by Carmen Farrell
This month at O+U is all about loves and obsessions, so here’s a little post about what’s currently giving me lady wood: power tools. Yup. That’s all it takes to get this lady hot and bothered. Good, old power tools.
For me, the potential for this love affair started long ago. In elementary school I took shop rather than home ec. My inner feminist was budding and I wanted to make a statement. I was only one of 3 females in a class of 30 12-year-olds. By the end of the term, I was doing major cuts on the band saw for half the class. Dudes were terrified of cutting their fingers off, and I loved how powerful I felt conquering my fear and plowing through it.
Fast forward 24 years and this here chick is trying to get her house fixed up nice and pretty. Unfortunately, buying a 100+ year old home means that when you knock down walls and pull up floors you encounter major structural issues that eat up your meager budget and leave you with an empty shell (that is at least structurally sound at this point). So, the hubster and I had to hunker down, ignore our children just about every weekend, and get busy making the house livable on our own.
Long story short, we found ourselves buying tools like a table saw and an impact driver – and the cooler the tools we bought, the more my mind started swirling with the possibilities. Then Pinterest made it worse. In the past month, I’ve been pinning tons of inspiration for making my own sectional couch. I’ve got 3 boys who are growing fast and who’ll likely be taller than me by their 13th birthdays. So we need lots of lounging space. I’d had dreams of buying a big-ass sectional …until I started shopping around and realized that all the ones that I loved cost upwards of $6000 (why must Crate and Barrel be so cruel?). So, we could say good-bye to family vacations for the next couple of years, or I could pull out my power tools and make shit happen myself. I realized that some of the sectionals that I loved were the exact measurements of two twin mattresses set in the shape of an “L”. Boom. Mind explosions. I can sew, I can build…I can make a sectional for less than $500, damn it!
The photo directly above is of the mattresses as we’ve been living with them. On the floor. Size-wise they’re perfect. As of this writing, they are now up on their frames, but I’m still trying to pick out fabric. If anyone’s interested in the final product, I’ll post some photos up on the O+U Facebook page once it’s done.
So what else have we been able to accomplish with our fancy power tools? We hacked some pretty cool wooden floors for a fraction of what hardwood would have cost us. We refaced our old stairs. We built storage benches for our front porch. And my head continues to swim with the possibilities.
What’s next on my big old project list? Concrete countertops for the new kitchen! I’m practically convulsing with excitement. Nuts, right?