to shift out of place and need to be straightened.  I love the dark brown material that will hide all of our stains.  And I love the long, levitating effect of the frame, with one single leg, and a bookcase on the end to hold it up.  It may not be healthy to feel so much pride in a piece of furniture, but I'm going with it.

Rob was skeptical about the built in couch design from the beginning, and I give him credit for having so much faith in me.  He seems to love it almost as much as me (or he's pretending well, which is very much appreciated).  The one draw back is, so he says, the coffee table/yard sale chest that is now too low and not long enough.  I agree.

So, while he was away on business last week I decided to cut out the middle-man and take on the full title of designer/builder.  I got a big, slab of maple from a guy down the road with a portable saw mill.  After sanding I built a small shelf below to hold our lap top a.k.a TV, and magazines (or board books as is the case), and attached iron pipes with threaded flanges for legs.  These match the pipe railing on the staircase, and the leg of the couch.  For a first project it looks great (all modesty aside) especially if you don't lie down underneath and see the several screws I stripped and had to leave half-way out.  Oops.

Builder Mama and helpers

I "wrapped" the table and presented it to Rob as an early anniversary gift upon his return.
And, he loves it! (unless he's pretending-- still appreciated).

Happy anniversary honey!  Thanks for sharing this crazy adventure with me.  


  1. So cool, I love it! Nate and I have been planning a built in couch for our future house, if we ever get one.
    The coffee table is great, and quite impressive. I take it you didn't have a repeat of the Eric Stone keychain through the window incident, last time you tried to build something out of wood unassisted (sorry just had to bring that up).

  2. Oh my goodness! This has never even occurred to me. I really like it. Great design. I love the bookshelf. You can never have too many bookshelves. I think this is just the thing for my someday-family room in the someday-finished basement. Thanks for sharing!


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