The Book Ledge Post

I felt this post deserved a slightly more dramatic title since I’ve been talking about these damn things so much. And I will gratify you instantly with a few pictures:

They’re so simple, yet they make such an enormous impact in the room. Can’t figure out what artwork to buy, make, or hang? Just put up a few book ledges!

This just turned into a 2am infomercial. Now I’m craving cookie dough. Because apparently that’s what you eat at 2am whilst contemplating new exercise equipment.

We don’t have an extensive step-by-step tutorial of this project because all you really need is the next picture:

It’s all right there. I even showed you where to put the screws and nails.

Steve drew a few 3D renderings before we started, just to wrap our heads around the project. They do a good job of simply illustrating the final product.

Here’s the placement of the three shelves on our wall:

If my pretty, little illustrations didn’t explain everything crystal clear, well then… first of all, are you surprised? And second of all, don’t worry I got yo back. I had Steve type up a little diddy about the things he learned along the way.

Tips & Tricks from the Lumberjack Himself:

  • Make your shelves the same length as standard boards (they come in 6′, 8′, 10′, 12′). Not having to cut the pieces saves a lot of time and waste.
  • When attaching the 1x2s to the 1×3: use clamps to hold the boards together while you screw/nail. Move the clamps with you as you move down the board. It will take out any warp in the boards.
  • Countersink the nails and fill the holes with spackle or wood filler. This will give your front a smooth finish.
  • Sand with heavy grit (we used 60) first and then 220. You can also use the 220 after priming.
  • Because the back piece is short I had to drill at an angle to attach the shelf to the wall (the front edge got in the way of the drill/screwdriver). If you don’t want to do this, simply use a taller, 1×3 board for the back, instead of a 1×2.
  •  If using the angle method to attach to the wall: At an angle, drill through the board and the wall with a long enough bit for the length of screws you’re using. Countersink at the same angle and insert the screw.
  • When hanging: If you space the screws at 16″ to match the wall studs then you won’t need anchors.
  • Dab some paint over the screw heads to help hide them. (The books will cover them, too, so they won’t be too noticeable.)

Yeah, yeah. Enough chit-chat. What is this? The View? I know what you really want is more pictures.

The shelves are pretty full already, but I’d love to continue adding to our book collection and continuously swap them out as our collection grows. There are still so many stories that I’d like to see sitting upon these shelves. And by switching out the books you’ll keep the kiddo interested. Right? I mean, it’s just like switching out dog toys for your dog. Kids and dogs? Same thing. Probably. Maybe.

Here’s the sexy side view:

My mom and I have been snatching up books left and right; garage sales and antique shops are great resources. In fact, every single one of these books is second-hand, which I just realized, but it’s pretty cool because we’re just keeping the cycle going.

(The photo above and below most accurately represent the wall color. Sorry about the wacky lighting in some of these. It was getting dark out and we had to use artificial light.)

And here’s the very proud and goofy Lumberjack, showing off his latest accomplishment.

He’s the best. He is the goofiest, but also the best.

Wheew. I wasn’t sure I would be able to hold my end of the “we’ll show you the book ledges by Friday” promise. But, we did it! They’re not hard to make, they’re just time-consuming. As with everything. After buying all of the lumber and hardware these bad boys cost us about $13 per shelf. Not too shabby.

We’re getting closer to showing you the nursery in its entirety. I’m still making switches and additions, and we still have one big project left: stripping and re-staining the old dresser that will become the changing table. Ho boy – but after that we’re virtually done! All that will be left is adding the baby girl, and from what I hear they arrive on their own schedule.

Steve is F I N A L L Y able to spend a weekend at home, instead of working, and we have a lot of Fun planned: a Saturday with some of our favorite people, and then a Sunday at the pumpkin orchard. Maybe I’ll even bring my camera (which we say Ca-mah-rah now, because 30 Rock has ruined us).

Happy Weekend, everyone! xo



Sexy legs

After Steve made our coffee table we had an extra piece of wood that was in perfect, usable condition. I lived in Chicago at the time and desperately needed a plant table that fit the space in front of my window. I think you can see where this is going.

The first order of business was finding legs that fit the modern style I was going for. I was thrilled to find these extremely sexy hairpin legs online, so I put in an order.

Now I sort of wished that I had gone for the raw steel color, which is black (and cheaper!), but you win some you lose some, right?

