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Anika Gandhi From Anika’s DIY Life: The Creative Hot Seat #3

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This post shares my second iteration of a new venture I’m undertaking: The Creative Hot Seat! I’ll be interviewing wonderful makers from around the web, and today my third feature is about Anika Gandhi from Anika’s DIY Life. Enjoy.

Anika Gandhi From Anika’s DIY Life: The Creative Hot Seat #3

Hey dudes! I’m back today with another iteration of The Creative Hot Seat. I’m so excited to be getting a few more of these out the door! My first feature was on my friend Emy from Semigloss Design, and my second feature was on Lindi and Russel Vanderschaaf from Love Create Celebrate. Today I’m chatting with the one and only Anika Gandhi from Anika’s DIY Life.

Yes, you read that right! THE Anika Gandhi. 🙂 I have personally learned a lot from Anika. She is one smart cookie, and I love that she freely shares her knowledge about running an online business with others. You don’t find that level of generosity with all bloggers. I have also worked with Anika on a few projects, including the modern raised dog feeder build, a DIY water play table, and Ramona’s outdoor table and chairs set. So I’m really excited she agreed to be featured!

Hexagon table build plans by Anika Gandhi from Anika’s DIY Life
Hexagon end table built with $15 worth of lumber

Anika Gandhi From Anika’s DIY Life

Anika has been creating art and small crafts for as long as she can remember, but she didn’t start working on home DIY and woodworking projects until a little over 7 years ago—and it was mostly on the side. (This is the first project she ever built!) Shortly after her second child was born, her husband took a job in a new city, moving the whole family with him. 

Anika decided to leave her job as a product manager for a company that designed and manufactured semiconductor power devices. Do you know what a semiconductor power device is? No? Me either. But Anika does. I love learning more about other creators and what they do at their day jobs or in previous lives before they started creating full-time.

So here’s one for you: Anika has a PhD in electrical engineering. Yeah, you read that right. You can go ahead and start calling her Dr. G. (Or not. I didn’t ask her.) Anywho, back to the blogging.

Anika decided to look at her family’s move as a way to take a break from working and spend more time with her kids. However, being the self-proclaimed workaholic she is, she had a hard time staying home with the kids and not working. I’m not suggesting that being a stay-at-home parent isn’t work. I’ve met babies and toddlers. They’re work. But Anika needed another outlet. And thus Anika’s DIY Life was born.

DIY nightstand with hidden charging station by Anika Gandhi from Anika’s DIY Life
End table build with hidden charging station!

5 Questions With Anika From Anika’s DIY Life

1. WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG?

I started Anika’s DIY Life as a way to share my projects with others. I loved being a stay-at-home mom, but I wanted to do something else as well. My kids were also a big motivating factor to help me decide I didn’t want to return to a traditional full-time job. Honestly, I felt like I had missed out on the first 4 years of my oldest daughter’s life.

My blog is a way for me to be professionally fulfilled and connect with others while also spending more time with my kids, whether it’s taking them to things they want to do, volunteering at their school, or spending time with them creating. The flexibility is amazing.

gold spray paint test, which brand is best?
Anika’s gold spray paint test to see which one is the best!

2. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT MAKING?

There is something about making things with your own hands—the satisfaction that comes with it is unmatched. When you walk into a room and see that the majority of the items are handmade by you for your space, exactly how you wanted them to be, it’s a really satisfying feeling. 

Hand cut dinosaur shelf by Anika Gandhi from Anika’s DIY Life
Cute dino shelf for her son’s room. Cut by hand!

3. WHAT’S SOMETHING PEOPLE WOULDN’T BELIEVE ABOUT YOU?

I really never had exposure to any kind of DIY or home improvement until about 8 years ago. I was born and brought up in India where DIY isn’t very common. However, I did make lots of macrame pot hangers and embroidered pillow covers in middle school!

I love to tell this story to my new readers to inspire them: In our first home, my husband and I wanted to install curtain rods. That’s when we bought our first power drill. We were used to brick and cement houses in India, though…so we had no clue about drywall and studs. Guess how many holes we made in the drywall before we gave up and called a handyman? We’ve come a long way!!

4. WHAT’S A MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE IN YOUR BLOGGING JOURNEY?

As far as projects go, honestly, lots of mistakes happen a lot of the time. But I love making them because that means my readers don’t have to. They get directions to make things the right way! And as they say, mistakes are the best learning tool there is.

Ikea play kitchen hack by Anika Gandhi from Anika’s DIY Life
Anika’s adorable Ikea play kitchen makeover!

5. Your Three Favorite Anika’s DIY Life Projects: What Are They?

MIRRORED CONSOLE TABLE

I think my mirrored console table is the prettiest of my builds to date. It was the first time I attempted to add another element to my builds—the mirrors. This involved cutting 24 identical mirrors by hand, which meant a lot of patience.

I gave up a lot of times, but I am so glad I persisted and finished the project. Another reason it is my favorite is because it was part of the first Instagram Builder’s Challenge. It helped me find many amazing new creators and friends! 

diy mirrored console table

UPHOLSTERED STORAGE OTTOMAN

Our DIY upholstered storage ottoman is the center of our living room. I don’t know what we would do without it. We don’t ever sit on the couch without putting our feet up on it. Plus, it stores blankets and most importantly games that we play as a family. Although I am still in love with the print fabric, I think it doesn’t work in my new color scheme. This means a brand new refresh to the ottoman is coming soon! 🙂

DIY UPHOLSTERED STORAGE OTTOMAN
DIY UPHOLSTERED STORAGE OTTOMAN by Anika Gandhi from Anika’s DIY Life

THE KIDS ROOM

My kids’ shared room is the most colorful room in our house—bright and cheerful, and I love that it captures both the kids’ personalities. My all things flower and fairies loving daughter and my dinosaur loving son. They share the room but each has their own little corner, and both corners come together and work cohesively. 

(Brittany’s note: There are some seriously awesome DIYs in this space, including the multicolor accent wall, the dinosaur canvas art, the Ikea Tarva hack, and the cute bedside table with book storage.) 

colorful kids shared bedroom

To check out more of Anika’s projects, head on over to her blog, Anika’s DIY Life. And make sure to check out her library of free woodworking plans!

Anika Gandhi from Anika’s DIY Life



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Marti

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

I love the mirrored console table too. I had no idea she had a blog or so many free plans. I had only seen her youtube before. Thanks for pointing me to another diy-er.

Brittany Goldwyn

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

She's pretty great Marti!

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