Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Something From Nothing

It's been two years since we moved into our 'lil apartment and, over time, Adam and I have slowly occupied nearly every corner in this place. Storage is limited around here but, because we are not planning on buying a house just yet, we had to figure out a way to best maximize space.

I had been frustrated by a nook in our "den" that served no real purpose for a very long time.
As you can see, this awkward, unused little area was large enough for an awkward little 5' 3" woman to fit into.  Really, it was wasted space.
After Amber shared her DIY book nook months ago, I knew I wanted to try my hand at a built-in nook of my very own. Certainly you're familiar with Amber's gorgeous little series of shelves.

To be specific, the nook I was working with measured 84" from floor to ceiling, 14" in depth, and 46.5" long from wall to wall. And just to keep things interesting, the corners were not exactly square. Little architectural quirks like this certainly keep me on my toes with projects around this apartment.

First to go up were the shelf rests/batons, which were made from MDF. These rests were screwed into the wall and were about 1/2" at the widest point. 
1/2"-thick MDF were cut into sheets and were placed on the MDF rests. The shelves were coming together!
The MDF shelves were fully secured using screws and, for extra hold, wood glue. 
We clamped the MDF pieces together and let the glue set for a day or so before proceeding with paint.
Note: Adam and I chose to go with MDF because, let's be real, this is a rental. If we were building floating shelves in our own home, we'd use pine like Amber did.

The shelves really started looking like something with a little paint.
Rather than opting for a bold color, I chose to paint the floating shelves in the same off-white paint as our apartment's walls. This way, they felt permanent and intentional.
 Forgive my lack of super-inspiring styling, but I have so much extra surface area for tchotchkes, books, framed pictures that I don't have enough! It's definitely not a bad to need to find more special treasures to fill your home, is it?
 Now my "nothing" nook has purpose.
The three floating shelves are permanent, and will stay in this apartment (hopefully) long after we depart. 
I think they fit in perfectly and have inspired me to work on a few more projects in the den that I'll be sharing over the next few months.
So, we managed to make something out of nothing.
And in case you're curious, NO, we do not plan on taking these down when we move out.
I'm sure our landlord will love them (if he even notices at all)!


  1. How cute are you? They look fabulous. I'm sure you will fill your shelves with all of your Christmas books.

  2. I cannot believe you did those on your own! They look amazing!

  3. Before I even saw your inspiration photo, I thought "put in bookshelves"! You could even plop a laptop on that bottom shelf and use as a desk.

  4. Such a great use of that space! Good work.

  5. That is awesome! Nice handyman work. I'm impressed.

  6. Great project! Will you show us a picture after you put all your treasuries up? ;)


  7. Yep you definitely added more storage and value to his apartment. He should pay you for that shit. Good use of space!

  8. Okay, first of all you are just adorable! Great job on the bookcases, I think it's just the ticket for that space!!

  9. That is the perfect space for floating shelves and good on you for doing it even though you rent. I so approve of that. Impressed with your skills too. Really.

  10. You're so good! Great idea, and yes, definitely an excuse to buy more stuff to fill them!

  11. Very nice! That's the perfect solution for that space. And that picture of you is so adorable!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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