I showed you the finished corner shelf in the den as part of my Christmas house tour, but then, what with Christmas and all that, there was never really a chance to do a whole post just about the shelf. But it was a pretty big project AND I finally got around to taking all the Christmas stuff off of it and filling it up with non-Christmas stuff over the past couple of weeks, so…no time like the present, right?
We considered a lot of different things for the space on either side of our fireplace. At one point, I was sure we were going to go with wallpaper and have it be all feature wall-y. And then we thought about actual built ins on either side. But we finally settled on this corner shelf, as being a solution that would give us a ton of storage, a sort of built-in look, but be relatively easy and inexpensive to pull off. Here’s the space before the shelf went in, for context:
That’s why those pictures in the gallery wall don’t go all the way down; the future shelf was already in the works back then (in our brains, I mean. It took awhile to get it in the works in real life).
I won’t go into a lot of details about the build process, because we only very lightly modified this plan from Ana White. The only changes we made were adjusting the sizes of the non-corner shelves to fit our space (there are three shelves all together; the one that rounds the corner and then a regular shelf on either wall) and eliminating the overhangs so that the shelves would all fit flush against each other.
For a very long time, I kept going back and forth between staining the wood and painting it white. In the end, we used cheap pine for the shelf, so a stain wouldn’t have worked well, but I was never really thrilled about the idea of painting it white. I felt like the brightness was going to make it stand out too much against the dark wall.
And then one day Abe said, “I want the shelf to be GREEN!”
And that was that. Good idea, Abe!
The green we went with, after much, much, MUCH thinking and hemming and hawing and mind changing, was Behr Marquee’s green agate. Green agate looks a lot….mossier on the card than it does in person on my shelf, I should note. But maybe a lot more like I would expect something called green agate to look. At any rate, I’m really happy with it and really glad I didn’t go with white.
So once we got it in the room, I realized….this is an awful lot of shelf. I was kind of overwhelmed by it at Christmas, but I didn’t have much time to think about it and just sort of madly threw stuff on it and took pictures. It looked like this then:
And it doesn’t look that much different now, honestly.
If you let your eyes wander to the right of the shelves you’ll see that my current mantel decor consists of one lone brass candlestick. That is not a new trend I’m trying to start; I haven’t gotten around to putting new stuff on there now that the Christmas stuff is gone.
We wanted a place to keep DVDs and video games, so there are some baskets from Target holding those. And I bought another storage box that’s holding some of Abe’s games and puzzles. And then there are lots and lots of books.
I really need to get my books more organized. I went through the wall o’ shelves in the library and took a lot of the hardcovers out of there, which leaves the organization in the library even more….absent than it was before. And I actually ENJOY sorting books by category and alphabetizing and whatnot. I find alphabetizing quite soothing. But I never have time for it lately. Someday the kids will grow up, and I’ll just spend all my days alphabetizing things. But until then I can never find a book when I need it, so then I end up buying another copy, and this is one of the reasons we have so many books. Although not the primary reason.
Anyway, also there are some other things. Like I continue to manage to leave out the old violin case and toy piano I bought for Halloween, which pleases me. And I moved the naughty dachshund bookends in here, which ALSO makes me happy. I’m sure I’ll keep playing around with these shelves, but I’m leaving them with this sort of intentionally cluttered look for now.
Hi shelves; looks like you need dusting. Oops–guess I should have noticed that BEFORE I took the photos. Ignore the dust and pay attention to my little ceramic Scottie, please. He is one of my favorites.
I finally got around to ordering what I believe to be the very last things I need to do a full den tour/reveal type thing, so I’m hoping that will be happening next week. But I also have a second (what?!) post planned for later this week, too. I’ve felt very sleepy about house projects since Christmas, but I have a ton I want and/or need to do before our big summer trip, so it’s time to wake up!