Thursday, March 26, 2015

Way Back Machine ... The Year 2000

In 2000, we had just moved to a new home ... 4000+ square feet of boring beige, builder-grade fixtures and finishes.  One of the first things that I tackled was designing and building bookshelves around the fireplace in the family room.

Last week, while I was sifting through photo files on my computer looking for something else, I came across this photo.  Two of our daughters appear to have been keeping themselves occupied by using a crimping iron on each other's hair ... then they took photos to document the very-crimpy results.  Look who's background ...




There I am, screwing drywall onto the frame of one of the bookshelf sections.  I finished these off by adding casing molding and corner blocks to the face of the units, and installed a three-piece crown molding above.

Those built-ins were a real booger to design, because the self-contained, ugly-ass fireplace stuck WAY out into the room and the window you see was only about six inches from the corner.  Inspiration struck one day as I was staring at the problem, and I designed pairs of bookshelf towers that started a few inches away from the side walls and stepped out into the room.  The wall above the fireplace itself was built out eight inches or so from the wall, to better blend the fireplace into the space.


This is what the built-ins looked like when we lived there.


This is how the next owners styled the shelves, as seen in a listing photo from when they were selling the house in 2013.  (more listing photos in THIS post.)


I finally did find the photos that I had originally been digging through.  It took longer than I thought, since I got distracted by my little trip down memory lane.

16 comments:

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    1. The crimpy hair was even more spectacular after the girls brushed it. LOL

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  2. That design was ingenious! Very classy.

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    1. Thanks, Karen! It was a moment of clarity, at the end of hours and hours of staring at the situation, desperately trying to come up with something. Painting and installing molding in those little recesses beside the bookcases wasn’t a whole lot of fun, I tell ya … made possible by lots of patience and the use of a nail gun.

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  3. Now that's some crimped hair! I do love your built in bookcases that you made. I like the way you styled them much better! ♥

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    1. The stuff that I had in the bookcases was less a case of styling, and more a function of having a LOT of books to put somewhere.

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  4. I wish I had an ounce of your skills... or even my husband, for that matter! Thankfully, my Son does have (multiple) skills, not that it does me much good.

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  5. My skills were learned from multiple mistakes, which (fortunately) I have no problem making. I also ask a LOT of questions of people who know more about stuff than I do.

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  6. What a talent you are, Connie! There are some jobs that I think would be beyond me, but if I can bring myself to try most can be managed after all. And there is nothing like the feeling that you did it yourself. It must have made you happy to look at those pretty shelves.

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    1. Thanks! I like to think that one of my best talents is my willingness to take on difficult situations and risk horrible failure. Sometimes stuff works, sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't, I try to make the best out of whatever I have. These shelves were one of my successes, and it feels good to look back at the old photos.

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  7. Genius!!! I love the book shelves! And yes prefer how you styled them! ;)

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    1. Thanks! Difficult situations call for out-of-the-box imagination to figure out a solution.

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  8. I just finished built-ins in my kitchen, and I know what kind of hard work went into these, they're beautiful! The step out & molding are gorgeous :)

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    1. I don't remember seeing your built-ins on your blog, Emily ... did I miss them?

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  9. You made those?? Wow! Looks fabulous. As for crimping, my seven sisters were really into that. That and acid washed jeans - yup!

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    1. Hi, Loi … it is very nice to meet you!

      I build a lot of things. Started in middle school in shop class learning to use tools, and have gone onward and upward from there. Right now, I am in year 13 of the renovation of our historic house, its outbuildings, and grounds.

      I forgot about acid washed jeans. 

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