Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Floating Shelf Fix

Last fall I was faced with a huge dilemma.  It was called “I have this huge awkward space on the wall above my ginormous couch.”  Maybe you have heard of this problem.  Maybe this tragedy has happened to you. 

My fixes went something like this: go to Home Goods and bring home a large piece of wall art.  Realize that it seemed a whole lot larger in the store.  Prop it on the back of the couch and lean it on the empty wall.  Let it sit there for several days to see how it “works” with the room.  Begin to loath the picture.  Bring it back.  Repeat.   

After a couple of cycles of this (sorry no pictures of this step) I was beyond frustrated so I did the only logical thing I knew how to do, I turned to the internet.  After hours of neurotically searching for a solution I came upon this Young House Love tutorial for these amazing floating shelves:

Yes, I know they are kitchen display shelves but they fit just perfectly on the wall behind our couch and were just the solution to add a pop of color.  They also look like they are floating which adds a "coolness" factor the the project. When we moved in I asked the landlords if I could paint a wall and they almost fainted.  I took that as a no and have been looking for a way to add color to the beige walls ever since!

After a weekend of grunt work, sanding, and panting we had a nice set of shelves.  It cost a little more than the Young House Love tutorial quoted, but still far less than retail.  When putting these up my husband insisted that he could be the “stud finder”.  After four holes in our RENTAL wall and not a stud in sight I insisted that he go to Home Depot and bring back a real stud finder.  After that the shelves went up pretty easily and here is the result:     

I really wanted something that would be versatile and change with the mood and feel of the house.  This way I can lean picture frames, accessories, or whatever floats my boat and change it up as much as I want without having to buy something new.  Another plus is the shelves can always be painted if my color scheme or wall color changes in the future.

We decided on two shelves rather than three to leave enough space in between them for large pictures, vases, or accessories.   It is important when putting  your shelves up to allow enough space for whatever accessories you are going to use to make sure your shelves won’t look cramped.  We also placed them far enough above the couch so there was no way my 6'4 husband would hit his head on the shelving.   

For the accessories I started with my largest frames as my anchor pieces and built off of their position.  I didn’t want it to look too deliberate, perfect, or symmetrical but I also didn’t want it to look way off balanced.  Although it doesn’t come across great in the picture I varied the placement of the accessories and pictures on the depth of the shelf to give the arrangement more dimension.  Here is a rundown of the accessories (minus the black frames because those are pretty easy to figure out):

  1. Monogram M that I got from Michaels and painted white
  2. Tall vase from Home Goods – they have great vases at low prices!
  3. Candle holder from Pier 1 with sand and a candle
  4. Shadow box scrap book arrangement (which I am hoping to change out soon) – the butterflies are hand cut from scrapbook paper
  5. Starfish from Michaels
  6. Candle holder from Pier 1
  7. Bud vase from Ikea
  8. Shadow box of Hawaiian good luck charms my mother brought back from vacation.  Anything sentimental looks great in a shadow box!
  9. Starfish picture from Target
  10. Coral accessory from Pier 1
  11. Bud vase from Ikea – different texture but matches #7
  12. Candle holder from Pier 1
  13. Buddha from Mexico
  14. Tall vase from Home Goods   

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