Internet inspiriation meets real life

I had planned on posting tonight about some of our various travels in and around Dublin, but instead, I will settle for the Tale of the Shelf That Was Not Meant to Be.

Our home has a small nook in the kitchen/breakfast area.  Between the existing rack of hooks and the radiator was the perfect spot for the kids table.  The wall above the table was blank.

The scene of the crime

I was looking for a way to store the kids’ art supplies and various “masterpieces”.  I stumbled upon this excellent idea at Modern Parents Messy Kids.  (This is a fabulous website, by the way.  It has wonderful ideas with a healthy dose of realism.)

Toddler-friendly Art Center

Source:  MPMK

This was perfect! We have the perfect spot for this.  It was affordable and looked fairly easy to put together, we have an IKEA in Dublin, and we needed something to store art supplies.  What’s not to like?

We bought the supplies, with a few substitutions, and intended to hang the shelf, magnet board, and rail this evening.  This is where my internet inspiration crashed headlong into the real life wall.  A cinder-block masonry wall, that is.

See the dot above Isaac's head? (Almost at the top of the picture.)
Yeah, this one?

So, we originally planned to hang the shelf with screws into the studs.  We even borrowed a drill from our neighbor.  The stud-finder was acting a bit weird, but we tested with finishing nails to confirm the studs (or so we thought.)  Brad tried to place the screws in the wall, and they would not screw in fully.  Not to be deterred, we moved on to drywall anchors.  Brad placed the anchor, and attempted to screw the shelving bracket into the anchor.  As the screw hit the (yet-to-be-discovered) cinder block, it pushed the anchor out of the wall, leaving a half-inch diameter hole in the wall, with significant drywall damage.

What happens to a drywall anchor when it runs into a cinder block.

After removing the bracket and anchor, we could see and feel the masonry wall behind the drywall.  This explains a lot.  The house is really quiet, and well insulated – which is what happens when all of the walls (interior and exterior) are masonry walls.  To hang a shelf on this wall, we would have to get a masonry anchor and a hammer drill.  No thank you.  We will not be installing any hanging hardware on any walls.  Thankfully, there are some existing anchors and picture hangers in other rooms.

I still love the idea from Modern Parents Messy Kids, but I think I’ll have to file it away for another home.  In the meantime, I have to figure out what to do with my IKEA shelf, magnet board, and rail/containers…and decide what color to repaint the kitchen…


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