Jul
27
2015
The Design Confidential Poolside in my Dream Home

I have something of a major obsession happening with small but chic rectangular pools. Naturally, I have spent a fair share of time dreaming about how to make this happen in real life. I'm not entirely sure this is even a remote possibility, but for now, I am attempting to figure out how it might be...

Many of these pools are very small and that suits me well. Regardless of size, every single pool here is visually stunning and perfectly designed. It just goes to show that good things come in small packages sometimes... I might even love a rectangular wading pool, just deep enough for me to float. If you have a thing for small but chic pools too, I have an entire pinterest board filled with gorgeous poolside inspiration! Go crazy...

The Design Confidential Poolside in my Dream Home
The Design Confidential Poolside in my Dream Home
The Design Confidential Poolside in my Dream Home
The Design Confidential Poolside in my Dream Home
The Design Confidential Poolside in my Dream Home
The Design Confidential Poolside in my Dream Home
Sources

IMAGES // 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

Jul
21
2015
The Design Confidential Find Your Fire // The Possibilities Are Endless

I think it's safe to assume that most of you who hang with us here at TDC love yourselves a good furniture and home decor project. I think it's also safe to say that together we are mastering the art of making things from wood and that it's something of our 'go-to' when we build and create - at least this is the case for me. But... there is one element that I tend to be lacking here and where my maker skills tend to lag a bit, and that my friends is a great group of projects made from metal. Sure we churn out the occasional industrial pipe project here and there, and we add hardware to our furniture pieces to elevate those creations... but what if we could take that to the next level? What if we could round out the type of projects we do here and our skill sets to include working with this material in a more up close and personal kind of way? It would absolutely raise the bar for DIY and the possibilities seem endless from where I stand. There would be no furniture piece or accessory left unturned and the world would be our creative oyster... Well, that may be a slight exaggeration with an overdose of 'crazy dreamer thinking' thrown in for good measure. But seriously - wouldn't it be amaze if we could just throw together a metal shelf or whip out a brass planter or two like it was the easiest thing in the world? Yes, yes it would!

The Design Confidential Find Your Fire // The Possibilities Are Endless

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

From fine jewelry to fabulous furnishings, I feel pretty positive that there will be nothing out of reach for us in the world of DIY projects if we can just figure out how to add metal to the list of materials we can work with. To make this dream of mine a reality, I have partnered with Bernzomatic and will do my best to earn the title of Torch Bearer as I learn how to master the art of metalwork - and in the process I shall bring you a new DIY creation each and every month. Of course no project is complete without sharing all of the trials and tribulations I encounter along the way, and I guarantee there will be many. I hope you will join me as I learn, test, and torch my way to a whole new medium of creation. Because, I see no reason to stop at wood... do you?

By learning how to solder and braze, decor like you see above becomes completely possible to make with my own two hands. I can't wait to see where this leads and will be carrying the torch with pride alongside a group of creatives from many different professions. There are some foodies, outdoorsmen, and some renovating pros that I will be working alongside, and that is seriously rad. I suppose if the whole metalsmithing gig doesn't work out like I hope, I can learn to make a kick-ass crème brûlée and roast my marshmallows over the best damn campfire this side of the Mississippi! It's always good to have a backup plan, amiright? These things don't usually go as planned... but we shall see!

What say you? Will you embrace some metal based projects? Can we do this? Eek!

Sources

Image via // Layout created by Rayan Turner for The Design Confidential

Note

This article was created in partnership with Bernzomatic and there will be many more to follow with my role as a Torch Bearer. Yahoo! Thank you for supporting the brands that help us get crafty and bring new content like this to The Design Confidential. As per the usual, all of this crazy mad rambling, dreaming and scheming are 100% my own.

Jul
20
2015
The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

I'm excited to share this project with you guys today - and not because it is the first of it's kind - by any means... because it most definitely isn't. Nay, it's because this method for making any sort of project like this is so easy it's stupid. Stupid good - and for you folks who like to play with the big boy tools, this is definitely worth sharing. So I dedicate this fine finishing technique and project to my gal pal Kristin and hereby deem her as the creator of this method and an all around sweetheart too! So yahoo...

