Aug 24 2014

bookshelf makeover

When Brandon first moved into our house, there was a built in bookshelf right inside the front door.  It was pretty intrusive as the first thing you saw when you walked in, so he decided to take it out.  We have looked through all of the original pictures of the house and we can only find one with a partial view of the shelf.

entry before

That’s it on the far right.

The shelf got taken to the garage and spent the next five years holding paint buckets, tools, and dust.

We have been wanting to get some kind of entertainment center to store all of our electronic gadgets, but we really didn’t want to spend lots of dollars on anything new.  Since the t.v. screen is mounted above the fireplace, and there are windows on either side of that, there was no good place to put everything near the t.v. We also knew we would like something that didn’t look like an entertainment center. After considering several options, we realized the shelf in the garage matched the woodwork in the rest of the house, it just needed a little help.  And it was free!

Bookshelf Plan

The wall opposite of where the shelf was originally is the perfect size for it and the location is much less intrusive. However, it meant the HDMI cable running to the t.v. screen would have to go through the attic, but no big deal.

Bookshelf Section 2The shelves were not deep enough for most of the equipment, so we needed to figure out a way to make it work for us.  Smarty pants Brandon had the idea to take out part of the back of the shelf and to extend the sides to give the depth we needed.

We brainstormed a bit on how that would actually work and did some sketches.  We decided to extend the sides 4″ and to cut out the back of the lower two shelves.  This would leave enough room for all of the equipment and the chords that come with it, but still leave the back intact for the top shelves.

Once we came up with the plan, we did nothing. For quite a bit.  Life happens.

Then one weekend, I went to a retreat with the ladies from my church.  While I was gone, Brandon decided to surprise me by getting to work on the shelf.

He set up a work station in the garage.  The first step was to get to work on extending the sides.

Because of all of the work he has done to the house in the past, we have piles of random pieces of wood in the garage: different sizes of trim, molding, and 2x4s. It’s something we have debated about many times because I want to get rid of it all.  We ended up using several pieces for this project.  Score one for Brandon. :)

You can see where the extension starts where the wood changes color.

bookshelf makeover in progress

The shelf had the same dental pattern crown molding that we have in several other places in the house.

Hey all, Brandon here just chiming in to help Ashley on this post. The dental molding she is talking about is a three part built up molding. We had scrap pieces of two out of the three parts of the molding. We just didn’t have the dental portion. I replicated the dental by ripping a scrap piece of flat trim to width and then sawing notches into it with a hand saw. It took a little time to make two four inch pieces, but not as long as driving to a store to hunt for it.

We cut out the backing of the lower two shelves then it was time to bring it inside for painting.  For your viewing pleasure – a picture of me in my painting clothes.  You’re welcome.

bookshelf makeover in progress

We saved the cutout to attach to the wall behind the shelf to create the illusion of a solid back.

bookshelf makeover in progress

To continue with the theme that we obviously love, we painted the bookshelf with the same black that we have done on most of the woodwork through out the rest of the house.  I really loved it but wanted a little contrast, so we painted the back of the shelf green.

Once painted, you can hardly notice the extensions on the sides. (Brandon is a Rock Star!)

bookshelf restore

For safety, we anchored the shelf to the wall.  The anchor piece actually pulls double duty as a way to coral all of the chords.  The side extensions add just enough room for all of the chords to be hidden.

bookshelf restore

The doors on the bottom hide all of the chord mess as well as extra movies and video games.  When looking straight on, you can’t even tell that the shelves are different depths.

bookshelf restore

We love the way it ended up! What do you think?

bookshelf after

Linking up with: Frugal Crafty Home , Inspiration Monday Party , Monday Funday , The DIY’ers , The Makers , The DIY DreamerMostly Homemade Mom , Do Tell Tuesday , Chic On A Shoestring