Saturday, October 19, 2013

Carpentry For Beginners

The previous owners had the bed on the wall close to the closet, but this meant only one of them had a nightstand. The bed also stuck out completely across the doorway, which was awkward. It would have made much more sense to have the bed on the other side of the room...

...however, there is a lovely-yet-defunct original fireplace on the opposite wall. We couldn't (and wouldn't) take out the fireplace, but it threw a monkey wrench into setting up the room. So we decided to build around it, making a false wall and bookshelves to even out the room.

First, I built a frame:

I was originally going to try and even out the black marble top of the fireplace with something that matched. But I realized this was going to be a giant pain in the neck and maybe beyond my skill. And then I realized that formica countertops came in almost exactly the right size and were pretty affordable. All I had to do was trim one side and cut out a space for the chimney. So I used my jigsaw for the very first time:

I wasn't sure how I would do the curves, but it actually worked. I had to work from both sides and meet in the middle. And I almost got my cuts lined up. So close - d'oh!

But the cut was in the back anyway, and when we set the countertop on the frame, BOOM- it fit perfectly! Not bad for a first try.

I intially thought some LED strip lights would be nice running along the top, to brighten things up a bit, especially in that dark little corner on the left.

But then I spotted these recessed LED spots, which gave a much nicer, more diffused light. 

However, the LED spots required a 45mm hole. So I asked my local hardware store how to go about doing that, and they sold me one of these:

Once the holes were drilled, the LEDs set in perfectly! Our false wall began to look pretty professional:

Then I put the front on, and it began to look and feel like a real piece of furniture! I cut a hole in the left side so that we can run an extension cord. I also put in a small door on the right side, with a piano hinge and a little magnet to keep it closed, so we can use the space inside to store suitcases.

Finally, we painted it with high-gloss paint to match the rest of the trim in the house. I still need to paint the trim along the back here:

I'm super pleased with it- it looks just how I imagined it in my head beforehand, and maybe better! You wouldn't know it hadn't been part of the room all along. Granted, the bed and everything else will hide most of it, but the finished product is exactly what we set out to accomplish. Go us!

No comments:

Post a Comment