Friday, June 10, 2011

Good things come to those that wait

What follows is the story of a shelf.

A couple of Christmases ago my little brother gifted me a pair of these Anthropologie shelving brackets that I had on my Elfster wish list:

We were still in the process of finishing our addition-to-be-family-room at the time, but I already had a vision for a decorating scheme and these brackets were a part of that vision. I like to accent a room with things that are old and worn and chippy and these new brackets were "aged" to perfection.

My next task was to find a shelf to put on top of the brackets. In my mind I envisioned the weathered look of old barn wood. Something along the lines of these old beams but darker:

Pottery Barn catalog image
 I thought I could round up some old wood and maybe use just some wax or oil to darken it. I called my father-in-law, who's a carpenter, to see if he had any scrap wood in the dimentions I needed, but he did not. So I ended up at the local lumber yard, had them cut me a piece of boring-smooth-pine-board, and I took it home to paint or stain. I really wanted a dark brown shelf but was too lazy and impatient to stain it so I just slapped on the same cream colored paint that I used on all the trimwork in the room. The result was a quick and easy shelf that fit on the brackets and looked okay but it wasn't really what I had in mind. (Warning, I took all these pictures with a smudge on my camera lense so pardon the "orb.")

painted pine "for now" shelf

Ever since then I've had my eyes peeled for just the perfect piece of wood to show up somewhere. I haven't gone out of my way to hunt for it, I just figured it would practically drop in my lap eventually. Well good things come to those that wait. As I've mentioned several times I'm a big fan of Bernat Mill Antiques and I keep up with their news on Facebook. Just last week they announced that a shipment of barn wood had come in and would be available for purchase soon. We-e-ell, didn't I march myself right down there to find the perfect piece of wood for my shelf. For $5 I walked out as happy as a clam with this winner:

This piece of wood was almost perfect. The patina was exactly what I wanted. It was perfectly worn and rough and filthy dirty. The length was just right. The depth was about an inch less than ideal but I could make it work.

A close-up of the beauty :)

One of the best features is the tongue and groove, but the groove was packed full of old dirt.

I gave it a good power wash and left it in the sun to dry.
 After cleaning up the barnwood, switching out the shelving was as easy as lifting the old one off the brackets and placing the new on on top. Now this is what I had in mind!

The depth of the shelf doesn't quite come to the edge of the brackets if its flush against the wall. I ended up having to pull it forward so there's a little space between the board and the wall but it works. And in real life, the end is not green.

I power cleaned the groove side so well I apparently neglected the tongue side - I can still see lots of dirt stuck to it! I should probably head back out and take care of that.

Naked new shelf - LOVE it
 Here is the barnwood shelf with my "dust collection" placed back on top:

I think I'm due to freshen up what's on top. I'll probably switch around accessories that are already within the room. But that's for another day. This is for now.

For more background information on the bird stuff and the books, read this previous post.

While I couldn't didn't wait to find old barn wood before I originally put up the shelf and brackets, I knew that in time the perfect piece of wood would show up somewhere when I'd least expect it. I could have just paid $70 per foot ($280 total) and had a shelf like this right away but that's insane.

apartmenttherapy featured this reclaimed wood shelving from an Etsy shop (that no longer sells it). Etsy is great and I'm all for supporting the little guy. Which is why I supported a local "little guy," but for only $1.25 a foot, thank you very much.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...