My wife and I have lived in tiny one-bedroom apartments since college, and we were at a loss when we bought a house and it came time to decorate a spare bedroom. We decided that we need storage as much as we needed furniture, and we just couldn’t find furniture that maximized the potential of the space. So, naturally, we decided to make a shelving unit that would also serve to store many of her her sewing supplies. This was the design:
It was to be matching cabinets with bookshelves that incorporated a shelving span over the matching headboard. My in-laws were coming up soon, so I worked overtime to get it all done.
I figured I’d try to finish the bookcases/nightstands in time for their stay, and make the cabinet doors and headboard later. Here are the bookcases after a couple of coats of paint:
My idea was to make an angled ledger board (technically called a French cleat) that the center shelf piece would lock into with the help of gravity:
Here’s the center piece. It has opposing cleats on the ends that will hold it firmly against the bookcases without any hardware:
Here’s the headboard. The beadboard and curved accents match the cabinet doors:
And here’s the finished product. On this one wall, we now have storage for my wife’s sewing supplies (she made that accent pillow), a place to put all of our books, and a guest bed.
Naturally, I measured the cleats wrong and had to re-attach them about an inch higher on the bookcases, b ut I think it all came out okay in the end.
People have emailed me asking me what tools are necessary to make this. Beyond the obvious tools like a hammer, screwdriver, and drill, I really just used a circular saw for most cuts, a jigsaw for the curved board beneath the span, and a router to finish the edges. The rest is just nails, screws, wood glue, and sandpaper. I’ll add links to the products below. And before anyone asks, I am not sponsored by Ryobi. I wanted the 18v lithium-ion batteries to be interchangeable, so I ended up just buying that brand and was happy with the products. And a piece of advice that I learned the hard way; you should never buy any cordless power tools that run on less than 18v.