Monday, February 21, 2011

closet office via ikea

the first time we toured our home, i knew i wanted to turn the back closet into a workspace. finally, the vision is complete!

our back bedroom was pretty much a catch-all when we moved in. extra furniture, boxes, random lamps--they all conspired together in the back room. it's the smallest bedroom + located at the back of the house. it will make a great nursery SOMEDAY. [i emphasize SOMEDAY because of the apparent raised eyebrows at my previous use of the word "crib."] but until baby v joins the family, the back room has become the office. 

the adjacent guest room has double closets, so we could actually spare the closet space. we have a coat closet next door, a linen closet in the guest bath, and a pantry in the hall. i realize not everyone can spare a closet, but it worked for us.

we drew up some tentative plans for the closet. the criteria:
  1. functional workspace. i telecommute 1x/week so it must be functional.
  2. shelves. hubs is taking classes, so he needs to store his books and such. also, cannot be too girly.
  3. craft storage. with the wedding biz comes lots of diy projects. though not necessary within arm's reach, they need to be accessible.
  4. light. it's in the back of the house and gets morning sun. by the evening, it's pretty dark back there.

hubs removed the sliding wood doors + i measured what was left. there's a weird little notch in the corner, thanks to the coat closet from the hallway. but, turns out, that worked in our favor. armed with my measurements, i headed off to ikea. i'd seen some countertops there that we'd be able to cut to size, so that's what i had in mind. i was somewhat dreading the task of finding the pieces to put my puzzle together.

closet width [to the funky notch]: 47.25"
closet depth [to door molding]: 25"

low and behold, ikea to the rescue. i stood in an flourescent blur amid desk legs, tabletops, chairs, staring at the dimensions of the countertops. could it be? double-check the measurements. no, can't be. really? you've got to be kidding. 47 1/4"w x 23 5/8"deep? am i reading this correctly. i looked around, i guess to make sure i wasn't being punk'd.

i wasn't. they had a countertop in my precise dimensions: the vika amon tabletop in white @ $19.99. SCORE #1.

i proceeded to the shelving section to be overwhelmed with brackets. i'd pre-shopped online a little, but i'm not sure it helped. hello indecisiveness! i knew i wanted to continue with the white + natural color scheme. i went with the ekby stilig brackets in white + ekby trygvve shelf in natural.

small shelf brackets: 4 x 6 3/4" size @ $4 each = $16 SCORE #2.
lg shelf brackets: 3 x 10 1/4" size @ $6 each = $18 SCORE #3.
short shelves: 2 x 7 1/2" depth @ $3 each = $6 SCORE #4.
deep shelf: 1 x 11" depth @ $7 each = $7 [this shelf was only 5/8" shorter than the tabletop] SCORE #5.

so, the shelves, brackets, + tabletop in-hand, i was feeling good. plus, no need to cut a darn thing so far. SCORE #6. so, i drifted to the accessories department where i found a bulletin board. she's pretty plain, but she fits perfectly between the short shelves + the weird wall nook. besides, a whopping $5.99 includes the pins. SCORE #7. i also picked up a pair of magazine files + a desktop organizer in a natural wood. SCORE #8.

a few weeks later, we returned to ikea for lighting. this pendant light spoke to me + she was installed the next day for a whopping $20.

not long after that, i picked up this wall-mounted magazine rack for $10 to help us sort our papers. work, school, tax docs, bills, etc were piling up + this was a great solution!

the printer lives on a pair of filing cabinets from ballard designs outlet that i scored for $40 a pop.

here's how we put it all together:

step #1. [pic 3] used some 1x4 scrap to build a ledge. we simply screwed the 1x4 into the studs around the perimeter of the desk area. once the ledge was in, we set the tabletop on top of it. we found we didn't need to screw it in, as it was secure. we also didn't need a leg in the front corner. our walls weren't terribly straight, so this sucker was wedged into the corner--not budging.

step #2. [pic 4 + 5] installed the brackets to the existing studs. the bottom shelf is about 23" from the desktop. the next shelf is about 11 1/2" above that one. the top shelf is about 15" above the middle one. if doing it over, i may have given myself 15" between the bottom + middle shelves too, but that would've given me less clearance for the top shelf. so it works, but it doesn't fit magazine files, binders, etc.

step #3. [no pic, sorry] installed the light. by installed, i mean screwing a cup hook into the bottom of the top shelf. this isn't hard-wired, so it's just a plug-in light. it came with some hanging kit that we didn't end up needing. we simply threaded the cord through one of the openings in the top shelf bracket.

step #4. installed the bulletin board, then the magazine rack [pic 6] to the notched wall. it's magnetic, so it's a second memo board, too!

step #5. [pic 2] hang the curtain. i sewed the curtain from premier prints' kimono fabric in chartreuse that i bought from we used ikea's dignitet [shocker, i know] so that the curtain would hang inside the closet + have the right amoung of clearance to glide freely. i'm not crazy about the curtain, so i may re-do that in the future.

step #6. enjoy the clutter-free organized space!!

total costs:
tabletop: $20
shelves + brackets: $47
pendant light: $20
curtain + wire: $30
bulletin board: $6
magazine file: $10
accessories: $10
file cabinets: $80
TOTAL: $193

contrary to the way it appears, ikea did not sponsor this post. hah! i don't always love ikea's style or quality, but for this project it was the way to go. the measurements were spot-on for our space, + the neutral white/natural scheme was easily carried throughout, with a touch of industrial chic from the metals. but, if any ikea execs are reading and want to throw me an endorsement, have your people call my people.

in the meantime, check out other great organization tricks at thrifty decor chick's organize it party


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