Introduction: Wood Wall

This project was big and fun. The idea was to take a dull space in a long hallway and make it feel like it's own. The main feature is the wood wall, which can go into any setting. The basic structure of this wall can be done anywhere, not just a commercial building. I did something similar in my living room a couple years ago and still love it.

Step 1: Concepting

I roughed out a few concepts via Photoshop to give a basic idea. This always helps give a slightly tangible example of how it will look and feel. This is the final concept. It's rough, but everyone was happy.

Couple of thoughts behind why I chose certain things:

1.Vertical vs. Lateral board orientation. I wanted this space to feel deeper rather than longer, so I went with a vertical layout of the space. This is an optical illusion that can work in your favor. If you're wanting your living room to feel bigger and wider, you can orient the pieces laterally and it's amazing how it can help warm up a space.

2. Maturity. This space is designated for students, both middle and high school as well as parents interested in what is offered to their kids. The maturity level needed to feel fun, but mature as well. One rule of thumb is when you're decorating a space specific to students, you would decorate a level higher. For example, if a space is for middle schoolers, you would decorate it like it's a high school space. If it's for high schoolers, you would decorate it like it's a college space. In this case, I decorated this space with a college mindset. It's both welcoming to parents and students. At least, in our area it is. It could be different for different cultures. But that's an entirely different conversation.

Step 2: The Build

Sub-Structure. Since this is a commercial building, I needed to know everything was going to stay put. I also knew that with my boards being vertical, I would have nothing to nail into except sheet rock or accidentally hitting a metal stud. So, the solution was to cover the walls in 7/16" OSB. Screwing into the metal studs every 18" held everything tight and made it easy for us to nail the boards wherever we wanted.

Face. I went with fence wood because I knew that the stain would look different across each board once applied, adding a visual texture to the wall. I used the 2-in-1 stain poly combo by Minwax. Mission Oak.

No. I do not recommend this product. This stuff gives zero control, but I didn't have time to stain and poly, then poly again for a decent finish. I need this done in one step. It's quick and dirty, which is kind-of what I got with this product.

I stained all my pieces at their full length, let them dry, then cut them to length as I nailed them up. I used 18-gauge brad nails. I put it all up like flooring to stagger.

The Shelves. I used 3/4" galvanized pipe for the main structure of the shelves. I'd tell you what lengths I used, but I based it on the height of the average fliers, plus the size of the wood shelves, plus the angle of the tilt of the shelves, ... You can use your own discretion here.

Step 3: Final Details

Once the wood wall was up, we put up the TV. Since the OSB was up, we were able to screw the TV mount in anywhere. That made things really nice.

The TV plays a slideshow of announcements and upcoming events specific to the students. We made a pocket behind the TV mount for a MacMini, which is connected to the TV via HDMI and the Mac Mini is connected to the internet via wifi. You can Remote Desktop in and upload images whenever needed. It's pretty seamless.

The carts are from Ikea. When the space is in use, they like to roll the carts out like little kiosks and stand behind them. They work really well.

I modified them to accept casters like these. This helps with mobility, but also lifts the carts to a comfortable height that feels approachable.

We also added the metal letters to the blue fur down to tie in the space to the rest of the building. The letters were custom made by a sign company, so I can't really help you there. The font is Verdana, if that helps...

Overall, this was a fun project and I really think this look can be easily adapted to someones home or other commercial building. Hope you enjoyed this look-back.