It’s a special kind of night when you sit down to catch up on your weekly cbs.com fix, and instead get sucked into the vortex of a semi-annual online event, oggling something that is ordinarily and still quite ordinarily far outside the budget of the ordinary “IKEA spender.”
I do love a good sale and knowing that I saved a bunch of money splurging at the time that I did, however spontaneous it was. Marina Bautier’s lap shelving system purchased from Design Within Reach is a significant piece of shelving that’s bound to transform our dining room. What you’re seeing above isn’t quite the end order, but it gave me a good idea of what I needed.
I’ve really missed having shelving in our house for the obvious reasons: our books are still in boxes after 18 months; I haven’t been sure where to hang the art, and the furniture layout of every room hangs perilously in limbo as we try and figure out which pieces are our “anchors.” Anchors are significant, usually $$$. We haven’t wanted to spend much money on temporary fixes just for the sake of instant satisfaction.
There was awhile there over the summer when we assumed we would be better off building our own shelving units so that we could have the dimensions and style we wanted – something inspired by a midcentury original, but on our budget, and lighter wood to complement our maple floors. But there’s always a slightly terrifying sensation when it comes to wanting to build anything yourself, a feeling that ranges from mild to severe depending on how “professionally manufactured” you want the finished piece to look. In our case, we’re not professional woodworkers, therefore not too proud to say that the intricate, hidden joinery and finishing that would be required to create something exceptional would be a real challenge. Could we do it? Sure, I think we could build something beautiful, even if sleek, modern design is not as easy to replicate as, say, rustic-chic (like our farmhouse-style tables)… but at what cost, you know?
After pricing out the materials (very premium lumber – not inexpensive) and deciding that we would also need to spend a few hundred dollars in new tools and equipment in order to do it right and very well (we’d definitely want a routing table and a few new joinery gadgets), the realization that maybe we could afford to buy new was not actually that far-fetched… and I wasn’t even factoring in our time, which would have been at least several weeks of effort… woodworking can be a very expensive and labor-intensive hobby, hence why custom pieces usually have a lot of zeroes attached to them.
The big factor in all of this, of course, is whether or not we could find something that suits our vision and our house. I think we did with the Lap System.
So, home she comes. I can’t wait to see how this makes a difference in our dining room.