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  • Nalini Boodoosingh


When I started to envision what my new office space would look like I had one thing in mind and it was a word. I wanted it to be organized.

Our previous set up was less than ideal as our craft and seasonal supplies lived in the hallway closet, all business related paperwork was stored in overhead cupboards above my desk and office supplies were tucked away in the extra bedroom closet. While everything had a place in our home it was scattered in 3 different locations and I was the only one who knew where everything was- mom life!

The goal for the new office space, now relocated to the basement, was to serve as the hub for all work and craft related activity.

The Plan

If you've ever gotten a quote to build and install custom closets you'd know it reaches into the thousands and I needed to keep this install within a $1,000 budget. That's where the Ikea Brimnes wardrobes came into play.

I chose the Ikea Brimnes wardrobe specifically for the price! At $129 a piece I would be able to easily afford the 3 units I needed for the space. Once I had that in mind I set out to plan how the space would be used and that plan would dictate how much custom work would then be required. It took a few iterations to get to the final layout {scrappy drafts are always happening over here}.

I would highly recommend gathering all of your stuff and measuring the space required before attempting to customize the spaces. It will reduce rework and most importantly time. Time & Mistakes Cost Money

The Build

Phase 1 required the assembly of all 3 units which took a couple hours after work . I needed help to lift these and set them in place so my muscle aka Ken jumped in. Next , we anchored the units to the wall to keep them steady and level but importantly safe! . After those 2 main steps we then moved into the customization segment of the work.

I wanted a built in look that maximized use of any and all of the space we had. To accomplish that we built a custom door out of MDF to match the pattern on the Brimnes unit and created shelving inserts which would hold small plastic bins. This would serve double duty of concealing the meter but also create easy access as needed for inspections. Then we closed off the top of the units and the left side with finished Pine wood.

Now that exterior was done, it was time to customize the interior

This part went easier than expected and only required cutting the shelving to size and installing using small L shaped brackets on the corners for support. We used 7 Linnmon tabletops also from Ikea for the shelves at $8.99 a piece - talk about a steal for finished materials and NO painting needed! I decided to do this in 2 out of the 3 units since those would house most of our supplies.

I opted to convert the 3rd unit for guest or visitor storage {think coats in the colder months, thank me later}. To do this , I purchased 3 Komplement Drawers and built out the sides using finished pine wood to secure them, since they were slightly shorter in width than the Brimnes wardrobe. These drawers are meant to work with the Ikea Pax units thus needing a little bit of adjustment for this purpose. Lastly we installed a bi-fold shelf made of finished pine above the drawer so the top drawer could always be fully accessible as needed and the shelf could act as resting space for any small guest items.

The Final Product

We now have a single home for all of our paperwork, office/painting/crafting/seasonal supplies, photos and even some left over space for growth. Goal accomplished!

Ikea Brimnes Hack

Now that this main area of the office is complete, I have begun working on customizing my 5 year old Ikea Desk and hope to share that progress in the next month. In the meantime let me know if you have any questions as you jump into your own DIY projects!

Happy building



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