Here's the problem many intermediate-level woodworkers face: you want to take on a big project, a truly ambitious one. Say, a dining table that will be the centerpiece of your home and can fit eight to ten people. And you do the research, figure out some techniques, and they're a little bit of a stretch and you'll be trying them for the first time in the middle of a big project. And then you start shopping for the wood, realize how much it's going to cost, and all of a sudden, that next-level project doesn't seem like the best place to test out some new joinery.
Need to spice things up in the bedroom? (not like that). Adding a statement headboard to your space can help you revamp the look in your bedroom by making it look "full" without having to invest tons in other furniture pieces. Take a look!
There's corner of my yard that is a bit of an eyesore. It used to hide my pool pump, but the cheap stapled grid surrounding it fell apart in the sun. I wanted to replace it with something that would hold up well, and also contain a bit of the pump sound. Of course, it had to look great, too. Take a look at what I came up with.
I spend a lot of time at a desk. Many of us do. It's a space where we learn, create, work, and play. I'm not saying all that sitting is a good thing, but if it has to happen then make the space as clean and relaxing as you can. Here is a quick project to add a bit of green, texture, and peace to you space.
A vignette is a visual focus point that identifies the character of a room. These intentional areas are often the shots you'll see published in magazines, and you can achieve 'em at home, using mostly items you already have. Here are 5 ideas to get you started.
There are those pieces of furniture that make a statement. Those around which you build entire rooms, those that define a space. Those pieces are essential.
But, sometimes, you just need a quick and easy way to store your stuff that looks plenty sharp. If your taste leans towards the warm, the rustic, and the stylish, check out this super simple x-shaped magazine and book rack.
Anyone who has grown up near in the mountains knows what it means to see the ridgeline. Being tucked in nearby some exciting geological features has a comfort and appeal, and, of course, great views. It's safe, secure, constant. The mountains invite adventure, and simplicity. To honor my own local Cascade range, I built this simple key rack that takes a bit of that wild adventure and brings it home.
This post was sponsored by KILZ, a brand that believes in makers and dream-shop builders everywhere. Thanks for supporting the brands that support ManMade.
A few years ago, if you'd asked me which tool I thought was the most important, I'd probably have punted, wavered a bit, and never decided on a single item. There are too many cool tools, and too many essential ones I use on every project. But if you'd asked me the same question last month, my answer would have been decidedly clear, and much more informed by a different kind of personal experience:
How do you feel about the term, "man cave?" I have mixed feelings on it myself. One the one hand - like "girlfriend" or "foodie" - it's easy to use it colloquially since everybody has a general sense of what you mean when you say it. On the other, I haven't really worked out for myself all the connotations that come with its use, since it sometimes seems to me like it implies that one can't be a man outside of his man cave (or at least that its a necessary domicile of rejuvenation), Or that the rest of the home is then outside of his purview. Or, all spaces for men must be themselves a cave, involving sports memorabilia and beer signs. In that way, I mostly see the term "man cave" as potentially condescending. Now obviously that's a drastic oversimplification, but I've been thinking about the word recently a fair amount.
Plywood. We love it. It's affordable, it's easy to work, and brings all kinds of warmth and texture into any masculine-friendly decor.
Every home has those horizontal surfaces where it's all too easy to let stuff gather. They're just lying there, all flat and empty, asking to be filled with things that could likely go in they're proper home if they only had one.
In my house, it's the half-wall between the landing and the stairs. So I certainly know that when your countertops, desks, and other flat surfaces are continually filled with mail, errands, and other "to do" related goodies, it's time for an official solution. And since horizontal spaces just aren't working, you gotta go vertical.
Steve Ramsey's Woodworking For Mere Mortals is one of my favorite YouTube channels. Not only is he funny, he's honest. This is a great example of a simple idea and the challenges you face in the middle of a project.
I find lighting to be one of the more difficult parts of creating a masculine or industrial interior, especially when it comes to DIY projects. While you can
Harry Love is a professional musician, DJ, and collector. Which means...he had a lot of records. Like a lot of records. Records in his studio, records in the hallway, records in the bathroom, records he had to move aside to make toast.
Owning a piece of mid-century design brings a solid, artfully masculine vibe to any space...but many of the classics are out of your price range when just starting to pull your home together. So, instead of shelling out the bucks for a statement piece by a major designer, invest a little time, and thoughtfulness, and make your own!
My best work is done when I'm inspired. These 5 DIY projects will make your office a place you want to spend the next 8 hours in.
1. DIY Paneled Wall - This one is for those that can make some pretty substantial improvements on their space. The $100 price tag for a wall is pretty approachable for such a huge change in the space.
2. Engineer Printed Maps - Large, detailed, and affordable prints from vintage maps or other inspiring pieces. These interesting pieces are a great way to bring some interesting details to a space that will catch you eye and serve as a unique focal point for the workplace.
3. DIY Acrylic Wall Calendar - Ditch
As you might imagine, I'm sorta of lease-limit pusher. I mean, I do read them. I do take their advice to heart, and sometimes, when I'm breaking it, I do recall, "Oh, yeah. I think I'm specifically not supposed to do this."
But those moments are rare. See, I try to find ways to customize my space that aren't direct violations of my lease. Whereas it does say, "Don't paint," it does NOT say "Don't Mod Podge hundreds of little paint samples to the wall." So, I did. (See above)
See, what my landlord's don't seem to understand (they're an elderly retired couple, not a corporation) is that this is my home. It's an investment to you, but I live here. I work here. I entertain here, have holidays here. And while it might be funny to you that I had to pull everything two feet from the wall so you could "treat for pests," [read: have a 6.5 ft tall 80-year-old man spray some Raid around] and then tell me you'd do it again two weeks later, only to change your mind and not come for 13 more days, my entire life was shrunk by 65% for nearly a month...
What was I saying? Oh, right. There are lots of things you can do to customize your rented space without violating your lease. Except, ingnore the holes in the wall thing. All can be fixed. Email me if you don't know how.