Maria Robledo
Maria Robledo

Knowing that I am in the process of designing a wall of bookshelves with a berth-like murphy bed built-in, Maria Robledo sent me pictures of the bookshelves in Creative Director Anne Johnson’s country house. The simple wooden shelves are held up by triangular wooden brackets nestled into horizontal supports. It’s a way to have a long length of shelf that is supported at enough intervals that it can hold some weight, giving a sleeker look than classic built-in shelves with uprights every 30 inches or so. It is an interesting design solution to the very problem I’ve been trying to solve: how to make the shelving sleek rather than boxy, yet still able to hold the weight of books. Johnson’s shelves live on that lovely border of primitive and modern. Because they are painted the same color as the shelf, they become somewhat sculptural, to us a much more pleasing look than standards and brackets.

Maria Robledo
Maria Robledo

Maria Robledo
Maria Robledo

The only drawback is that they are not adjustable. But when we think back on past bookshelves, once we set them up, we never adjusted them. Johnson’s shelf approach would demaind that I figure out the heights they would be ahead of time, and commit to them, something I try to avoid…I always like to be able to change my mind! But it just may be the trade-off.

Stay tuned for the continuing story of our bookshelf project.


Thanks Maria and Anne!

Related posts: lookbook for our next project: bookshelves + murphy bed
enzo mari’s autoprogettazione for diy furniture designs
giving subtle color life to shelves
copy or buy: pipe bookshelves and…
ted muehling and the inspiration journal

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5 replies on “diy: long wood shelves with wood brackets

  1. These shelves look fantastic. Those elegantly simple triangles butted into the cleat make them feel built-in and very architectural to me, as opposed to something added on after the fact. I simply do not notice them as obvious supports, but rather as an integral part of the design. Going to use this idea at my house for sure. Genius! And, IMO, well worth the trade-off of adjustability, because now that you mention it, once I’ve loaded any of my shelves, I’ve never readjusted them either!

  2. I want to make these exact shelves in my kitchen – they are stunning! Do you have any instructions? Thank you

  3. I don’t have instructions but posted them because it does not seem difficult to duplicate them and they are made of wood (especially if you know just a bit about carpentry, or know someone who does).
    You would need the big board for the shelf, triangular wood brackets, and the cross pieces that go against the wall and along the span of the shelf for support. The brackets would go up first, then the shelf, then the horizontal support boards.

    Let us know if you make them.

  4. I think the long cleat, (with brackets already attached/screwed in to the cleat from the back), would go up first. The cleat would then be attached to the wall along its length. Then the shelf on top, screwed in to the brackets from the top. All holes filled and the shelf painted.

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