Then I happened upon this photo on Pinterest (of course) and loved the look of it.
|on Pinterest; original from Style Me Pretty Living|
While I was continuing to mull it over, David and my dad started making plans, and it turned out that these bookshelves were a Christmas present for me! Due to unexpected illness before Christmas and a shortage of supplies, they didn't get put up until after Christmas, but David told me on Christmas morning that we were ready to go with getting them up.
Of course, I had a quiet little moment of panic because I hadn't actually decided for sure that these shelves would look right in our living room and maybe we should just buy a couple of ready-made bookcases (I still love the look of these from World Market). But considering this wall of shelves was going to cost a quarter of the price of two bookcases, and they'd already purchased most of the supplies, the decision was pretty much made.
David copied this picture (almost exactly) and followed this very useful tutorial to gather our materials and put up the shelves.
|Doesn't everyone's husband look this happy while working around the house?|
Then David measured where to drill the holes through which we would thread the pipe. And then it was just a matter of piecing the puzzle together.
|Step one--the first shelve leans unsteadily against the wall.|
|Good thing one of them knows what she's doing.|
|Tightening and securing (Obviously I couldn't resist sticking a few things on the shelves immediately)|
But I also discovered that the shelves are actually sturdier than many inexpensive bookshelves with adjustable shelving, precisely because once the shelves are put up, they are not adjustable. Although the back of the shelf simply rests on the end of pipe (and isn't screwed into the wall), the pipe in the front locks them into place and they can't tip forward because the hole threaded through the pipe is too small to allow for the shelf to tilt.
|The snug fit of the pipe through the shelf.|
|View from the side.|
|The foreman approves of Dada's workmanship.|
|Still adjusting displays and needing to purchase some book-ends.|
|Another angle--this picture is already outdated, I've moved so much around, but you get the idea.|
The total time required was a day for painting the pipes, a day for staining and sanding the shelves, and a day for drilling the holes and piecing it all together. Once everything was dry and ready to go, putting the shelves together only took a couple of hours, but it definitely required two sets of hands since the first few layers are pretty unsteady until the shelving really takes shape and then gets fastened down. Still, if you have the drill and the manpower, it's not a difficult project (especially if you keep your measurements easy--we made the shelves 8' wide so we could buy pre-cut boards and spaced our shelves so that the pipes were standard lengths as well).
I'm still trying to figure out the "styling"--mostly trying to pare down my favorite books and tell myself it's okay not to have all of them in the living room (especially those sporting the neon orange "USED" sticker from the campus bookstore). I have a tendency to add too much so I'm really trying to leave some open space and let the shelves breathe, while still displaying all (or some of) my pretty and sentimental things.
Related: I totally want to start collecting the cute hardback edition of the Penguin classics that I love--at roughly $20 a pop they add up fast, but I'm thinking I could use them as a special treat/reward now and again (and put them on my wish list for holidays...) to amass a little collection of them. Alas, they are not an "essential expense" so they are off the list for the next 21 days! (Financial fast began today.)
So that's our latest home improvement. We have a couple more projects on the horizon that we are outsourcing--I'll be posting about those soon!