Steve finished the raw sides of the board with trim he bought at a regular ole hardware store. Then we attached the legs and used our leftover stain from the coffee table to make this tabletop feel less Scrap Wood and more Finished Surface.

After a few coats of polyurethane (type that three times fast) we had a custom-built, beautiful, new plant table.

This table also served as Olive’s cave. Her dog bed was tucked in there and that’s where she curled up every night. You have to make your furniture multifunctional when living in 400 square feet of space. (I’m sure this is also where she rocked back and forth, muttering to herself “We’re leaving this place soon. TOO MANY LOUD NOISES. We’re leaving this place soon.“)

Nowadays this table is living behind the couch – still playing its role as a plant table – in my favorite little nook:

It’s a shame the legs are no longer visible but it was too perfect of a size to not be used back there. I’m already plotting to make something similar for the entry way. I’d like to put in an order for shorter legs, in the raw steel color, and make a bench that fits the space just right.

So many plans, so little free time. I’m hoping to start working on some more major projects soon, so we’ll see how it goes. There are literally so many projects to do around here that I’m not sure where to start. Anyone have advice on tearing down wallpaper? I’ll probably just start with whichever project allows me to drink wine while I work.

My Furniture-Building Hero

Because I am incredibly proud of my husband and his furniture-making abilities, I thought I’d post his step-by-step picture tutorial of how he built our coffee table. Well, it may not be exactly step-by-step as I am not 100% sure of every step of the process. But you’ll get a pretty good idea from the pictures he took. Working in his parent’s basement and having access to his dad’s wide selection of tools, he was able to build this beauty of a table.

These are pieces he started with:

Check out that table saw. We have GOT to get one of those for our house. After trimming down all of the raw pieces, this is what he was left with:

Now that all the pieces are laid out it’s time to put them all together.

Above image: For this particular piece of furniture he wanted to experiment with only using wood and screws, and no metal brackets. Which means, you could drop this table off of a two story building and I’m fairly certain it would still be a coffee table after it landed.

Time for stain!

And voilá! Instant coffee table. Except, it wasn’t instant in real life. That’s the beauty of a blog post; everything looks quick and easy. Steve did a lot of preliminary work, like drawing it up in a 3D program, which helped with figuring out all of the measurements. In reality, this beauty took a couple of weeks to make.

And it was worth it!

Steve really built this table to suit his needs at his last apartment, and eventually we’ve talked about replacing it with an ottoman. (See that couch corner? We want to try and find an ottoman that will be the same height as the couch so we can push it in that corner like a puzzle piece and snuggle up to watch movies.) So, even if this guy finds a new home in the loft, we’re definitely going to keep it forever. It’s fun to think that our future kids might take it to college and play Quarters on it use it to hold all their heavy text books while they study.

I’ll be back in a few days to share pictures of our new faucet that we (and by “we” I mean Steve) installed last night.

I hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble.

Headboard It Up

Until I can get around to posting post-move house pictures (say that 3x fast), I thought I’d share a tutorial of a headboard I made for our old master bedroom.

Once we bite the bullet and buy our dream bed from Crate & Barrel I’ll probably end up moving this bad boy over to the guest bedroom. Before I show you the how-to, let’s all ooooh and aaaaah over The Bed. The Atwood, to be more specific.

We toyed with the idea of DIYing a bed, using this one as inspiration, but didn’t think we could find the quality of wood we wanted for the price of the bed. It’s not 100% decided yet but we’re thinking this will be our Christmakah present to each other. More on that later.

On to the tutorial:

First of all, I suggest asking a very handsome man to make you a wooden frame. Make it as wide as your bed, and however tall you’d like for it to be. Once you have your frame it’s time to get a-staplin’. I bought medium weight quilt batting, and cut it a few inches larger than the frame.

I recommend stapling at twelve, three, six, and nine o’clock to make sure you don’t get everything on there all wonky. (You do not, however, need to curl up into a little human ball like I do.)

Once you have those initial staples in place, and everything looks straight, go to town with that staple gun. I’m not sure why marriage isn’t legal between woman and staple gun. That’s how much I love mine.

Once your batting is secured to the frame, repeat this whole process (MORE STAPLES!) with the decorative fabric you’re using. I used an old comforter from Anthropologie that Olive rendered unusable due to claw marks. I luckily found a small section without tears that was a perfect size for this project.

And Voila! It really is that easy.

Our bedroom looks nothing like this anymore. So I suppose I’ll just have to take some pictures and finally get them up here.

Happy headboarding, and happy Thursday!