For many folks, all it takes is a casual flip through a modern home decor magazine to immediately shut their wallet and bemoan the fabulous interior design ideas that they definitely can't afford. However, Boston-based designer and entrepreneur Ben Uyeda builds DIY concrete nesting tables using – what else – but Legos, demonstrating just how feasible it is to build chic, quality pieces of furniture using everyday materials found at home. The video, uploaded over a year ago on June 14, 2014, has nearly 5 million YouTube views – a very robust indication of viewers' vested interest in getting crafty at home.

Where did Uyeda get the idea to reach into the proverbial toy box to build these nesting tables? He tells SF Globe, "Concrete is such an amazing and cheap material, and I have experimented pouring it into molds made of different types of materials." He particularly loves Lego bricks because "you can make perfect interlocking pieces that are repeatable." This discovery has also led to his Lego-formed construction of a concrete nightstand, a skull-shaped planter, and even a coffeemaker.

After attempting this DIY, some individuals found that their finished products were a bit weak and prone to breakage. However, Uyeda addressed the concerns in a follow-up video, demonstrating the hundreds of pounds the concrete nesting tables can hold if constructed properly. He also noted that his concrete of choice was Quikrete countertop mix, a stronger commercial-grade alternative to normal concrete mixes.


According to his website, Uyeda's accomplished background in architecture led to the formation of two award-winning companies focused on green home design: ZeroEnergy Design (ZED) and In 2009,, which deals with the mass digital distribution of green home designs, actually "became the largest supplier of house plans in the world." Uyeda went on to launch HomeMade Modern in 2012, aiming to provide "easy-to-follow DIY recipes for creating modern home goods."

Just how did Uyeda delve into the world of video DIY? He tells SF Globe that he "wanted to reach a broader audience who couldn't afford custom design," given that most custom services tend to "cater to wealthy or corporate clients." Therefore, by publishing DIY designs – whether it's living room decor on YouTube or entire house plans on – Uyeda is able to "provide affordable designs to millions of people without having (his) work mass produced in overseas factories." 

While millions of people are loving his concrete nesting tables, Uyeda tells SF Globe that his personal favorite DIYs were the Zipstich Chairs he constructed out of only plywood and zip ties. Costing only $25 each to build, these innovative pieces of furniture even caught the eye of the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, which asked Uyeda to "use it in an exhibition and workshop that teaches people about design and making."   


In general, Uyeda tells SF Globe that when it comes to DIYs, he prefers constructing substantial pieces of furniture over smaller decor items because they "tend to provide more value." He explains, "Buying a dining table made from solid wood and metal can cost thousands, or you can make one from 2 x 10s and iron pipe for about $200." However, he's quick to add that "people making more of the things they own is great, so I would never discourage any one from taking on any-sized project, but I do think people get most excited about large projects that will serve them for a long time."

For those individuals who want to take home decorating interior design into their own hands, Uyeda recommends owning a few essential items. He tells SF Globe that for less than $200, folks can stock their workbench with a cordless drill, orbital sander, and circular saw – three key power tools with which "you can make most of the projects on my site and probably furnish your entire home." He also recommends DIYers grab a box cutter knife (with lots of blades) and a glue gun.

As HomeMade Modern's website states, Uyeda believes in "affordable, modern home furnishing options without sacrificing design and your wallet." And his catalog of stylish home-decor DIY projects proves it, featuring pieces of furniture so interesting to look at, it's enough for any person to want to purchase some power tools and get to work creating. (Uyeda also features his fabulous designs in a soon-to-be published book.) After all, what's more gratifying than placing your glass of wine on a textured, concrete coffee table that you built with your own bare hands?