corner book nook

Once I set up the frame cluster and mini bar on one side of our living room, the wall opposite was looking a little blah. The TV sort of dominates that corner, so I needed to find a way to distract from it. Ideally, I would have filled the corner with a set of bookcases or floor-to-ceiling shelves. Unfortunately, we're renting and have no idea how long we'll end up staying here, so I wasn't looking to make a big investment in custom shelving. So here we have the quick and cheap solution!

Here's the before photo:

I looked around a bit for shelves that would fit in the corner, but of course ended up at everyone's favorite source for cheap solutions: IKEA! They didn't have shelves that were the right size, but I did score these brackets for only $3 each! 

Next stop was the hardware store, where I was able to have them cut a 10' pine board into two shelves that fit the exact dimensions of the corner. Technically they're only supposed to make one cut per board, but usually if you do the measuring yourself and mark it for them (and ask nicely and maybe bat your eyelashes a little) they'll do an extra cut or two. Buying one long board and having them cut it is always less expensive than buying multiple small pieces of wood. The board was only about $12, which was even less than the fake wood shelves at IKEA.


Once I brought everything home, I realized I forgot to buy sandpaper again, but I decided to just paint anyway (why am I so bad about sanding??). The cut ends of the wood were a little rough, but it wasn't too noticeable after a couple coats of paint. I let everything dry overnight and then it was time to put them up!

And presto! Quick and easy corner shelves for under $25! I think the most difficult part of the project was deciding which books and "flub dubs" (a term my husband has taken to using, after he learned Abraham Lincoln used it to describe his wife's knickknacks) should go on the shelves.


Can I interest you in something from the mini-bar?

Our new apartment is somewhat lacking in cabinet space, so I decided to set up a little bar in the living room to store our booze and drinking accoutrements (at least until I can score the bar cart of my dreams). I thought this would be a great excuse to go shopping for a fabulous tray to contain everything. Unfortunately, most of the trays I found were surprisingly expensive for just a simple rectangle of wood. 

Then I remembered I still had this kinda ugly tray stored with my BBQ supplies:

I nabbed this from my mom's pile of give-aways when she moved a few years ago. I was never crazy about the cherry motif, but the tray was a good size and shape. Time for a makeover!

If you want to try your own version of this project, you can usually find trays like this in thrift stores for next to nothing, or Target has a plain wood one for pretty cheap here.

See the how-to after the jump: