Much like our Chicago condo, our little Tree House has a pretty compact footprint. This fun (let’s call it) restriction has us back into the habit of measuring things down to the inch when we consider bringing a new piece into the home. We really love this part of designing small spaces because it forces us to look for a few square feet of real estate that might go otherwise unused. Case in point: We knew we wanted a turntable at Tree House, but finding a place for it was a bit of a challenge. Even so, with a little creativity and a some leftover MDF, we made it work!
We’ve been using our Marshall Stanmore bluetooth speaker since before we owned Tree House. It’s great for streaming from our phones, but we knew it was time to finally get a turntable up and running so we could really, really utilize our favorite speaker to the fullest. We have music playing pretty much constantly and realize that our setup might change down the road, so something with bluetooth connectivity was necessary. After falling down the research rabbit hole (for which we are painfully guilty of), we landed on this Audio Technica. It’s handsome and available in a few colors, and it even starts and stops automatically to cut down on wear and tear. Nice!
Now that we’d selected the perfect turntable, the battle of inches to find the perfect bookcase to house it was in full swing! We’d seen the Sawyer line of compact leaning bookcases at Crate & Barrel a few times in-store, but not until we really dug in to all of the specifications online did we realize that it was the perfect solution for the funny little corner we had in mind for our audio setup. The goal was for a custom, built-in look, and the 24.5″ wide Sawyer was almost perfect. (It also comes in an 18″!) The only challenge was that the its deepest shelf was shallower than the turntable and wouldn’t allow for the lid to open. Ugh! This gave us flashbacks to the space constraints in our condo, and it dawned on us – we need another turntable pull-out shelf!
What We Did
We picked up these drawer slides and a remnant of 3/4″ MDF that we had in the garage, and we got to cutting on the table saw. We made the shelf 1″ larger than the turntable on each side to allow for a bit of wiggle room, then drilled out a 3/4″ finger hole to allow for easy sliding. The whole thing was given a quick sand and the edges of the hole were eased a bit to eliminate rough edges.
After a quick coat of primer, we hit the shelf with same Valspar Satin Ultra White that we’ve used on all of our trim throughout Tree House.
Using 5/8″ wood screws, the slides were mounted to the shelf first, then the whole assembly was screwed onto the second-lowest shelf of the Sawyer bookcase. The drawer slides are intended to be mounted on the sides of an actual drawer, but the turntable shelf only weighs a few pounds and we’re very happy with how sturdy it turned out with the slides mounted underneath the shelf.
The finger hole is centered under the front of the turntable for a clean, subtle look. We (read: I) decided that Ween’s 1996 masterpiece 12 Golden Country Greats (on brown marble vinyl), was the perfect way to break the new equipment in. It was glorious.
Once the albums are playing, the lid can be closed and the shelf can be slid back into place to free up space and allow the door to our bedroom to close, if we’d like.
Above, you can see that the bedroom door clears the leg of the Sawyer by about 1/4″. Talk about a custom feel!
The vertical spaces between shelves measure about 12 1/2″ tall and allow for vertical album storage. A few records are held in place with the help of these beautiful vintage bookends picked up from our friends over at MegMade.
There was still one other challenge with our leaning bookcase. Since the bookcase is backless and leaves nowhere to conceal cords, we needed to find a way to hide the cords for both the speaker and turntable. We picked up some simple stick-on cord covers and painted them the same color as the walls. In the photo below, you can kiiind of see them peeking out behind the records. Once the shelves were loaded up, they’re almost invisible!
We’re incredibly happy with how this little nook turned out and even more excited to get our speaker up off of the floor! Eventually, we think this corner would be absolutely perfect for a tall, skinny gas fireplace, but we could be years away from realizing that dream. In the meantime, this bookshelf setup is just what we needed for our music needs and offers some nice vertical interest without weighing the space down. We’ll chalk it up as a win on all counts!
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