I talked to the carpenter yesterday, and I’m feeling much better about the bookshelves. The worst of the bad grain is in the oak plywood, which I knew we were using for the backs and some of the parts that won’t be very visible. The facing pieces are solid oak, which looks much better.
The original baseboard along the wall was removed, and we’ll save it in the basement in case we ever need it somewhere else in the house. What’s up, 123-year-old plaster? Looking good!
There are holes cut out because we’re tucking an electrical outlet away on each side of the shelves. I don’t know if I’ll be adding lamps or a radio (or whatever else might need some electricity), but it’s nice to have the option. While everything is open, you can see some of the home’s insulation through the holes. All of the siding on the lower half of the house was replaced ten years ago, and when the previous owners did that, they took the opportunity to insulate inside the walls. The kitchen and back room are cantilevered and need some further insulation from below, but the rest of the house is covered.
The bottom of the bookshelves will have closed storage, and the doors are still up for debate. I was worried that they were going to look like dated 80s kitchen cabinets, and some of you confirmed my fears. We can cut the ones that have been made down (or pay more for new ones) and turn them into inset doors, but the carpenter is advising against it. With kids, the settling of the house, and humidity changes throughout the year, the doors can become misaligned easily. They can be planed down and realigned as things settle, but then the gaps become uneven. The current plan calls for raised panels along the bottom matching the home’s original entryway detailing, but with a top that overhangs the cabinet frame to be flush with the panels. Brandon and I think we’re OK with that, but we’ll take another look before the doors are ready to be attached when the construction is further along.