One Room Challenge Week 5 - DIY Shelves

It's week five of the One Room Challenge and I am equal parts excited and frazzled (note the iphone in this staged photo... oops). This week Andrew completed the DIY shelves for our twin daughters bedroom and just like the DIY plywood arc headboards from last week, these shelves have trumped any imagined shelf in my head.

The man is good. Very good at this stuff. So let's start with his initial concept (Because I can't take any credit for this DIY, he was the designer AND the doer in this project).

Original DIY Shelves Design

After conferring with our daughters, Isla had a strong opinion about the shelving system only having two shelves so Andrew reworked the design in CAD and came up with this instead:

Modified DIY Shelves Design

How to make DIY Wood Arc Shelves

  • You will need one sheet of 4x8 maple plywood and two 1" wooden dowels to make two plywood arc shelving units. 
  • We had the staff at Rona pre-cut the 4x8 down to 4 2x4s and recommend this step at any hardware store.
  • Cut four 8x24" shelves (two shelves per shelving unit).
  • Use a router saw to make the arc cut out of each pre-cut piece of plywood. 
  • Use a router to inset each shelf (11/16" thickness) into the shelf back. 
  • Use wood glue to set the shelf into place. 
  • Option to straighten out one side of each dowel to make a nice flat surface for the shelf to rest on top of. 
  • Use glue to adhere the round part of the dowels to the back of the shelf and the underside of the shelf.
  • Use clamps to clamp the dowels to the shelves to allow the wood glue to set.
  • Use clamps to clamp the shelves to the shelf back and then drill a screw through the backplate into the shelf.
  • In order to attach them to the wall use two 1/4" plywood strips (approx 15" in length each). Cut at 45 degrees each so that one will attach to the wall and the other to the back of the shelf and then will hook together.

In this image you can see the 11/16" section that we cut out to inset the shelf into the shelf back.

I love how the arc works with the other arcs of the DIY headboards, the Orion Table Lamp (which arrived this week from Mitzi by Hudson Valley Lighting and is just spectacular in person in case you were wondering). I also love how they fill in the end of the bed area nicely along with the Mini Ottomans sent to us from Tonic Living. And I am still not over how gorgeous our rug is that Loloi sent us.

I did a quick shelf styling session this morning while Ben and Sonata entertained each other.

So far we have a thrifted vase from Value Village for $2 (top left), a vintage set of Mr. Men books (a personal fave), a wooden heart from a woodshop in Bar Harbor, Maine, a fairy cactus and a pothos in a pot I picked up from HomeSense a couple of weeks ago. Bottom shelf has my phone (oops), French Mr. Men books, a bowl (future plant pot) from Leclair Decor Shop, a wood block print set gifted to us from Parabo Press (more exciting things to come from them next week), an old print that we had and a jewelry case from Pottery Barn.

You'll just have to pop back next week to see the second shelf all styled up as well as the FULL REVEAL!! Wow I cannot wait!

Don't forget to pin it, so you can make it!

So here is what happened this week in the one room challenge:

1. We started and finished our DIY shelves
2. We installed our Orion lamp
3. We styled our DIY shelves
4. We added wood block print sets (Ben loved these so much we had Andrew make him his own wood block right away and Alice and Isla each gave him one of their square prints. He's been obsessed with it all week so I know what someone will be getting for Christmas (psst more prints)).

Okay so the room is 90% done. My math may be off...

Next up for our one room challenge shared girls bedroom:

  • Hang Tilt Smart Blinds
  • Hang Art
  • Take 10 million after photos. Share with world.

I can't wait to get this bedroom all photo ready! Make sure you hop onto The One Room Challenge site and follow along to see all of the projects shared by the featured designers and guest participants! You're going to want to follow and bookmark this page so that you can come back for the final reveal next week!! 

P.S. In case you missed it, see Week 1(before and the plans), Week 2(wallpaper roundup), Week 3 (Progress) and Week 4 (Headboard DIY) of my One Room Challenge posts.


  1. Very nice!! I'm feeling the fresh look of this space! Very nice shelves!!

  2. oooo it looks amazing! I just adore every detail of this room!

  3. I also suppose that the room will look perfectly when following all rules, norms and standards. All depends on what you want in fact. Let's see what it its going to be!

  4. I can say that such hand-made things look much better than those ones which are bought in a store. There are some magic and warm atmosphere, I guess.

  5. Every new week is a new challenge in which we can demonstrate our abilities to compete and to become the best ones!Wonderful!

  6. Every new week brings a new challenge in which we may show off our ability to compete and get to the top! Wonderful! Buy Accounting Essay available to write essays that will get you an A!

  7. I also believe that the space will look perfect if all of the rules, norms, and standards are followed. In truth, it all depends on what you want. Let's see what the outcome is!


  8. The One Room Challenge is a great way to push yourself to complete a design project in a short amount of time. It's also a great way to get feedback from other designers and see how they would approach the same space.


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