Monday, 31 December 2012

Book storage

When we finally moved into our first flat as owners, we wanted to make the space as open and bright as possible, so we promptly removed several walls from around the house. This suits us much better, as Theo (an avid cook) can be in the kitchen while I'm in the living room and we can chit chat easily. Our last flat had a tiny little galley kitchen which closed you off from the rest of the flat, so we wanted to avoid that happening again! 

One thing that we didn't think through though was that with far fewer walls comes less potential storage spaces. There wasn't anywhere to put cupboards / tables / anything really! We thought long and hard about the best way to combat this and came up with the idea of floor to ceiling book cases along the hallway. I love the way these look anyway, and it would also give us loads of storage for books and other stuff. However, we also knew that hiring a carpenter to help us would cost far too much for our budget! So as usual we decided to tackle the job ourselves (well, Theo definitely took the lead...I think I probably got in the way...)

We measured the space and then spent hours poring over the Ikea website to try and work out a configuration of shelving that would fit into the space and that wouldn't end up costing too much. We ended up using about 5 of their Billy bookcases (you can also buy extender shelves to get them right up to the ceiling) as well as a couple of their CD towers and a couple of other types as well. After many hours of assembling them (yes it got a bit tedious!), Theo then set to work fitting them all. We screwed them all to the wall and to each other using an intricate system of clamps and swearing... 

We wanted to try and avoid them looking too much like they came from Ikea, so I bought some thin strips of wood from B&Q and tacked them to the shelf fronts, as well as adding some skirting board on to the bottoms. I think this makes them look a bit more built in. I've given the fronts an undercoat of emulsion and I think we will paint them in a gloss white when we find the time. What do you think?

You can also see one of my cats by the chair in the bottom one. He's a bit hard to photograph as he fidgets so much! Happy new year to all of you :) 

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