Thursday, September 5, 2013

Decorating Update & DIY Bookshelves

These past couple of weeks have been a happy blur of activity, as I've been busy working on a decorating project for my friend's apartment.  We scoured so many second hand and antique stores, plus Home Goods and Bed Bath and Beyond and managed to find everything she needed in just two weeks!  Ok, so there are a few more little things to be done, and the carpet isn't in yet, but we moved her in over Labor Day weekend, and she had an instant apartment! It was kind of amazing to see it all come together.

I'll be sure to post more on the approach we took to decorating the apartment coming next week and show you how it turned out.  Since Vivian wasn't going to use stools at the bar by the kitchen (we preferred a real dining room table), one idea we came up with to utilize the space was to have a bookcase there.  The books would cozy up the space, and there isn't really another good spot downstairs for shelves, so we decided this was perfect for her. 

Rather than spend ages searching for bookcases with exactly the right dimensions for this quirky, shallow space, I decided to build some simple shelves myself.  I love this kind of project anyway, and in the end-- even counting the trip to Home Depot (let's be honest, I was going there anyway:))-- it saved us tons of time.

In order to make the long bookshelves manageable and transportable I settled on a design with three sections, with wider outside boards to give the impression it's all one piece.  After measuring and cutting my sections of wood, I made sure to sand the rough edges before continuing so that the final result would look smooth and crisp.

As much as I love building things with power tools, I am no master woodworker, and these are very simple bookshelves, no fancy joints, no pretty detail work, but they're sturdy enough and just the right size for what we needed, so we can live with my amateur work:)

I decided to elevate the bottom shelf to raise it up off of the floor and to be able to add base molding to the front and visible side, echoing the molding already in the apartment.  Since she's renting, we didn't want to install built ins that we would have to remove in a few years when she moves out-- and the baseboard helps give it a built in feel without the hassle.

Here you can see them after I finished priming and painting three coats of white latex paint on there.  Once the carpet arrives, which will go under the shelves (hence the little gap you can see at the top) we can start loading it up with books! 




  1. Melissa Shelly SchofieldSeptember 5, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Super impressed at your execution, Liza, and a great use of that under-bar space!


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