A DIY Shaker Peg Rail & A Small Space Seating Area

Welcome to room three at The Woodhouse Lodge!  If you are just visiting for the first time, I’m an interior designer by day, and the rest of the time my husband and I are renovating a 1962 10-room lodge in upstate NY. Today I’m sharing a sneak peek of what we have going on design-wise in our guest rooms, specifically the small seating area in room 3. Whether you are decorating a ten room guest lodge or just trying to create a stylish small space seating area, I’m dishing all the details on my DIY Shaker peg rail and a few tips for creating seating in a small space.

The Loveseat

Like a lot of small spaces, I had limited floor space and only one wall where to sofa could go so finding just the right seating for the spot was my first project. While searching for an attractive and affordable loveseat, I came across South Shore Furniture. Much like Ikea the South Shore sofas, love seats, and chairs are flat packed, however, unlike Ikea they deliver, making the whole thing super simple. It took me about 30 minutes to assemble each loveseat by myself!

I opted for the 2-seater model, and I love how versatile the style is. While the architecture of the lodge is the SUPER mid-century, I’m trying mix in elements from other eras to keep it from feeling like a theme park. The contemporary shape of the sofa is not overly mid-century and will play well with the vintage details and the DIY shaker peg rail shelf. All of the rooms are going to be slightly different, so it was important that this loveseat works with a lot of different styles.

If you are interested in checking out the South Shore sofas for yourself the good people at South Shore provided me with this promo code (WOWSS10MEPFLUG!) It gives you a 10% discount on all regularly priced products. 

Space Saving Accessories

Because I didn’t have room for a full-sized coffee table or side tables, I rounded out the seating area with a garden stool that works like a coffee table and can quickly move where it is needed, and it doubles as extra seating. To the side of the sofa, I opted for a small floor lamp rather than a table and a lamp.  Adding ambient light helps give the seating area an inviting feel.  A garden stool and floor lamp are my go-to accessories for small spaces.

A DIY Peg Rail

Now on to my DIY, what I love about the Shaker peg rail is that it’s the perfect combination of function and style. I’ve always thought that the Shaker style was kinda proto modern in its appreciation of simplicity. So I set about creating a Shaker meets modern interpretation of this classic detail. I used the peg rail in a few other spots around the room (more on that in another post), but here it works as a more dimensional way to incorporate wall decor. A peg rail is such a versatile and space-saving way to add storage!

In this particular situation, I was more focused on the look. I felt like the area neede a mixture of textures and the apparent solution (one or two pieces of artwork hung above the sofa) was not going to do it for me. To accomplish this, I created a shallow rope shelf that hangs from the pegs. On this little shelf, I added a mixture of vintage candlesticks, books, plants, and prints. I love all the texture and life they bring to the space without taking up space. It is easy to see lots of applications for the peg rail! Ready to see how I made this one?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A 1 1/4-inch dowel rod
  • A 1×3-inch board
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • 1×10-inch board
  • Rope
  • A drill and drill bits
  • A pencil
  • A tape measure

Step One: Cut & Sand

To begin, cut the dowel rod into 8-inch lengths and sand the cut edges lightly. Next, cut the 1×3-inch board to length and lightly sand all the edges, this helps create a finished look. Note: The amount and length of your lumber will depend on the desired peg rail length.

Step Two: Measure & Mark

With my pegs sanded and cut I moved on to marking their position with a pencil & measuring tape along the length of the 1×3 plank.  Make sure the marks are centered top to bottom and evenly distributed. My pegs were 12 inches apart.

Step Three: Drill & Screw

I used a small drill bit to make a super shallow 1/8 inch hole in the center end of each peg. The hole will help the screw go in straight; you would be surprised how hard it is to center the screw on the peg if you don’t pre-drill them a bit. One word of caution, don’t pre-drill too deep if you do the screw won’t fit tightly. Next, drill one wood screw into the board at the pre-marked positions. Don’t go all the way through yet.

Step four: Attach The Pegs

To attach the pegs stand the board up longways and continue drilling the screw in so that one inch of the tip is peaking through the front side of the board. Next, place the small hole in the peg over the expose screw end and use your hand to screw it so that its flush with the board. Holding the peg firmly in your hand use the drill to drive the screw in all the way. At this point you are ready to paint, of course, this is entirely optional.

Step Five: Make The Shelf

To make the shelf, I drilled two 1/4 inch holes on each end of the 1×10 inch board. I used a tape measure and a ruler to make sure they were aligned. Give the holes a light sanding and paint the shelf on both sides (if you are painting). To finish the shelf, string a length of rope through the holes and knot it on the bottom of the shelf to create two loops that you will use to suspend the shelf from the shake peg rail. Note: it can take a little trial and error to get your shelf even. Luckily you can quickly adjust the position of the knots so that the loops of rope are equal in size on both sides of the shelf.

I still have a few details to iron out in Room 3, but overall I’m thrilled with this little seating area and my DIY Shaker Peg Rail.  Hopefully, the updates will be coming more frequently now that the initial construction is wrapping up. We are opening for business in May, so I’m focusing on getting the rooms put together more so that writing blog posts. But don’t worry I’m taking lost of pictures so as soon as the dust settles, I’ll be posting way more. Until next time xoxo. Also, I created a version of this how 2 on my Instagram stories (@mepflug) so be sure an check it out!

This post is sponsored, but the thoughts ideas and opinions are my own.




  • Leave a Comments
  • Share: