Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shpeak for Yourshelf

Yes, I did have to go for the obvious Sean Connery pun. But that's only because we've finally gotten around to an improvement project that's been on the cards for ages: we put shelves into our dresser. (Here is where I specify that this is a kitchen dresser, holding items with which to dress the table. I know I'd normally call it a hutch, but when in Rome...)

It's a lovely light-coloured wood (aside from a few raindrop stains) and a great sturdy piece that will definitely come with us wherever we move to. But there was one (okay, two) big problem with it: the side cabinets had no shelves.
So no shelves = highly ineffective storage space. This will become a bigger problem soon, because with the move now T-7 days away this storage space needs to be functional. It will no longer be a place to hide the shameful piles of ugly dishes that came with the apartment; it will hold all of my lovely Blue Willow, cake pans, loaf tins, pie plates, and mixing bowls for easy access in the new kitchen. Because the best thing about my new kitchen, aside from a fridge that keeps food cold, is floor space to fit my dresser in a space where it actually belongs.

That meant that yesterday's Bank Holiday involved a trip to B&Q (the UK's version of Home Depot...feel the love) to grab a sheet of MDF (for only £6.50) with which to make shelves. Thankfully, half of the work was done for us: they have a free lumber-cutting service. We definitely took advantage seeing as we don't really have any tools to speak of yet.
Once we got home with our pre-cut squares of MDF, it was time for The Husband to get to work making the final few cuts with Baby Hack Saw there. We had to cut a small square out of one corner on each 40x40cm sheet of MDF. This way, the load-bearing part of the shelf fit nicely into our cabinet space without losing lots of useable surface area.

The whole thing was set up in a C-shaped configuration: two supporting legs under a table-top-like shelf. Since there were already two useless shelf brackets inside, we made the shelf legs stand about 20cm tall, so the brackets didn't get in the way. Because they fit the space so precisely, and the MDF is so inflexible at this size, we don't need much in the way of additional structural support. The Husband will nail the bits together for my peace of mind, but that's all it really needs: the cabinet walls hold it intact quite well.

So now, my dresser cabinets are way more useful:
Look at how much more organised that is. The next task to tackle with this dresser is to change out the horrendous faux-gold hardware for something much more pleasing to the eye. Some brushed bronzey-finished cup handles, me thinks. Much better than the current stuff. Pictures will follow.

I also indulged in one other little project today: the first nursery decoration for Piggly Wiggly! I snagged a £4.50 4x6" white picture frame and framed a card I particularly liked from my sister-in-law, Rachel. I love the lime green background and the flowery pattern...it walks the line very nicely for a baby of as-yet-indeterminate sex. This should be the first taste of how the rest of the nursery will go. Stay tuned!

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