This post is a long time coming. Like 2 years coming to be exact. I had every intention of detailing how I put the shelving unit in Reed’s nursery together after revealing the room but y’know…that whole “having a newborn” thing took over my life and I never got around to it. But it continues to be one of the most pinned images from my blog and I get emails regularly from readers looking to recreate the look so I thought it was about time to publish this post!
I debated the layout of this room for a long time and struggled with whether to do a daybed in there. Here’s the layout of the room I was working with when the daybed was in contention.
Once I ruled out the daybed, I knew I wanted to do some kind of shelving unit in its place. The room only has a small closet and I wanted more storage for diapers, wipes, toys, etc as well as a place to display art and decorative pieces. I loved the unfitted look of these floating shelves and became intrigued by how even the negative space formed by the shelf gaps could be used to highlight a piece (see the pink vase on the top right and the dried rose in the middle left).
I turned to my favorite IKEA shelves and started brainstorming how I could achieve a similar look but totally customized for my space and what I wanted to display. I love these Ekby Tony and Ekby Bjarnum shelves exactly for this reason – they are endlessly customizable. They come in 7.5″ and 11″ depths and you can cut the shelves down to whatever length you need because the mounting ends cover up any raw wood cut you’re left with. And the connector brackets let you put multiple shelves together and get as long a shelf as you need. You can really achieve a totally custom look by combining them. The Bjarnum brackets fit on any of the Ekby shelves but I prefer the Tony shelves in that line for their high gloss, lacquer-like finish (the Jarpen is also white but not glossy)
So I started sketching some ideas and came up with this general layout. You also get a look into my thought process. I knew I wanted to mount them high enough off the floor to be able to tuck some baskets or bins under that first row. And I knew I wanted to make the lower 2 shelves deeper (the 11″ version) for maximum storage potential while leaving the upper shelves shallower (the 7.5″ version) just for display space. I pretty much started with that idea and then built around the starry night constellation chart I already had.
Here’s the wall I started with. It needed something right?
My dad helped me make all the cuts. Honestly all you need is a circular saw and a straight edge for this project but everyone was all freaked out about me handling power tools in my “delicate state” (I was 8 months pregnant at this point) so grandpa to the rescue. You’ll see from my diagram above, my shelves span a width of 60″. The 11″ depth Ekby Tony shelves only come in 46 7/8″ lengths so in order to connect them in the middle and have 2 equal sides, I had to get 2 and cut each down to 30″. Annoying to have that much waste but still worth. Same with the upper shelves. Mine are 20″ lengths and they only come in 31 1/8″ lengths so I got 2 and cut them down as well.
These shelves are a breeze to install. Measure, level, install. After we had the shelves cut, they went up in less than 10 minutes. Then the fun part started! Styling all the pieces I’d collected for the room. I love laying out all the available options and “shopping” the pile.
This was my most favorite project in the nursery. I must have played around with 2 dozen different variations of where stuff should go. Here’s an early version.
Here’s how they ended up!
And in case you’re wondering, they still look like this over 2 years later (with the exception of the geometric paper balls which died a sad death when Reed decided they were good teething toys). They have been perfect for toys and books and the baskets hold an ever rotating collection of blankets, stuffed animals, diapers and wipes. I love the way this wall turned out and how I was able to take a totally blank room with zero architectural detail and give it something more interesting.
Total expense – $181.94
Here’s my material list for this project:
4 Ekby Tony 11″ depth shelves – $24.99 each
2 Ekby Tony 7.5″ depth shelves – $19.99 each
2 packs Ekby Bjarnum 11″ depth brackets (2 to a pack so I had 4) – $10
2 packs Ekby Bjarnum 7.5″ depth brackets (2 to a pack so I had 4) – $5
2 11″ depth connecting brackets – $6 each
p.s. See the full post on Reed’s nursery here for sources on all the stuff on the shelves.