The layout of our Media Wall revolves entirely around an old letter sorter cabinet that came out of mum’s shed (mum’s shed is a veritable Mary Poppins’ bag). As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it and that I could somehow incorporate it into the built-in upper shelves.
(The letter sorter was stored on our front verandah for months, offering a dirty, spider-infested welcome to anyone visiting.)
If we come back to my pretty sketch you can see that I’ve sandwiched the letter sorter in between two shelving towers. And because I crave symmetry I made a third shelving tower and left the same width between the three towers.
Now any normal person would probably want to paint that grubby old letter sorter while it was on the ground. Not me. Let’s bolt that baby to the wall, spiders and all!
I measured where the studs were then bolted 4 heavy duty brackets to the top of the letter sorter (4 may have been overkill but at least I know it’s not going anywhere now). I screwed a cleat to the wall to act as a ledge for it to rest on. Then Emma got her guns out and lifted the rediculously heavy letter sorter up onto the cleat and held it there for an eternity while I attached the brackets to the wall.
Next, I built the three shelving towers. I screwed each tower to the wall, making sure to hit a stud. Then I used these clever screw thingys (someone please tell me what they’re called) to hold the letter sorter to its neighbouring towers.
On the other side I hung two more cleats to hold two long shelves. I’ve imagined this is where the Xbox will live. And of course the giant space above those shelves is for the awesome TV we are yet to buy.
(It’s starting to take shape now. Lower cupboards – check! Desktop – check! Letter sorter – check! Shelving towers – getting there. The towers are up but the shelves aren’t in. You can also see that I added “ceilings” to bridge the gaps between the towers.)
Let’s talk paint. This was me before painting the Media Wall: “I love painting – it’s so rewarding”. This is me after painting the Media Wall “What kind of masochist designed this?? If I never paint again it will be too soon!!”. Painting the letter sorter in particular almost killed me. It took me weeks just to undercoat. I honestly couldn’t see the end in sight. I mean, maybe if I had the luxury to paint all day I could have knocked it out within a week. But when you’re frantically painting during a 45 minute nap time these things tend to drag on.
I’m so glad this phase of the built-ins is over. I feel like I’ve run a marathon. Has anyone else built something that felt like it would never end?