Our 18-month long, unplanned renovation of our little river cottage is nearly complete. I am so excited to start sharing some of the final details with you. One new addition that we are especially happy with is a pipe-and-wood book shelf that Chad built in a little nook by the back deck doors — the area formerly known as our dining room. This is a look that admittedly is crazy trendy at the moment. Two shops we love, Watson’s Cabinet in Hudson, NJ and Salvage Style in Maplewood, NJ, have pipe shelves that they use to display their lovely wares, and inspired us greatly.
Here’s Chad’s step-by-step.
1. Plan the space.
First measure the space and spend some time online looking at various designs. There are a whole lot of ways to build shelves and you might like one style over another style out there. I chose to make the desk area more open by putting the support pipe in the back, closer to the wall. One link that I found really useful was this one from Beneath My Heart.
2. Buy the parts.
Iron pipe can be purchased at your local Home Depot or Lowes and it comes in a few different diameters. You can also buy galvanized steel rather than iron, but it costs almost twice as much. Instead, I chose to use 1/2 inch pipe and spray painted it silver to give it a galvanized steel look.
When you are selecting the pieces of pipe, make sure you choose all the same diameter (it comes in 3/4s or 1/2 inch). I also discovered that Lowes sells the pieces individually wrapped in a plastic baggie, while Home Depot sticks the price tag directly on the pipe which was nearly impossible to remove. Go to Lowes to save yourself a step there!
After making sure you have the right diameter, choose the lengths you want.It all depends on how much space you want between your shelves. I chose a 12-inch height. Under the shelves, the support is made up of an elbow and a tee and 6-inch pipe. If you want deeper shelves, you may need longer length pipes. I decided to use 12 inch wide pine and stain it.
Here are some links to parts I bought. (Here’s another hit: Save your receipts!)
3. Measure them out on the floor.
Once you get all the parts, you’ll want to measure out your plan on the floor. I started by sketching out what a wanted to build on a piece of paper and tried to think of it as a Lego project, making sure I had all the parts that would fit together.
4. Spray paint the parts.
Do this before you put everything together. This is optional, depending on the look you want. I sprayed paint about 2-3 coats on the metal parts.
5. Start attach to the pipes to the wall and floor.
Attaching your first pipe to a wall can be tricky. You want to make sure that you are screwing the floor flanges into a stud and not just the drywall. Since I knew exactly where I wanted each support to go, I had to attach a 4-inch wide board to the wall and use it as my anchor for the supports.
Basically, the board is drilled to the studs and now I can put the supports anywhere I want on the board. Make sure it is level.
6. Prepare to add the wood shelves.
Put on a pair of gloves because little threads from the end of the pipes can cut your fingers when you are screwing them together. When you place the first pieces down, it’s important to use a level and long shelf board to make sure its level both left to right and back to front. If the first pieces are not level, your whole shelf unit will be wonky. You can tighten or loosen the parts, but don’t depend on that. If your floor is uneven, you may need to put something under the footers to balance.
7. Final touches
I coated the desk and shelves with Polyurethane before putting them together.
When you are ready to apply the shelves, be mindful of where you place them on the pipe. Measure them first, and carefully drill holes where you want the vertical pipes to pass through. Be mindful of where you want to shelves to rest on the 90 degree elbow supports.
See more of our cottage renovation, here, including a slab-wood counter top for the kitchen, and how we chose our exterior paint color.
A few weeks ago one of our friends and fellow elementary school mom had the idea to bring Farmigo to our community. The concept is simple. Order fresh farm goods online through the easy-to-use site, pick up your edibles once a week at her house, and a portion of the sale gets donated to our local school. In the first week, we raised over $600.
Clicking through Farmigo you can find all the staples you need: bread, eggs, milk, meat, and of course, fresh veggies and fruit. Start browsing around and before you know it you are adding things to your basket that whet your appetite and inspire the chef in you. The first week, I admit went a little order-happy and bought more stuff than we could finish off in a week, but now I seem to be in a groove. I found the key is use Farmigo to supplement the trips we take the main supermarket, and the treat is discovering ready-made short cuts that make getting a healthy dinner on the table during the week super simple. We currently have fresh ramp-ravioli and spinach pesto in the fridge. Today, I’m going to bring a cup of bone broth with me to work as part of my low-cal lunch. And, I can’t wait to eat our fiddlehead ferns! The plan is just to keep them simple, with a light saute of butter and lemon juice.
Benzi Ronen, founder and CEO of Farmigo, told Forbes this week that he thinks his start up will kill the supermarket. I don’t know if I agree with that. The physical act of hand selecting your food with your eyes and hands and nose should never be fully replaced with online ordering. It’s skill set and social ritual that is too crucial to our civilized lives. But if you have a hard time making it to the weekly farmer’s market, and consider buying locally sourced food a priority for you, Farmigo is a no-brainer. The fact that it helps our school with additional funds is only a bonus. We’ll be using the money, in part, to start a vegetable learning garden at our school. How cool is that?
Learn more about Farmigo here. And if you’re already using it, tell us what’s in your basket!
We spotted these insanely cute enameled mugs and plates at Royal Design and instantly felt our hearts flutter. Made by Muurla, a Finnish company founded in 1974, this collection focuses on Moomin, his family and friends Little My, Snufkin, Moominpappa and the others in the cartoon series. Our favorite is this Little My mug, with her punky ponytail and angry scowl.
Winter is really starting to kick in. After seven or so days of below freezing temperatures, my body starts to notice it. My shoulders are tense from the way I hurriedly rush outside, my hands need constant moisturizing, and of course our house feels dryer than a used a chalkboard. Last year we invested in a hefty humidifier from Stradler Form, and I love it. It purrs along through the night and helps keep us breathing clear — not to mention prevents our skin from scaling off. But after spotting this cute little number, I’m attempted to trade in dull Oskar. Meet Fred, the cutest, Jetson-esque humidifier I’ve ever seen. It’d be dreamy in a kid’s bedroom but is chic enough to hold its own in your main living spaces. More than a humidifier, Fred is a vaporizer. Add a scent and it will lift your spirits as well as your moisture levels. Fred at Stradler Form, $150.
When we were looking for a crib over six years ago (gulp), finding one that had a small profile and suited our modern sensibilities was not easy — especially if we didn’t want to spend over a thousand dollars. We end up getting one from an Australian company called Baby Mod. It was low enough for a short mom like me to bend over comfortably, was a mix of white and birch wood and drawers underneath. It was nice, but nothing like this gorgeous Caravan Crib from Kalon. Now, we are not the kind of parents that doused our daughter in pink, but even we admit that this pink and maple beauty is an exception to the rule. Wouldn’t it look lovely in a room painted a pale grey? I picture a cute little felted elephant in one corner. Naturally, it’s made from green, non-toxic materials (Note: All cribs will get chewed on eventually.) and is made right here in the U.S.A. $695 at Kalon.