How did you come up with the idea of furnishing the whole apartment with DIY furniture? Where did the motivation come from?
I had the apartment for rent and I wanted to make it unique, different from all of the others. Since I like the idea of up-cycling, I decided to build all the furniture out of pallets. Plus, a great deal of inspiration came out of my living in Berlin where interiors are often very alternative in interestingly designed.
Did you have any experience with DIY woodworking?
Except some simple furniture repainting, I had no experience with actual furniture making. However, I grew up in a family where DIY concept was present. For example, my stepfather built a lot of furniture by himself. And my mother was also a DIY person, very handy with everything.
How do you approach your projects? Where do you get the inspiration from?
I am not a designer. I usually start from getting some inspiration online. I mostly use Pinterest, a best friend when it comes to finding a perfect idea for the next piece of furniture. As well, I am checking forums to find some tips and tricks on how to approach a certain projects. Then I come up with a picture and a simple plan of a project I want to make.
In the beginning I had no clue how to start and construct a certain piece and there was a lot of improvisation. I am very thankful that Hank was there providing advices and support. It would be really hard to overcome the difficulties of the first steps without his help.
What is the process all about? What are the steps involved?
I start from a picture of inspiration. Then I think about it and plan everything (design, measures, etc.). Afterwards, I pick up the right pallets, the wood I want to use for a specific project. Sometimes I use the whole pallets but most of the time I have to disassemble them. This actually takes quite some time and energy, plus there is a possibility you break something.
Afterwards I pick the right boards. I cut them and sand them. And then it comes the time for putting things together. At this stage I often make some changes. If something is too difficult for me to make, I make compromises. The idea stays but the design changes a bit. In the beginning, I used nails for the assembly. But now I use mostly screwing and gluing and I hide the joints with the plugs.
At the end I apply a finish. Usually I firstly stain the piece than I sand it and afterwards I apply two coats of varnish or oil. I like to play with sanding after staining the piece because I can really achieve very nice patterns.
What do you find the most difficult and what the most satisfying in the process of DIY making?
I enjoy it when I really know what I want to do. Finishing, sanding and getting the pattern I want is something I love in this process of making.
What I find a bit painful is doing the joints because you really need to be precise.
And the best is the moment when I assemble the project and I say: »Yes, I made it!«
There were people that didn’t believe in this project but now they’ve definitely changed their mind. »Wow, you can do this out of pallets. I want to do it too, « is quiet often their reaction.
What do you see as the advantage of the community workshop?
I think the nicest thing is meeting people with experience that can provide advice. Working in a collaborative environment also means more motivation to work and less procrastination. Plus, the important advantage is that there is someone taking care of the tools and the material. And by having a chance to discuss the projects with someone brings you to better solutions.
So far Mysha has built:
a loft bed with stairs
car tires seat
3 chairs- refurbished
1 arm chair – refurbished
1 round table – refurbished
kitchen shelves (2x)