Spanning more than 8 feet, open shelves in the reading room, above, provide storage and visual interest. “This was one of our first and more impactful projects,” Julia says. They bought 21∕2-inch Douglas fir planks at a lumberyard and stained each piece. Although the shelves look as if they are floating, they actually rest on brackets. “The room had no lighting at all,” Chris says. He added the soffit above the shelves so he could run wiring and mount sconces.