Built In DIY Closets

Man – ladies, gotta come out and say it – I’ve got quite the catch 🙂 He went up a solid 10 points in my book after he helped to bust out a built in DIY closet from heaven. See, old house = small closets = hair brained pregnant woman without enough places to store baby stuff. Why do baby’s come with so much stuff – it’s sorta ridiculous.

So one afternoon, I started sketching up some built in closet solutions for our Master Bedroom. A whole lotta work, and more money than desired later – we now have this!

Built_In_Armoire

AND this!

Closet_Armoire

Which equals a whole lotta storage! Here are the insides of our built in DIY closet project. One side just for Jay.

Closet_Storage

And one side just for me!

Built_In_Armoire_Storage

Although it’s not much space (and it’s pretty high up) there is also a shelf at the top of the built in closet that I’ll get some baskets for down the line. I figure it’s a great spot for seasonal stuff I don’t need on a daily basis.

Basket_Storage_In_Closet

In other news – my life is pretty much complete now that these little beehive handles have made their way into my house 🙂

Martha_Stewart_Hardware

Nothing like adding some more storage to make me happy as a fool on a warm summer’s day. Here is a final view of our built in DIY closet project. Love the storage, y’all!!

Built_In_Closet_Storage

Built In Shelf DIY

Whew! It’s been a busy week over here. We’re well into our bathroom renovation and I’m so excited with how it’s coming along! We’ll have some progress photos of the space up later this week for you all to check out (get excited!). (for those new to the blog – you can see the before and after shots, here)

In addition to demoing and rebuilding our upstairs loo, I took 30 seconds this week to do a first round of accessorizing on our newly refurbished built-in.

Remember this built in shelf DIY from last week?

Vintage Built In

That turned into this guy?

Adding Shelves to Builtin

Well I decided there’s no time better than the present and snooped around the abode for some accessories to add into the space.

It’s most definitely not finished, and it’s leaning a bit too traditional for me right now, but hey – it’s better than an empty cabinet, right?

Built in Bookcase

It was fun to be reunited with lots of the little treasures we still had packed away.

I love, love, love these little bookends I found thrifting a while back.

Marble Bookends

They are the perfect bookends for the (imperfect) books we found stashed away in our attic when we moved in.

Antique Books

They’ve got some water damage on them, but from a distance, it’s hard to tell 😀

Our little happy pig found a new happy home. Fitting that he overlooks our Dining Room where this preggo lady pigs out quite often.

How to Accesorize Bookcase

Right now, these little gold guys serve no function other than ornamental, but when we add in a little bar on the bottom shelf, I plan on using these for stashing some mixer essentials.

Accessorizing Bookcase

And above it all, Honest Abe sits looking pretty. Another fun thrifting find. 🙂

Abe Lincoln Bookend

What were you all up to this weekend? Anybody else renovating a bathroom?

DIY Built-In Bookcase

When we were in escrow with our little abode, I remember showing people photos on our phones of the new joint and they would almost always comment on the little built-in we have in the Dining Room.

And sure, it was nice. But it was also a lot less nice up close in personal than it was in those photographs. Which is why we decided to do a little DIY built-in bookcase action over here.

Vintage Built In

It was old, and the door stuck, and it was our official junk collection spot for things we didn’t know what to do with in the kitchen. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Plus, now that I’m all in hyper mama bear mode, I also started to think to myself that every time we opened those sticky, reluctant glass doors, we were probably risking exposure to lead paint and the likes.

Lead Paint on Built In

Anywhoo … I just didn’t want to risk it. Plus, the doors were a bit too kitchy for my taste. So one night over dinner, I said to Jay – let’s give that baby a makeover.

I wanted everything to look more built-in, so we decided to scrap the glass shelves that were in here before, and swap them out for solid wood shelves instead to create this little built-in bookcase.

Adding Shelves to Built-in

The good news was that we already had brackets mounted on the cabinet sides from the previous shelving, so it was easy peasy to get the new shelf in. We just measured, cut, and messed around with some different height options for a bit.

Since there were doors mounted to the sides of the built-in previously, we also had to come back through and add some putty into those gaps before we did our final round of fresh paint. Here it is, waiting to get a quick sand down in between coats of putty (I think we put on 2 coats, total).

Filling in Gaps with Join Compound

I can tell you, I’m already loving how simple this looks compared to the rather busy built-in view before. The panes of glass and everything, it made that corner of the Dining Room just look overly busy to me.

Here is a shot of it after we added a coat of Benjamin Moore Simply White.

Adding Shelves to Builtin

I’m really excited to accessorize this built-in bookcase now! I already found this fun serving tray at the thrift store for a few bucks last weekend. I think it would look awesome along with a little mini bar on that bottom shelf.

Brass Bamboo Tray

When everything is said and done, I see the built-in bookcase looking something like this! Stock that liquor shelf up, babbbbeeyy.

