As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
I've been wanting to build an in-the-wall magazine/book rack for our main-floor powder room for several years. Ever since I first saw an example on someone's web page. The idea has stuck with me. Most powder rooms are so tiny that every bit of space counts.
The catalyst that forced me to actually build this was the purchase of a new "throne" for the bathroom. We junked the twenty year old old 13.5L (or more) flusher and found ourselves a high efficiency Caroma dual-flush 3L/6L toilet. With our large family it should take us less than two years in reduced water usage to pay for the unit.
(updated 24.Aug.2005: After a few months of use I can report that this toilet has had a huge impact on our water bills. Three water bills in a row have shown an average of 10 cubic-foot of water saved per day. That works out to 75 US gallons, or 284 liters saved per day. We're charged a fraction over 3-cents per cubic foot for water, which works out to $110 per year in water savings for our family.)
But I'm getting a bit off topic.
The flush buttons in this new throne are positioned in the middle of the top of the tank. This means that we can no longer pile books or magzines on top. Hence the need to come up with another solution, pictured at right. (Sorry, haven't got any "before" photo's.)
Any such project is by its very nature 100% custom sized. It depends on the thickness of your studs, your drywall, the position of your studs and so forth. My unit is about 4" deep (the depth of a 2x4 stud, plus half inch drywall.) 26" tall, and about 12" wide. The two bottom sections have a front board set at about a 5-10 degree angle. I also made sure that these front boards did not go all the way to the bottom of each shelf -- If someone (ie: some child) drops a pencil or some such into this I wanted to be able to easily get it out. The top shelf is quite small, meant for small paperback books on their side, or mail, or devotional booklets and other small stuff. That one was set roughly at a 30-45 degree angle (in part I was running out of vertical space!).
This is one of those built with whatever is laying around the shop projects. The carcass is 3/4" birch/poplar plywood. The front boards and the top shelf (what the books/mags lean against) are 1/2" poplar. These boards are edged with some cherry. I did spring for a piece of 1-1/4 mahogany casing to trim the unit. For a finish I brushed on a coat of blonde shellac followed by three coats of water based satin flecto-varathane.