Deuce Cities Henhouse

Corner Shelf!

Scandi Influenced Corner Shelving
Twelve years ago on a cold November night I lay slumbering peacefully in my twin bed in my tiny college bedroom (Jeff may have been there too, but don’t tell my folks). I had decorated my room after seeing an episode of Trading Spaces wherein Doug painted a room a shade of blue that was nearly grey and hung glass icicles around the top of a four-poster bed.

Side note – I tried to Google a picture of it to show you guys, but Trading Spaces was practically on TV before the internet even knew how to poop on the toilet. Get it? The internet was like slightly older than a baby. Anyway people didn’t put photos on the internet back then because it took up too many KB’s and whatever.

Trading Spaces inspired me to take my first decorating baby steps. I basically painted my room blue, had a vintage table as a desk and hung some bookshelves from my wall because I had no space to put books anywhere else – there was definitely no icicles.

Back to when I was sleeping. So, I was sleeping in my bed…and then I wasn’t, because all of the books and all of the boards and all of the brackets that I had expertly hung on my wall (without anchors, ha) came tumbling down on top of me (and Jeff) in the middle of the night. Who knew that I was supposed to use anchors? I mean who knew? I was like 19. 19 year olds don’t know that stuff.

However, twelve years later and I think I finally figured it out. Booyahchaweagle!

Monochrome Shelf Styling

Here’s a before shot in case you didn’t remember what it used to look like just a few short months ago. This photo illustrates how bad that picture molding was and how much better it looks now with the strip of 1″ cove. More on that over here.

Shelf Detail - Covering Screw Holes with Wood Plugs
Somebody, please tell me – why does it feel like my head is going to explode? Holy balls! Everything is so crazy busy right now. For instance, I’ve been working on writing this blog post for a week, and these shelves have been built for nearly three. I have been super excited to share with you the new bookshelf I built and installed in the corner of the bedroom, like I was just bursting with pride and wanted to show off (I am a show off sometimes) my handy work, but I just didn’t have any time . Did you hear that, I built it – like from scratch, like from regular slabs of wood that sat in my garage. I laid out a plan, chopped that shit up, attached it to a wall, kept the whole thing level and plumb and did it in a way that looks good and most likely won’t fall of the wall like that one time.

Built-in Shelves around Radiator
If you’re a fan of Victoria’s blog you can probably see that I pulled a lot of inspiration from the bookshelf she had installed by Michael Woo around her window. I loved it at first sight. I loved the light wood, the design, and the airiness of it. When planning my corner shelving unit, I had originally explored installing an Elfa system or possibly Algot system from Ikea. I was almost about to push the ORDER button when I decided that was just not what I wanted. That’s when I started looking on the internet for cool looking bookshelves and then I remembered how much I loved Victoria’s.

I started planning, doing lots of sketches and measurements. I didn’t know how Victoria’s shelf was made, but she did make mention to it being somewhat modular – it wasn’t permanent to the space and she could take it with her when she went. I couldn’t figure out how she made hers without screw holes and in the end I figured that there was probably some mad carpentry skills at work. Each of the shelves probably wraps itself around the vertical pieces and nestles in – it probably easily comes apart when it’s time to move too, it’s probably really slick and great. Being that there was no way I had the skills to pull that off, I came up with a new system.

There would be screw holes (which I would expertly sync and fill in with wood plugs), and there would be what I’m referring to as “cantilevered boards” held in place with a screw boring into the vertical beam below while being sandwiched by the vertical beam from above. More on that below. The corner joints were connected with two wood dowels to ensure stability and limit sagging.

I did something kind of crazy and I purchased all of my lumber online. Yep, online. It’s mostly due to the fact that I had been feeling totally out of my league when I try and “talk the talk” to the pros at the retail stores. Even if those “pros” are just pimply faced teens at the Home Depot, they still act like I have no idea what I am talking about. I’m sure part of that has to do with being a woman and bros not taking me seriously when I show up looking for lumber or salvage or whatever, especially when I come in with two young kids in tow. I guess I could just not let it bother me, but it does and I’m not good at feeling uncomfortable with people. So I decide to do the brave thing and order anonymously on the old internet. And guess what? It worked like a charm.

