My Study

My study is a huge room, about 23'x20', depending on how you measure. I had to be careful with my money on this house, so I only had the builder do part of the work in this room, and finished it myself. Well, I guess it will never really be finished. The builder put in the floor, trim, and paneling, as well as the ceiling lattice, although it turned out I had to take that down. He also put in the fireplace (which is a see-through to the living room) and roughed in the window seats.

The materials for the room are remarkably cheap. The paneling is really a cheap exterior siding, which I think is usually hung horizontally and painted, but I think it looks fine with a clearcoat. It isn't terribly straight, and chips out when you cut it, and this is obvious particularly when you look at the corners, but if you aren't looking for it, you don't see it.

The trim and bookshelves are the cheap 1-by you get at the lumberyard - and it has cupped on me more than I would have liked, but it's OK. Most of the rest is knotty pine veneer plywood, which was ridiculously expensive, but fortunately I didn't need much. I must admit, the 3/4" veneer over particleboard that I used makes a great tabletop for the computer workstation. I didn't even bother to fasten it down. And it's more environmentally responsible than dimensioned lumber.

The first thing I did was finish the window seats. But instead of making a hinged top and a chamber like a blanket chest, I finshed them into lateral filing cabinets - I did this first because I needed the filing cabinets. They make nice, appropriate builtins for a study. I used laminate for the tops partly because the windows were a bit low, and I needed somehting thin. The facings for the drawers are the same siding as was used for the panelling. Lining up the drawerers was a pain - nothing was square, but they work.

Next I did some of the bookshelves, and as you can see I could still use about a dozen more. After that I took down the lattice, cut plywood rectangles to fit above it, and then put it all back up. I made one error, getting the grain wrong on one panel, but haven't fixed it.

A few years passed before I got back to it and made the atlas-dictionary shelves, and finally the computer workstation. I liked the way they came out, especially in view of the fact that I have no expierience designing furniture. The atlas shelf needs some trim, but my first attempt was ugly so I tore it out and haven't tried again. I also have to make a nice desk, and I have some ideas for that.