(S) For years, Travis and I have discussed where we should put our beloved pets ashes, pawprints, pictures, and favorite toys. We thought about shelves or a bookcase and also where in the house we should put them. While we were preparing to refinish the hardwood floors in our living room and dining room, we took the closet doors off of the 4' coat closet. That's when it hit me. "Let's leave the doors off and make this a Rainbow Bridge built-in." We decided to refinish the interior, put shelves up, and make a storage bench. It could be a focal point of the room and we'll always be able to see them and they'll always be with us.
(S) We bought light grey wood paneling from Home Depot. We had some old flat white ceiling paint we used for touching up the existing molding and ceiling. A motion light from Amazon which we mounted on the ceiling. It's very welcoming to come home at night and having the motion light turn on seeing our babies right there. It instantly draws my attention to the pictures and brings comfort to see their faces again. We don't like pre-made shelves so I bought a sheet of precut hardwood from Home Depot where they cut them into equal parts. We sanded and stained them with a pre-tinted white wash stain by Minwax. This way we'd still be able to see the wood grain. The wall studs were not in the right places to hold the shelves. I was very nervous about hanging shelves with heavy urns and delicate paw prints into drywall. So Travis began his research.
(T) I have to say that when Samantha first stressed her concern over the weight of the shelves after the urns and memories were placed on them being too much weight and falling off the wall, I thought she was being too cautious. She was really concerned over the brackets not being strong enough, so my task was to do some research and present my findings in a manner that helped ease her concern. I knew I simply needed to find the perfect wall anchors for the job. Ones that could hold the most weight and also did not put large holes in the wall. Ultimately, I chose a molly bolt. I had never really had luck in the past with molly bolts, but that's because during my research I found I was missing the most important part of the installation process - the setting tool.
We agreed upon some simple grey corner angle shelf brackets purchased from Amazon. Installation took about an hour or so. The longest part was measuring each shelf to ensure the brackets were placed equidistant and were then centered in the closet. Admittedly, I did make one installation mistake due to mismeasurement. This wasn't surprising to either Samantha or me. We've found over the years that measuring is not always my strongest ability.
Once all the shelves were hung we placed what items we had readily available. It was so nice to see our babies finally getting a resting spot for us to view on a daily basis.
(S) Once the shelves were hung we realized we were going to need another motion light for the inside of the built-in. The ceiling light worked but the shelves blocked the light below. I found a bar light on Amazon that has three settings including one that stays on. We mounted it right on the inside of the upper wall so it faced the shelves and was hidden from view.
(S) After we placed the urns, paw prints, a couple of gifts which I received from my Maverick Dancers, we began to choose pictures for the Photo Tiles. We found that Photo Tiles were 1/2 the price of their major competitors so we were able to choose 10 tiles for $84. One of the pics had a warning for "low quality/may come out blurry" but we submitted it anyway. It came out just perfect. We were also able to choose a black & white option for one which became my absolute favorite. Photo Tile is fast and easy with a variety of options for tones and finishes so we'll definitely be using them again.