Put a shelf in it!

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Baby, it’s cold outside!  I mean seriously… can’t just about EVERYONE say that.  Even us hillbillies down in Texas are freezing our boots off.  I’m sitting at home today thrilled to have a day off due to freezing rain, sleet and light snow.  So I’m slow-cooking a roast with potatoes and carrots and finding time to catch up on all kinds of things.   Including a recent project!


A little over four years ago I knew this project would happen, I knew how it would look, and I knew I would love it. Now I can finally say IT’S DONE!

I’m talking about a tiny little nook or what was an open style closet at the end of our hallway in the studio area.  When we moved in, there was a simple bar across the top of this “nook” and we assumed it was a place to hang coats as the previous owner met with clients for his architecture business.   Since I already have a coat closet I certainly didn’t need another one.  HELLO we live in Texas and you get to wear a coat about 10 times a year.  (DEFINITELY today!)  If I could have turned it into a swimming pool I would have.  A little small for a pool though, so lets put some shelves in it!


First I painted the inside a nice gray color to match the grays throughout this space.  I thought it would be nice to have a pop of color, even if it was kind of dark.  There’s so much more light in this space now I felt like I could get away with it.  Especially since this nook has a skylight right over it.


I decided on the height and how many shelves I wanted and marked them with tape for Richie. He then cut cleats for each side of the wall to hold the shelves. Using a level and some help from his lovely assistant he got them nice and even. Lets face it, nothing in this nook was square so we had to fake it a little.


After getting the shelves in I realized that I hated being able to see the cleats.  I felt like we could do better and I was planning on painting the front edges black so I decided to add some fake fronts.


I didn’t want to attach anything to the front of the shelves because they’re solid wood and that would break my heart.  Instead, we attached thin strips of wood from cleat to cleat giving the shelves a chunkier look.  This also tricked the eye and made the cleat less visible.  I stained them and the edge of the shelf black and gave everything two coats of clear finish.


I couldn’t be happier with the results.  It’s now a great display for books and baubles.




Yep, those are left over embroidery hoops that i just stuck together.  I always think of my friend Alex over at Northstory when I see hoops.  She’s the queen of hoop crafts.  No reason to throw away the part you’re not using, right?!




Awwwww my baby shoes!!!  I’ve been saving them for so long and I was determined to find a special way to display them.  I smile every time I walk by.  The little photo next to them is of me and my sister Lori.  (I’m on the right).  You can see a better picture of us in MY PHOTOS.  I don’t have very many pictures of me as a baby since I was adopted but the few pictures and items I do have mean a lot to me.


The shelves were really hard to photograph since it’s such a tight area.  You get the idea, though. I think it’s a much better use of the space. I pulled the door closed a little so you could see how much natural light that skylight gives us.  Love that!

custom shelves

I’m really pleased the cleats are no longer obvious after adding that front piece. Richie always makes my ideas come to life! Such a good guy.


I’m imagining a nice stain and polished concrete floor as I look at these and I’m really diggin’ the hallway. Once more thing checked off my list. This was one of those really fun projects that I so enjoyed. The best part of course will be decorating and changing things from time to time.


Excuse that ugly door frame. Haven’t gotten to that yet.  UGH!  So many things to do.
My main goal today is to stay warm, eat well, and enjoy a day off.  Hope yours is happy and thanks, as always, for checking in on us.

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15 thoughts on “Put a shelf in it!

  1. ScrapAndSalvage

    why am i so mad? because i don’t think i ever would have thought to paint those coverings black and it’s JUST the right thing to do!! dammit! i must tuck that one away. not that i’ll ever get a fab nook like this for my own. boy, do i love a good nook! and this a GREAT nook. it’s perfect. i had no idea that you were adopted (i love learning new things!) and those little shoes are all kinds of adorable.
    i love the hoops like that. it is SO alex, ha! very creative.
    and of course the artwork and fab little toy airplane are spifferific there. everything – it’s all great. you turned an awkward closet into a display of grandeur. well done, stacey and richie. it really is smashing!
    ps send some of your rain to SoCal, please!!

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks, Tamara. Yes, I was adopted but I swear I look almost exactly like my dad and sister. The big giveaway is my height. Everyone else is 5’4″ or slightly taller. I’m the giant of the family so when I meet people they give me that look like “ahhhh, do you go with these people?”. It’s funny.
      I know you guys are suffering out there. I’ll see if I can’t blow some rain your way. Thanks for the sweet words. You’re the best!

  2. Dana@Mid2Mod

    It’s been pretty darn chilly here too…but no snow or ice. Cold enough, though, for me to make slow cooker roast and potatoes too!

    Connecting the cleats with a piece of wood was genius, and painting them black added even more of a finishing touch to them. Your shelves are a perfect solution to that little nook, and I love how they turned out. As always, they’re decorated to perfection. I’m always amazed by the way even a small project can have so much impact on the overall look of a house.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Dana! It’s just a slow cooker kind of week, isn’t it? Thank goodness for my cooker. It fools everyone into thinking I can cook. I use it almost every week. It seems the completion of the smaller projects are making the most impact with me lately. I’m glad you agree!!

  3. D'Arcy H

    Perfect shelves, Stacey! Love how the black front pieces echo the stripes of the basket underneath, and even the verticals between the clerestory windows down the hall. If there’s one thing we lack, it’s bookshelves. We have books overflowing everywhere. Oh, and closet space–big time! (Isn’t “Tinkers” an interesting book? Loved it.) You have inspired me with the roast … think I’ll make one this weekend. Stay warm … wouldn’t it be great if we could store the feeling of being hot or cold for later, when the weather is just the opposite?