Here’s what I ordered from Baird Brothers Lumber:

2 – 2×2 Poplar Length: 6 Foot Length
2 – 2×2 Poplar Length: 4 Foot Length
1 – 1-1/16″ x 7-1/2″ Poplar Length: 5 Foot Length
4 – 1-1/16″ x 7-1/2″ Poplar Length: 6 Foot Length
1 – 1-1/16″ x 11-1/2″ Poplar Length: 4 Foot Length

Joint Corners with Dowels

To line up the dowels I marked the tops of both with a pencil line. Then using a square I marked the line on the sides of the board. Using a ruler I marked the center of both of these lines and then I drilled pilot holes, and followed it up with 1/4″ bit drilling to a depth of a 3/4 of an inch to accept the size of the dowel. Once I did a dry fit and everything fit properly, I used wood glue to secure the dowels and give the corners added strength.

Artwork Detail on Shelves

Corner Shelving over the Radiator
This photo makes it feel a tiny bit lop sided but that’s just because all of that stuff on top of my dresser hasn’t been hung on the wall and such. It will get more balanced soonish. Promise.

Sandwiching the shelf.  Aka Cantilevered Shelf System

The construction of the shelves is pretty basic. Each level of shelving consist of four vertical shelves attached to the wall with screws on studs. I mapped everything out on the wall in pencil before assembling, this gave me a guide to follow and helped to ensure I was staying plumb, level and square. I would lay the shelf on top of the posts or beams, I dunno what the correct terminology is, and then I would attach it using 3″ wood screws (drilling a pilot hole of course to prevent cracking). On top of that I would attach the next level of vertical posts sandwiching the shelf between the upper and lower posts. Does that make any sense? Hopefully this visuals will help fill in, where I can’t explain. I sucked at technical writing in high school.

Scandi Influenced Corner Shelving
Like I mentioned in a post from last week, I wanted to go monochromatic in my shelf styling. I turned the spines of a lot of the books around so they butted up against the wall showing their yellowing aging pages. Part of my design included leaving the top two shelves for paper backs. I had envisioned these shelves full of books sitting vertically, all perfectly tucked in tight. The middle shelves were meant to showcase artwork and small vignettes of vessels, plants and horizontal larger books. The bottom shelves are slightly larger in height then the top shelves allowing for our larger hardcover and paperback books. Plans man, they work!

I included a framed photo made by my pal Aaron Anderson and a print made in college by my bff Matt Scharenbroich. Last weekend I grabbed this amazing photo from Courtney Reints at the MCAD art sale (represent!) and behind it I tucked in my 45 Wall Design inspirational tiny poster, also back there is our family crest, also lovingly made by Aaron Anderson.

Monochromatic Shelf Styling

Styling Detail - Scandinavian Inspired Shelving
Here’s a funny joke for you guys, since I took these photos 10 days ago, that succulent has totally gone on to meet the big cacti in the sky. Why do succulents hate me?

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Birthday Wishlist

Hey Pals. Oh man, I just celebrated my 33rd birthday this weekend. It was kind of awesome, kind of insane and slightly epic. I was wined and dined, went to a rap show, had breakfast at a restaurant WITHOUT KIDS and took a nap. It was great.

I thought I’d share a few of the things I had on my wish list this year. The things on the top of my list; that newly released 24mm prime lens, followed up by a new pair of Dr. Martens. It seems like only yesterday I was tossing out my old awesomely worn-in pair from junior high – oh wait, it practically was.

Oh yeah, and if you didn’t notice, the 90′s are cool again. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for the last 20 years. I am finally going to be the most fashionable lady around, the teens are going to want to be me! I never want this to end.

