I’ve been working from home for several years now, but sometimes, I imagine what it would be like to go back to a bustling office job. When I worked downtown, I loved it. Well, I loved taking the train, grabbing my coffee from the bakery and – for the most part! – I loved the people I worked with. (Not always the work, but you know.) I do enjoy feeding off the energy of others, but over time, I’ve adjusted to home-working, and I’ve got my routine down. I like having a desk and curtains and rug and all the art that I chose, and I like that if I want to, I can take 15 minutes to drink my coffee on the front porch swing. But! I think, if someone offered me a sweet job downtown right now, would I do it? I go back and forth with my secret what if? answer all the time, because doesn’t it always seem like the grass is always greener?
Anyway, all this to say that I tend to start daydreaming more than ever when I’m feeling frazzled. Frazzled, because I start to feel like nothing has a place and the house is a mess (so much pet hair! I think, how long has it been since I’ve vacuumed?), and even though I have my row of paper trays and my desk drawers organized, there are still boxes of camera equipment and paint supplies tucked into closets. That’s not to say we haven’t put any effort into our home studio, but it’s always the first room to become the dumping ground during any renovation, no matter what we’re working on.
I’d like to change that.
We’re in the midst of a big purge as we prep for our annual yard sale, and we’re letting a lot of things go that we’d been saving for different rooms – for example, chairs or benches or ottomans – but as we renovate, sometimes those items don’t make their way in to those rooms, and so, they sit and accumulate dust. We’ve got a big ol’ pile ready to sell, and soon we’ll have a big ol’ mostly empty studio that needs some organization!
Enter our home’s second fauxdenza (but our third overall if you count this one in our old studio). Instead of IKEA’s kitchen cabinets that we’ve used in the past, we found a less expensive option using components from the BESTA line! On our shopping list:
1 – 48″ white BESTA frame
1 – 24″ white BESTA frame
3 – SELSVIKEN high gloss white doors
3 – BESTA suspension rails
1 – 6′ x 20″ pine project panel (found at Lowe’s)
We wanted to create a fauxdenza (fun fact: a term originally coined by Anna so many years ago!) for the insane amount of storage it offers, its pretty looks and its ability to be wall mounted (so good for our hairy home with pets!). Once I had the frames put together, Scott mounted everything to the wall using the suspension rail system. We found it to be a little tricky at first, but once we got the first double-box hung, the single box was a snap. No big secrets here; we just followed the IKEA man’s instructions, but we did use toggle bolts as an extra precaution where we weren’t able to locate a stud.
For the 24″ frame, we cut off the bottom half of the back for our electrical outlet, and to prevent it from slipping down in its track, Scott used tiny screws in the track to hold it in place:
We added the doors next and leveled them up, and once everything looked good, we did a final measurement of the overall depth, doors included. The BESTA is a hair more than 16″ from front to back, so we ripped down our project panel using a circular saw, sanded the edges, and stained it in three steps: one coat of wood conditioner + two coats of Special Walnut + two coats of Polycrylic in a satin finish. Tip: An extra coat of wood conditioner on the ends of the project panel will help keep the stain even in color (where it typically wants to go much darker).
The next day, we attached it to the top of our BESTA units by using wood screws from underneath and inside the cabinets, and for any electronics, Scott used a 1″ paddle bit for cords to pass through the cabinet to access the outlet!
We mounted this smart television above and used a behind-the-wall cord kit to keep things mess-free (John did a great tutorial on how this kit works!). It’s off-centered right now, but we have plans to even it out with art. My favorite little Marshall speaker looks a little silly underneath, so we’ll likely be switching that out to a sound bar at some point. Until we get everything sorted, we’ve kept the protective plastic on the television, too! Consider this our starting point:
The photos below might give you a better idea of where it is in the room. We’re using the entire open space on the second floor for the studio, so this side of the room will ultimately act as a lounge area. We often use the television downstairs as a giant computer screen when we’re in the idea-gathering stage of projects; it will be so nice to do it up here now! When possible, I prefer to keep work and play separate (a necessity for work-from-home-ers, I think!), but I’d still like this work-slash-lounge area to be comfortable.
Inside, I’ve started grouping office-y things into little bins, and even after organizing camera gear, fabric scraps and lesser used painting supplies, there is still a lot of room to grow. I love a good, empty cabinet. So many possibilities.
Like I mentioned earlier, we’ve made two floating credenzas in the past using IKEA’s AKURUM (now SEKTION) kitchen cabinets, and while we have no regrets – the functionality and slim design packs a punch! – we wondered why we didn’t gravitate towards the BESTA from the very beginning. Maybe these options weren’t available a few years ago? The BESTA is less expensive ($300 for our dining room fauxdenza vs. $200 for this one) and has in-store top options should you choose to skip the DIY wood panel!
What you don’t see in any of these photos is the massive yard sale pile behind the camera. Once this room is cleared, we’ll have the space we need to start building our laundry cabinets, and then we can really start to plan this space for a proper lounge! That has always been our goal, but it was never a priority. We’re excited to put this room one step closer to the front burner!