In My House/ Updates

Nursery Makeover, Part 4 – New Shelf

Every house has something that you just have to live with. For us, it was this shelf structure in the Nursery that had to stay. The base of the unit covers our staircase below, so it wasn’t going anywhere.

What to do with it?
We had a number of ideas for how to address this unit, first, we had a door concept (add doors to the left hand side of the structure, creating a closet). But that idea went out the window when we put in a daybed, and the daybed got in the way of a door opening. (Glad we did the bed first, and not the doors!)

So we revisited what to do. We had already installed a makeshift shelf at the top, not really caring how it was installed as it was going to be (past tense) hidden by doors.


So Aubrey and I stared at the shelf for a good 1/2 an hour talking out ideas. Do we leave the existing shelves? The issue with that is that whoever built them, did an awful job at them. So if we were to add on, our new side would look awful as well.

We decided to start from scratch, remove that shelf we had added on, and start from the ground up.


First things first, we took out all of the existing shelves. We left the ladder structure, that was in good shape & the height of each shelves was 100% perfect already, fitting the Ikea baskets for great storage.


We went to Home Depot and got MDF boards and brought up our table saw (borrowed from Aubrey’s Moms house – thank you!) into the room, and Aubrey cut away. Since we haven’t installed carpet, or done anything fancy to this room, we didn’t mind getting this room dusty.


It took Aubrey 1.5 days cutting the shelves. They had to “notch” around the existing pillars, and like all things in old houses, nothing was ever “square” or perfectly straight, so it took him extra time as he tried his best. (And did a great job)


Nighttime came on Day 2 of this project, and I painted the shelves out in the Benjamin Moore’s Aura line, in the same colour as our trim – Chantilly Lace in Semi Gloss. (It’s awesome that there is a paint that pregnant ladies can use!) But then it came time to fill some gaps, and I wasn’t going anywhere near the DAP, or the putty (I have a feeling it’s not safe for pregnant ladies) so Aubrey stepped in and filled the holes.

new bookshelves

And the shelves are complete. 🙂 This structure that I once threatened to tear out in fits of hate, now is what I love about this room. I’m glad we did it properly and removed the old shelves and that Aubrey took the time (thank you) to build new, better shelves. I also love that the height of each shelf allows for the Ikea baskets, which I know will be handy when I’m trying to find storage for baby stuff.

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  • Reply
    January 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Looks fantastic! It looks as though you planned it this way with the baskets fitting so perfectly On another note – it looks like you have the same door hardware as we do. I would be willing to bet that underneath the paint lies some gorgeous bronze hardware….something to consider when you have nothing better to do than strip old hardware 🙂

  • Reply
    January 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Oooooh, I *like* it 🙂 Nice work!

    We're using the Aura paint on our trim throughout the house. It goes on as smooth as silk. We can't splurge on it for all of our painting, but it sure is nice on the woodwork!


  • Reply
    January 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you! It didn't make such a HUGE impact as other projects, but having them done right, now makes the structure look planned vs. ackwardly placed in a room to fill a void. I'm loving them. 🙂

    Re: the knobs…The door knobs were painted when we got the house, and I actually repainted over them but now I'm intrigued about what lies beneath. 😉 I'm now off to google how to strip old hardware. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    i've gotten paint off of hardware by boiling water and i think baking soda – but mine was just paint drops, not completely covered in paint 🙂

    great job on the shelves, i feel like you will be very happy to have extra storage space once you start getting more baby stuff.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Wow, that looks great. Fabulous job, Aubrey. Storage in a nursery fills up quickly, so enjoy all that room!

  • Reply
    Kerry @ First Time Fancy
    January 8, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Wow – they look fantastic! Perfect for a nursery and will be so useful as your little one grows too! Great job!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    great job!

  • Reply
    cousin Deb
    January 9, 2010 at 3:09 am

    The shelves look great!

  • Reply
    January 9, 2010 at 3:36 am

    what a fantastic job! so much extra storage.


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