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Our office is a mess. The only piece of furniture in it is our desk, which is overflowing with papers that need organizing and filing, and the floor is covered in boxes of paper samples and supplies for an ongoing project we’re developing (at what feels like a creeping pace). Until now.

This past weekend, B got handy and made a bookshelf! We saved up a couple years ago and bought ourselves a “we’ll keep it forever” desk, the Bedford (in white) from Pottery Barn.

via Pottery Barn

The above image is from PB–that’s not our office! 🙂 So anyway, when we finally bought me a new computer back in May, we discovered that the computer, an iMac, was way too tall to work comfortably with the computer sitting atop the hutch (where the little black vases are in the above photo). I’m short, and my neck was craning upward at an odd, uncomfortable angle. Something had to change. We needed storage, and I needed to lose the hutch without actually losing it. I wanted to still utilize it, but not on the desk.

Enter B. He took the PB Bedford bookshelf that matches our desk…

…and used it as a model to draw up his own plans (he also worked from some plans from Ana White). The plan was to move the hutch onto a bookshelf, allowing us to solve both issues. We’d get some storage, a place to put the printer (which was on the floor), and we could move the hutch and reposition the computer at a more normal angle.

So B designed some plans, specially designing the shelf to be the exact same length as the hutch so that the two pieces would look as seamless as possible. Then he bought the wood and started assembling.

First up, he made the frame from MDF board:

Then he added the top and sides:

As you can see, it was pretty long, 52 inches if I’m remembering correctly.

Then he added the trim to the sides and front:

And added the back and more trim:

Ta da! A bookshelf!

Next we had to fill in the nail holes with wood filler, and the tiny gap between the trim and the top so that it would all be one flush piece:

The last steps are to sand it smooth, polyurethane it, and then paint it white to match the desk and hutch. The polyurethane is going to be a challenge because I have particularly bad reactions to those fumes (we discovered this in high school; I lost my vision!). It will have to be done outside, but we’re getting a lot of rain right now and we worry that our neighborhood harem of cats will sit all over it and get their hair stuck in the wet poly. So we’ve decided to put off this final stage until we’ve screened in our porch. This way we can put it outside for the final smelly stages and not worry about anything touching it that shouldn’t be.

So here it is now:

B moved it upstairs (by himself!!) so that we can utilize the organization until the time that we’re ready to finish it off. Didn’t he do a nice job? It looks just like the PB one to me, except this one is custom-sized to help us utilize the hutch in its new location. And, it was hundreds of dollars cheaper than the PB version. Bonus!

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