Eat your heart out, Pottery Barn!

Do you remember that episode of Friends where Rachel falls in love with an Apothecary Coffee Table from Pottery Barn and hesitates telling Phoebe that it’s from there because she hates mass produced items?

I’m not sure which is more hilarious – the fact that I saw this for the first time 6 months ago (ok, I was totally lame in college and didn’t watch it in its first run!) or the fact that I had to laugh my @$$ off because I actually….own….that….apothecary table.  And the end tables too, but who’s counting?

Note to self....update family room photos....

But this isn’t a story about Phoebe or Rachel or even the tables themselves.  This is *actually* a story about the piece of furniture that we built to “match” those tables.  Yes!  BUILT!  With our own hands!  With no plans and just an idea in our heads.  And if I’m not mistaken, I believe this was before our air compressor days so….like…wow!  And we built it because we had the world’s ugliest TV stand….which I apparently can’t find a picture of, but trust me.  It was God-awful!  It looked like a Tetris piece and was that pretty typical 90’s assemble-yourself veneer ugly and it just didn’t go with the new tables!  We considered buying the TV stand that went with our set but it was too much money and it was too damn small for all of our “paraphenalia”.  Video games and a serious movie addiction = too much junk in da trunk!  So way back before we even started der blog-in-stein (we’re talking before we even got married or even thought about buying a house!), Dr. J and I decided to get crafty and *design* (from scratch!) a TV stand that would not only look better than what we had, but house a serious amount of junk!

We have a plan.....we can rebuild him...

Purty, huh?  And PURTY ambitious, especially at the time!!  The “hutch” part is for a later date – possibly documented on this blog someday!  Knowing me, this design was probably designed on the back of a cocktail napkin.  That would be my Cosmopolitan verging on Maker’s Mark Manhattan Days.  These days I find myself in Mojito mode and slowly transitioning over to Dirty Gin Martinis (So sorry, but is that too much information?).

And at this point I just need to brag because while I was mostly responsible for the design, my hubs, Dr. J, *built*a*piece*of*furniture*with*his*own*two*hands**!!!!!!!!!!! And, admittedly, we kind of look back on this project and guffaw because it was before I cared about getting my hands dirty, before we had serious power tools (i.e. an air compressor), and the whole thing took Dr. J almost a year to complete!  We were planning a wedding and so that basically was our life at that point…

But here was take one of building the above (you can see we were obsessed with documenting our DIY processes even before we had a blog!):

We took a really long hard look at one of the tabletops to a similar piece while we were in Pottery Barn one day (we registered there for our wedding, so we were in there quite a bit) just to see how they clapped the thing together.  We had this bird-brained idea that we could actually create almost a “picnic table”, sand it down, and then stain it to create the same sort of look.  I honestly don’t know what we were thinking since we didn’t have the right tools.  Nowadays, after a short stint actually *working* for Pottery Barn and an even shorter stint examining a damaged piece at a Pottery Barn Outlet, we’ve pretty much figured out that most of their table tops are a high-quality veneer over a hard-wood base (or so they say….).  The above contraption?  FIREWOOD!


You can tell the above photos are old – check out the old school GameCube and XBox!

Then Dr. J figured out that he could just build it by creating the frame (sort of a lattice work), finding a nice piece of table top wood (found at Lowe’s, of course), and then putting it all together….by….hand!  As in, no compressors were used in the construction of this piece just a good ol’ hammer and nail.  Structurally, this piece was incredibly simple.  We didn’t have any carvings and/or complicated curves, etc.  The whole thing was very Shaker in design, so very square and simple (hence the lattice structure).  We didn’t have to miter any edges and everything was put together with “butt joints” (although it’s escaping me right now as to whether we did the biscuit or the screw method).

A few months after the above photos were taken Dr. J finished off the drawers and we had this:

….and nowadays we have this….

….wait a minute…how did a TV stand go from media haven to media workhorse?!?  Let me explain……takes too long….let me sum up….it’s just where it fit, baby.  But not for long… fact, we have a new home for this puppy, which will be revealed next week.  And can I just say…it makes *so* much more sense!  Stay tuned!  Happy Friday!  And Pottery Barn – EAT YER HEART OUT!

PS  Stay tuned early next week!  We’re actually doing a free GIVEAWAY!!!  Spread the word!!!


86 thoughts on “Eat your heart out, Pottery Barn!

  1. Love the Princess Bride reference! (Hope that’s what you intended.) Anyway, I’m absolutely registering for your blog. Love your writing, and I get a feeling I’ll love your projects.

    • OK, for real – I didn’t think *any*body would pick up on that reference! Inconceivable! You keep usin’ that word….I don’t think it means what you think it means (LOVE that movie!)

      Thanks for stopping by! Friend us on Facebook, too!


  2. I love your family room pic! my kind of color palate! and guess what.. I’m a huge Pottery Barn freak- I thumb endlessly through their catalogs- then I shop around for products that are similar or I end up re-finishing furniture to look like their stuff because I realized they’re so over priced. I simply could not afford half the things there. My best discovery was Cost Plus World Market- they use wood from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia which is of very high quality and I discovered Pottery Barn gets a lot of their stuff from these countries… I still dream though.

    • @Meditating Mummy – we *all* dream, don’t we?

      @Conflicted Mean Girl – I’m definitely a “mean girl”, aren’t I???


  3. I was stopping by to say: 1) I love that episode of Friends 2) I envy anyone who actually owns that apothecary table 3) I’m green with envy that you actually, with your own two hands (or four, as the case may be) built a companion piece 4) So glad to have discovered you through Freshly Pressed! Congrats!

  4. We don’t have Pottery Barn here in Mexico, but that didn’t stop me from registering there with my American-based relatives before my wedding!

    Always loved Friends AND that apothecary table!

  5. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed AND an even bigger show of appreciation for The Princess Bride quote (I love that movie). 🙂

    Your entertainment center/media desk is gorgeous! If it hadn’t taken ya’ll a year, I’d say go ahead and mass produce the thing then take it full circle and sell the design onto Pottery Barn!

    Best of luck on the new house. I look forward to reading more of your handy work!


  6. Okay, now I’m inspred to get off my butt – I’ve been searching for a tv stand that will hold a massive Sony 400 DVD player that won’t fit in any stand. I’m gonna build one – that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. Now I just need to watch friends and hope I see a design I like 🙂

  7. It only took your hubs a year – without proper tools to makes a pretty nice and customized piece for your needs. That should give me hope for my own hubs. Sadly, unless I want old car themed-furniture, I think I’ll need to go to Pottery barn.
    Thanks for the giggles – and Loved The Princess Bride add in.

  8. That is awesome! I must say I envy your apothecary table from yore purchased for 1 and 50 dollars. I loved that episode of friends BTW. I also liked the DIY project you did. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  9. I’m so jealous of your hubby’s SKILLZ. I found this blog through WordPress, looking under the tag DIY and I’m so glad I did. This is wonderful. Your home is beautiful.

  10. I am a huge Friends lover and when I saw you on freshly pressed, I had to click 🙂 My family also just bought our first house this summer so I am totally diggin’ your blog and getting some inspiration.

  11. I’m a Friend’s fan too and I LOVE that episode. Looks like I found something else fun to read…

    and kudos on the movie quote, you got me to laugh.

  12. I never watched Friends in college, and I’m watching them all for the first time here in Armenia. I’m taking my time with the last season because really, you only get to watch Friends for the first time once.

    Great table!

  13. LOVED that episode of Friends, especially the part when Rachel finds out that Ross has the same table. I know there were 10 seasons of Friends but I really wish they’d done more – I mean none of the cast are doing anything better and I adored that show.

    Cool blog post, and the pic of your living room is beautiful! You should submit it to a home decor mag? Maybe your house will be showcased when you’ve completed it. Exciting stuff!

  14. So I watched Friends when it was on, and watch the reruns but have never seen this particular episode….oh well…another excuse to watch the idiot box more. All looking good. Can’t wait to see the new home for the media workhorse.

  15. I think it’s just amazing that you guys sat down and designed that – let alone actually executed it! Bravo. I would definitely not have been as successful. Most likely I would have ended up with some Frankenstein pile of kindle and given up! After spending a lot of money and making a glorious mess, of course.

    • Hi, Cheneetot08 –

      Yup! Everything has been done by the hubs and moi. Keep checking back – the house is continually evolving!


  16. wow well done for just getting a design and making it, finishing the project and never expecting to but you did

    haha at the F.R.I.E.N.D.S phoebe and rachel link can;t believe you never watched the first ever runs of it, i have seasons 1-6 on vhs videos and 7-10 on dvd, i am absolute friends fanatic. friends is a must see!

    well done again for finishing it off!

    • Photasy – we actually got that several years ago in the clearance bin at Pottery Barn. I’m sure it’s not on sale any longer but you might try eBay or Etsy for something similar! Good luck!


  17. Pingback: How First-Time Home Owners Are Building Deeper Engagement On Their Blog « Josh Chandler's Virtual Assistant Blog

  18. Pottery Barn junkie!!! 🙂 Love the piece, and it was fun watching Dr. J make it. Even though he was just Mr. J then. Now his talents are worth more….besides he now has the tools to do it even better. Great post, sis, keep up the awesome work, proud of ya!!!

  19. Pingback: Freshly Pressed? Why, sank you, Doctor! « Tell'er All About It

  20. Pingback: From here to there and back again – a tale of a TV stand « Tell'er All About It

  21. This is great, guys! Funny ~ Steve is currently in the process of building an end table to match our coffee and console tables. He needed a project while home from work for a week (someone has the enviable issue of getting too many vacation days…) and is now almost done. It is so fun to have a piece of furniture that was built by hand, design and all! Who knows, maybe one day he and J can team up and form a custom furniture weenie woodshop 😉

    • ….and the scheming begins ;-). Send pics when he’s all finished!! We can brag about him on the blog!


  22. So, first, great blog and very creative IDEA! Hate to break it to you, but your table actually isn’t the same table that was used in that episode. You’ll notice the two hinges on the top of the table from the friends screen shot that is missing from yours. This is an extra drawer that is used for blankets and throws.

    • Austin –

      Nope, definitely not the same! However, what’s hilarious is that P-Barn basically *always* has an apothecary table for sale. What’s sad is that I actually know that…because…I always….look…at…P…Barn….catalogs. But regardless, the joke is still hilarious!


  23. Pingback: Lightening never strikes twice….or does it? A tale of a twice Freshly Pressed Blog! « Tell'er All About It

  24. Terrific paintings! That is the type of info that should be shared across the web. Shame on search engines for no longer positioning this submit upper! Come on over and discuss with my site . Thanks =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s