Friday, April 27, 2012

To Be [squared], Or Not to Be [squared]

Sorry, that's so not the question...

It's "to be," final answer.

Y'all remember this?

Based on this?

That trim work above the fireplace gets me so excited, and I knew I needed to do that on my plant ledge when I saw it. I am finding that decorating plant ledges is just annoying, and I can't seem to find any inspiration that's my style. However, I felt this was a good jumping off point!

So I drew up a to-scale diagram, using the dimensions of the plant ledge in SketchUp.

This was done using off-the-shelf board sizes to keep things simple, but instead of buying a ton of board$ that add up fa$t, I got a sheet of 1/2" particle board ($12) ripped down at Lowe's, and got to work!

And ran into a huge problem immediately.

Of course.

None of the corners on that wall were square.. And I want to do a square design on the wall.


Not to be deterred (for long), I knew very well that Alex had my back...

Have I ever told you guys what my step-dad told me about a year ago? He has a ton of carpenter's phrases (being that he's a carpenter), and one totally resonated with me.

"Caulk and paint make a carpenter what he ain't"

Uh. Yes.

Except that it's "she".

Anyhow, the bottom right corner was so far off-square that I couldn't think of a way of getting a board in there that would work with the rest of the design (seriously! scroll back up! do you SEE that?!). Luckily, from the ground, you can't see the bottom board at all, so I just omitted it and cut the vertical dividers a tad longer. Woo hoo, laziness! Uh... Wait... Improvisation! That's a better way of putting it.

Up went the inaugural boards! Yes, that was plural. The plant ledge is 133 inches long.

And this whole design took a crap ton of measuring.

I think my square is my new B.F.F., too...

This was where I got kinda stuck. My original design was based only on a 2D surface, with no other obstacles. Having this high on the back wall of the plant ledge totally had me questioning myself! Since you can't see the bottom board, would it still look centered if I placed the square right in the middle? Or would I have to move it up to have it look balanced?

After about an hour of debate, asking Mr. Goats (who had no suggestions), and more stand-still, I finally asked my neighbor to come give me advice. She was even nice enough to hold the square up for me to visualize it's placement, and we decided that it looked best centered. Even though you can't see the bottom, you still KNOW that it's in the middle (and putting it higher just looked dumb).

After that was settled, this came along very quickly.

The ladder's still up because there's still more work to do.

Looks like I'll be caulking and painting this weekend. Hope yours is looking a little more eventful!

(see the finished project here)


  1. Lookin' good!! I'm such a chicken when it comes to doing this like that. Probably the reason why my house is so plain jane. Literally nothing on the walls besides a large picture of the Columbia River Gorge that I got from my grandparents, which resides over my gas fireplace. :-)

    1. Don't be scared! Everything can be undone if you don't like it later! You just have to start DOING it to realize how easy it is to UNdo things! I was scared for almost 2 years before I decided to rip out an archway... And now I don't think anything in my house is safe!!! LOL!

  2. I like your idea for solving that gap. Another way I've seen is to scribe the piece and trim the edge to make it fit. Here's a couple of videos;

    Either way, I think it looks fantastic.

    1. Thanks, Kevin! I thought about that (you know... for about an eighth of a second)... but my laziness took charge ;-) It would've taken too much time to get my work area set up for something you really just don't see.

    2. Which is why your idea is so good.