Thursday, 31 January 2013

Making Ikea furniture work for you (part 2)

I finished last post saying I had decided to get a new desk and that I needed to sort out the storage in our living room... Well, let's get down to it.

Our desk space should be big enough to fit an iMac, Mr. Hunter's Macbook and, as I had already in mind to buy a sewing machine then, it would have to fit that as well... Last but not least, it should have some space to store my stationary!

The only wall the desk could go had a window, which made the search a bit harder... In the end, I decided to "make my own desk". I bought two trestle legs and a table top that was exactly the size I needed (not too deep, but wide enough to fit all that stuff I mentioned!). They're both from the Vika range and extremely cost effective.

As you can see, I got a regular filing cabinet for the stationary and it worked well underneath the desk. I also opted for having the trestles on an angle. I confess I was afraid that having them straight would leave the middle of the desk unsupported and I would probably have to add an extra single leg. To avoid that - as I thought it wouldn't look good - angled legs it was! And as I am a pretty short girl, it ended up working as an amazing foot rest, despite the many paper rolls! =)

Moving on...

Time to sort out the storage... Well, we started by changing our bookshelf, as it was old and didn't have as many shelves as we would like it to, leaving a giant mess at the bottom. 

Next step: to get a replacement for our awful TV rack. You see, in our defence, we got our old TV rack when we first moved to London 5 years ago. We were living in an already furnished flat and at the time, it was the only affordable TV rack that a) would match the rest of the furniture b) would fit the tiny space available, as the room had one of those sloped ceilings. But that's in the past now (and in the bin!).

The Expedit series is one that grew on me. Although it was conceived as a traditional bookshelf, I see it quite often on Pinterest being used "horizontally". Well, I thought "why not?!". This way our TV would go slightly higher and it would give us the option for some "hidden storage space", as you can opt to add drawers and doors to it! 

Now anything else would be a bonus and, miraculously, within our budget, I found something that seemed to be made exactly for our living room: a single bed headboard! (click here to see the original)

I know, it sounds weird and I am sure Mr. Hunter thought it also looked weird in the Ikea showroom. It was pretty hard to imagine how that could work with our living room, particularly with the red details, which were really off-putting, but I had it all in my head.  

We have this giant heater taking up half of the space behind the sofa. Half! What about the other half, then? What a waste of a wall, I thought. And when I realised I could store tons of things inside it and, as a bonus, get two extra shelves, well, I simply couldn't resist!

I used some wrapping paper around cardboard and placed it at the back following this tutorial to hide the red. 

So here we are, the living room as it is now. (You can click here to see how it was before...) You will notice that two pieces of furniture don't match the new "black & white" style, but I am working on it and I promise a "make-over" post very soon!


  1. You are teasing us with the sneak peeks at your sewing machine there - when are you going to show us it properly?!

    1. I know... it's just that I don't want to show it here just for showing... I am waiting to write a post on which I use it, so that I have an excuse lol But I added it to Facebook... I guess that should be fine?!

  2. I think this is definitely one of the more unusual desks I've ever seen... but I think it's neat! :) And hey, if it works, it works.

    Sarah |