Figuring Out the Shelves, One Room Challenge Week 2 - Pretty Real

Figuring Out the Shelves, One Room Challenge Week 2

8:00 AM

The first step to creating an office nook in our kitchen was figuring out the desk. That was a challenge and took forever. We settled on white oak and found two 8/4 pieces that were long enough- about 103 inches. In hindsight, it seems like a miracle that we found those! (I'll share more about those later as they're being installed)! As for the shelving, finding suitable lumber is proving to be even more difficult.

The Conundrum

My goal for the shelves was to have two wall to wall floating shelves above the desk. My ideal shelf would be thick enough to 'float'- about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. My back up plan was to use brackets but the thickness has to be at least 5/4 (or 1 1/4 inch). Even that feels a bit small- 1 1/2 to 2 inches would be ideal. We have been back to the lumber yard numerous times and have yet to find white oak in the dimensions we need (103 inches long and at least10 inches deep). We've called other lumberyards and no one else carries white oak. Time to figure out an alternative. I could really use your help! Here are the options.

The Options

Option 1: 
Use IKEA counters as shelving. The plan here would be to cut an IKEA countertop in half, lengthwise, and use it for the 2 shelves.

-depth and thickness measurements: 1 1/2" thick. White oak doesn't come in this thickness at the lumber yard.  It's 25" deep so each shelf would be 12 to 12 1/2" which would be awesome and seems impossible to find with real lumber, due to the length we need

-98 1/2", not 103" so it would not be wall to wall. 
- Shipping is too expensive and IKEA is 3+ hours away (boo!)
-Would the oak laminate match the real oak desktop? Unsure!

Here are a few more images of me trying to imagine what 98-inch shelves would look like. Ignore our spacing- still trying to figure that out!

I tried to find an image depicting shelves over a desk- but not wall to wall- to get an idea if it would look strange. This one makes me feel better, however, we don't have drawers under our desk and my concern is the entire nook looking underwhelming. ha.

Option 2: 
Join 2 pieces of wood together to get the shelf depth we want- 10" to 12."

The Wood Grain Cottage did this (so thankful to be able to find an image that helps me visualize this!) and here it is. Note, the bottom 2 shelves are made with 2 boards/planked; the top shelves are not.

-real white oak

-More work to join them and we've never done it before
-I'm not a big fan of the plank look- I'm afraid of a farmhouse vibe
-It would only be 5/4 thick so we'd need brackets...which are expensive

Option 3: 
Use pine, but "wrap" it in plywood and then paint it. The pine itself is way too knotty/rustic but there are many tutorials for floating shelves using the plywood method. This way the wood appears smooth but still has grain. Most of the time the DIYer stains it to look like oak but I'm not confident enough in my staining abilities to match the oak of the desktop.

For example,

-measurements, both thickness, length, and depth we want

-they'd be painted, which could be beautiful but could also look cottage style coupled with the vertical planks.
-We'd potentially still need brackets depending on the final thickness.
-It's more work than the IKEA option, but less work than option 2 (I think). We'd kind of be winging it since most tutorials are similar to the one linked above. We are new to DIY and not all that brave. haha.

The image below is to give you an idea of what painted shelves might look like. Just imagine no pegs- which do a lot to give it the cottage look- and 2 deeper shelves.


After writing out our options and finding inspiration for each I think I might have figured it out! But what do you think? Which of the 3 options would you take?!

Come back next week to see where we're headed! And if you missed last week, check it out here.  

And check out other exciting projects over on the ORC link up page!
Sources for the design board at the top are below! 
Note: Some of these are affiliate links.

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