For over a decade, one of our renovation mantras has been “the middle doesn’t mean anything, Basically, if your home is mid-reno, not fully furnished, or otherwise in limbo, don’t fret. Take your time, try a few, and get it right as you go along. See what you like and what you use. Live with something for a while (or a long time). Rather than build a perfect perfect home and immediately throw it in the trash (it always takes us years to reach that point!). Just let the places evolve in ways that work for your family and make you happy. And in the end, there’s a good chance you’ll find something you love and find extremely useful.
This particular corner of our bedroom has been a perfect example of that mantra… especially because it got (wait for it) pretty weird in the middle.
First, let’s take a step back because BOY has covered this corner too far. This is what it looked like 3 years ago, right after we moved here. This furniture arrangement can best be described as “work with what you have.“At that time, we had future plans to build a closet there (which you can see). Presented in this post), but we ended up putting a later huge closet system rather than elsewhere). Once again, this is a good demonstration of living with an idea for a while and correcting course as you go along.
To give you a better idea, the left side of the picture above is the same wall that houses the fireplace in our bedroom. See the chopped gray dresser on the bottom right? This is what is pictured above.
It’s a fun corner to work in for a few reasons. The first is that the walls do not meet at a right angle (which you will see more clearly later in this post). It has very clearly pronounced acute angles. Nothing close to 90 degrees (or 98 degrees, RIP). Secondly it is clearly visible from our kitchen/sitting area. It always felt weird to have guests looking straight into our bedroom, so we tried to make it look as non-bedroom as possible. Here’s the scene right after moving:
You may also know this corner as the spot we later decided would work well as a second bathroom if we ever decide we need one of those. We put that plan on hold (probably forever – more on that here) But for a while maybe that thought of the future scared us away from doing anything better with that corner, for fear that “it will change later when and if it’s a bathroom so why bother.” For example, when we installed These built-ins are around our fireplaceWe stopped at going completely wall-to-wall on the right side, assuming we’d eventually add a wall there and that’s where the future bathroom would be.
So for some time now this corner has started to look something like this. The dresser itself looks great if we stand close enough to see it only through the door…
…but in the context of the whole room, this little “moment” didn’t really mean much.
Even if you walked a little to the right of that door across from the seating area, the dresser sitting next to that built-in cabinet looked a little odd.
Was it the end of the world? No! We lived with it like this for about a good year. And eventually it became clear that we were “holding” this corner for a possible future bathroom plan that was being built low probability by day…so it prompted us to think a little more about what we really wanted from that corner in this present moment rather than waiting for the distant future to get something more useful out of that place.
It’s great to consider some other, more sustainable solutions for this space. Nothing that can’t be undone in a literal day, should we suddenly decide we want that bathroom in 2029 or something (cabinets + cabinets are hardly a permanent installation). This led us to a solution we love because (1) it looks nicer than the kitchen/non-bedroom and (2) it adds tons of functional storage (both hidden and open).
There are roughly three main elements of change:
- we extended it ikea besta cabinets so they’re actually connected wall to wall
- we made them with trim and countertops (The effort is worthwhile for that custom look)
- we added 3 long floating Ikea has a shortage of shelves over them
We considered a few other things (eg a more elaborate built-in hutch with glass on top) but in the end, we like the clean and modern look of this corner for now. It also looks like it’ll serve us for a very long time (if you’re placing bets, I bet we’ll never add a bathroom).
We’re really lucky that the stock Besta sizes from Ikea fit perfectly on this wall. It felt like a minor miracle because, as you can see below, the walls meet at that non-90-degree angle. Since they fit so well, we were able to earn 70″ of storage by immediately bringing in three more cabinets (!!), and repeating the same steps we used before. Give Besta Cabinets the Built-in Look (add baseboards, fill gaps, top butcher block,
If you scroll up in the picture you can see how the counter was extended to fill that awkwardly recessed corner, making that area immediately look less “off” (and you can have Sherry record it for you later). You can see more about that corner in the video I did) post). Wall-to-wall countertops can cover up a lot of pesky wall/corner problems! And don’t worry, that last cabinet still opens wide enough to get things in and out.
In fact, that one cabinet you see above stores everything that was previously in the blue inlay dresser—which means we’ve earned two bonus cabinet’s worth of space here with this move… three shelves. Not to mention the vertical storage we got with the above!
Speaking of those cabinets, we took a highly scientific approach to figuring out what to do with our newly installed cabinetry/countertops. We bought 3 of these 72″ floating shelves, but decided not to hang all three right away. Thanks to a combination of putting stuff up, applying painter’s tape to the wall, and snapping photos to Instagram (again, Excessive Scientist) We decided to go for all 3.
The Three felt like it filled the space well, without placing each shelf too tight or too far apart. Plus, it was the perfect amount of space for the stuff we wanted in there. We already have two tall bookshelves on the top floor that hold lots of books, so we liked the idea of using them for some books, but also including a mix of plants, art, and other items that we love. and just want to watch every day.
Since I mentioned our other two bookshelves above, here they are. As you can tell, we love adding art + plants to our bookshelf. They’re Ikea Fjalking shelving units (yes, more Ikea!) and before you unleash the book police on us, while it’s true that we have about 50 of our best-looking hardcover books on these shelves, we also have an entire besta. The cabinet by the fireplace in our living room is filled with our favorite paperbacks and other books.
OK, back to the bedroom and how we accomplished this easy updo. People on Instagram often ask Sherry what drywall anchors we use for projects like this. For load-bearing shelves like this, it’s best to go at least one or two studs (as many as you can, really), but these EZAncor 75lb anchor Also great for places when you can’t hit a stud. They’re very easy and quick to install, which is why they’re our favorite wall anchors. we used this perfect anchor To hang these shelves and they ain’t going anywhere.
Remember our goal here was: more space for secret storage and beautiful things we love to see + a view that doesn’t scream “This is our bedroom!” from the door. That’s why we’re so pleased to have found something that checks all those boxes. Plus, have you ever met a shelf that doesn’t enjoy styling Sherry? I did not do it.
Also, for anyone concerned about where Sherry can reach (somehow she’s always been asked), she has easy access to anything on the bottom two shelves, and She married me especially for my long arms that can reach the top shelf 😉 Also we have chairs. and a step stool.
This video is for those of you who want to see the whole bedroom and get a feel for how this new corner solution fits into the whole room (and how nice the view is from the kitchen door where we entered! ). It goes more into how we added height to this whole room to draw attention up (the bookshelves balance out the few other objects in the room that have height) and you can see that her very active index finger How much storage did we gain thanks to:
Note: you can also Watch this video on YouTube,
To wrap up this post, I wanted to end with another before and after post. Remember that scene from the top of the post? Right after we got in?
Now it looks like this (if you’re wondering where that mini-split went, this post will fill you up).
It’s a great feeling to “get it figured out” this place that’s been in limbo for almost 3 years. It is easy on the eyes and it is very useful for us. Not only did we find two perfect Besta cabinets worth of storage (and three floating cabinets worth of vertical storage), we’re completely at peace knowing that if we ever change our minds again, nothing was that expensive (or Ikea !) or permanent (yay, screwdriver) that we can’t undo on the road.
More Floating Shelving Projects
If you’d like to check out more floating shelves we’ve added (or build yourself), here are a few other posts that might help you find a great solution for your space:
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