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The Shelf/Wall Unit

For the past two years, I’ve shared a 600 s.f. studio apartment with my husband. I placed “build a wall between the living room and bedroom” on my to-do list as soon as I moved in. This project has been gestating in my mind since then, taking on different forms in countless iterations (see some of my renderings below). For my own sanity, I put the pencil down and started building.

First step: figure out where to learn woodworking and find a shop open to the public in Los Angeles. I called up my architect buddy Jonathan who referred me to Knowhow Shop, a new fabrication cooperative in Highland Park. Without their expertise and access to their woodshop, I would probably still be designing and redesigning into the next decade. I purchased my walnut plywood and europly birch plywood at Anderson Plywood in Culver City and my acrylic at Gavrieli Plastics in Burbank. One minor setback involved a windshield that cracked en route to the shop from Culver City – what a drag.

Under guidance from the nice folks at Knowhow Shop, I built my shelf using biscuit joints over the next few weeks.

Afterwards, my husband and mom helped out during a ten hour installation marathon. We were probably extra cautious about structural stability because of the quake in Japan.

Before the installation:


After the installation:

Because of the lack of space, each square inch in our apartment is packed with an efficiency and utility rare in a city like Los Angeles. In addition to providing a visual and physical barrier between our bedroom and living room, the unit replaces a couple of shelves, a side table, an overhead pendant light, and a headboard. It also acknowledges a need for shared space through an open top shelf and punctures in the shelving.

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7 Comments

  1. Danzig

    Wow, so that’s what you were up to in wood shop. Glad you were able to achieve your dream.

  2. Pingback: The Guitar Crib «

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