When we sold our first house to move into this house, we were beyond excited to get started on projects. Our priorities were the getting a functioning shower in the main bathroom in addition to an entertainment center. Coming from our previous house with built-in storage, we didn’t have furniture to handle the task. This bookshelf situation didn’t offer the storage we needed.
We set out to build a nine foot wide unit to store all.the.toys as well as all.the.electronics. A television, receiver, PlayStation (that doubles as our dvd player) and 7.1 surround sound speakers. We came up with this:
Sure it held everything, but we realized over the years it wasn’t working as well as it could. Our, okay, mostly my, list of complaints grew.
All drawers work wonderfully in kitchens, but electronics aren’t made to be stored in drawers. The lack of closed cabinets meant the ugly stuff was piled on the upper shelves. Of the 9 open shelves, 7 held speakers or other electronics, with cords snaking up and down. Initially, the plan included building fabric or metal insert doors to hide everything, but never became a priority.
Nine drawers provide oodles of storage, but certain people in this house under the age of 12 treated it as a dumping ground for anything and everything. Having lived in this house for only a few months meant we didn’t know exactly how we would use this space and we allowed room for a larger tv. But the final nail in the proverbial coffin was when Ben said he hated the way the cheap drawer glides functioned, or didn’t.
Armed with our list of wants and changes, we’ve decided to tackle this project while high summer temps are slowing pool house progress. I drew up a plan that allowed for more flexibility, with a mixture of open and closed storage, cabinets, drawers, and shelving.
Oddly, as our boys have gotten bigger, their toys have become smaller; longer attention spans also equal fewer toys. Duplos and building blocks are Legos, which are now stored in their under stairs play space. Six slightly narrower drawers are available to store toys, books, and miscellaneous junk, while a wide center cabinet holds electronics and board games.
Determining all the sizes is the most difficult part of the planning process, including measuring everything that can possibly go in this unit. A combination of fixed shelves offer rigidity, but adjustable shelves offer flexibility for storing/displaying items.
The old entertainment center is the first thing in 11 years we’ve ever built and removed, so I think we’re doing okay. That old burgundy color comes back, woof.
After two building days, we have the main elements in place. Clearly we still have some work to do, like facing the uppers, cutting the remaining shelves, and building/installing the doors and drawer fronts.
Poplar sided drawers with soft close Blum drawer glides are sturdy and so smooth.
A four-foot wide middle cabinet houses the ugly electronics, including the gigantic subwoofer, with plenty of room to store board games.
Looks like I’ll have plenty of painting in my future, but it’ll be so worth it to have more functional and pretty storage. Have you ever added anything to your home, thinking it’ll be perfect, only to realize later it wasn’t? I usually think about things for ages before doing any building, so it isn’t often this happens to us.
3 thoughts on “Fixing Past Errors”
One of my favorite things about DIY is being able to change things after they’re done, or tweak the design while I’m building. Yes, it’s kind of a pain to unbuild something I’ve spent time on, but having it just right is worth the effort.
Y’all do some beautiful work! The drawers with the hidden glides are a thing of beauty!
My husband and I installed a whole wall of of both closed and open storage, somewhat similar to yours, but without any electronics. In our small home, it became the storage of the whole house. What we found after a couple years, however, was that the open storage on top was way too big and I despised putting anything ugly on those shelves. This full wall of shelves ended up being cluttered with trinkets and books, with almost zero function. We took it down and moved some of the base cabinets to another wall. Best thing we ever did. Sometimes I miss the extra storage, but I don’t miss the lack of smart function.
Entertainment units are the bane of my life! I have the same fight with asthetics vs electrical stuff that you do. Just be aware, I thought I’d finally won the battle in our last house when my hubby agreed to try the subwoofer in the unit we had built. The sound and vibrations were horrible, and whenever we used the tv we would have to have the unit door open for the subwoofer. Even with the door open, it was never the best sound. I wouldn’t let hubby have a sub in the living room of our new house :O It has to live in the media room where I don’t go as often LOL