Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shelf Ledges in our Office


A while back I showed you one side of our upstairs landing area where we built in a bookcase.  Today I thought I'd give you a peek of the opposite wall.  I'm just about finished painting, which means now it's time to work on the fun stuff... decorating!  

Our upstairs landing sits between a bedroom and the playroom.  We actually use this space as an office, but I also wanted this room to be for my girls too, since we spend quite a bit of time upstairs.  My theme as we've been remodeling is "old schoolhouse", and so I was on the hunt for some vintage children's alphabet cards.  I didn't find any actual vintage cards, but I did find these cards at Anthropologie and I absolutely love them.  


I thought and thought about how to display these cards and couldn't come up with anything I was satisfied with.  Then I mentioned it to my husband and he came up with the idea of building a couple ledges for the cards to rest on.  All these ledges are made out of is a pine 1"x4" and quarter round.  The quarter round sits a little higher than the 1"x4" so that the cards have a place to sit. I wanted the warmth of wood in the room, so I opted to stain.  This is a mixture of natural cherry and dark walnut.  (This was my second experience with staining and I definitely think there must be a trick to it, but I have no idea what it is!  Let's just say I think it is much easier to paint!)


The shelf ledges sit above our desk.  This wall seemed so bare and white after painting, so I was thrilled with how much cheerfulness the ledges and cards added.


 The desk is built into the wall and was made by my husband.  As with the built in bookcase, we wanted to build the desk in as well to eliminate bulky furniture in a narrow walkway.


The desk is 8' long and the top is made out of hardwood flooring we found on clearance.  (You can see from all our ugly office equipment we really do use this space as an office... I almost had a hard time posting this picture after viewing so many gorgeous shabby craft rooms around the web!)  You can see here we added a couple schoolhouse light fixtures and I finished painting the stair bannister last weekend. 


The chairs were something we have had sitting in the attic for many years... they were blue with a light oak seat.  I painted them in ASCP Emperor's Silk with a coat of clear and dark wax.  I stained the seats to match the shelf ledges.


Thanks for letting me show you a glimpse of our progress... now I'm anxious to get working on the other projects I have planned for the remaining bare walls!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

30 comments:

  1. My sweet friend, I think everything you do is simple perfection! You have a true classic style that I love. Your husband is a super carpenter and you a fabulous designer!!!

    What a talented combo you two are.

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  2. Those cards are too cute and good for your husband coming up with the ledges idea.

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  3. The ledges your husband made are perfect. The best way to display all those colorful cards. I love it. Smiles, Susie

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  4. I think it's a wonderful space, Andrea! Those cards are just adorable!!

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  5. I love your office space, cords and electronics and all. Hey, we have to live, not just have show places. Love, love, love your alphabet cards and how you have them displayed! Looks like a happy place to be.
    Mary Alice

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  6. Andrea,

    Love the ledges with the precious cards. Great idea!! Also love your pendant lights and LOVE, LOVE those red chairs. Great job!

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  7. I LOVE that look! Those lights and the beaded board walls are the perfect complement to those ledges. The desk is pretty great, too!

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  8. What a great idea. I love the way everything looks- It is SO neat and organized !!! xo Diana

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  9. You always do the most amazing projects! I get so inspired whenever I see your posts...I love this one so much and now need a find a long wall for some stained shelves. :) It's been such a pleasure watching all your progress.

    xo Sarah

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  10. I agree with the comments above. I love the simplicity of your style. Your home is charming and warm. You and your husband have done a great job. Your so lucky to have a husband that can do so much and be so handy. Who doesn't love anything Anthropologie! Love the cute cards. As always, enjoy your posts.

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  11. What a cute idea and a great and functional space! I love the whole nook you have going on there, and am yearning for a built-in desk like that in my home!

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  12. I think it is absolutely perfect!! I love it, and think it looks just as good as any I've seen on other blogs. Fresh, vintage, and fun, you nailed it!!

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  13. I'm taken by your vintage alphabet!

    It's perfect in every way and fits so nicely with your home!

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  14. How fun! I bought ledges from Home Decorator's catalog, but yours are so much more charming. They look like the chalkboard ledges from my old grade school. And the alphabet cards are adorable, too. Your husband did a marvelous job on the desk, too!

    *Your staining looks good to me, but I use Minwax stain with varnish over stained wood. It evens everything out and gives it a vintage look. Antique and dark walnut are nice old looking colors.

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  15. Thank you for posting the great content…I was looking for something like this…I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs….Keep sharing

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  16. I love the ledges, the cards, the desk, the light.......I LOVE it all..as usual!
    Great job!

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  17. I so appreciate seeing a real space, in real time. Truth is, computers and printers aren't very visually charming, but we need them where we can actually use them. I like seeing how someone is making a working office space look and feel great. Love the desk top and those red chairs. The white makes everything clean, and the wood makes it warm.

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  18. I love the ledges. The alphabet cards are adorable. Love your red chair too!

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  19. It's very nice so I am glad that you posted it. Office equipment is just that...so if you dusted the desk prior to the picture that's all that is needed, ha ha :)

    What you have done is add cheer and brightness with the red shades, there is warmth from the wood...and those cards appeal to children as well as adults so its a very attractive space!

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  20. Hi Andrea! I was so pleased to see your post in my inbox today. I look forward to everything you have to share. This area turned out great. You are very lucky to have a handy husband. My husband has many gifts but being handy isn't one of them.:o) The light fixtures are perfect for this future school room too. Have a lovely weekend ~ Ann

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  21. oh my goodness. I love every single bit of it.

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  22. What a great space. Love the ledges and the desks. Thanks for stopping by and I'm happy the mason jars with pencils and pens was inspiring. I'm now following along.

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  23. This is awesome. I am loving the cards, but I am loving the easy shelving just as much. What a fantastic idea! Together they make such a visual impact. Eye-candy, I tell ya.

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  24. i'm loving the desk your husband built! the room/hallway looks great with the ledges, light and chair, andrea! those cards are the perfect touch:)

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  25. OMGosh these are SO cute!! I'm your newest follower (found you through Jennifer Rizzo)and would love you to stop by and say hi :)
    Susan

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  26. Great cards! Love the impact they make on that wall. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

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  27. I have to agree that staining is much trickier than painting but it was really the right choice here! I love the warm look of the ledges and your super cute vintage cards!

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  28. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful items! They are truly creative with all the mix and match of colours! A super like for this! :)

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  29. Thank you for such a fantastic blog. Where else could anyone get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a presentation that I am presently working on, and I have been on the lookout for such information.

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  30. I certainly agree with Amy. You truly have a classic style that I also love. :) The workstations are so neat and sleek, with an old school feel about it. Brown, white, and red are perfectly mixed to give a cozy look. And the space is certainly efficient for work.

    Blake Mitchell

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