Monday, February 13, 2012

I {heart} Built-Ins

I love the look of anything, well, almost anything, that's built-in. That's why when we decided to renovate the back room we thought it would be fun to add a little built-in to our little house. Since the back room was added on after the house was built, there are windows that look from the kitchen and spare bedroom into the back room. I actually like the kitchen one because it allows me to see into the back yard while I am in the kitchen, and it allows more natural light into the kitchen, which in my book is always a good thing.

The window in the spare bedroom was another matter though. I always had visions of someone breaking into our house and while we were busy walking into the kitchen to go into the back room, they would sneak through the window into the spare bedroom and have the jump on us. A little crazy, I know, especially since that window didn't even open, but I'm irrational sometimes. And really, what bedroom needs a window looking into another room in the house?

So we decided it had to go. We could have just covered it up on both sides of the wall and been done with it, but when you live in a small house you use any extra space you can get. So, we decided to turn it into a built in bookshelf. The first thing we did was remove the trim around the window.

Removing the trim enabled us to see the inner workings of the old window too. Gotta love window on a pulley system.

Then the window itself was taken out. Not to worry, the window didn't just end up trashed. Our friend Ashley took the window off our hands and  is planning to make a coffee table out of it.

After that we added the backing to the evolving bookshelf. We decided that we wanted the bookshelf to be on the bedroom side since it would have very awkward placement if it were in the back room.

Next Jake built up a frame inside the wall where the window weights and pulley used to be so that the whole thing would be flush with the hole left in the wall.

We primed and painted the backing before adding in the shelves. We decided to do white trim and shelves with a subtle color difference for the backing, so we used some of the Olympic Drifting Dune from the back room to paint the back. We may change the color of the backing at some point to make it more of a statement, but for now it works just fine.

We decided to make a slightly larger shelf for the bottom that would go with the trim, so it was a little more in depth measuring, but not too difficult. 

The shelves got cut down and then primed and painted outside and then brought in to be installed.

We measured out in the space where we wanted the shelves to land and then I held them in place as Jake air nailed them in from the back side. If you ever do this you want to be sure to measure several times from both sides to be sure that you will be nailing where the shelves are, otherwise you would end up with nails/holes sticking out of the back of the bookshelf. We also secured the shelves on the side of the built-in, just to be sure that they were extra sturdy. Since we were both busy doing something for this part of the project we didn't end up getting any pictures of this step.

The last thing left to do was to put up the trim around the shelves and call it good. Well, actually, we still need to go back and fill in the air nail holes and do the touch up paint, but it's functional. And the back side of the built-in got covered over with paneling when we paneled the wall in the back room.

We love the way that the project turned out in the end, and it is so functional too. It holds a good amount of our books, plus some pictures and other decorative stuff too since we don't want it too look too heavy like it might with just books.

Anyone else out there have a pointless window that you don't know what to do with? Or are there any other projects that you've come up with for the space where you took out a window? I'm thinking a Murphy bed would potentially be a cool way to change up an old window...maybe someday in some other house. I will have a Murphy bed someday, I'm convinced.