Six Years Later...

TheRedHouseJanuary 27, 2014

Shorty after we bought our current house, my husband put up some "temporary" book shelves in a weird little floor to ceiling alcove. We decided we really liked using it as a place for books but we hard a really hard time figuring out which type of shelving would look best there. It's an awkward space, 28" long x only about 6" deep. We discussed Ikea hacks, cleats vs floating shelves, and hiring a carpenter to do it for us. I'm proud to say we finally figured it out! We used some blind shelf brackets from Rockler and got a super thick piece of old Douglas Fir from a recycled house parts store. I lightly refreshed the wood and restyled the books and after six long years of living with messy temporary shelving, it's done! And it matches our Douglas Fir countertops too. Anyway, I just wanted to share what feels like a huge success.

Before:

After:

Detail:

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Olychick

Beautiful! And I love how you've arranged the books and your objets d'art in an interesting way.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:11PM
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yayagal

You made excellent choices, it looks wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:42PM
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crl_

So nice! Thank you for sharing.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:47PM
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tibbrix

Really, really nice!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:51PM
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flymom65

Looks so much better! Beautiful!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:02PM
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anitamo

Ditto what olychick said! Nice!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:13PM
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robo (z6a)

Looks great! And I love quite a few of those books :)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Holly- Kay

It's beautiful!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:15PM
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chicagoans

That looks great! Blind shelf brackets... simple yet genius!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:29PM
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kswl2

Perfect!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:06PM
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cat_mom

Looks terrific!!!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:54PM
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bpathome

Just perfect!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 4:19PM
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jlj48

Love it!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 5:35PM
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jakefield

Those look just beautiful. Great job!!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 5:55PM
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sjhockeyfan325

Can you please come over and arrange my "stuff" on my new shelves :-)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:21PM
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daisychain01

Only 6 years, you say. Wonderful results. Love the orange tone of the fir with your paint.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:28PM
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Fun2BHere

Good use of the nook and terrific looking shelves! Good job!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:44PM
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juliekcmo

What are blind shelf brackets? Can you show us?

Looks great.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:55PM
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springroz

Those are just beautiful! I love all the colorful books with the wood!

Nancy

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 8:04PM
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finallyhome

Looks great! I work better if I'm given a deadline. Now I know I've got 5 years + 1 month to get mine done.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 8:12PM
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kashka_kat

Could you show us your fir countertops? Are they also vintage wood?

Ive become a total fan of vintage fir since I moved into a house that has original circa 1906 fir trim/floors - love that wild grain. Usually it was old growth wood - the timber that once blanketed the US - nothing like the soft cheap farmed wood of today.

Shelves look great - nothing like vintage wood to add instant warmth and appeal.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 8:21PM
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maire_cate

Another request for a photo of your counters.

I'm also a fan of fir and when we renovated and enlarged our BR we installed a 14 foot by 18" fir beam to support the ceiling.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:23PM
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TheRedHouse

Thanks for all the shelf love! We didn't know the wood was Douglas Fir when we chose it, the nice man who helped drill the holes at the community wood shop told us. There were a lot of boards we could have used, but I loved that one, I guess I now understand why.

Juliekcmo, the blind shelf bracket makes a floating shelf with no visible hardware. The kind we used has a small bracket that is attached to the wall, a 5 inch metal post is then screwed into the bracket. A hole is drilled into the back of the shelf for the post. The shelf slides onto the post and the thickness of the shelf hides the bracket. If you google it you can a few types.

kashka kat and maire cate, the counters are reclaimed wood. The guys who built them said the fir came an industrial building. They filled the holes, but there are a few nails that just got sanded down and they look super cool. We had these installed about a year and half ago. I love them.

Just after installation:

Standing in the kitchen, you can see the bookshelves, so it really cohesive now. After the cabinets were painted:

This post was edited by TheRedHouse on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 22:15

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:14PM
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Baroo2u

Redhouse, I love both of your fir projects! What was used to seal the counters?? And have they stood up well for you? Fir is a pretty soft wood...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:29PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I used your shelves (or more specifically, your arrangement of stuff on the shelves) as inspiration! We realized last night that the problem was we had too many shelves with only one thing on it, and also too much was 'vertical' (vases, etc.). Seriously, we just added some piles of books horizontally and moved some things around, including putting some smaller items on those book stacks, and its starting to look great, so THANK YOU!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 12:02PM
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marti8a

Your shelves (and countertop) look great. And I thought the shelves looked fine before - until I saw the after. Good idea you had there!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 12:33PM
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TheRedHouse

Baroo2u, we used Osmo Top Oil to finish both. The counters are soft, they dent and ding and scratch. I chose them because I like weathered wood and I'm a klutz in the kitchen. I was afraid I'd chip stone counters immediately. I knew these would start to get banged up early on, so I could just relax and roll with it. They were a quarter of the price of stone too, so that helps. Even with all my dropping of sharp things, they've turned out to be more durable than I thought they'd be. After they were installed, the head of the crew who made and installed them said, "They're wood, beat them up. When they look bad, sand them, top coat them and you'll have new counters.

sjhockeyfan, cool! I'm so glad that helped you out. Feel like sharing a picture?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 3:59PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I'm kind of afraid to share a picture LOL! (I will, probably later in the week when I'm home during the day).

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 4:07PM
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sjhockeyfan325

TheRedHouse, I actually did take pictures last night, but then my DH hung up some pictures, and changed (in a very positive way) the entire look of the room! We're on a roll. I'll take new pictures later and I promise to post some LOL (I can take it -- really, I want everyone's input on specifics regarding the helves -- where to move this or that, what to add, what to take away).

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:48AM
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H.Parker

Looks fabulous. Thanks for the douglas fir ideas!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 12:14PM
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aktillery9

That looks fantastic! You did a an amazing job accessorizing them with such wonderful books and colors and other decorative pieces. Now I want one too!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 7:45PM
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lori_inthenw_gw

Just six years? That's nothin'! some of our "temporary" solutions ended up lasting more than twice that long.

How thick are your shelves? We are designing some now (also fir) and I find that a fraction of an inch canmake a lot of difference in the look.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 5:27PM
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sjhockeyfan325

That's nothin'! some of our "temporary" solutions ended up lasting more than twice that long

When we moved out of our long-time home a year+ ago, as we pulled away for the last time, moving to a city apartment, I commented to my husband "you know, the fact that we didn't have door knobs on the laundry for 26 years should tell you that we weren't cut out to be homeowners!". We can always find something better to do that home maintenance :-)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 7:18PM
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