Mar 3, 2012

Ikea Dressers + Shelves for office/sewing room

This room probably got the most "makeover" to date.  It's a big room alright, but fugly, unkempt, and the main storage cabinetry was odd.  We were going to use this as the master bedroom, but with the lack of a real closet, we decided that it would be more suitable for an office.  And I slipped in my sewing machine in there and it slowly morphed into more of a sewing room than an office.  (hee hee).

The biggest challenge is creating a storage suitable for an office and sewing room, i.e. places to store fabrics, sewing doodads, office junk, books, patterns, magazines, and so on.  Originally we had this built-in cabinetry as storage.
original condition
We removed it because I didn't like it.  Who knows what had been in there.  Plus it made the room feel smaller.

removed the cabinetry to install a proper, normal wall
The room was immediately painted Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee, as did the rest of the house.  I don't know what I was thinking... of all the whites that BM offers... Swiss Coffee?  Really? 

Thankfully about a year later I got sick of white and went on a repainting spree.  All the rooms got repainted, one at a time, mostly gray.  The office now received a pretty, light Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray (color-matched at Home Depot - cheaper and nobody's the wiser!  Well, except you folks that read this blog).

Pardon the dust, massive-desk project in progress.
I brainstormed for a while about what to do with this wall, because it has so much potential for storage. It spans just a little short of 9-feet (107 inch, to be exact), and the depth is 18-inch to be flush with the brick fireplace-back that you can see on the right side of the picture. 

Initially there was a 5x5 Expedit where the clothes rack is, but it left too much empty space because it could not fill up the whole width of the wall.  So it got relocated.  And miscellaneous junk moved in, as evident in the picture above.

Plan B was a floor-to-ceiling DIY shelving or bookcase.  Bookcase sounds like a lot of work.  Shelving... well, I didn't really want to attach brackets permanently to the wall right now, since we're planning to have an entryway in the middle of this wall for a future remodeling project.  Plus, the stud locations don't make for symmetrical placing of the brackets, which would really bother me.

Then I stumbled onto two things almost at the same time, that pretty much became the solution to my storage challenge:

1. Three Ikea Koppang dressers span to almost 107 inches, and its width would be approximately in line with the fireplace, and the height is about counter-height.  Perfect!  They would hide the piles of fabric nicely.  Plus they're white and cheap.
2. During an unusually productive internet-browsing session, I found this DIY shelving that doesn't require wall brackets.
OMG, eureka!  I finalized my plan, went to work, and came up with this:
Dressers + shelves
Three Ikea Koppang dressers serve as storage for fabrics.  On top of them, walnut-stained and polycrylic'ed pine boards as shelves.  The bottom shelves is 2 of 1x4's and 2 of 1x6's to make 18" depth.  The two other shelves are 1x12's.  Instead of wall-brackets, I use stacked 2x4 lumber (cut unprecisely at 8 to 9 inches, sanded, glued together, primed, painted) as stand-on brackets.  Right now I'm only using 3 tiers of shelves, so the weight born by the dressers is not too bad. 

Close up
Close up, from the other side
I still need to secure the whole assembly to the studs using L-brackets, and eventually add one or two more tiers of shelves.  For now I'm very happy the wall is being filled up and used to its potential!