When we did the first part of our kitchen makeover we removed the microwave over the stove and had a hood built. That meant that we needed a new spot for the microwave. I didn't mind it being on the counter during the first part of our makeover, but once we put in the marble counters I wanted to find a better spot for it. After playing around with a few different options we decided to build a sideboard. We had decided to get rid of the island cart to make the kitchen feel a little bigger and adding the sideboard let me still have a little bit of the open shelving look I liked and also offered a nice little spot for the microwave that wasn't too glaring and the girls love that they can push the buttons themselves "just like at Mimi and Papa's".
Initially I looked around online and in some local stores for a piece that would fit our space but when I didn't have any luck finding something that was close to the right size and reasonably priced I started looking into some online tutorials on making one myself. I found this set of plans on Ana White's website and thought it would be perfect! I altered it a tiny bit by making it about 4 inches taller (the height on the original design is meant more for a living room console look). Although I have made a few basic pieces of furniture before (like our dining room table and bench as well as lots of frames) I really don't know what I am doing so was a little bit nervous to attempt this. The plans were quite detailed though and there are links to other bloggers (and I also googled Ana White X Console and found quite a few more) who include lots of details as well so I figured it couldn't hurt to try.
Although it is by no means perfect (seriously - don't look too closely - haha!), I have to say I am so happy with how it turned out. It feels incredibly sturdy and really was surprisingly easy to make. And it's something you can make completely on your own. It certainly would make it faster and a little bit easier if you have someone helping you, but seeing how I don't let my little helpers use power tools just yet =), I did this one on my own.
Seeing how Ana White has the plans on her site there's no need for me to repeat it here but I will show a few of the photos I took as we made it.
First, we took FOUR trips to the Lowe's and Ace Hardware in about 24 hours for this - ugh! Make sure you have EVERYTHING you need before you start - haha! I had them cut quite a bit of my wood at Lowe's but I also cut quite a bit at home too.
Then you build the front and back:
And then you fill in the middle:
and add the top:
Once I did that I stained the top using one coat of a graywash stain and another coat of Provincial. I didn't want to stain the entire piece because I thought that might be a little too much with the chalkboard above it. I wasn't sure what color I wanted to paint it though, either, so I left it in the kitchen like this for a day or two and thought about it.
I ended up just painting it Sea Haze by Benjamin Moore seeing how I still had some of that left over from the nightstands. In real life it has a nice bluish green undertone to it. I didn't do a very good job photographing it though because I think it looks quite a bit more washed out in a lot of these pictures.
Once I painted it I started working on the x's. Because I made mine a little bit taller than the one on Ana White's site the single x measurements didn't work right so I had to make my own. I could not for the life of me get the single x to look right though on mine so eventually I threw in the towel and just did two smaller x's. Once I had them secured I used lots of wood filler to smooth out the spots where the x's connected. And then sanded them down and painted them to match the rest of the piece.
And there you have it!