Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hungarian Bookshelves & Subway Tile Fireplace

The Hungarian shelves and the white subway tile in the fireplace are finally in. The fireplace was non-operating, thus tiling it over wasn't an issue. We thought we were going to paint the mantle white, but after looking at it with the white tile in we decided it was too cold looking. We'll just refinish it, with the wood adding a bit of warmth to the otherwise white and silver palette.


The shelves were much easier to do than standard bookshelves and we like the modern look. All the online materials I saw had them unpainted, but after a few coats of white semi-gloss they look like a million bucks. We used sanded plywood instead of MDF, as the ends are free hanging so we needed the extra strength. The front edge of the wood is covered with a strip of melamine. I'd never thought of an iron as a device used in shelf building, but indeed it is.

Over the fire place is the electrical and cable line. When we order the TV I'll know exactly where to place the outlets in relation to the wall bracket, so for now the locations are notional.

I'd say it looks better than it was before, especially with the ceiling fan gone too.



Jennifer said...

It does look good. I like the shelving style you chose... it's open and simple, yet has some character. The subway tiles are a nice touch. I totally agree with leaving the mantle wood... it will be a wonderfully organic contrast.

Sandy said...

Wow! Spectacular!

Ethan said...

Looks great! I think the mantle (and maybe a few accent pieces) will add some great warmth and color.

Summer said...

That's awesome! What a change!

Summer said...

Oh, and the big screen people in my life say be sure to get a fancy surge box for your tv... you can mount it behind the tv, but make sure you can still reach the reset button. Our power fluctuates constantly, which I can watch on the digital monitor on our expensive surge box. I still think ours was too pricey, but as a percent of the tv price, I guess maybe not.

fred@opc said...

I love how the red pops out in the top pic. Did you use a special filter to get that to happen? Or, is the room really that white/gray right now?

Also, would you mind updating our link - noticed you have it still at the old address. We're at www.oneprojectcloser.com now!

Corey said...


Updated! And no fancy filters - Since the yellow hues have been replaced with grays and whites, any color will now stand out.


Will do! The TV will get ordered this week (methinks), so will need to make sure we get the proper stuff to protect it.

Amanda said...

I like the style of those shelves, they look great with everything else you are doing. Good job!

Toby said...


Nice job. Got me thinking... How deep do you reckon the maximum would be for these shelves?

8" seems to be about the depth of our chimney recess, but another spot could handle a 12" deep shelf...?!

Corey said...

Hi Toby,

I really don't know, but I think a 12" shelf would work. If you choose to use a deeper shelf I'd make sure you have adequate wall supports, and are using a stiffer wood for the shelves. I used sand-ply plywood for the shelves, but for a deep shelf would go with pine for it's added stiffness.

Also, take a look through the posts with the work bookshelves from the blog (http://baltimorerowhouse.blogspot.com/search?q=bookshelves). There is more detail on the shelves in the posts and the comments.