A serious discussion about our closet bookshelves.

We are finally starting work on the closet bookshelves in our office!

Surprisingly, the measuring part was not the hardest part of starting this project. I love being married to a guy with a college degree in mathematics.

But we had a hard time deciding what wood to use for the bookshelves. After some scientific research with our research partner Google, it seems like birch plywood would be our best choice. Plywood is strong and economical and birch is a wood that is suited for staining and painting – and we plan to paint. Pine would be soft and our books are heavy (and I am majorly clumsy), so it might scratch and dent. Oak wood, though strong, would be astronomically expensive.

We plan to buy wood today. But please, if you’re reading this and shaking your head with a smart brain inside, let us know what we should do and give us any tips before we spend our pennies at a home improvement store this afternoon! Thanks in advance.

Now… on to the more important stuff. Paint colors!!

The inside of our closet is already teal…

We planned on painting our shelves white, to contrast with the teal and to go with our white trim. But I saw this beautiful closet-turned-bookshelves:

Apartment Therapy

Gorgeous. And see, the back and the shelves are all painted the same color. Hmm.. should we paint the shelves teal too? Would that be too much TEAL or be more seamlessss?

More photos of the seamless look:



Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy

Or should we stick with teal backs and white shelves? Photo time, again:


Apartment Therapy

I think the white looks good but it has to be done right. Ah I am already stressing over this decision and we haven’t even gotten the wood yet. Looks like I have to do my mantra chant again.

One… Thing… At… A… Time.   One… Thing… At… A… Time.   One… Thing… At… A… Time.   One… Thing… At… A… Time.   One… Thing… At… A… Time!!!


19 Responses

  1. I’m drooling over the photos of bookcases (I’m weird, I know). I love the idea of teal on teal, but the white looks good too. How big is your closet and does it get much natural light? If it doesnt get much light, you might think about going with the white option to lighten things up. That first photo of the dark colored shelves and background is gorgeous, but there seems to be a lot of light entering and also a lot of surrounding white. Just something to think about…. Good luck!

  2. Go with the white. I love teal and white together, it can look classy. I think it’ll bring more character to your shelves.

    Amy @ Renovation Innovation has presented a good point… if your closet has lots of lights, teal on teal would be good, too. 🙂

  3. Btw, I’m drooling over your book collection! Teehee! 🙂

  4. I like white, unless your closet is as big and well it as the first one, then do black. Are you doing plywood with birch veneer?

  5. what a great idea!! I was reading Sara’s blog over at Rsuset Street Reno – they are builging shevles too…check out how they did using a combination of cabinets and shevles…

  6. Dude! Definitely, the birch plywood is ideal, as long as you can get it cut down for you. Just plan on getting some 1×2 trim or something decorative to edge the shelves with, unless the edges are smooth enough that sanding and painting will be fine….I’m not sure I remember what the edges look like on those sheets. I have to say, I love the tone on tone idea, but I would still do white. I think it would just make the teal contrast that much more, and it’s easier to change to teal later if it’s not working for you. Maybe prime them and install a couple to see how you like it? OH – and use BIN to prime, you won’t believe how smooth you get them after priming and sanding the primer coat with 220 or 320 grit. TRUST ME, they will be like glass!!

  7. I prefer the all one color look. Can’t wait to see what you decide on. -c

  8. I’d go with white!

  9. Well, you can always paint just the backs and see how you like it.

    I think the contrast of colors can be cool.

  10. […] picked out the wood we needed – the birch plywood and white wood for the shelf supports. For our closet bookshelves project. I thought Lowe’s would cut the white wood to size for us, but they said they didn’t do […]

  11. […] then I will spend the rest of it drinking eggnog and working on the house (more specifically, the office bookshelves). Merry, merry, […]

  12. […] was below 40 degrees all day (painting should be done between 40 and 90 degrees). These are for our closet bookshelves. Yes, that project that I started eons ago. There was a lot of headaches with measuring, […]

  13. […] the math correctly. I have a history of bungling seemingly simple measurements (the reason why our closet bookshelves are not YET done), so Nick has politely requested that I run all numbers by […]

  14. […] Current Reality: The Closet Bookshelves […]

  15. […] the math correctly. I have a history of bungling seemingly simple measurements (the reason why our closet bookshelves are not YET done), so Nick has politely requested that I run all numbers by […]

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