This is a custom-made video-tape shelf that Lisa built to fit this space in Fernley House between the laundry area and the family room, the latter being where I was standing when I took this picture.
This is the other side, as seen from the laundry area. Each shelf has a vertical board that divides it the long way, leaving space for video tapes (of which Lisa has a vast collection) to fit nicely on both sides of the shelf. Lisa estimates that the shelf should hold over 800 tapes, which would free up the closet in the living room for other things.
Today Lisa waxed up the sides of the shelf and we pushed it into place. She told me to take some pictures before we did so, because we'll not see the room this way ever again.
Here's what the space looked like before pushing the shelf into place. What is not obvious is that this space is not perfectly rectangular. It's slightly crooked. This meant that every shelf had to be cut exactly to fit into the available space.
This view from the family room looks back across the laundry landing (where you can see the new washing machine we bought a few weeks ago.) Besides being a very useful storage shelf, the new shelf also improves the safety of this area. This drop-off between the laundry landing and the family room was dangerous. Lisa used to stack boxes on the landing to make it harder for someone to accidentally walk off the edge.
This shelf has been a long time coming.
We started working on this in February 2016. As time and other resources allowed, we would buy boards from Lowe's and Lisa would cut them to size and screw them together.
Lisa would put tapes on the shelf during interim construction to make sure it would work the way she expected.
Slowly the shelf took shape. At lower left is a proof-of-concept mini-shelf. Lisa intends to build a small sub shelf using leftover pieces of wood from the construction process.
A few weeks back, Lisa installed the final main shelf and it was time to consider finishing it.
Lisa really wanted to get this done, but it's still too cold to do the finishing work outside. So she made a temporary bracket to hold the shelf away from the wall, laid down plastic and drop cloths, and undertook to apply wood stain to the shelf.
We had a number of adventures with wood stain, including getting four different shades until we found one we liked. The actual staining took several days, and yes, a good chunk of the house smelled of wood stain for more than a week. We fortunately had a spell of relatively warm weather that allowed us to open some windows and vent some of the vapor.
The shelf is not completely done yet, but the stain was dry and the shelf could go into position today. Lisa will attach it to the surrounding beams and will finish the shelf with heavy paste wax before loading it up with tapes.
Getting this project done will be a relief and will free up storage elsewhere in the house, which will be another relief.