A while back I decided I wanted something new for my living room. I wanted some shelves, something to display some pictures, a few little pretty things I'd picked up or been given and a place to store some blankets in a decorative but functional way.
Naturally, I searched Pinterest for some inspiration. It took some scrolling but I fell in love with the idea of a ladder shelf. What a unique way of getting my fish tank up to eye level, storing blankets and displaying some of my favorite things. And, with my living room essentially shaped as a boring rectangle, I could put this pretty much anywhere and it wouldn't completely divide the room.
I took my idea to my DH and asked if he could build it for me. Really, having him build me something is the best way to get exactly what I want, usually for less, and it makes him happy because he gets to play with his toys. Everyone wins.
It took some figuring and planning, but he built me this beautiful shelf! I love it. Knowing we would have a ten gallon fish tank on a certain shelf, we were able to reinforce it. And there was plenty of room underneath for E and A's project trays and a cloth bin that holds their coloring books and crayons.
The biggest compromise was came with whether or not it would be painted or stained. He loves the wood grain and I like light colors to keep it from feeling heavy. Yes he won, and we stained it. But only because we had stain left over from when we did the floors.
I still have a long list of things for him to build me - including a pretty console table for under the mounted TV just so I can get rid of the blah store bought media stand.