Hello there! Hope your weekend was wonderful! We are gearing up for another day of storms here -- it's been a little crazy to say the least. I can't remember a summer with so much rain in Indiana.
I've been hard at work on a project in our living room that I am SO excited about! If I haven't mentioned it, I'm a sloth in the summer. I'm not kidding. I go into slooooow motion and don't get anything done at the rate I do the rest of the year. So what would take me two days in the fall has taken me nearly a week.
This time I'm sharing the first part of the process with you and then I'll share a few more details and the final result later this week. I don't usually do that but sometimes it's just a lot of photos and information to share the whole thing in one post.
So, we have this corner in the living room near our front door. I've place a few things there throughout the years. First a chair, then a desk with a chair, then a tall bookcase. All looked pretty in that spot -- I've just had a dream for that area for awhile that I knew would work even better:
I've had this photo saved for some time to use as my inspiration:
Gah. Swoony. I don't think that's a word. Whatever.
So three guesses as to what I decided to do. ;) Duh, built ins. I laugh sometimes because when we move someday we'll have no furniture. I'd build in ALL THE THINGS if I could. All of them.
The first thing I did was take the molding off the walls so I could get the bookcase flush:
Taking out our baseboards is a total pain in the butt, especially after we had the hardwoods installed, so I was determined to not remove those, and I've succeeded. ;)
OK, so as a disclaimer -- I don't do things the way a professional carpenter would do them. I wish I had the skills and the tools and mainly the patience to do that, but I don't. The way I do things work out beautifully in the end so I don't worry about that. My goal is always to show you that things can be done even if you don't do them perfectly.
Part of the joy I find in doing DIY projects is figuring out things along the way -- it's always a puzzle to me and I LOVE when I hit an obstacle and need to figure out a way around it. Like not removing the baseboards -- that worked to my advantage.
I took my measurements and got a few 1x12 boards in basic pine. I built a box in the size I needed -- I don't make mitered cuts on the boards, I just put them flush and use screws to build the box:
All those screws will be hidden, so no worries. I added the middle shelf and then put it in place to start figuring out the height I needed to add to the bottom to make it flush at the top:
This is where the baseboards came into play. I used those as the height I was going to raise it up for two reasons -- I could set the bookcase right on top of them for a little added support and I didn't have to remove them. Also, I wanted to make sure the bookcase was the exact height as the base (as much as possible) so I could wrap baseboards around the bookcase and they would match up.
The next step, after I was sure of the height, was to add supports under the shelves -- I just used scrap wood:
The holes will be filled and after they are all painted you don't even notice the supports, but you'll want them for support:
That's another part I love about figuring it out as I go -- I love using up the scrap wood in the garage. It's also why I never throw any away. :)
I installed the supports into studs and then pushed the bookcase up against the wall and secured them with screws from the top too. I make sure my screws sink so they can be filled in the areas I'll be painting.
The bookcase is supported by the baseboards a bit on the back, but of course you need more than that. I cut pieces of wood to the height I needed then tapped them underneath and secured them to the bottom shelf:
I did that a long the back too, but then attached those pieces into the baseboard. Since our base is industrial strength (the reason I hate taking it out), it is totally secure.
One thing to note -- always make sure to use a drill bit to put a hole in your wood before screws. Most times if you just start screwing into the wood it will split. I predrill where every single screw will go.
Here's an idea of how it looks from the side -- you can see all my screws that secure the pieces together:
Remember, this will all be hidden. Again, a carpenter would use much more beautiful methods of putting this together, but I knew I wanted to make that all look like one wall anyway, so I knew it would all be covered.
That's where I leave you today -- can't wait to show you the rest! I love how the end of it came together! The half wall and the bookcase look like one big piece and that was my goal.
The top of the half wall is gone and replaced with one larger piece -- I absolutely love how it's come together and I can't wait to show you! Just have a bit more to do.
I absolutely love adding elements like this to our home for so many reasons. It adds to the character for sure and you know I love that. And it really makes what was an awkward space so much more useful. Yes, our "library" built ins are not far away but we always need more space for books, and I can't wait to accessorize this too!
And bottom line, I just love adding areas like this that add some interest to our house. Do you have half walls like this in your home? Years ago I considered just taking it down but I do love the little separation it gives us so we have an actual foyer.
If you have any questions please let me know! I'll answer them here or I can add more detail in the next post.