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Posted by / May 9, 2018

Change is Good: Plumbing Pipe Shelves


A couple weekends ago, we made a simple change to the bookcases in our front room that has made all the difference in how we feel about the new space.


Just before bringing them back into the room after completing the renovation portions, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment and asked Tim what he would think if we actually decided to shorten them. For a split second, I could see the same lightbulb clicking on as he said, "yes!" With that, he pulled out the power drill and began to deconstruct them.

As a reminder, here's what they looked like all cleared off (blue walls and all) right before we kicked off the renovations in this space...


You can see all the pics of them in their former glory in this post. We ended up removing the top two shelves and eliminating the tall gap in the middle of the shelves. We're over the moon with the new look and what it does to change the room.


We designed and built these bookcases just over 3 years ago. At the time we loved how they became the instant focal point of the room. Now that our plans for the space have changed from a functional office to a sitting, music & library room, we just don't need as much storage.


It's actually fueled a bit of motivation for us to evaluate all the things we had in here and pair down to only those pieces that really matter or bring us joy in one way or another. After a good editing down session, we're left with the record collection, books and magazines we flip through the most. That and the fact that we think the bookcases are still the perfect spot to display our vintage camera collection, but perhaps with a new twist.


With the new, shorter height we're already beginning to think about what two pieces of art could look like on either side of the mantle. Who knows, this may even be good enough excuse to uncover some of my old art school supplies and see where creativity strikes!


For more on this room, we explain the background on why we're changing things up in this post and detailed out all of the renovations we recently completed in here in this post. In related news, we've begun ordering many of the new pieces we plan to decorate this space with. It's going to be fun to see it all come together over the next several weeks.

Building your own furniture with plumbing pipes and hardware store lumber is really simple. We shared the design and plans for building the original bookcases right here. If you like the look of industrial bookcases but aren't as enthusiastic about DIY, there are so many good options available out there.


I love this modern version from Crate & Barrel, this budget-friendly option from Overstock and a whole slew of custom options on Etsy.

Discover more: Over the years we've built a variety of industrial style pieces and shared their related DIY plans. If you're into this style, check out the entry room bench, rolling garment rack and wall sconces we've made for more ideas.



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Mary and Tim Vidra, here! Both Richmond natives & do-it-yourselfers by nature, we are continually in search of simple solutions for living more sustainably — sharing ideas, tips and tricks for DIY home decor, urban gardening and cooking.

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