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Monochromatic Bookshelves

Monochromatic Bookshelf Styling

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Hey guys! Whazzzzz up? Not much is going on over here, you know, just the same old hectic crazy time of year stuff that we all are getting through. My b-day is tomorrow, I’m totally stoked for that. I am probably the biggest fan of birthdays ever, so I will be basking in my birthday glory all day long.

About two weeks ago I finished up building and installing the corner bookshelf in our bedroom. I only have a few items left on my bedroom-makeover-to-do list now. The bookshelf turned out just the way I wanted to, which was a big IF when you’re kind of winging a design and only slightly skilled in the art of carpentry.

Now the fun part starts – this is where I get to load it full of all of our favorite stuff and make it look awesome. In the old bedroom design we had some Ikea billy shelves lining the far wall, it was chock-full of books all organized in a rainbow color motif. I know that some people totally hate on this method of organizing books by color. How are you supposed to find what you’re looking for when it’s all color coordinated? Really, it’s not that hard, as long as you don’t have a fully functioning library in your home and need a card catalog and a dewey decimal system to keep it all organized. I think organizing your books by color can look cool, so there.

For these new shelfs we’re (me/I) going monochromatic. That means, black and white spines and paperbacks turned around so only their yellowing pages are showing. I don’t care if that makes them hard to find god damn-it! They will look super tyte. There’s not that many books, and it’s not like we’re constantly referencing our book collection. I’ve put together a few of my favorite pics from the web so you can get a feel for what I’m talking about.

Monochromatic Bookshelf Styling

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Monochromatic Bookshelf Styling

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I didn’t realized how much I love these shelves and how much I totally ripped them off until I just posted these pics. I always admired these bookshelves Victoria had installed in her home a few years ago. I guess they just really slipped into my subconscious. As of now, I’ve got my shelves pretty much styled up, if you follow me on instagram you saw me post a sneak peek, but I’m still doing some tweaking and need to photograph them in the coming days. I definitely made my own version of these beautiful shelves adding a nice little right angle configuration to the mix. I know, right? I really made them my own by having the shelves meet up in a corner, not. I didn’t even notice until last night when I was searching for pics of this room that I went as far as adding a black wire chair and a white sheep skin too, geez. Oh well, what’s that they say about imitation?

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Wintery Exterior Decorating

Winter Decorations
What up pals? It’s winter now so you should make your house pretty on the outside. Every year I get a little better at this winter decorating thing. It takes some practice, but once you figure it out it’s fun and easy. Imma tell you a few things about what I know, cause this is a blog about house stuffz and thats what you probably come here for ;)

Winter Decorations
The first rule is don’t get all crazy with the decor. Adhere to a simple color palette bros, use one or two colors ONLY. Common winter colors are as follows; red, green, white, and tealish-bluish. Once you decide on a color theme, pair it with white black or a metallic – gold and silver can easily be used in place of white. If you want to get all granola-E like I did, pair it with something brownish and for a real slam dunk – made of burlap. Pick a style, as in country, modern, classic and stick with it. This is where you can use accents that represent your style. You’ll find these cool accents at the garden center covered in glitter or at craft stores like Michaels.

You’ll want to have some texture in your containers. Achieve this by mixing it up. Use a few different greens and your box will be looking highly festive. It’s all about the layers as demonstrated in the cool gif above.

Popular Greens for Window Boxes and Containers:
Dogwood Branches red or green
Spruce Tips
Pine Boughs
Cedar Boughs
Red Huck
Eucalyptus Silver Dollars
Winter Berry
Sedum Flower
Pepper Berry
Rose hips
This is what I used for my boxes:
20 stems of 1′-2′ Spruce tips
20 stems of Cedar boughs
8 stems of cotton
8 pinecones
12 1′-2′ Birch branches assorted sizes.

Cotton Branches in Winter Window Boxes

Pro Tip: Don’t install your container arrangements on super cold days, you want the temp to be just around freezing so you can easily push the stems into the soil. After you have placed your arrangement water the soil, this will freeze up and keep your winter greens in place for the season.

