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Mid-Century Console

Have you been eying Mid-Century style furniture, but been balking at the cost? Me too. As a contributor for Ana-White.com, I was searching for the perfect piece of furniture to submit to her for a new plan. I wanted something that was multifunctional. What we needed was storage for the hubs’ work uniforms, since FRC (flame-retardant clothing) shirts and pants are really thick and bulky. They were clogging up the closet! But since we don’t really have enough space for a nightstand AND a dresser, it needed to work double-duty. That’s when I saw this amazing illustration on Pinterest:

Source: etsy.com via Killer on Pinterest

  It was perfect! Exactly what I had been searching for. And I just want to give mad props to Ana for a second, because who else can draw up plans based on only an illustration? It’s awesome! She turned that image into this reality:

Looks pretty darn similar, right? It’s pretty legit.

Important!

Here’s a link to her plans so you can build your own!

This is the first time I’ve worked with PureBond plywood, and ohmygoodness it is an amazing product. It’s formaldehyde free, which is important to me now that we have a baby in the house. It’s also pre-sanded to a buttery-smooth finish. And the grain is amazing. I used one coat of Rustoleum’s Ultimate Wood stain in Kona, followed by 3 coats of poly. The supplies (including hardware) cost $120. But again, I totally splurged!

I know I sound a little pretentious here, kind of like a wine freak going on about the bouquet and undertones. But seriously, look at that grain. It’s luscious. I’ve never used lumber so nice!

This project was full of firsts for us. My first time using edge banding. First project with drawer slides. And Euro-style hinges:

They were so easy! I can’t believe I’ve never used them before. They’re expensive, but so worth it. They let you have a fully-inset door with no exposed hardware. Oh, and all those pocket holes on the door? That was kind of an accident.

See my door? Well, it wasn’t supposed to look like that. It was supposed to just be one solid piece of plywood. But due to some sort of brain meltdown, I cut the door 4 inches too short! Doh! No worries though. The plan had more than enough scrap 1×2′s to make a frame with my Kreg Jig. Then I just cut down the width of the door a bit, and fit it into my frame. Easy peasy. So though it has a lot of crazy holes on the inside, from the front you can’t tell a thing. It just looks like a fancy detail. Whew!

The legs are what really pull this console into that fifties feel. These tapered beauties are only $2.50 each at Lowe’s, though you have to spring for an extra buck and get the metal fittings. You screw the metal plate into the bottom of the console, then simply screw in your legs into the plate. So if I ever decide I’d rather have 6″ legs (more like the inspiration piece) it will be a super simple switch!

Let’s talk about drawers for a second. I’ve never done drawer slides before, and it was a learning process. One tip for newbies: Install the slides on the drawer box first, and then use glue and nails to secure your drawer front after it’s installed. Not before. That way, you can make sure the drawer looks perfectly spaced, even if it’s not. Drawers are really hard to get perfect, so don’t worry too much if they’re slightly off. It bothered me at first, but after examining store-bought dressers I noticed that they’re not perfect either. So I relaxed.

I think we really hit the jackpot with these handles. They were at Home Depot, and were less than $2 each! I love the satin finish, and the modern silhouette. They’re just so sleek!

Another first for me was edge banding. Have you seen it before? It comes in a roll, either in birch or oak grain. You unroll it and iron it onto your rough plywood edges. Then you use a knife or scissors to trim off the excess, sand and stain. I pretty much sucked at this. I used a razor blade, drawing the cutter towards me in a slow, even motion. Even then, I’d cut into the plywood as often as not. Luckily, once you sand the edge down and stain it you can barely tell. So don’t be afraid to try it out. It’s worth the effort with those unlined edges. If you skip it, every raw edge of your plywood will look zebra-striped, even if you sand it well.

Lastly, here are a few tips for this build:

• Once you cut all your pieces, sand the living daylights out of them. Once it’s all sanded and smooth, decide which pieces you want to face top and front. This will determine where your edge banding goes. I did the banding after it was stained, and I wish I hadn’t. It would have been much easier to do the banding first, then sand it and stain it all at once.

• Stain all your pieces prior to assembly. It will make the finish much smoother and more even, making it less likely to create drips over the edges. Plus it will ensure you don’t have any raw wood showing after you piece it all together.