How_To_Style_a_Bookcase

MMMMMM – T-minus 4-months until this mama can get her hands back on a Margarita. That excites me more than it should. 😉

Lovely Linen

So it’s a Tuesday night after work and I started thinking. You know what would be easier than painting the back of our cabinets!? Wrapping them in fabric and being done-zo. My initial list of pros:

  • It’s more straight forward. I mean, you just wrap the stuff around the wood backing, right?
  • It’s faster. See above, regarding just wrapping…
  • It’s cheaper? (No, it’s not…)
  • It will look better … waits to be seen

After I carted my bootie over to JoAnn’s I started my highly scientific hunt for just the right piece of fabric. To my delight, the slab I wanted was 40% off! Cue the jazz hands.

There were lots of options available for a linen-esq fabric, my biggest complaint was that most of them were pretty transparent. Since our game plan was to pull the fabric taught over a piece of wood, I wanted something that was pretty substantial looking. Like this guy.

Linen Fabric Bookcase Backing

So confession. I’m not one of those crafty ladies that sit around and make lovely pillows and quilts and wreaths for their home. I aspire to be, but alas, I am not. I think it’s the whole patience thing, I just don’t got it. So when I want to the fabric store, to buy fabric, I was a fish out of water searching for my salty blue sea. I think I paced around the cutting counter five times before I committed to entering the land of no return where they chop off the big roll of fabric you have in your hands into small parcels that may or may not fit the exact dimensions you needed, since maybe you measured something wrong or thought about something wrong, or, ya know. Anything, ANYTHING could happen! That’s the record that kept playing in my head anyway.

When I went to check out and the grand slam total was $33.12, this also surprised me. Mainly because I don’t know how this whole razzle mcdazzle fabric thing works. So out went the window that whole thing where the fabric is more economical than paint. Oh well. 😉 What I did know, was that I wanted to turn this:

DIY Built In

Into something we wee bit chicer with my new bolt of fabric. So I let the hubby know over dinner that we’d be linen-a-fying our bookcases and he was game so we got a crack a lackin. Ya know, assuming it would take maybe 30 mins, 45 TOPS.

The first rule of business. Pry the cat off his new chew toy.

Malcolm The Cat

Second order of business, drape that fabric right on over and get going. We determined that an inch of overlap (fabric hanging over) would be enough to have something that we could easily attach to the wooden backing.

At first, our strategy was to staple from behind, in order to leave the front face completely staple free. Alas, the staple was a bit thicker than the wood, which created a bump up in the fabric. Not good. We realized that since our bookcase trim would cover the first 1/2 inch or so of the front, that we could staple right to the front face of the board. Problemo solved. We were super careful as we went along to make sure we didn’t go over the amount “allowed” where you would be able to see shiny staples coming through when you were watching the telly.

  Linen Backing on Bookcase

We’ve refinished chair covers before, and the play by play for the linen backing was really not all that different. You want to be very aware of any puckering in the fabric, since those types of problems just seem to amplify as you work your way down the line. We also found it very helpful to have two people to work on this project, since Jay was able to staple while I tried my darndest to keep the fabric super tight so things looked all spiffy when we were done.

You can see a bit of a wave in the fabric in the shot below – most of that was taken care of when we came back through and stapled the other side. Anytime we noticed a bit of puckering, or inconsistency, we’d try to come back through to make sure things looked good before proceeding with the next staple.

How to put fabric backing on bookcase

Each section took us about 45 minutes from start to finish, which included the stapling as well as affixing the backing to the built-in shelves we had already pre-built. The staples part was going a-ok, until we hit a small little bump in the road when we went to attach the backing to the bookcase.

Why yes, that is a 3″ gap. 😀

Installing Backing on Boockase

By this point, the project was taking longer than anticipated already, so we’ll just say that Mr. Gap-frac-tastic was not a welcoming visitor to this party. I was not a hospitable host.

Luckily, my husband is much calmer, and apparently more innovative than me, since he just hacked off a piece of extra wood and we got back to it. Soooo … it turns out the fabric backing was essential, since we would have had the Grand Canyon running along the back of our cabinet bases if we painted. Since we (luckily) had some extra fabric on our board, we just nailed the smaller wood attachment onto the bookcase backing and wrapped the fabric up and around it. Easy peasy.

How_To_Attach_Backing_To_Bookcase

Once we amended our little boo boo, we just moved on to the nail gun in order to make sure everything was attached really well. We took this opportunity to nail in the shelving from behind, too, just to make things a bit more sturdy.

Here is how it was looking after we had the first back up on there. Me likey.

Linen Backing on Bookcase

And after we mounted everything back up on the cabinet bases, we had this.

Linen Bookcase Backing

Looking much better with a little texture in the back. Here’s a before and after shot to show the difference. I’m totally loving how the linen breaks up the sea of white and provides a nice pop against the crisp paint. In case you missed it, here is the finished bookcase, all accessorized. In LOVE.

DIY Linen Bookcase

Linen Backing on Bookcase