Mid-Century Modern not so modular shelves.
We bought this Mid-Century Modern modular shelving unit from the estate of the previous owner. It’s well-built, stylish AND practical. The rails are aluminum. The drawers are solid wood. The doors have rattan inserts. And, there’s lots of storage. I’m not a fan of clutter. I’m a fan of hiding clutter. I hide the dog toys in the bottom drawer on the left.
Our predecessor had the shelving unit upstairs. In order to move it downstairs to the living room it had to be taken apart and reassembled. “Modular” was not the word I used to describe the unit while moving it.
I scrubbed 30 years of nicotine off the shelves. Polished the aluminum support rails. And then, went off to the hardware store to find binder screws to assemble the unit. Half of the binder screws were missing. The holes in the rails needed to line up perfectly with the holes in the cabinets in order to put the shelves together. Another two person job. The project that I said, was at best, 1-2 hours, took the entire day. Funny, that happens a lot.
Great! Love it… except. It looks underwhelming.
The shelves required some drama to show them off. At night, against an 18 foot wall, the shelves visually melted into the room. But with minimal cost and effort. And by adding background lights. The shelves now look rich and sophisticated.
Not too hot. And not too cold.
Lighting is an important component of design. Lighting design professionals understand the art and science of lighting. It can be used to create drama and add dimension. Retailers, designers and directors all use lighting to connect with audiences.
With lighting, knowing color temperature is important. Do you ever wonder why you look so bad under fluorescent lights? It’s because the least flattering light for your face is blueish light. It’s color temperature is cold. Fluorescent lights emit bluish/green light. This makes your skin tone look sickly and pale. This is useful information for your next selfie.
If you want to understand about the art and science of lighting, visit Lowel.
Drama, in the right places.
For this project, I used LED tape lights from LED Wholesalers. I taped the LED lights to the back of the shelving unit. They are 12 volt DC, 24 watt, warm white with a color temperature of 2700K. Warm lighting is a good choice for home lighting. It feels natural and comfortable.
These lights are cuttable, dimmable and have an adhesive back. They required a power adapter and connectors as needed. A touch sensitive dimmer switch is optional.
LED lights have come a long way in recent years. Partly due to the phasing out of incandescent bulbs. I recommend changing to LEDs throughout your home. You’ll save money, save the environment AND you can still look good. LEDs are affordable (they keep going down in price) and are readily available in warm white 2700K.
LED 12 volt DC, 24 watt, warm white tape lights with a color temperature of 2700K and scissors.
Power adapter, connector and optional touch sensitive dimmer switch.
Tape lights come in different lengths. These lights can be cut with scissors every two inches for custom sizing. A variety of connectors can be added for different situations.
- Peel off tape backing and stick in place.
- Connect to connector or connectors.
- Plug into the power adapter.
- Plug into an outlet.
- Optional: Connect the power adapter to a touch sensitive dimmer switch.
I love the way this turned out. This media unit needed a little help. The LED tape lights also compliment the two LED lamps.
This media cabinet without lighting.