This was my first finished project using plans from Ana's site, and I am very pleased with the finished product. Every aspect of the finished sideboard is based on something from the site. I started with the plans for the Planked Wood Sideboard, and made no modifications as the dimensions were perfect for our basement family room. I decided to inset the back (http://www.friendly-home.net/2012/02/gigantic-rustic-sideboard.html) as Ana explained that Hillary had done, and love the final result. This will allow us to use this to potentially divide a room in an open concept space at some point in the future.
For the finishing process, I decided to follow the "Rustic Yet Refined" finish tutorial highlighted on both the Ana-White site (http://ana-white.com/2013/08/rustic-yet-refined-wood-finish) and Jen Woodhouse House of Wood (http://jenwoodhouse.com/blog/2013/06/07/diy-dining-table/). I fully intended to complete the 9 step process, but found that after we applied the Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner, followed by Minwax special walnut stain and wiped it off within 15-30 seconds, the finish mirrored the restoration hardware finish that we were going for. We decided not to proceed with layering on the weathered oak or applying the whitewash, and went straight to the spar urethane satin coats.
Overall, the project was a success, but was difficult to finish during the Minnesota winter as it was unbelievably cold and was forced to complete the finishing process in our basement/laundry room, which extended the length of the project. I am very excited to begin building other pieces from Ana's plans.