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Picture Book Shelves

Dakota’s books have been haphazardly piled on the TV console in the living room. It was nice to have them out in the middle of everything, but they were pretty messy, and since Dakota could only see the spines, they didn’t really grab her attention.

So Dave built some shelves. It was so quick and easy that I didn’t even take any progress pictures. Here’s the finished product:

Display Shelves

We used these plans, and it was basically the simplest construction project ever. I measured the space and figured I wanted three ~32″ wide shelves. So we made them 31 7/8 inches so we cut them out of 8-foot boards. I’m pretty sure it took longer to paint them than it took to cut and assemble the pieces! It’s so nice when an “easy” project actually is as quick and easy as it’s supposed to be.

I wanted to hang them pretty low so Dakota could access them easily:

Kid shelves

The top shelf is still a little high for her, but we were able to screw straight through the backs into the wall studs, so at worst she’ll probably just crack them if she tries to hang off them. And since these are actually in our bedroom instead of the living room, she likes to bring her stool over from the bathroom so she can use it to reach the top shelf.

I was a little indecisive about moving the books out of the living room since we do a lot of reading in there. But there’s not a really a good place to display the books so prominently there, and we’re in and out of the bedroom enough that Dakota notices the books and will often pull a few off the shelf and carry them out. Here they are with a little more of the room visible:

Low display shelves

I like how they’re close to the door. The bookshelf unit thing to the left of them is our current cloth diaper storage/access setup, since we do diaper changes right on the bed. The three big picture canvasses above the shelves make it look less weird that the shelves are so low. Looking at this photo reminds me that someday I really want to make cool bedside tables with built in wall lamps, but in the mean time what we have works. πŸ™‚

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A Little Shopping Goes a Long Way…

We are forever in need of more storage space, so I bought these bookshelves from Ikea a while back to try and make some use of the walk space between the dining area and the living room:

Bookshelves (living room)

They hold a lot of stuff but they’re super messy. Here they are as seen from the kitchen/dining area:

bookshelves (kitchen)

Last weekend we made a “babyproofing” trip to Ikea, and we picked up doors for these shelves as well as some door inserts for the TV console. So here’s how the shelves look now:

bookshelves with doors

So much neater, though I had to find new homes for a lot of stuff that was sticking out too far to fit behind the doors. And so the “not enough storage” shuffle continues… We’re thinking of maybe trying to stick some sort of decorative paper behind the doors since they’re translucent and rather white and boring at the moment. We’ll see.

And perhaps you noticed the AWESOME mirror we have hanging over the fireplace now? A new Home Goods opened up nearby, so we stopped in and made a few purchases that I’m super pumped about. The mirror is one:

Fireplace mirror

And we also got this great storage bench/ottoman which is a little too tall and a little too blue, but totally amazingly useful. We can set food trays on it super easily, I can vacuum under it, and it’ll be pretty nice for Dakota once she’s pulling up on things. I’m thinking maybe I’ll try reupholstering it once the cats inevitably claw it to shreds? it’s probably the easiest shape possible for a novice reupholsterer, so it should be a fun challenge:

New bench ottoman thingThe white patterned pillows were also Home Goods finds, and I didn’t get a good picture but they go great with the couch and rug. Yaaaay pillows.

And to finish things off, here’s the living room as seen from the front door:

Living RoomI hung my biggest frame (cool picture of a waterfall) on this side of the fireplace. It looks a little sad and small, but I bet it would look great with a chunky mantel and a few candlesticks or something on either side of it. The bookshelf doors are looking pretty slick from this angle too, so I’m just all around in a good mood about our living space at the moment.

Next up, replacing the fireplace grate that’s begging to be pulled over, and finish up making the TV console all nice and baby friendly!