Whether your home has plentiful closets and cabinets or you’re seriously lacking space, an extra spot to tuck stuff away is always a welcome addition. Since the pandemic, though, our homes have become multi-purpose and started working double-duty, so storage is more important than ever.
Homeowners have gotten creative with adding storage, from crafting a desk-console hybrid to building a media wall for toys on the bottom and a television on the top. If you’re ready to DIY some storage of your own, look no further for inspiration. Here are four storage projects anyone can tackle.
The Desk-Console Hybrid
When Jill Ellis constructed a new pool house to accompany her 1950s ranch-style home in Santa Barbara, California, she wanted it to do six jobs at once. “Our goal was to make this cabana a super flexible space for our family,” she explains. “It serves as a pool house, guest quarters, entertaining hub, extra work space, art studio, and movie room.”
In order to accommodate all those functions in a small building, Ellis merged a remote work desk, a media console, and ample storage on one wall. She paired IKEA Sektion cabinets with Semihandmade Supermatte White Shaker doors, which are adorned with leather pulls from Etsy and topped with IKEA ash butcher block.
“My vision called for a ‘built-in’ look for the wall of cabinets, with a seamless flow between two surface areas,” she describes. “We retrofitted the IKEA boxes to give us the right height for the desk, which was significantly lower than the standard height. We eliminated the top five-inch drawer from two stacks of drawers using power tools, of course.”
The best part? Ellis completed the DIY with her 76-year-old dad. “The one thing I loved most about this project was the time I spent with him,” she says. “Talking, learning, working together to solve a problem, taking breaks to have breakfast with my kids. My dad was wonderful at including my three young boys in the process. He wanted them to feel a sense of ownership and pride.”
The Do-It-All Media Wall
Sara Morgan’s newly-built abode in Gilbert, Arizona has a modern farmhouse vibe, so she needed storage to match. The interior designer was looking for a media wall that would act as a beautiful focal point in the living room, yet also store her son’s toys in a way that’s easy for him to grab and play. Most importantly, she wanted it all for a reasonable price.
“Prior to deciding that we were going to DIY this project, we got several quotes that were in the $20k range, which was way more than we were willing to spend for one wall,” she shares. “After a lot of research, my husband felt confident that he could do this himself. We were able to achieve the same look at a fraction of the cost. It was the best decision and we have no regrets!”
Morgan and her husband employed IKEA Sektion kitchen cabinets with Semihandmade DIY Shaker fronts, which they painted Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige. They installed cane webbing in the glass-ready tower doors to tie in with the modern farmhouse aesthetic. “The trick was to soak the cane for 30 minutes after staining, so that it became more flexible to work with,” reveals Morgan. “We simply stapled it right into the fronts. It brings the entire project together!”
The end result looks professional, which is impressive for first-time DIYers. “We love that we were able to do this ourselves, not knowing anything about construction, and it is something we are so proud of,” Morgan muses. “We truly appreciate it so much more every time we watch TV or my son opens the doors to grab his toys. I don’t think we would have the same feeling had we had this built out for us.”
The Home Office That Really Works
Arlington, Virginia-based interior designer Malcolm A. Simmons Jr. frequently works from his 1929 Colonial-style, two-story condo. Since the historical dwelling didn’t include robust office storage, he created it himself. “It was important for me to have hidden storage to keep things like computer paper, camera equipment, and paperwork,” he reasons. “I wanted the storage to be stylish as well, which became part of the larger goal for the project.”
Simmons combined IKEA cabinet bases with Semihandmade Sarah Sherman Samuel DIY Quarterline fronts, floating them above the base trim to achieve a built-in appearance. “The Quarterline collection has both traditional and modern characteristics, which is a balance I always strive for throughout my home,” he raves. “I love how they’re inspired by the typical Shaker style, but taken to a slightly unexpected place with slimmer detailing.”
The fronts are painted the same green as the rest of the office and garnished with vintage brass knobs for a tailored, custom feel. “The process of painting the doors was made extremely easy with a paint sprayer,” Simmons admits. “After a couple coats, they looked like they were meant to be green! Above the cabinets, I added DIY concrete countertops, which elevate the doors to a unique and handcrafted place.”
The Dream Pantry
Though Daria Grady felt lucky to have a large kitchen in her 1928 gambrel-style house on the South Shore of Boston, Massachusetts, she was missing a real pantry to store dry goods and other provisions. So the DIY expert decided to craft her own — and include room for small appliances while she was at it.
Grady built a sturdy base using two-by-fours to support two IKEA Sektion high cabinet frames. She then put together the cabinet boxes, adhered them to each other, and added Semihandmade Chris Loves Julia Cove door and drawer fronts.
“I love how custom and built-in the pantry cabinet looks!” Grady exclaims. “With it being a permanent fixture, it really defines the extra space that was previously not being utilized. It now looks like it was always there and it’s a beautiful part of our eat-in kitchen space!”
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