Join us on our journey to making this ugly-split level a home that we can learn to love, one DIY project at a time.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

DIY Living Room Shelves

DIY Living Room Shelves
A poor woman's alternative to built-ins
Okay, so I LOVE the look of built-ins, BUT I can't afford all of the wood needed to create actual built-ins so I decided I would fake it.  Plus I wanted to incorporate lots of books and 'junk' everywhere in my living room for cottage purposes.  :)

So I drove my car to the hardware store and bought me 22 dollars worth of lumber.  I used pieces of pine that were 1 inch thick.  For the top of the shelf, I used a 6 inch boards and for the facing I used 3 inch boards. I also bought L brackets to screw the shelves to my walls.

Again I am horrible and I didn't take any process pictures- I just get so excited!  But it was very simple.  We didn't angle the corners at all so the boards are literally just screwed together, each 90 degree angle butting up together.  It did look very primitive, but again, I am going for shabby cottage, so it all worked out.

For this project, I wanted the paint to look like the fire place, but I didn't want to take the time to paint the first coat of brown (remember how lazy I am?)  

So Instead I bought Rustoleum spray paint in Espresso.  It literally took me 5 minutes to spray down every shelf.  I let that dry for a few, rubbed the edges with Vaseline, and coated it with whatever extra white paint I could find in the garage ( I think it was trim paint for bathrooms).  Anyway, it beaded similarly to the fireplace and I didn't have to to a lick of sanding.  Oh happy day!

Well here is the final outcome:


I didn't have a lot of junk to pile on the shelves, so for now I gathered all the spare picture frames I had (most are from TJ Maxx) and then I went to the thrift shop (got twenty dollars in my pocket) and started buying books based on their jacket color.  I know, I am a horrible person to do that to books, but I love it!  Being horrible that is...  And then some books, I just covered in some spare scrap paper I had lying around to add some more bulk (thrift store books are expensive!).



10 comments:

  1. I absolutely love your decorating! My house is identical to yours :)... I'm curious what did you do at the end of your long hallway?

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    1. Thank you! I have not done anything awesome with the end of the hall- I just have some wrought iron there. I can see maybe a book shelf with a cabiniet in the bottom in the future. I will upload it when I get there. Thanks for visiting!

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  2. Did you continue this chocolate color all the way down your hallway?

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    1. Yes I did, but it is a little dark at night, which I like, and I don't like. On one hand it is soft, but on the other sometimes it feels a little dingy so I plan to do either some sort of white panneling half way up one side of the hall or add can lighting with a dimmer all along it to brighten the space when need be.

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  3. I would live to see your entire wall from the living into dining room. Were having trouble sectioning off and decorating. We just bought a sectional and did away with the couch loveseat combo. We have a large family so we need seeing. Possibly a couch and 2 chairs would have been smart.

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  4. We have the same problem! I will upload a pic of it as soon as I finisb the dining room. We are in the process of bulding a console table for the same wall in the dining room. Right now we have a cluster of pics between the rooms with a chair and it feels like a little nook. Can you add a small chair to the sectional?

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  5. I LOVE your upstairs! I recently bought a bilevel and we are at a complete loss on how to decorate with a baby. Our little one is going on 1yr...Are you ever worried about having your couch against the banister with your 2yr old?

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    1. Thank you! We didn't have our couch there until William was four so it wasn't really an issue, but I could see that being a concern! Until he was three, we had a piece of lattice zip tied to the railing. It wasn't pretty, but it did the job!

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  6. Where did you get the frame around your tv?

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  7. I LOVE your home! Almost exactly like mine but different in a few minor ways. I'm curious how your downstairs is planned. We don't have the garage; we have an open, second living area, another bedroom, an obnoxiously large utility room (same size as the bedroom), and another bathroom. The closet under the stairs is so awkward and dysfunctional! Ha. I love seeing your progress! I am obsessed with your kitchen most of all. :)

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