Over Thanksgiving weekend, as some of you know, the Norseman and I worked on a long anticipated project: bookshelves! Okay, so it was almost entirely the Norseman who built these since I had a babe-in-arms. But not to worry! Anyone could build these with a little patience.
Back in July/August we moved out of our sprawling three bedroom, two bathroom ranch into a two bedroom, one bathroom townhouse. This townhouse was designed by a German architect, and it is obvious as soon as you step through the front door. I immediately felt transported back to Germany, one of the many countries I’ve visited and am in love with. One of the unique features was this little nook in the living room.
At first we had a giant picture table in front of the window, a dilapidated white Target bookshelf on the right side, and a small table holding games and some other random items on the left. Sorry, I forgot to actually take a picture of it that way! The cat liked to sit on the picture table, which consequently didn’t hold any pictures.
We had already planned to build new bookshelves, and this nook especially caused us to want to fill it with books and cozy seating. Because who doesn’t love cozy window seats surrounded by books?? We decided to make the shelves the width of the nook, and almost as tall, with open backs. (Norseman read somewhere that having open shelving makes a room feel larger.) After traveling to Home Depot several times to look at stains and lumber, we settled on the Minwax shade Antique Jade, and 3/4” 4’X8′ pine plywood.
We could have used birch boards, but that would have cost twice as much. And we were on a very strict budget of about $100 for the whole project. In the end, the total cost was $124, with one caveat. We thought we could use one pint of stain for both bookshelves – but it only covered one shelf. So now we have one stained shelf, and one unstained shelf, because we are waiting for warmer weather in the spring in order to correctly stain the other shelf. Ah, well. Here is a look at the finished products, and how the nook is currently rearranged.
The cat box will eventually move behind the couch into it’s own hidey box so that we’re no longer watching her do her business. And so that Prima won’t decide it is fun to play in once she hits the crawling/walking stage. The cardboard box of miscellaneous XBOX stuff will be moved into a plastic storage tub and put into a closet. The TV is going to be moved somewhere else (not sure where, just yet.) The main thing is that we don’t want it to be the focal point of the living room. I’m going to get some pretty white floral curtains to cover the hideous blinds (all plastic blinds are hideous, in my opinion), and a couple of wire or wicker chairs and a small round table to put in front of the windows.
And there you have it! It will be awhile before the living room is finally finished, but it already feels so much more spacious, homey, and organized. It is amazing what these shelves did for the area. If you’d like to make your own bookshelves, come back next week for a more detailed how-to post.