• MEASURE! I messed up the door, and my husband messed up one of the drawer fronts by drilling the handle hole an inch too high.

• Don’t get caught up on perfection. It’s hand made for a reason. It won’t be absolutely flawless, but it will look great. I promise.




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  1. Amanda

    Beautiful! I love the shape and style of this do much!

    1. Thanks Amanda! I figured it would be right up your alley ;)

  2. Theresa

    Love this! I wonder if we could double it, two doors, two sets of drawers and make it more of a buffet? Love that you cand buy those legs at Lowes! Nice job :)

    1. I think that would be a really easy modification to do! Or you could just build two, and set them next to each other to join or separate as you like

  3. Geek in Heels

    Holy crap you guys made this in just one weekend? WITH a baby in the house? I bow down to your awesomeness…

    1. Well you should see the state of my laundry… ;) I would much rather cut and sand and stain during nap times than dishes or cleaning

  4. Maria

    OMG, this looks so good! I haven’t worked with ply a lot, but this is gorgeous. I love that it exemplifies that handmade does not have to be rustic. It can be chic! Cool stuff.

    1. Thanks Maria! I think a lot of people choose the rustic look when building because it doesn’t have to be perfect to look good. This project, while smaller in scale than most I’ve built, took the longest and was the most difficult because I wanted it to look perfect. But it definitely gave me the confidence to try other modern pieces in the future!

  5. Malerie @postscripted

    Oh my goodness I can’t get over this! Perfection! Can’t WAIT to try it!

  6. Megan

    Brooke this is absolutely fantastic — well done! Would it be absolutely crazy if this was the first thing I ever attempted to build? I just think my husband would LOVE this, and I wonder if I could build it as a surprise..

    1. Thank you Megan! I think it could be a good first project. Get as many of the pieces cut at the lumber store as you can, because it makes it easy to have straight, even cuts. It’s not so important that the dimensions are exactly what they are in the plan, but that the pieces are equal to each other. So your widths need to be equal more than they need to be 20″ wide. In fact, mine were probably 19 7/8″ wide. Make sure you use a square on the angles too! Lastly, if drawer slides are a little intimidating, you can always use a 1×2 as a cleat for the drawer to slide along like Ana’s Farmhouse Nightstand plans. It won’t keep the drawer from falling out completely, but it still works really well and you can always add those slides later if you wish.

      1. Megan

        Thanks for the tips! I’ll let you know if I manage to build this :)

  7. carol

    i saw this on Ana’s site and this is exactly what i’m looking for. i need something small to put in a space across from my desk, but not too wide, it might block the walkway to my kitchen. thanks for pointing out those lowe’s legs too. the color is beautiful.

    1. Thank you! I love this console. I think it makes a great little storage piece.

  8. Ashley @ DesignBuildLove

    this is totally awesome and a HUGE congratulations for becoming an Ana-White contributor! How did you manage to score that awesome gig? I’m going to assume that she came across your amazing builds!

    1. Thank you! She chose those who contribute frequently to her site with brag posts and plans. I’m honored to be an Ana tester!

  9. Whitney

    Hey, just found your site through Ana White plans. You do beautiful things! I am building this project and see that you said to stain everything first to avoid drips. Did you stain everything, put it together and then poly or did you stain, poly and then build? I always get a drippy application of stain so Im really trying to get it right this time. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

    1. Hi Whitney!
      I drilled all my pocket holes first, then sanded, stained, and built. The poly was my last step. Though if you’re fighting drips it can’t hurt to do the poly prior to assembly either! It wouldn’t change anything. The other benefit of staining first is being able to really get stain into those pocket hole gaps. It makes everything blend in so much better!

      1. Whitney

        Thanks so much! I actually finished before I received your response, I was just too excited. I stained, poly then built and I did get drips :( but its okay because they are in the joints so you can’t see them now that its built. Guess its just something I have to work on. Your right about staining first, its so much better to get into the pocket holes before. Anyway, thanks for finding this inspiration and asking Ana for plans! I love this piece and am sooo proud. Ill be sure to add a brag post on Ana’s site.

        1. I’m sorry about the drips, they still plague me too. I’m glad it worked out! Can’t wait to check out the brag over at Ana’s!

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