Canadiana: Bess & Charlie


Today's Canadiana designers are me and Big Chuck! You may remember a while back I told you we had some DIY projects on the go for our new apartment. Well, they're pretty much done, and today I'd love to share with you one of the projects, our Ace Hotel inspired bookshelf.



You've probably seen the original DIY post on The Brick House blog and perhaps the similar shelf that Daniel and Valeria from the Hindsvik blog made too, we took some inspiration from both units, but in the end opted for a simpler freestanding shelf.


When it comes to styling, you'll have to forgive me. Since returning from Europe we've had to start pretty much from scratch and have yet to accumulate the lovely odds and ends that make a shelf look pretty. We do however have this gorgeous Eames child's chair and I think it works so well with the shelf. The matte black chair base and shelf frame = match made in heaven. Now to find the perfect print to go on that wall and a pair of antlers for the top shelf and we'll be cookin'!

Have a great Tuesday!


  1. Hey gorgeous. I love your thinner pipe and longer freestanding look. What a lovely light filled space you have there! Would love to try this too. Was it hard to find the materials?

  2. Thanks!! We got everything from home depot. The pipe is plumber's copper piping, as are the joints. The wood was from home depot too, we cut it down and sanded it. I would suggest investing in a pipe cutter, Charlie cut it all by hack saw!! (not the nicest sound;)

  3. ps. we spray painted the whole thing with matte black metal paint.

  4. The pipe is 1/2" copper. There are different grades, so you can go with the cheaper grade, check on the shelf what they have. For the "feet" we simply used end caps. Other parts are elbows and t's.

    The wood is simply 1x6 spruce. We did not glue the joints to make future moves easy. However, it should be fixed to the wall near the top for stability. I used copper pipe hangers-which are flexible-for this.


  5. Also, holes are pre-drilled in the pipe cross members that the wood sits on.

    We then used some round headed wood screws attach the boards to the pipe from below-so the screws don't show on the top of the boards

  6. Great work guys! So when's it going to be available in your shop? ;)

  7. I love that YOU are the Canadiana Tuesday desiger. You guys are so crafty! I admire your talent - the shelf looks great.. And I love the Eames chair!


  8. I've seen the other two shelves you sourced and this is such a great spin off, nice job!

  9. i thought that pipe looked familiar! i designed a kitchen counter rolling base and my contractor put it together. we used copper pipe too, but as it has two wide shelves and a butcher block top and rolls, we welded all the joints for stability. we used the T and elbow connectors, but just welded them in, then we spray painted the whole thing white. a pipe cutter definitely is the way to go. i keep saying "we", but really my contractor did most of it - a lot of work. sorry no picture online right now :(

  10. Oh I like your take on it! It's only vaguely inspired by the others - it's fresh, clean and airy! Nice job!

  11. I love this shelf!
    I sent this to my husband because I want to do this for a shoe shelf! I like the thinner members!

  12. I would love a tutorial for this shelf. This is exactly what I have been looking for. Can you email me instructions? marcellamckenna@gmail.com
    , thanks so much!!!!

  13. Is there a tutorial posted for this shelf? Would it hold a 42" flat panel TV, do ya think??

  14. So I see that this was posted forever ago...but, where did you find that kids Eames chair at?! Thanks!!

    1. Hi Jeremy, the Eames chair is from a vintage store in Toronto, I don't remember which one, but it was purchased many years ago by my mother. We're the lucky recipients ;)


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