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  • Writer's pictureTORI JOYNER

The Shelf Takes Center Stage: DIY#2

Are you having trouble deciding what to put on that large wall over your sofa? Trying to find pictures, painting or even large canvas art can be very difficult and expensive. I have the perfect solution! Let's call it the shelf project. Before deciding what I wanted to do over my sofa, I had the idea of a substantial, draped wall canvas piece. I looked around for a month and decided canvas pieces are just too expensive, and I couldn't find precisely what I wanted. Then one day I stepped back and just looked at the wall, and said, "what are we doing here wall" "are you going to speak up or" The wall spoke and reminded me of "symmetry" and how important that is to me. I needed something that would balance with the length of the sofa. So, I decided a long shelf would do the job perfectly. I can add pictures, plants, and books everything that illustrates who I am as a person without saying a single word.

Materials: All items can be found at your local hardware store. This isn't a costly project. $40 will cover everything.

1. One 10X12 piece of wood. (If you need anything longer or shorter Home Depot has a variety of lengths and sizes)

2. One Level

3. Three 1/2X12in Black Pipe Threaded( I found the black pipe to be the cheapest)

4. Three Cast Iron Floor Flanges

5. Pack of twelve wall anchors and screws

6. Three U-Straps or pipe straps

7. Six Self Starting screws ( They won't turn themselves, but they will make it quite


First, mark your spots on the wall before drilling. It's crucial to decide where the first bracket will be located since spacing is so important to the support of the heavy shelf.

Make sure to have equal spacing and distance between each bracket.

Now, at this point, you have all three brackets up, so move your sofa back and make sure you like the distance and the height of the brackets. It's not a good feeling if you stand up and bump your head... I know the feeling...

A Little Help Please!

It would be a good idea to get a little help at this point. The piece of wood that I purchased was weighty, so it took two people to get the wood placed and balanced. I forgot to say this earlier, but home depot does sell lighter-weight wood that is about the same price. Too bad I didn't know this when I started my project. :)

The picture above shows exactly how the bracket is connected to the wall. Behind the black flange, I drilled a hole and pushed the anchor into the wall. On this side of the flange, you will put the screw through the hole in the flange and connect the screw to the anchor. This will secure the flange against the wall.

No Slipping " Let's not take any chances" we don't want the wood to slide off and hit anyone in the head, so it's best to brace the wood to the iron pipe with 1/2 pipe straps.

Theme What should I put on my shelf? I would say whatever makes you happy. I think pictures of family and friends are great options. I wanted my shelf to be the talking piece of the room. I needed the shelf to be grand and stand alone and be loud.

Immediately, I knew how I wanted to achieve this look. A few things to remember when creating a feature shelf: Diversity,Depth,Theme,and Scale.(DDTS). Diversity, making sure there's a lot to contrasting thing to focus on and that everything isn't the same. Depth, having items on the front, back, side, and above. Make sure a story is being told from all angles. A theme, make sure the items relate in some small way, but not apparent. Scale, make sure you have one or two large items, double that for the medium items, and double that for the smallest items. The double up methods gives a lot of cohesion to what could be a very disjointed display.

Finally Thoughts I've enjoyed doing this project so much, and I've gotten loads of compliments on my shelf. I found that it's a perfect conversation starter. People find it fascinating the reasoning behind my photos and my process. I hope this has encouraged you all to think outside the box and challenge yourself in the design process.

Let me know what you guys think..


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