January 11, 2013

at home in the curious city


Kitchen Nook - Detailed Design Phase

After thinking through more about how I want the space to look and feel, I decided the kitchen nook shelf needs to be more than just the things it will display. The previous concept was clean and straightforward, but I want an architectural element.
The wall is the first thing you see as you enter the kitchen from the living room hallway. The kitchen is mostly white with yellowish/beige tile on the counter backsplash and stone on the floor. There is absolutely no wood in the kitchen. So I think it would be interesting to accent the wall with a strong wooden feature, which visually ties back to the wood floors throughout the rest of the apartment. 
The detailed design phase entails sketching out the design to understand the dimensions and requirements, picking out materials and finishes, and basically mulling over all the details before beginning construction. I made a trip to Home Depot last weekend and bought all the materials. This weekend I foresee sawdust everywhere...

UPDATE: see finished DIY Shelves!
(Disclaimer: this is NOT my closet. Image source.)

I distinctly recall 2 moments of despair when I was feeling so bad about myself that I had to ask for an intervention; for me my weak self-esteem point has always been about my physical appearance. At both of those moments, I turned to my ever stylish older sister for an intervention, and she took me shopping and helped me revisualize myself. Although I can't remember the style tips she gave me 5+ years ago, I do remember when she forced me to reorganize my closet. It was overflowing with unworn clothes hoarded from early high school, and it was just too much of a mess to find anything. The culprit: lack of space. 

The way closets are built annoy me to no end. Usually it's a high shelf that a short Asian girl can never reach on a daily basis with ease. Then, there's a bar for clothing that's too short (as befits the short Asian girl) to fully use the length of the closet. Then you have all this wasted space on the bottom of the closet that usually is used to pile up bags, accessories, and mounds of mess.

The solution for this, introduced to me by my sister is adding shelves inside the closet. I love this solution because I don't think dressers are easy to use, and it is really inefficient that they hide clothes. Also, just think of all the wasted space at the bottom of the closet!!! Maximize efficiency! And, you don't want to OVER-organize things. If you put everything away in little boxes, most likely you a) will never take it out or b) you will never put it back after you take it out. Accessibility is key! But how did you do it, you ask?

Enter Ikea's Algot system. Ikea always has one closet organizing system or another, but basically they always consists of three parts: shelves, brackets to hold up shelves, and bars for the wall (aka "uprights"). Don't be confused by the different configurations they show on the Ikea website. MAYBE you have the space for some crazy complicated set-up, but usually not. I think it's best to work with the existing assets you have and then just make the space a little more efficient. If you're a renter, it's probably best to reduce the number of holes you drill into the wall, too. The Ikea system is cheaper than the Home Depot or Container Store routes, but the Algot system is perfectly sturdy. Also, I like the clean look of the Algot system. It comes with these caps to top off the brackets so the ugly metal insides don't show.

Installation was spread out over 2 days, and BDF spent maybe 3 hours installing 4 sets of Algot shelving. The ones on my side had 3 shelves each, and the ones on soon-to-be BDF's side just had 2 shelves since his clothes are longer. I highly recommend finding someone else to do it! It was great for me bc I was sick that weekend, so BDF even went and bought everything himself. If your local crafty gentleman is not available to install shelving, I am accepting applications to rent BDF out by the hour. Inquire within.

1 comment: