A bookcase for Mali – lesson learned

Posted on October 30, 2014


This bookcase was an entertaining project because I failed to consider the depth of the bookcase when installing it. It was built in the basement and then carried to the second floor; simple enough plan. The reality, however, was that because of its height, it should have been built upright in the room it was going to live in; there is only two inches of clearance from unit to ceiling. Way to use those fourth grade math skills… 


Short of disassembling the entire piece and realigning all of the shelves that were precisely measured, I cringed and went for the quick fix – chop off the top section, stand it up and then reassemble it with hardware. Oops! 

Note to self: build tall structures in an upright position or create stackable, manageable sections and assemble.

Unlike the assembly process, the side hat hooks were a happy accident. In order to conceal the shelf screwheads on the sidewall, I cut 1×2 pieces, glued and single-screwed them, then added simple hooks to cover the screw on each piece. Ingenious way of hiding a design mistake! 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog 

A little artist’s work space

Posted on October 13, 2014


One day, I laid out paper and crayons on the kitchen floor for Mali and I to color. She sat down next to me and tried to figure out how she was going to rest on her knees, lean into the paper, hold her balance, and color. Seemed kind of silly that we did not have a child size table. 


After searching for design ideas, I found a Potterybarn kids table, which became my inspiration. Mali uses the table for tea parties, drawing, painting, snacking and everything in between. 


The idea of having a table with an endless roll of paper is a good one, so long it is in a supervised area; ours is in the kitchen. Think of a toddler left alone for three seconds with a roll of toilet paper.  

*My friend gave me the Boos butcher block several months ago. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it, but I knew it would be a great top for something. It was put aside until the right practical and purposeful design plan came along. Thanks Sean!

The image below shows the bees wax sealant on half of the table.  It really preserves the wood beautifully and I don't have to worry about any chemicals because all it is is beeswax and olive oil. 

living room built in

Posted on October 1, 2014


Little miss photobomber! This is what life has been like these days. I could write a whole story about building this bookcase from scratch, but I feel like these photos tell it all… 

Thank you to all of the friends and family who kept an eye on Mali while I worked on this project. Much love.