Paper Star From Ikea
Cool paper stars from Ikea. I got three to put in my front porch, they’re pretty and they flat pack at the end of the season for easy storage. The best.

Simple Wintery Window Boxes

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I’ve Got Two Side Tables and A Microphone

Wallpaper & Night Stands
Who doesn’t like an excuse to look at gratuitous photos of pretty nightstands? Good, glad I’m not alone. It goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway. I wasn’t going to take the time to make our bedroom all pretty without doing something about the bed side tables. We were getting new nightstands.

Of course this girls working within a budget, so the world is not my oyster. It is in fact more like some sort of mussel or clam. With my budget in mind my original plan was to purchase two of these Stockholm tables from Ikea, paint them white and add some pretty hardware. I needed something petit in size, capable of storage and low in cost. These Ikea tables would have run me a hair under $200 bones, and would have done the trick.

Then a sale happened and I couldn’t resist the Penelope nighstand from West Elm. I was able to get these tables for the same price as the Ikea tables! Here is how I reasoned this into being. These side tables retail for $199 each for a total of $398. My buddies over at WE were having a 20% off sale a few weeks ago, which if you do your math is a savings of $40 per table. Now I’m down to a cost of $318 for two tables, I also had a West Elm “Design Dollars” from my bed purchase a few months ago, this save me an additional $100 bucks. Now these tables are down to $218, which was good enough for me to go ahead and pull the trigger on. However, West Elm charged me incorrectly and I called to straighten it out, in doing so they took care of the tax and shipping which put me well under $200 bucks. I would describe that as a win. I feel like I should be on an episode of Extreme Couponing or something.

Also, I sold my old Heywood Wakefield side table for $80 bucks on Craigslist. Thank god for Craigslist.

I love these nightstands because they are the perfect size, 18″ diameter, anything bigger would have overwhelmed the space. They have a drawer which is perfect for remotes and notebooks and stuff like that. I always need drawers in my life! I love the tapered legs, giving it a nod to that mid-century vibe without going all in, and the antique brass is the perfect compliment to the metallic flowers in the wallpaper.

Nightstand Styling
I’m no stylist or anything, but I like to pretend I am for fun. When it comes to styling a nightstand it’s just like anything else. You want to create a composition, a still life if you will. You need height, texture and color, plus it has to be functional. I used a small bouquet of flowers to add a pretty smell and soft texture. Books are my go-to when I need to create height but don’t have any tall objects. Stick a few books under anything and you’re on your way to creating a pretty tablescape. For my lady side table I included a small tray to set my jewelry (ha) and glasses on, and then a clock to tell the time. Of course none of us use clocks anymore because we have computers in our pockets, but whatever, we’ll pretend I might look at it to tell the time of day.

Wallpaper & Night Stands

Isaac Sconce School House Electric
Did you happen to notice something was missing? If you guessed lighting, then pat yourself on the back. We need lights on this side of the room because you can’t have a bed without a light, and frankly its just dark as eff over here. We will be adding sconces (specifically these ones from SchoolHouse Electric) someday when we find the perfect deal again – since we are shy on table top space adding a sconce to each side of the bed is the perfect solution. I heart them bad. So you hear that SchoolHouse, I need a deal? A cyber Monday sale would be perfect for me right about now.

Wallpaper & Night Stands
For Jeff’s side, I kept it much more simple. A few basketball books and a photo of us guys being young tiny teens. He also gets a simple paper white in a small coral (not pink) cup. Ta-da.

Nightstand Styling for a Guy
So are you sick of hearing about my bedroom yet, hang in there, it’s almost over. I am hoping to be wrapping up by the end of the year. I still have to construct and build a corner shelving unit, get sconces, replace ceiling fans, strip the door hinges, touch up the paint, decide what to do for art on the “big wall” and then I will be done. Hang in there, we’re getting close.

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