Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Big Library Project: The Before looks better than the after

We are at the stage in our project where the before looks better than the after but we're pushing through! ;)
I am so excited about this project, it's one of those "Dream Home" projects I talk about. I had a list of things I would want in my dream home and this project is on the list (like our bedroom fireplace).

We are building a super tall bookcase with a rolling ladder!!!! AAaaaahhhh!!!!! I am so excited.

We have fully run out of room for all of our books, my first instinct was to sort through and donate the ones I've already read but 90% of our books are non-fiction and I bought them because they were great reference books. So I really wanted to keep 90% of them. We donated 10% of them, mostly fiction or outdated non-fiction (books that still had countries like Czechoslovakia and referred to Bush as the current president, I'm talking the first president Bush).  Then we started planning.
We knew we had to go vertical, but how to do it safely???
Bookcases fixed to the wall wouldn't be rated to support the weight of so many books.
Long selves would be good but not the look I was going for.
Then like a big old Oprah Ah-Ha moment I thought, kitchen cabinets hold lots of weight and they don't fall off the wall!!! The skies opened up and the sun shined down on us and I saw an IKEA sign! haha
Ikea's wall cabinets are rated to hold 297 lbs of weight, that's over 400 dishes. SOLD.
We bought three 36" by 39" wall cabinets from Ikea, without door fronts. $204 later and we were set. 1. First Lee assembled the three cabinets.
2. Next Lee Hung the mounting rail. Just find some studs and screw them in with BIG HUGE SCREWS!
3. Lift big cabinet frame up an even bigger ladder while trying not to die. 
4. Attach cabinet to rail (Lee reports that it was super easy).
5. Repeat 2 more times . . . Done! After the cabinets were assembled it took just under an hour! As you can see the sun was going down and ruining my perfect picture lighting!!
So there we are, cabinets are up. Next step is to add, crown molding and a top, to the top of the cabinets. After that we'll be adding a new distressed wood top to the bottom bookcases. It's looking a little 'light' down there so a big wood top should bring the weight and focus back down. And last will be to weld up a rail and a ladder so we can reach all of our books!

It will still be a month or two before we are done but I am so excited already! It's the coolest thing to see when you walk through the front door!!!

39 comments:

  1. Ooooh! I think this is going to be amazing! I look forward to seeing how it turns out :)

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  2. That is awesome - I would love to turn our dining room into a library. Never would have thought about using cabinets. Can't wait to see the finished project!

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  3. Incredibly envious of this little library you're making! I can already see the potential in it and I'm so excited to see the end result! Well, I'll be excited for you after I stop being mad that I don't have this too. (:

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  4. Score! I guessed that because you and I always seem to be on the same page and that would be my dream library too. For now I will have to stick with the ones I have :(

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  5. Great idea! As always :) We plan on doing the bookshelves with the rolling ladder as well. So I'm excited to see the end result. Happy Tuesday :)

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  6. That is going to look amazing! Can't wait to see the end result.

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  7. This is pretty awesome! I also have dreams of a mini library one day ;)

    I am looking forward to seeing the finished product when you guys get it done!

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  8. I am so so jealous of your bookcases with ladder. OMG, it is going to look fantastic!

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  9. Wow, it's going to look incredible! Can't wait to see it all finished. This is definitely one of my dream house projects too.

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  10. So exciting! I swear I've wanted a library with a ladder since I saw one in Beauty and the Beast as a kid. Dream come true! Can't wait to see it all finished. :)

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  11. All I can say is this is going to look amazing when its finished can't wait

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  12. I have always loved your library. I wish I read more so I'd have an excuse to have one. Can't wait to see what the high up shelves and ladder look like all finished!

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  13. GAH! Blogger envy... what a great idea to use the kitchen cabinets. I can't wait to see it all pulled together... It's going to look amazing.

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  14. What makes me laugh is that every single thing on the top of your current shelves is still there during the installation. I don't think I could trust my husband not to knock something over! We have a china cabinet from ikea that we use as a bookcase. Now I just need about two more and hopefully all my books can be on display!

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    1. hahaha That's too funny, I just noticed that.
      Lee's pretty careful, but had I thought of it I would have moved things just in case!! :)
      ~A

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  15. Wow. That is going to look awesome. Can't wait to see it all finished up! :)

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  16. That is so cool! Talk about great storage. Patiently waiting to see the reveal!

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  17. So fun! I am impressed that you all got those cabinets way up there! I would've fallen right off the ladder. Excited to see how it turns out.

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  18. Dreamy!! That's one of my dreams as well. I wish we had taller ceilings (like your house) to really get some height. This is soooo Belle's library from Beauty and the Beast. I'm anxious to see how the ladder will work.

    Lura
    x
    www.domesticability.com

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  19. Oh my goodness Im insanely jealous of your home library with a ladder Iv always wanted one of those! The during is always the exciting time of anticipation and it has to get worse before it gets better as they say :) Its going to look amazing cant wait for you to show it off

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  20. Oh, I'm so excited!!! Can't wait to see more! Do you plan to connect the top and bottom shelving sets along the sides of the windows? I've always wanted a library in my home.

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    1. Thanks,
      We plan on extending the molding around the window and on the wall so that it's as wide as the top shelves, but so far no plans to add any other shelves.
      ~A

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  21. ohh I am jealous. I have always wanted a library with a ladder

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  22. Oh my Ashli, this is looking AMAZING! I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

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  23. Sounds amazing! Growing up I always dreamed of a library with a ladder, something reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, haha.

    On an unrelated note, I saw this cute dog photo today and had to show you:
    http://www.avantipress.com//images/card-catalog/front/15418-1293733199.jpg

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    1. OH MY GOODNESS!!!
      That picture was tooo cute!!!!!
      ~A

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  24. Oooooo!! So jealous! Now the next question is... are you going to make the rolling ladder? :) I imagine that the perfect, charming, rolling ladder is pretty hard to find out of a box! Maybe I'm wrong? Can't say that I've ever been in the market for a rolling ladder. LOL

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    1. We are definitely adding a rolling ladder. Although you are definitely right I wouldn't have the first idea about where to find one ready made. Lee is going to design and fabricate one for me out of metal, like he did for our sliding barn door track. Lee is an accomplished welder so he can do things like that!! :)
      I can't wait to get started on the rest and share it!!!
      ~A

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  25. I love how you're personalizing your home. I've been reading your blog for a while. Can't wait to see this project all finished!

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  26. That is going to be the absolute coolest!!!!!

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  27. girls, girls!! can we have a wolf whistle for Mr. Beastie himself? Ashli, your blog needs to come with a rating if you keep this up, i tell ya!

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    1. Haha I second that!!! And I'll give him a big whistle from you when he gets home from work!!! ;)
      Thanks for that you totally made my day. I bet you'll make Lee's day when he reads it too :) .
      Lots of Love
      Ashli

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    2. woo hoo! and i came back here looking for a delete button, because i didn't want to be the only crude person on this tasteful blog o' yours. but seriously, what a team! you guys are conquering the world, one rung a day. :)

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  28. LOVE the design! You're home is definitely something I strive for!

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  29. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! I would love a library in our house... Hmmm no room, next house. Great inspiration

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  30. I love it already! I was wondering what you were going to do with the window in the way. But your solution is fabulous!

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  31. You and Lee are amazing! Wow! What a great idea! Are you going to add anything to the sides (between the upper and lower sections)? Can't wait to see it finished!

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