Shelf Fulfilling Prophecy

Posted on February 24, 2013


Claire: I had various ideas about how to tell you my new shelves, but decided I’d just show you.

Ed: It’s funny, they were my shelves right up until the point the first wicker basket landed, at which time I release them into the wild to roam free with the other furniture.

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To be honest, this storage area is not quite complete. Ed still needs to make and fit an oak plinth for the base, but I just couldn’t wait to start filling the shelves. Then, once Ed has built the window seat and laundry machine surround this will be another room…DONE.

Sounds to me like Ed needs to put his prices up…

These shelves are oak veneered with solid oak face frames and painted backs. I think oak is a good choice for this kind of area as it’s robust and the knocks and ravages of time seem to add to its character rather than detract. They have a sprayed lacquer finish which gives a nice even lustre and will be durable. We decided on equal fixed shelves instead of adjustable as we felt it was more suitable in a utility area, plus with the contrasting painted back its nice to see some glimpses through, rather than filling every section to the top.

This room has had various names. When we bought the house it was the ‘utility’, then it became ‘the mud room’, now I feel it probably should be re-named ‘the pantry’.

I was talking to a fellow woodworker yesterday, who having seen pictures of this online said ‘where are they – in the bit you have to go through to get to the workshop?’ Yes that’s right, it’s a big corridor to the good bit on the other side.

It has to be one of my favourite bits of house re-modelling so far. I can usually be found re-arranging baskets on the shelves, chalking up labels or filling jars with ‘stuff’. My current hobby is tracking down interesting storage tins, my favourites so far are the huge recycled passata tins from Pizza Express. If anyone knows where to find any vintage tins, do let me know.

Refurbishing a house whilst you live in it is like completing one of those shuffle puzzle games where you slide the tiles round to make the finished picture. You can only make certain moves at a particular time, often making several other moves to get the tiles you really wanted into the right locations. These shelves are definitely one of those tiles, as they unlock the next phase of kitchen refurbishment which is to follow. You certainly get to know your house through this process; at one time or another we’ve used every bedroom in the house as a stage in the shuffle puzzle.

It’s ridiculously pleasing for everything to have its own place, instead of being rammed into an overfull cupboard. I love the way this area looks now too: the contrast of the light oak against the sage green.

Ed laughs at me, saying I have set it up like an ‘Open All Hours’ shop and how I should have a vicious till…and a shopkeepers coat, like Arkwright.

“Hello I’m Claire, can I help you?”

That must make me Granville…I’ll fetch a cloth.

Posted in: Ed, Furniture, House, Woodwork