If you follow blogs or hang on Pinterest (duh, that would pretty much be all of us), you may have seen a couple of these amaze projects roll through your feed (this one and this one). Her latest version of this organic finishing touch was featured on Domino and is a big focal point in such a fabulous space. Teenage boy, shmeenage boy... let me in there!

So good, right? When it came time to create some surface space in the photography studio (you can see the design plan for that space here) and a few shelves in my home office, I knew this was the perfect thing and would balance out the stark industrial feel of the other elements in both spaces. No space is complete without a healthy dose of texture and a bit of something organic feeling, to breath a bit of life into it.

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

You can see this technique in play in the image above and it provides an added level of interest where function is necessary and I love when that happens! So let's get this show on the road so you can see exactly how easy this is, along with a few extra tips and tricks for doing this successfully!

MATERIALS //

  • Wood - 1x12 or any dimensional lumber you prefer, I used Poplar (my fave) - Something with a gorgeous grain pattern will work best and if you can use a real board rather than joined boards or plywood you will have greater success in making this look realistic.
  • Jig Saw
  • Sander
  • Sanding Supplies
  • Finishing Supplies - I recommend a Paste Wax to leave things natural and protect
  • Brackets - if making a shelf - The smaller sizes in 6"x8" or 5"x6" are more ideal if you plan to get creative with your curve.
The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

There are essentially only 3 components involved in creating a live edge finish - so simple! You will basically be creating the shape, cutting the curve, and sanding it smooth and you are done. Rather than reiterating Kristin's instructions, I am going to give you some helpful tips below for each of these steps.

CREATING THE SHAPE //

You will start by sketching out the shape of your live edge. If your wood is amazing, you can choose a grain line and go with it. However, if you want to give it more interest than it happens to have, you can create your own grain line like I did above, and I promise as long as you keep your cool, it won't look odd. Just be sure to give your line a realistic curve throughout and keep things irregular. Too much same, same is not so good, good and it will end up looking contrived.

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

Finishing off the edges is just as important as the straightaway portion of your live edge. If you continue with your curves right up until the edge, and then stop, it will look less realistic. Once you know the length your board should be for your project, find a clever and interesting way to finish it off on the ends. I would suggest an asymmetrical shape that curves in more on one side than the other so it mimics real wood that is drifted and has been out in the ocean or the elements for some time just as the real deal might be found in nature.

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

Don't be afraid to get creative. Maybe an extreme indentation or curve won't work for your particular project... so consider a cutaway section and channel your inner whale watcher (doesn't this portion above look like a whale's mouth!).

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

CUTTING THE CURVE //

Once you have your perfect shape with asymmetry and perhaps a cutaway or two, you are going to whip out your jig saw and start cutting.

** It will save you so much time if you have a jig saw with an adjustable cutting angle blade like this one (my fave and really inexpensive) then you can alternate your cutting angle throughout so that some of your curves cut and angle inward and some of your curves angle out like you see above.

The Design Confidential DIY // Easy Live Edge Shelves + Finishing Technique

SANDING IT SMOOTH //

After your edge is live and your project looks amazing, you need to sand those edges smooth to finish it off and complete the look. Since you used a jig saw and altered your cutting angle throughout, you can get away with using a finish sander or any sander that you already have to smooth out your curves and create a rounded look for your edges. This should be a relatively quick process, unlike much of the sanding we have to do when we work with wood and is easiest to do if you start with a medium grit paper of around 100-150 and then you can follow that up with something closer to 220 and above to refine things.

Just as you did with your jig saw, be sure to angle your sander as you go along to get that weathered realistic look you are going for! For tricky spaces and tight corners it helps to fold a small piece of your sandpaper in half with the grit facing outward, then run it through your tight space by hand. It will sand both sides of a tight angle for you and truly smooth and finish every portion of your live edge.

That is it, so super simple and totally gorgeous. Leave it natural or give it a nice paste wax protective finish and call this baby done!

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