Monday, 15 July 2013

My New ARTHaven–Upper Shelves

The second of two posts for today. A busy day for the two team members on site today – John working hard in the kitchen with Andy assisting, and Andy working on my ARTHaven upstairs.

Today he fitted the shelves above the wall units. These are made from the same MDF heavy duty worktop as the curving worktops around the room.

01 Top Shelf being Installed

I love the way he has fitted the double wall unit across the corner.

He has added the same onto the double unit to the left of the window – not strictly necessary but it looks like a nice cornice, and matches the rest.

02 Double Wall Unit Top Shelf

These are the units on the further side of the room.

03 Further Wall Top Shelf beng Installed

Andy is painting these shelves white. He put the first coat on today. I will probably have some additional shelves fitted between these two units.

04 Andy Painting Top Shelf

This is the shelf over my main work area with its first coat of paint. I think it looks great.

05 Top Shelf Painted

I have a lot of decisions to make about what other shelves and fittings I need. Andy said he’s prepared to come back later and fit extra shelves if I need them. I need to get my stuff in and start organising things in order to decide exactly what I need. I am not sure about having my pegboards over the main work area as I had before; I have got some Ikea rails that I have plans for, and I am hoping that Andy will make me a small freestanding shelf to go up against the wall, that I can put things under, and also put my various carousels on top for easy access to my tools and materials.

The basic structure of the ARTHaven as created by Andy gives me plenty of flexibility and a foundation to build on in the future. I probably need to keep certain things flexible and not fixed, so that it won’t be a major issue if I change my mind as time goes on – it is only through working in this room that I will know what works and what doesn’t.

As for the finish on the worktops, Andy painted a sample piece the other day, with clear polyurethane varnish (his preferred finish as it gives a good, oil-based seal) but I didn’t like it as it turned the MDF much too dark. Today he showed me another sample, with a PVA-based sealant usually used on walls – it darkens the MDF a bit, but not nearly as much, so this is what we are going for. It has a matt finish.

We discussed what to do about the window, and agreed that the curtains block a certain amount of light, and decided that a blind would be the best option. I am not a great fan of net curtains but realise that particularly in the downstairs rooms at the front, they will be necessary as it faces right onto the road, but I shall probably dispense with them in my ARTHaven, to gain maximum north light. I think a plain Venetian blind in a neutral shade will be best. I don’t want to introduce any strong colours into the basic ensemble of the room because I want it to be a neutral background against which to work, and also to display finished work. Clean, uncluttered lines and unobtrusive colour will work best – I shall soon be adding enough clutter as it is!!

I put the final two coats of white paint on my shabby chic unit today, and once it’s got a coat of matt acrylic varnish on it, Andy can install it for me over the fireplace.


  1. It's looking better each time I view it...lucky you. I think you're wise not going for curtains, I have a venetian blind and it's great 'cause you can either pull it right the way up, part way or whatever and can control the light by angling the louvers. Looking fwd to seeing more.

  2. Oh Shoshi, how brilliant is this room! What clever storage ideas.That cupboard utilizing the corner..well done.Bet you can hardly wait to move your bits and pieces in!

  3. Ohooo I'm soooo jealous it's looking even better than last time and my space is STILL messy! and worse than ever!

    Happy Crafty

  4. Makes me want to get my new room all fixed up with shelves and things! Very cool.


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