This Self-Taught Carpenter Wants to Make Her Craft More Approachable
Get to know Jen Woodhouse of The House of Wood.
Updated Jun 25, 2019 6:36 PM
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A self-taught carpenter with a fearless DIY spirit and a penchant for problem-solving—that’s how Jen Woodhouse, the blogger behind The House of Wood (winner of the Best DIY blog in the Domino Design Blog Awards) would describe herself. For nearly a decade, the creative has been building furniture and tackling various home renovation projects with the goal of making woodworking both accessible and simple—all the while homeschooling her two children. Woodhouse’s penchant for the craft is evident within her easy-to-follow designs and the in-depth tutorials she offers on her blog. With the intention of inspiring and encouraging her readers to build their way to a more beautiful home, Woodhouse’s approachability permeates each and every one of her undertakings. We caught up with the blogger to get the lowdown on her style and inspirations. Take a look.
My work/space is inspired by: As a military family, we move around a lot. My workshop is typically the first thing I set up when we move to a new place—sometimes it’s a garage, sometimes a shed. I have to be flexible and smart about storage solutions! Organization is one of my love languages, so I try to create stations that make sense within my workspace: power tools hang on a pegboard wall, bits and pieces go in divided drawers, etc.
I’m 10 times more productive when: There’s a looming deadline! I’m a procrastinator by nature, so working against the clock is an effective motivator.
On the weekends you can find me: In my workshop, covered in sawdust.
My biggest design splurge was: I’m usually pretty frugal and prefer to build rather than buy, so I honestly can’t think of a specific design splurge! Also, because we move around a lot, I can’t afford to be too precious with our things because they tend to get lost or damaged. On second thought, I’m building a walnut and steel entertainment center right now, and I did splurge on the gorgeous walnut hardwood.
The one item I can’t live without is: My table saw.
Describe your style in three words: Eclectic, Transitional, with a slight nod to Asian-inspired elements (I’m Filipina)
What’s the biggest design risk you took that paid off? Building both of my kids’ beds! Not only did I save a lot of money doing it myself, but their beds make bedtime truly magical! You can see them (and build them yourself!) here and here.
Name a designer who is currently inspiring you. My dear friend Grace Mitchell, from A Storied Style, loves for interiors to evoke a story—a history of sorts—of the homeowners. Not only does she have an amazing eye for design, color, and textures, but I love the heart she puts in her work, that she treasures a space enough to tell the story about the people who live in it. Look out for her new show on HGTV next year! What’s a throwback design trend you’re hoping will make a return? Floor-to-ceiling wood paneling, actually! Especially if it shows great craftsmanship with molding, trim, and embellishments. There’s something so luxurious and interesting about rich, warm wood on walls.
Describe the moment you knew you wanted to do something with design. I don’t think I specifically identified my love for design from the very beginning, but I remember as a child, I sponge-painted this awful salmon and mint pattern on my closet doors. Luckily, my parents encouraged my creative ideas and allowed me to decorate and re-decorate my room constantly, even when my design choices were questionable!
What does winning the Blogger Award mean to you? It’s an incredible validation of the hard work I’ve put in all these years. A great big feather in my cap and I am deeply honored by and grateful for this award!
The best part of doing what I do is: Inspiring others, women especially, to learn a new skill, pick up that intimidating power tool, and build something amazing.