Easy DIY Angled Shelf

As I was putting last week's living room update post together, it reminded me I never wrote about the installation of the angled wall shelf I built above the console.

It's a really simple concept, with a big impact. 

Of course, I'm the worst and don't have a clear before shot of the area. Please just pretend this is good enough... It's a photo from the night before we moved in and I guess the fact that I didn't feel like this weird little nook even warranted full documentation proves just how inconsequential it was to begin with.  

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As evidenced by the patched-in floorboards (and the brick wall quietly looming behind the drywall), this location originally housed a corner fireplace. Sadly, as is the case for many of our duplex's charming primordial details, at some point the decision was made to completely remove the fireplace, leaving an odd angle of walls in a very focal locale. So obviously we placed our TV here instead.  

Still, with just a low mid century console on a wall with 10' ceilings, it felt pretty empty. I needed a way to engage the portion of wall above the TV without competing with it, so I decided to create a makeshift "mantel," letting the TV occupy the same visual space a fireplace would.

I could have just made a shelf to fit the wall directly above the TV, but that little sliver of a wall to the right seemed like it would then feel out of place. By extending the shelving, I could better unify the corner and make it one cohesive area, not just the random rendezvous point for three different walls.   

I purchased a length of inexpensive 1 x 8 framing lumber from Lowes (though if I were doing it now I would've purchased prettier wood). To get the angle right, I employed the super technical method of laying several sheets of paper on the floor around the perimeter of the two walls, taping them together and drawing the line where I thought the corner connection should be. This is what I used as a pattern to cut the actual wood. 

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All of this took place before I had really started using power tools, so Luke was kind enough to manually cut the wood for me, using a hack saw, while I sat on top of the wood to keep it from moving. Classy. Then I just used wood glue to connect the two pieces (oops! now I know better, but I still haven't reinforced it...). 

I wanted to keep the color pretty natural so I just coated it with wipe on oil-based polyurethane. It's definitely yellowed over time, so yeah, it if were to do it again I would've used water-based.  

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I purchased metal L-brackets for the brace. The plan was always to spray paint them gold, but I got a little ahead of myself because I wanted to get the installation completed so I could enter an Apartment Therapy contest. #soml. Upon convincing myself it would be fine if they remained in as-is condition, I borrowed a masonry drill from my friend Justin, then Luke installed the brackets into the brick wall.

Once they were installed I knew I'd made a mistake. I hated the plain metal look. I tried to let it go, I did, but just kept obsessing over it. So I did what any normal person would do and scrounged up all the old sheets and drop cloths I could get my hands on, cut out holes and taped around the brackets, and using a random assortment of tall structures, created a little spray-painting fort to protect anything in direct harm's way. Then I sprayed them gold. 

Over time the shelf styling has seen some changes.

And per last week's post you know this is how it looks currently. The TV is gone, and the console legs have been added back. Now that there's no longer a TV, I think the shelf might be a tad higher than I would have placed it were this the layout from the beginning, but I don't hate it.

Mostly, I'm just excited to have injected some intentionality back into this strange angled area by creating a stand-in focal point in the absence of a fireplace.