Monday, March 9, 2009

Building a Library around a Window Box

I recently showed you the window box that I created in the perfect space.  A cove in one of the bedrooms that was too small for furniture but big enough to create the perfect window box with surrounding shelves.  Don't you hate areas that are useless? Now that it's all finished I'll show you how this useless area became very functional.

Above is the window box.  There is plenty of space around the window and above the box to build a small library where there is plenty of room for books, photos and other little items.

The front of the box has bead board on it.  This I glued on and then reinforced with small nails and trimmed out.
Below is a photo of the area that is available on either side of the window for the shelves.
The area that I have decided to build this library is painted a different color than the rest of the room.
I used all MDF wood for this project.  I love this stuff.  It's sanded for you, easy to cut and is never warped.  I planned out what I thought it should look like on paper first and then took some measurements.  I measured at least three times so I get it right before making my cuts.  I cut all the wood with a miter saw, used power screws to anchor and pre-drilled all screws.  I made all the holes that a screw would fit in, bigger.  All those holes were plugged with wood buttons.  This hides the screw and gives a finished look. 
Here you see the finished look.
The shelves and trim are painted with high gloss white.  

Photos of work in progress.
Notice the right side is yellow?  I decided to switch the background to high gloss white.  I was thinking this would make it look more "built in".  It's all coming together now.

This is what the top looks like.
 Three long shelves.
Above you'll see a hinged box that I added to both sides of the shelves on the very bottom.  I used a scroll saw to create the curve, added little brass hinges so it opens and closes.  The wood piece on the top was purchased at the craft store.  This box serves as a little hiding place for special items.

Some suggestions:
This entire unit was caulked with white caulk before it was painted.  This gives a finished look.  All screws were hidden.
Always measure three times and use a level.  There's nothing worse than crooked shelves.
Use all your space.  The shelves went to the very top of the ceiling.
Be creative and add some fun stuff.
In my case the shelves are fairly narrow.  Paperback books will fit fine on here.

I bought a piece of foam and covered it for the seat.  I matched up some fabric and sewed up some curtains.  Not all of the books and things are up yet, but it will happen.  You'll notice at the very top of the unit I added some wood scroll work.

I still haven't had an opportunity to add things to the top shelf.

The cat loves it!
Here is a closer look at the box and below you can see the hinges that allows it open and close.
They come in handy and add some interest to the shelves.
The comforter above is what I used to inspire all the colors in the room.  I got this on for a very good price.  I took one of the shams to the fabric store and matched it up for the curtains and pillow cover.

The entire shelf unit cost under $150.00.

Happy Building!

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