Monday, December 06, 2010

The big birthday reveal, part three.

The cube bookcases. They are today's reveal.

All of Brynn's clothes fit in her closet, so we have no need for a dresser in her room. This leaves space for some other piece of furniture and, ever since she was born, she's had bookcases in her room. They were white laminate MDF bookcases that cost about twenty bucks each and you could tell. They were cheap, ugly, and not very sturdy. When we moved to Mexico last year I vowed that, upon returning, those bookcases would not go back in her room.

So for her birthday I built these instead.

These bookcases are based on Ana White's plans (which are based on a Land of Nod piece), only I added some trim detail to the top and took an inch off the height of the legs to be sure that the cases would fit under Brynn's window. The plans offer the option of adding backs to the bookcases, but I ran out of time and energy. In the end, I'm glad that I left the backs off, as finishing the inside of the cubes was much easier when I could work from both sides.

As you can see, Brynn has already made use of the "wasted" corner space by storing her Build-a-Bear box, filled with bear clothes and accessories, between the two bookcases. I was actually planning to build a little shelf to fit down into that corner, so that the top of the bookcases would continue through the corner, but now I'm having second thoughts. So far she's stored the bear stuff, balloons, and balls back there. It's a pretty good spot for that kind of stuff. But I can imagine it filling with dirty socks and underwear, inside out jeans, and sweatshirts that she doesn't "have time" to hang up.

When it comes to that, I'll build the shelf.

What I love about this bookcase plan is the cubes -- no more books falling over and looking messy. The canvas drawers (about $6/each from Target) are great for hiding her stuff. Jewelry, photos and photo albums, toys with lots of little parts (how I loathe those), and bedside necessities like kleenex and a water bottle all hide inside the canvas drawers.

Brynn calls this corner of her room the "art" area and has started posting her artwork on the wall to the right. She said that the corner seemed right for art because the lamp (from Ikea) "looks like art to me."

One of my favorite details in her room is the black and white photo hanging above the bookcase on the left. It is a shot of her from a ballet class a few years ago. I love the lighting, I love her positioning, I love her little tummy, and I love the concentrated look on her face. Such a beautiful girl.

The photo is framed in this cheap find from Goodwill. I just added glass and backing.

For tomorrow, the bed.

Edited to add: Here are a couple of close-ups of the cube bookcase trim, since a few people have asked how I did it. Besides that one modification and the shortening of the bookcase legs, I built the bookcases exactly as directed in Ana White's plans. See the comments for more info on what I did with the trim.


Scott and Jane Filkin said...

you are AMAZING. i must come see this home of yours before too long!!!

Hillary said...

Jane, you're sweet! If you're ever down this way, I'd love to get together!

Taralynn said...

They look fantastic!I found you picture on Ana White's site. I have a question - How did you do the trim detail on the top? We want to do the same as the shelves will be going in our living room and love ow your turned out.

Hillary said...

Hi, Taralynn! We built the bookcases pretty much as directed, then I added a thin (I think 1/4 inch thick) piece of MDF to the top, about half an inch bigger on all sides, maybe 3/4 inch, and then attached cove molding underneath. It was easy and worked out really well. I thought about adding a solid wood piece to the top instead of the MDF panel, but didn't want to add any more height.

~ Kim ~ said...

Wow so beautiful. Wish I could build something like this one day. You have inspired me. Thanks for sharing! (found you from Grosgrain!)

Miranda said...

Awesome! Thanks! Can't wait to try this one :)

Anonymous said...

Great work! What kind of wood did you use for this?