So remember way back when I told you we planned to add shelves above the wall-to-wall desk in the studio? Well it’s finally happened. Although the desk itself hasn’t had any additional progress since you last saw it, the finished shelves give you a sense of what the whole thing will look like when we’re done. And now that we have some extra storage space, we can organize and move things around to finish the rest of the pieces while we continue using the space. Here’s a quick recap of how they came together.
After much debate and a good deal of Pinterest browsing, I decided to go with the rustic industrial shelves you see everywhere these days. Yes it’s trendy right now, but both the hubs and I love the look, plus it compliments the craftsman style of our home so we’ll be happy with it long after others move on to the ‘next’ thing. The first step was gathering enough supplies, which sound simple, but turned out to be a little difficult. The hubs had to visit several stores and event shop online to find enough of the pipes, nipples and flanges in the right sizes. And even when he did find enough, it wasn’t always the same color so we ended up painting all the parts to match. The metal supports start with a flange which screws onto the base of a piece of pipe. The other end of the pipe is capped with a nipple, which also screws on. The hubs attached the supports with extra long screws, directly into the studs for additional strength. You might notice that some of the pieces seem higher than others in the picture above. That’s because he initially attached each lower support with just one screw and we made them pivot on the single attachment to decide which height we liked best. We ended up going with the higher option just to give ourselves a little extra space when sitting.
Once we had the lower supports lined up and screwed in, he moved on to the top supports, directly above. We didn’t have a specific height in mind, so we just eyeballed it to decide what would work best with what we planned to have on the lower shelf. It looked a little strange from across the room without the boards, but this is how it sat for several days while we searched for wood that wasn’t split, bowed or cracked on multiple trips to various local hardware stores.
Eventually, the hubs found two decent boards in the right size, length and most importantly, price range. He set them up in the garage and I got to staining. I forgot to take a picture before I started, but you get the basic before and after idea.
I had originally planned to stain the boards, then do a white crackle paint over top and randomly sand areas to create the faux reclaimed barn wood look described here, but once we saw the color of the stain and how it brought out the grain of the pine we fell in love with it and decided to leave it as is. Realizing that the stain we’d used was a primer, stain and sealer all in one, helped reaffirm that decision – especially when we considered that we wanted the same finish on both the desktop and the shelves. I was secretly relieved that we wouldn’t be painting and sanding in the house, because my allergies would have kicked into overdrive if that had happened.
When the boards were dry the hubs cut them to size and I helped him carry them in. All we had to do was set them up on the supports with the cut edge hidden against the wall. It was at this point that I broke out in my happy dance. Literally. I’m just giddy with how it turned out. They provide a TON of storage space for my photography props, which until now have been piled up against the opposite wall.
You might notice that the far end of the shelves don’t go all the way to the wall. That’s by design. We will eventually add sliding barn doors to the inside of this doorway so we needed room for the doors to slide open next to the desk. Since the space is on the hubs side of the desk I rarely even notice it.
I’ve started organizing things on the shelves and will share the final set up when it’s done. It’s a process to decide what goes where, but it’s already making the desktop clearer and the room feels larger without the pile of props in the corner.
The next step is staining the desktop, which should happen this week. After that will be setting up the pull out shelf for the printer and then we’ll move on to finishing the cabinets with paint and new hardware. And finally, I’ll add some decorative finishing touches to pull it all together and make it cozy. So stay tuned to see each step in the coming weeks! 🙂