Contemporary storage/display shelf

by Fran Casselman

#76194 Large Natural Open-Back Shelving Unit
#7123 Random-Width Southern Pine Flooring (#7023 is fine, also)
#5019 Medium Louvered Shutters (four sets)
#17511 12-Pcs. of 1/8" x 1/4" Strip Wood Set; total length about 12" or scrap pieces if available.
Scraps of foam core
Wood stain (Kiwi Liquid Shoe Polish in brown was used here but other stains or markers may be used.)

Cut flooring to fit back of shelf unit, making sure boards run vertically. Using the lower portion, cut five shutters to fit height of lower section of unit, making sure louvers point down (the measurement is slightly more than half of the shutter height, so you cannot get two short shutters from one full one). Cut four strip wood pieces the same length. Stain flooring, two full shutters and five shortened shutters, and strip wood.

Cut scraps of foam core to fit between the upper shelves of the unit. These are to fill the open sides visible when a full shutter is applied to the upper shelf unit. Stain at least one side of the foam core to match the wood.

When all stain is dry, glue the flooring to the back of the unit. Let dry.

For the upper section, put the foam core pieces into the shelves, stain side out and flush against the sides to keep them straight. Carefully apply white glue only to the exposed foam edge without getting any on the shelf unit. Put the full shutters in place with the louvers pointing down and just at the edge of the foam core (not overlapping the sides of the shelf). Apply masking tape while the glue dries.

Once the glue has dried you should be able to pull the shutter straight out from the shelf unit and reposition it. For the look shown you will have to reverse the left and right shutters from the gluing positions. You could choose to have a closed area just in the center, or at only one side, with one “door” or two.

These should stay in place without glue but may be permanently attached if preferred. The same method can be used on the lower unit if you do not want a fully closed look.

For the lower-unit look shown, glue a shutter and then a strip wood piece in place, alternating to fill the shelf width. Use white glue if you will never want the base open, or rubber cement if you might want to change the look in the future.