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Around the House with Julia
Add an accent shelf to display your favorite collection

By Julia Strzesieski

Finished accent shelf
Chances are if you live in a Victorian or Edwardian home in the City, you may have some wainscoting or wooden molding that adds character and can often serve as a shelf. Many newer homes were built without these accents and storage and shelving is often quite limited. In both situations, an accent shelf can add charm and a decorative touch as well as creating an additional display area. Favorite collections of books, vases or antiques can be spotlighted on a shelf above a doorway.
Creating an accent shelf is extremely easy, requiring just a few materials and a few simple steps.

• Wood plank – cut to size
• Spray paint 
• Shelf brackets
• Power screwdriver
• Screws
• Dry wall anchors (for dry wall)
• Drill with masonry bit (for plaster walls)
• Plastic anchors (for plaster walls)

Brackets attached to wall

1. Prepare the wood by first measuring for size, cutting and then painting. For my project, I had the hardware store cut my wood plank to my exact measurement and then spray painted it. For convenience, you could even skip the painting step by using precut shelving available in various materials and finishes.

2. Before hanging your brackets, determine if your wall is solid or hollow. If it is solid and you are attaching the brackets to a stud, they can probably just be screwed into the wall. Dry wall will require a special anchor. Many new dry wall anchors can simply be hammered in. If you are attaching your brackets to plaster, you will need to use a plastic anchor and a drill.

3. Hang the brackets.

4. Place the shelf on top of brackets. For stability, you can attach the shelf to the brackets with a few small screws.

5. Use museum wax to secure items to the shelf in case of an earthquake.
6. Step back and enjoy.

See you around the house!


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