Shelf Life

It’s funny how there are some plans you stew and stew over before putting them into action, while others seem to be executed nearly immediately. The latter was the case for my most recent DIY–installing a set of shelves in the corner of our office. A routine Saturday browsing of the internets led me to stumble across a photo of an ingenious design for wall mounted display shelves that I felt compelled to emulate post haste.

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Normally, I think it’s best to leave corners open and free of clutter, but there is so much I love about this design from A Home West. I think it’s a super way to display the artifacts that help define us while still maximizing storage capacity. And since storage has always been an issue for Heath and myself–I’m a bit of an impulse buyer, Heath’s got a smidge of hoarder in him–this solution seemed ideal for both storing Heath’s collection of history books and my random assortment of knick knacks. I don’t exaggerate when I say fewer than 10 minutes passed from the moment I stumbled across this clever home remedy and when I departed to Home Depot for supplies. A couple of hours later, the office was rejuvenated.

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It turned out to be an incredibly simple, fast, and affordable way to freshen up a neglected space. We already had the wood from an old project Heath and I worked on at our last house, which, coincidentally, was also one we embarked on to create storage in our old office. So the only real cost was the hardware:

  • 20 1/2-inch wood screws (four for each shelf)
  • 10 L-shaped brackets
  • 20 washers
  • 20 metal anchor screws
  • 20 3-inch wall screws
  • Black spray paint

That was it! I think I spent something like $34 total and a Saturday afternoon to see the transformation through to fruition. I still need to stain the edges of the shelves, and I’ll admit, I kind of miss my map wall, but my lust for this new unit is keeping me pretty satisfied.

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Living Room Re-Do

Not so long ago I posted here about my disgust with the TV set up in our new living room (our lives are filled with monumental levels of adversity). Boring, drab and uninspired it was. Fortunately, I found a solution–one that involved a major overhaul of the living room layout and resulted in a much more feng shui entertaining environment. The before and after photos have me breathing a sigh of relief.

Ultimately the TV had to change walls. Instead of sitting against a blank white canvas, I repositioned it in front of an oversized window framed by a green accent wall. Now all eyes are on the bright “retro avocado” wall and dramatic curtains rather than an expansive plane of icky nothingness. Me Likey.

Customized shelving, made by none other than Handyman Heath, went against the white wall, which gave the room the personal pizzaz it needed.

You might recognize the shelves from the office in the old house. I loved them so much, I thought they deserved to be front and center rather than tucked away in the office or guest bedroom. Here’s how they looked pre-move and pre-stain.

The empty wall turned out to be the perfect backdrop against which the shelves and their various knick knacks could pop.

We also changed the wall color from the same neutral beige that I wrote about in our office to a bright white that packs a nice punch. The difference is subtle but, again, keeps the beige cloud feeling from creeping in on us.

Plus, against the green accent wall, the new white looks much crisper than the beige color did.

I also finally made the effort to focus in on some of the smaller details, like creating an entryway table. Sadly our house lacks an actual foyer, so a decorative little side table next to the front door has to suffice for a barrier between the living room and entryway until a more established room divider can come into play. Fortunately, it’s a pretty cute interim set up.

I never stop being amazed at the difference a coat of paint and a little rearranging can make.

I’m clearly not winning any Pulitzer Prizes for obsessively blogging about my new and improved living room, but I’m a big believer that a happy environment makes a happy person, and our new space is very happy.


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