Daily Archives: March 19, 2012

52 projects: week nine

Pretend like you’re looking at my regular 52 projects banner – we’re in between computers and my printer / scanner is out of commission (I’m on a borrowed laptop).  I’ll have to add it in later.  **Update: There it is!**  Just like my weekly projects have been a bit off track lately, so is everything else right now.  We seem to be operating at such a speed that we get everything about 80% done before we have to put out another fire.  But it was still a nice weekend – and I’m feeling pretty good about the chaos, although I surely wouldn’t mind an extra Sunday.
Week nine:  Detailed Drawings – Bookshelves.  (Screenshot below)

This is the project that just won’t go away.  We’ve planned to have some sort of built-in bookshelves in our house since the beginning of time, but we prioritized our custom built-in budget (for this house with zero closets) in other ways – first our bedroom wardrobes, then the laundry room cabinets.  Following that was the more major third floor built-in’s – two bedrooms, one bathroom and one hallway.  After enjoying those for several years (and feeling rather broke after the extensive third floor renovation) we laid low for awhile on the living room plans.  But we’ve been feeling the pinch again to get moving – we often find ourselves wishing that we had something in hand that is buried in boxes in the basement somewhere, lost without a final home.  As the girls get older we’d like to have those things easily accessible – the grownup up books, the travel archives, family photographs, and other odds and ends.  Plus, we’re also getting a little tired of looking at the toy stash in the corner and wouldn’t mind opening up a cabinet to access them, rather than pulling one out of a teetering stack in the dining room.  Another bonus for having these things built is the freeing up of space in our tiny little basement area – more free space=easier project space.  But reason numero uno:  they’re going to look great in there, and for once the room that you first walk into when you enter our house will look like more than just a room that furniture gets shoved into.

One good thing about mulling things over (for design nerds like us) is that usually we end up with a much better end product.  We’ve modeled many different layouts over the past couple of years:

Option 1:  Flush Bookshelves with Lower Drawers

Option 2:  More Sections / More Verticals

Option 3:  Three Sections over Cabinets
We even tested them out on other walls in the room:
Option 4:  Window Wall Bookshelves

and Option 5:  Entry Door Wall (Shelves on one side, Coat Closet Wardrobes on the other)
And while any of these ideas would be a major improvement over the existing…

Option 6:  Nothing
…this is by far the best:
I can thank F for this inspiration – mostly because I was working on these around the time she started pulling up on things, pre-walking.  I really want the girls’ books in here as well as ours.  No stuffy grownup library for this house.  And I realized that she’d be six or seven before she could actually reach any of her books if the design didn’t evolve a bit.  I wanted a little more depth in the cabinets as well, but really didn’t want to crowd the window, so pulling the middle sections out a bit did that, and the end sections have floor to ceiling adjustable shelves so there are plenty of areas for book access by the under five set.  I really like the variation now – and the addition of a working fireplace (on the wish list for down the road.)  It’s nice to dream about, and visualize changes in the house…but even better still to see exactly how those changes will look in the space.
Pretty dramatic to go from this:

To this:

(I need to kick out those Barcelona chairs in the model and put in our real life Z chairs!)
So this week’s project was to get those bookshelf drawings finalized (dimensioned, detailed, double- and triple-checked), and OUT THE DOOR to the contractor that’s going to fabricate them. I’ll email them to him in the morning and I look forward to taking a real photo like the above from the corner of the room. And hopefully with a few happy little readers in it as well.