    1. Stacey Post author

      OH THE BOOKS! THE BOOKS, THE BOOKS! I swear I’m going to have to buy another house for all the books. I like to read but Richie is the book freak in this house. He can read 3-4 books a week and sometimes in a weekend. He’s constantly buying them and then stuffing them here and there. It’s nice to have a new place to stash a few. Glad you like the shelves. I’m really proud and pleased and I bought several of those baskets at Target of all places. I have one in my bedroom too. They’re super fun and graphic.

  4. CT

    Love the shelves and how perfectly they fill up the nook. Your house has just the right amount of display and also “quiet” spaces so it looks really calm and inviting. Also, I love peeking at people’s books. It’s like John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity said “books, music, movies – these things matter!” JT really liked the Morrissey & Marr – The Severed Alliance. Sometimes I think a blogger book club would be so fun and then I think, nah, who has time for that. At any rate, looks amazing, I bet you enjoy it every time you walk by. Cheers – CT

    1. Stacey Post author

      Such a nice compliment from a lady who has a perfectly decorated home. THANK YOU!!! High Fidelity is one of my favs. I never pass a chance to watch it when I’m flipping through the channels. These things DO MATTER! At least in this house they’re right up there with breathing and eating. They’re essential to a happy life! I agree. A peek into a persons book and music collection speaks volumes. (no pun intended) :-)

  5. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    I am glad that you explained the picture. I noticed it immediately on the right under recent pictures when I opened your blog. I was going to ask about it after I read your post, but I didn’t have to. :) That is a great picture. It was interesting to hear that you are adopted. I really want to adopt, but Douglas is not sure.

    By the way, the shelves look great, but since you designed them, I am not surprised. They look much better with the hidden cleats.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Jessica! I love that picture. My sis is my best friend and I adore her. When my parents brought me home they later told me my sister thought I was JUST FOR HER. Her living doll.
      She has adored and loved me like that all her life. So that picture makes me happy.

      I’m sure the thought of adoption is scary. That whole “what am I gonna get”? feeling. I would have to encourage you to go for it if you really want to. As a baby who could have ended up in a really bad place.. I ended up in a happy, loving home and had the best childhood. It’s a very loving thing to do. I hope you guys consider it. (wow, that was deep. Sorry. I’m passionate about it)

      I love that the cleats are less visible. It turned out A-ok with me. Thanks, Jess!

  6. Natalie

    Hi Stacey,
    Firstly, about the cold. You should know that the cold snap the southern US is getting right now is the butt of many jokes here in Canada (with utmost respect to anyone who’s been hurt of course!!). The CTV News called it “the light dusting that brought the South to its knees”, hahaha! Plus I have never ever heard of work being cancelled because of the weather. Sure, schools are something closed because it’s dangerous for the buses, but that’s it. Work ALWAYS goes on. Hahaha! Just too much fun to tease you so I couldn’t pass it up!

    As for the shelves, just beautiful! I love the black outline on each shelf… it just gives it the right touch! And damn girl, you rock at diplaying knick knacks…. I love it! I might have to copy your idea of the embroidery hoops… I have quite a few and I’m just not sure what to do with them yet…

    Stay warm! Lots of love,

    1. Stacey Post author

      HA HA! That’s hilarious… and they should make fun of us! Seriously, Richie and I thought it was pretty ridiculous but who complains about a day off. NOT US! I guess it would have been okay if it was snow but it was mostly ice and people in the south have no clue how to deal with that. There were 115 car wrecks within a 30 mile radius over those two days. I heard in Atlanta (I think it was Atlanta) over 700 school kids had to spend the night at school. You know their parents were secretly partying at home! WHOO HOO! I envision parents liquored up half naked running around the house. Okay, that’s just my sick mind at work. (laughing) Trust me, we make fun of people in the north who say during the summer “it’s so hot!” Come to Texas… we’ll kill you with the heat. :-)
      I love being teased! You guys are tough as nails when it comes to winter. I bow to you!

      Thanks Natalie. I have a love hate relationship with knick knacks. I could have shit everywhere but then I’d have to dust it all. UGH! But I enjoy displaying weird things and stuff like the hoops. Why not, they’re pretty decorative in their own way. Thanks, girl. Hope you’re getting inspired this week and that board is getting a workout! xo

  7. tove

    Well done, you guys!! That’s a great use of that nook, we can never have too many shelves, right? I love the black trim on the edges, really gives them some great definition!! Also love the wooden door to contast the greys…Things are looking fabulous over at yours:-)

  8. the home tome

    I love a good nookie nook and one that displays knicky knacks is even more nice. (Can you tell I have been reading a lot of Seusse lately?)

    Speaking of reading, I have a lot of those same books, btw: Middlesex, 20th Centch Art Book, etc….always love seeing other people’s collections. My collection has come to a screeching halt now that I have a “nook” (pun not exactly intended but way too pleasing nonetheless)

    Your booties under glass: YES. I just found my own silver rattle, brush and comb and am wondering what I can do with them…that route won’t work but inspires me to try to do something cool with them…

  9. Drew

    Placing shelves in the right spot can add so much more to your home. I’ve also never heard anyone complain about more shelving space so the more the merrier right? They look great, thanks for posting!


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