As you know, living in our little corner of the city is often a battle of inches. Every item that enters our space must be pre-screened for compatibility with our cozy floor plan. We have embraced this fact and enjoy the challenges, if not the math, involved. Things end up pretty precise, but you’ve got to make the most of all the space you’ve got.
Recently, we realized that our wall of shelves was getting a bit too cramped for our liking. The addition of an extra piece of salvaged art and a few potted plants meant bowing shelves and overflow. While layering some items can add interest, too much can also cause anxiety in my lady’s life. And since a happy wife is a happy life, I listened as she stated her argument for more shelf space. As much as I hated to admit it, we needed a few more inches. We settled on lengthening the two left shelves by adding an oomph of 11″, which would move everything down the wall another foot.
So after a sweep through Ikea to purchase a set of 7.5″ Ekby brackets (the bottom left were 11″ brackets, whereas the other three are 7″. It was time to even it up), we were off to pick a fresh new paint color from Home Depot. We knew we wanted white, but no one told me that there are approximately 47,922 different shades available. I think the wife tricked me by keeping mum on this fact. After a whirlwind of paint chips, we (a-hem, she) happily settled on a nice, poppy “Muslin White” from Behr. Next thing I knew, we were knee-deep in shopping bags, I was covered in spackle and touch up paint, and the battery of my power drill was drained. Shwoo.
But let me take a few steps back and tell you how it all went down. We selected a sheet of MDF that easily fit the (non-existent) budget, then had the HD handyman rip them down to the width we needed for the brackets. And because we wanted that extra-perfect fit, we found that stacking two lengths of MDF would be the extra-perfect height. Oh, and here’s a tip: bring the brackets into the store with you… the sizing is metric and lumber is not.
Once home, I used tough-as-nails constructive adhesive to adhere the the MDF together, and clamped them overnight to dry. After a quick sand, I measured, made the cuts with my chop saw (because Ikea only sells pre-manufactured lengths, none were long enough for our application), and called it a day. I passed the buck to Kim, and she whipped out the mini roller to prime and paint.
In between the sanding, cutting, and painting, we were also removing the shelves from their old locations, pulling out anchors and spackling 16 gaping holes. A little more sanding on those walls and some touch up paint meant that we were set to measure for our new locations. So with our fresh n’ ready boards in hand, lots of simple math ensued, many holes were drilled, anchors flowed aplenty, and things came out lookin’ like this:
And there you have it, a weekend spent maximizing inches. It seems that our plants are happy catching the rays, our art is less cramped, and we no longer bump our heads on that one pesky shelf that was always a couple inches in the way.
So what’s the verdict? Was it worth a weekend of Ikea trips, painting, and drilling? Does the white pop like we hoped? Tell me. But be nice.