With all of the changes happening as we transform our former office into the studio, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about storage. Our fauxdenza, while it offers hidden cubbies for shipping boxes and such, it doesn’t offer as much as I need – which is no one’s fault but our stubby 7-foot length of wall. We plan on putting the painting table on the opposite side of the room, which sadly leaves no more space for our filing cabinet. This was a sad, sad realization and something that took us days to admit. We did, however, keep it in the family (passing it along to our friend for her home office), but the sudden lack of storage had us scrambling for new ideas; ideas that would take up the smallest footprint possible.
We’re still working on a wall of open shelving above the task station (as mentioned in posts past), but we needed more nooks to stash the ugly items – such as drop cloths, external hard drives and numerous cables and doo dads. (We also purchased this dolly, which will roll away under the fauxdenza.) And then during one of our many, many trips to the big blue box, we found Skar.
Although its actual intent is to stash your shoes, we had a different idea in mind. At less than 8 inches deep, it was slim enough to mount on any wall, but the height allowed for three glorious drawers. We weren’t a fan of the open top cubby (we’ll have plenty on-display storage above the fauxdenza), and we didn’t like the front feet or drawer pulls.
Picture this, two nuts in Ikea, hovered in secrecy, heavily discussing the dissection of Skar. After asking ourselves things like, can we find better drawer pulls? (yes!), can we cut off the top section? (yes!), and can we nix those legs and make it float? (yes, yes, yes!), we hauled him home and got to work.
The first thing we did (after unpacking the box and accounting for every piece) was find the two long sides and figure out where we needed to make our cuts to eliminate the top.
We knew we wanted to keep the upper shelf, so we attached it on each of the sides, using it as a guide and marked our cuts with a pencil.
Since we would be eliminating the open top, we took that opportunity to customize a new top to cover the particle board cuts and finish the look. Using a piece of poplar we had on hand (leftover from the big, bad media wall), we took what would’ve been the Skar top and traced the outline.
Once everything was marked, we made our cuts on the back porch, then followed the rest of the Ikea instructions until we had our frame:
We used the brackets given to us with Skar to hang it on the wall, but since we didn’t like the look of the legs, we decided to forgo them completely. To mimic the look of our floating fauxdenza, we anchored it about 5 inches off the floor and added our own additional L-brackets (with more anchors) to the bottom.
Since we also passed on the metal pulls, we used blue tape on the drawers for the meantime then popped them into place. A dry fit confirmed that our poplar piece was just right.
During the same time that I stained the oak for the fauxdenza top, I did the same with the poplar using the same method: one coat of wood conditioner, two coats of Minwax Jacobean and three thin coats of Polycrylic. A few screws from underneath keeps it all in place.
At this point, a few weeks had gone by as I scoured the web for the perfect handles (Miranda even noticed our in-progress project in this gallery wall post), but in the end, patience paid off! (Imagine that. Note to self: remember that concept.) We used a tape measure to find our center and a square to measure down from the top.
The drawers are yet to be stuffed, but considering that Skar is only 8 inches in depth, there’s still a good amount of storage for those miscellaneous office-y items.
We still need to install our chair rail (green tape be damned! And don’t get us started on the crown molding), but we think those lion pulls play nice with our collection of gold frames:
Eventually, we’d like to continue the stained wood top down the sides, but for now, it does tie in with our fauxdenza top. At the same time, the five inch float keeps everything off the floor, making this tiny room feel just the smallest bit less cramped. (You might notice we’ve also added pulls to the task station, found here.)
Although the chair rail is still missing, we did fill our frames with the missing art (not shown in these snaps, obviously), but an update is in order soon. And as previously mentioned, my painting table will sit under the gallery wall, and my grandma’s chair will find a home in here, too.
We’ve also purchased a rug, I’m flip flopping on curtains (velvet? silk? faux-silk? white cotton or prints?), and we’re currently eyeballs deep in wall shelving, paint and wallpaper (oh, tease!). It’s coming together, slowly but surely, and it’s so exciting watching this room come to life.
Have you hacked an Ikea purchase lately?
See more of our studio ideas on our Pinterest board, right here.