When we moved into our new house, Ilda wanted a very specific shelf: a set of little square cubbyholes above her desk. After a lot of searching, no luck. So instead, we installed regular Ikea shelving above her desk. Problem partly solved, but we kept a lookout for the mythical cubbyhole shelf.
During the middle of 2010, while she was in Cape Town, I decided that if we couldn’t find the shelves, perhaps we could build them. The shelves we had above our desks were a very nice material – solid wood planks, but made of smaller pieces which gives a sort of mosaic effect of textures. Plus, they were the same material as the desktop themselves, so they matched very nicely. I decided that was going to be it. Here is how it ended up:
I used three shelves (both her shelves, and one of mine). The design is simple – one shelf for the top, one for the bottom, and a third cut for the partitions (I had Paul cut the partitions for me with his table saw, because my jig saw would not cut straight enough, and barely dented this stuff). By pure luck, it worked out that a shelf was long enough to make four cubbyholes that were basically square. Once it was built, it was cool but a little ordinary, so I added a single door on one of them. The door is 3mm MDF, with ordinary hinges, and held shut with a cabinet closing magnet. The whole door is then sprayed with black spraypaint to become a blackboard.
Mounting this thing was interesting. It was extremely heavy (probably around 6 or 7 kilos). We already had bulkier than necessary wall brackets screwed into studs to hold the original shelving, so I removed one set and simply set this beast on the other. After some pulling on it and piling it with books, it seemed to hold fine, so presto.