Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Built-in Home Organizer Tutorial

Once we moved into our new home, I found we were really in need of an organized space for my kids to keep their shoes, and hang up their coats and backpacks.  
Something along the lines of this from Pottery Barn -

We had something similar in our previous home, yet I wanted it to have more of a permanent built-in look without the Pottery Barn price tag.

Here is my version and the completed project! Total cost $100!! (price not including hooks and baskets) - 

Here is how I did it -

Entering our house from the garage, there is a square area that houses the doors to a 1/2 bath, the laundry room, and the pantry.  Their is one wall that I thought would work for hooks and shoe cubbies; however, the space is 57 inches long, and only 2 feet deep. 

(kitchen view)

(laundry room view)

I didn't want a bench sticking out so far that it was in the way of our walking path to the other doors.  I figured I would need to custom build something to get the exact dimensions I needed.

I started out by purchasing this shelving unit from Ikea and assembling it.  I can't for the life of me find it online, but I found it on display by the Expedit units.  It was the perfect size, 11 inches deep and 53 inches long.  The best part was that is only $20!

To get the unit flush against the wall, I needed to rip off the existing baseboards -

Wanting it to look built in, I created a base to raise the shelving unit so it was the right height to attach baseboards back on to - 

You can see in the photo above that there was still spaces between the unit and the wall when it was up against it.  The unit didn't come with a back, so I purchased a smooth white backing for $12 at Lowes (it was by the sheets of bead board).  

I cut it to fit with my jigsaw and nailed it on - 

For a more finished look, I wanted wider molding on the front sides of the unit and wanted to avoid showing the screws and 2x4 base that were exposed on the sides.  I purchased 1/2 inch mdf boards and cut pieces to fit against the unit sides, including the 2x4 base.  I cut poplar boards and nailed them on to create the correct spacing for the wider molding I would attach to the fronts.  

I attached the 2x4 to studs in the wall with "L" brackets, and screwed the mdf side board into studs on the wall with wood screws.  Then I screwed the 2x4 base into the mdf board.

After setting the cubby unit on top of the 2x4 base, I screwed the unit and base together with more wood screws.  Next, I used small brad nails and hammered the other mdf board (with the poplar board spacers as well) onto the left side of the unit.

Here is a close up of the left side:

(laundry room view)

I cut new baseboards to the entire section, then added 1 1/2 poplar boards to the front sides (blue arrows), and quarter round molding to the back left to close in the wall (red arrow).

For the top of the unit I cut a pine board using my jig saw to fit, including covering the added quarter round and poplar front pieces.  I first stained it "dark walnut", then sanded it a little and added a little of "provincial"...both stains by Minwax.  I found the dark walnut too dark and missing the warmer tones from the provincial stain.

I attached the stained pine top by nailing in with 1 1/4 wire brad nails, and then filled in with stainable wood filler. 

Here is where my perfect easy going project turns into a mess. (literally)

I wanted to install a board above the organizer with hooks in it for coats and backpacks.  I pulled out my dandy (now, not so reliable) stud finder and marked my studs.  Everything is going smooth until I nail in my last nail.  Immediately, I heard a whistling sound and water started leaking from my wall. 

That was not a stud I hit, it was our copper water pipe. Boo. :(

Thank goodness for amazing friends and neighbors!  I made sure to mark the correct stud while the wall was open, and here is the board finally up. -

Till help with the organization part of it, I found all my baskets and hooks at Hobby Lobby.  I waited until they had both items on their 50% off sale, making the baskets $8.99 each, and the hooks at $1.99 a piece.  

We are now ready for school to start and have a place to store it all!!

This post is linked up to the following parties, go check them out!


Seth said...

It looks so great! I like the stained board top and all the detail. That's a lot of storage!

Unknown said...

Trisha, I love this! I want you to help me come up with something like this for my mud room in my new home!