I hope you enjoyed seeing the newly completed bookcases at our beach condo on Tuesday. If you missed it, you can see the full reveal by clicking here.
From the in process pictures that I shared during the construction phase, you might have thought that Pookie was constructing them in an unusual way. You would be right, but there were reasons behind the madness (see points 1, 2 and 3 below). Some of you may have the same sort of issues to deal with, so I thought I'd share a general idea of what we did and why.
Before construction could begin, we had to decide upon the finished width of the bookcases. We knew that we wanted to use upper kitchen cabinets for the base because they're only 12" deep as opposed to base cabinets which are 24" deep. Floor space is at a premium in this tiny place! We purchased unfinished cabinets from Home Depot in different sizes and played around with them until we found an arrangement that we liked.
Part of the process was trying to get a feel for where the sides of the bookcases would be based on the cabinet width that we used. We wound up going with two 30" wide cabinets and one 36" cabinet in the middle.
At this point, I stopped Pookie and asked why we weren't building the entire bookcase and then just standing it up and attaching it to the wall? Turns out there were good reasons not to do it that way.
1. We were dealing with floors that aren't level and walls that aren't completely flat.
2. In spite of Pookie's woodworking abilities, he considers himself an amateur.
3. Read the next point and you'll see the major reason why!
The very first thing that had to be worked around was the ugly 6' long baseboard heater located on the wall where the bookcases were to go. We had to make sure that we didn't block the heat nor did we want wood coming into direct contact with the heater.
Pookie had a plan! He's smart like that. To keep wood from being in contact with the heater, Pookie installed a cleat that the cabinets would rest upon. It was simply a 1" x 2" strip of wood that was mounted to the wall (everything you'll see is mounted in studs, where possible) about an inch or so above the heater. This baby was going to be the base for everything, so it had to be perfectly level. You can see the bottom of the cabinets resting on the mounted 1" x 2". No wood is touching the heater.
To get the bookcases just the right width (to accommodate the width of the tv), Pookie added 2" x 2" spacers to the sides of each cabinet.
We didn't need to worry about how the spacers looked because we knew it would all be covered with the countertop.
Constantly checking for level as all of the elements were put together.
Pookie used cabinet grade plywood for the sides, ends, top and counter. Here's what we had after a couple of weekends.
Things slowed down quite a bit when it came time to trim everything out. We won't talk about how much time was spent designing, discussing and looking at all of our options.
All trimmed out - yay!
You'll notice that we didn't attach a back to the bookcases. It all has to do with reasons #1 and #2 that were listed above. We simply painted the wall instead and you can't even tell that the bookcases don't have a true back.
Other than supervising...ahem, it was my job to prep for painting by filling in the myriad of holes and spaces and sanding.
Paint! I really felt for Pookie at this point. Can I paint? Yes. But alas, a painter I am not. I make a huge mess of things when the paint brush/roller is in my hand. It took one coat of primer and three coats of paint to get good coverage. I am good at sanding though. ;)
The last bit of design was to come up with a way to attractively and economically cover the huge gaping opening at the bottom of the cabinets. The cabinets are sitting about 10" off of the floor. Pookie built a frame out of 1" x 2" boards that covers the space nicely.
I needed to come up with some sort of a grate for the cover. My first thought was to purchase some of the metal mesh that is used for radiator covers. There are some really pretty designs around. But I knew this part of the bookcases wouldn't be that visible once the furniture was put back in place, so I came up with a less expensive alternative.
I purchased a roll of hardware net (sold in the fencing section at Home Depot/Lowes), cut it to size, spray-painted it white and stapled it to the back of the frame
I think it worked out well. The wires that you see behind the cover are the cable and tv cords bundled together. In reality, they are not so visible, especially with the furniture placed in front of the bookcases.
Thank you so much, Pookie, for bringing my vision to life!
I'll be linking up here:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Meet Me Monday at You Are Talking Too Much
Your Cozy Home Party on Monday at Cozy Home Scenes
Motivated Monday at Be Colorful
Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie
Tutorials and Tips Tuesday at Home Stories A to Z
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
DIY by Design on Wednesday
Uncommonly Yours on Wednesday at Uncommon Designs
Show Me Extroidinary on Thursday at The 36th Avenue
Grace at Home on Thursday at Imparting Grace
It's A Party on Thursday at A Creative Princess
Open House Party Thursday at No Minimalist Here
Share Your Creations on Thursday at Kristen's Creations
Tickled Pink Fridays at 504 Main
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
Feature Friday Free for All at Five Days...5 Ways
Feature Friday at Blissful and Domestic
DIY Link Party at AKADesign
Addicts (not so) Anonymous on Friday at Addicted 2 Decorating
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence
Weekly Top Shot on Saturday at The View From Right Here
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Overflowing with Creativity on Sunday at It's Overflowing
Sew Darn Crafty Sunday at Sew Many Ways
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Simply Klassic Sunday at A Simply Klassic Home