Thursday, April 4, 2013

Racking Up Storage Spaces

Hey! I'm married! Can you believe it? Because I still pretty much don't... I jokingly call John husband and it makes me feel super old. Our photographer took about 1000 pictures, but it'll be a few months before we get them... once we do, I'll be sure to share them all. Like, all 1000.

Anyway, onto the project at hand. Our washer and dryer don't take up the whole width of our laundry room, so I planned on building a storage unit for shoes and laundry detergent. The shelf the detergent currently sits on is really difficult for me to reach because it's high up and the bottle is really heavy right now since it's still full, so something had to be done if we wanted clean clothes! I contemplated building something from scratch, but that always sounds quicker and easier (and cheaper) than it really is, so I tried to keep that in mind and kept my eyes peeled for some premade solutions.

I found a shoe rack at Target that was a pretty good size for the space. It was a couple of inches shy of being as wide as I wanted it to be, but it was inexpensive and would save me a lot of work, so I got it.

Aside from being more narrow than I planned, it was also not nearly as deep as I wanted. It left a lot of space behind the rack as unusable, so I decided to attach a shelf on top of it to extend the surface. I picked up some plywood at Home Depot and painted and primed it the same way I did our open shelves.

I also got a piece of wood (I think it was a 1"x4"--not sure because it was a scrap at that my friend Charlie at Home Depot gave me for free) and cut it to the height of the shoe rack. This piece would sit at the back of the new top as a supporting leg. I put it on top of the shelf and used tape to mark off how wide and deep it was so when I put it underneath I'd know where I could drill my holes. You could also just measure the depth and know that way, but I'm a really visual person so doing it this way helps me see things better.

After I removed the board, this is what I was left with, and I knew exactly how wide and deep the piece was. I predrilled two holes for my screws centered between the edge of the wood and the tape to keep my wood from splitting.

Then, I used some screws I had on hand to attach the back leg. I didn't bother to paint it since it won't be visible... and I'm lazy like that. Also, I don't think I've mentioned that pretty much any time I've used screws for any project, I've used left over ones I've kept from dismantling random things. I have a container I used to store beads in that I now keep screws and other random pieces of hardware in. It's really helped keep costs down because I just about always have exactly what I need already in there. 

While I was at Home Depot I got another piece of free scrap wood to use to put in the inside corner of my new joint for some added support. Again, I'm not sure exactly what size it was, but I think it was 1.5"x3". I cut it a little shorter than the back leg with my saw, Mitre.

Here it is going inside the new joint.

I used some small clamps to hold it in place while I drilled pilot holes and screwed in my screws.

Bam. Almost done.

Next, I put some caulk on the top of the shoe rack to help secure my new top.

Next, I put two screws in the front and two in the middle of the top piece to attach it to the shoe rack.

I put a dollop of paint on top of the screws to help camouflage them but not totally hide them in case I ever want to dismantle it. I like how the top is a little wider than the rack because I think it looks nicer taking up more of the space between the dryer and the wall, and being so much deeper really helps use all of the space. You can also see that there's still some room behind it which works well for storing our Swiffer.

I got a basket to add some warmth and to store laundry essentials, and the little bin is for wallets and keys until I hang the storage system I got from Pottery Barn.

So, what do you think? Have you tweaked any store-bought things to better suit what you needed it for? I'm really glad I didn't try to make it from scratch because doing lots of little cubbies like that would have been painful.

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