Wasted Space to Beautiful Book Case

As a complete book nerd I have a lot of books. Its funny when certain people say, oh I have so many books I dont know where to put them all and then you see one measly little bookcase that is full. When I say I have a lot of books that means, I have more books than you see here. I have boxes of books in closets and in storage units across town. I donate boxes of books to the library regularly. We’re talking rooms worth collected over a life time. I have a hard time getting rid of books and for some reason it is one of the few things I never feel guilty about buying.

An early change that we made to the condo was to transform a wet bar in the former dining area (my eventual office) into something I could actually use. I suppose you couldn’t even call it a wet bar because there was no sink, which just means it was even more of a wasted space. Also, as I don’t drink, a bar is about as much use to me as the intercom system was in my two bedroom, one story condo (seriously there was an intercom system from the 70s in 3 rooms). This was a real collaboration between my dad and I as I drew up the plans, as detailed as I could be. My parents both were phone company engineers at one time, so while I am not mathematically inclined I did inherit the ability to draw a map or sketch a plan fairly well.

We started out with an 70s light fixture, a horrid faux marble top, and dried out cabinets. My plans called for box shelves, to act more as displays rather than just maximizing space. I have another book case in my guest room and plan on getting another one soon. As I am always thinking about resale and making changes that future users will be able to benefit from, I wanted a real display case not just space to pack books away. I also wanted to use this space for my stereo, so I wrote in plans to drop the existing electrical outlet into the cabinet itself so that could be plugged in and look nice and neat. We used the hard wiring already in place for the light fixture to create three lights at the top (I am planning on adding some battery powered touch lights on the bottom shelves as they look too dark when the other lights are on). My dad decided to just cover the existing counter as taking it out would be messy and a pain. I wasn’t sure about this, especially because I needed a hole cut to so I could hide the cords to my stereo. It ended up you cant even tell we didnt remove the counter, it is boxed in and glued down under the wood.  It also ended up being super easy to drill through the existing counter top (which was essentially like plastic). I drew the plans and my dad did the rest.

Now my stereo has a home. And I can display some of my favorite books and a few of my antique cameras. I even have a shelf dedicated just to my friends and writers I know.

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3 thoughts on “Wasted Space to Beautiful Book Case

    • Brave or stupid, the jury is still out. Funny though I sent that way over a year ago, and since then I have noticed most of the before and afters are from people who do this kind of stuff for a living or have a way bigger budget than I do, so I had figured my little before and after wasn’t good enough. Those comments aren’t totally unexpected, people now days love to critique everything online.

  1. Love what you did to it! The “before” has so much empty wasted space. The last thing that you want in a condo is to waste space. For those who prefer the 70’s look, they can go buy their own retro stuff. I grew up in the 70’s & hate that stuff! The white looks clean, defined and classy. I would ignore the naysayers. I can bet that they have never tried to do anything. They just enjoy insulting others.

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