In the first trimester of my second pregnancy I started to nest. We were sitting around our tiny IKEA table having dinner: my husband Jonathan, my cousin Nigel (visiting), my then 2-year-old and me. The guys are both over 6 feet tall. The 2-year-old just took up a lot of room period. And I would eventually gain 50 pounds. Elbows bumping as we gnawed our cobs of corn I thought, we’re gonna need a bigger table.
Impulsively, we went to Design Within Reach and laid down plastic for an award-winning table and some la-di-da chairs. But it didn’t sit well, if you will. We needed the money for other things—like the mortgage. So as soon as we left the store I called up and cancelled our order. Why are the good-looking tables so freaking expensive? We’re just talking about wood and screws, right?
While trolling the Internets for DIY plans I discovered the amazing Ana White. Here was a woman—a mother—who started building a house with her husband when she was pregnant. A whole house. I immediately connected with her—fed by the same collective nesting energy that courses through all pregnant women. Pure. Creative. Juice.
And maybe a touch of crazy.
On her site she posts hundreds of plans to make everything from bookshelves to bunk beds. I knew I wanted a farmhouse table. With kids wielding forks and knives, a precious tabletop would not do. I needed a table that was going to look good after years of abuse. Ana’s plans for a salvaged wood farmhouse table based on a Restoration Hardware design was exactly that.
I didn’t have salvaged wood on hand, so I went to Home Depot where they cut the boards to size for me and I left having spent under $100 for materials. Did you hear that? A hundred bucks! At the time I didn’t own a jigsaw so I asked my friend to notch out the legs for me. Then, during naptime and between bouts of nausea I drilled and glued us a new table. It felt completely natural, at the height of my femininity to be building—something typically assigned to masculinity. My husband would come home from work, looking erudite in his sweater vest, hands soft. He must’ve been a little jealous that I got to play in the garage with power tools while he went to the office all day. I wondered if he would feel emasculated, just a little bit, by my bad-assness.