Monday, July 15, 2013

Office & Craft Storage Towers

Happy Monday Everyone! I am SO SO SO excited for today's post. I know you've seen sneak peaks of this beauty here and there in previous posts...but today, I am finally showing you this latest addition to our Craft Room/Office in all her blue, white and gold glory!


This furniture-transformation-meets-organization project is one of my most favorite things I've done so far. Not only was this a true exercise in "using what you have," but I (finally) painted a piece of furniture a whimsical color versus safe grey or white! When I was styling the top of the towers, putting my "LOVE" letters only seemed fitting!


The color and organization these units bring to our office has completely changed the way this room feels and functions! It was a long project to pull together (all those drawers!), but worth every last second!


This small little corner next to the closet used to be an empty hole - these shelves fit perfectly and bring visual balance to the room! Oooo - can you tell they just make me so so happy?!?!


Are you curious about where on earth they came from? Do you remember our old, old media stand? This one here (below). This used to be how we displayed our television, but when we wanted to move the TV up higher (and re-finished a media hutch), this beast was shown the door (yay!). 


For some reason though, I didn't want to get rid of the towers on the sides. I think my husband thought I was crazy. The whole thing would re-sell better with the towers, and they were total junk with the veneer covering chipping in places. Still, they had such a classic, simple shape; and I thought they would make great storage or display shelves somewhere down the road. My husband gave in...we sold the media stand but the towers were hauled off to sit in the garage :)


Fast forward a few months. While walking through our local Re-Store, I stumbled upon these four sets of drawers. They were marked at $20 each, but when I offered to buy all four sets, the nice man there knocked half off, so I bought all four sets of drawers for $40 total. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, but I knew I had both a Craft Room/Office and a Linen Closet makeover coming up. I loaded them up and raced home...again, I think my husband thought I had gone crazy. These drawers, while sturdy and great size, were OLD, stinky, and honestly a little scary. My guess is that they sat in a classroom or daycare for a long, long time. There was dust, water damage and who knows what else on these babies. But they were obviously made by hand and had so much promise. I knew I could make them beautiful again! Truth be told these also sat in the garage for a while.


One day, I was putzing around the garage, I don't even remember what I was doing. Probably looking for something or trying to make space out there to work on something else, when I glanced at the towers and then at the drawer cubes and a light bulb went off. Could those drawers actually fit on those towers? Friends, I kid you not, they fit like they were MADE to go on these shelves. The depth and width were spot.on. And thankfully, I could adjust the shelf height (but only on the top shelf) to  make them fit snug as a bug. I couldn't believe it...and within minutes I dragged them into the house!


Before I got too excited, I wanted to see if they fit in the room and how they looked. It didn't take me long to determine they were perfect for this space. I wasn't quite ready to work on these, the office was still a big ol' mess. So I could focus on other areas of the room, I went ahead and organized all of our office supplies into these drawers the day I brought them in. So much better to go from our Office Supply Black Hole to neat and tidy drawers of supplies, even if they were ugly!


Once I got the office into a more manageable state (remember these photos?), it was time to start making things pretty! This was the very first project I wanted to tackle! First, I had to prep all the furniture. The towers didn't need any repairs, just a good wipe down with a damp cloth.


The drawers on the other hand, needed a ton of work before I could even get to painting. These drawers were made with some sort of composite wood (sorry for my lack of specifics, I have little knowledge in this area!), leaving the edges raw and ugly. To make them look nicer, I smoothed wood filler down all the front-facing edges. After a good sanding and paint, it was so worth it. The edges now look nice and smooth!


The other issue with the drawers (pst - you can see the nice smooth filled edge on the bottom left picture!) is that they were lined with contact paper. No big deal, or so I thought, but apparently this contact paper had either been on for ages or was glued down with rubber cement. I don't want to know how many hours I spent scraping dingy contact paper out of 12 drawers. My Cricut tools wound up being my best scrapers :) After all the paper was out, I wiped them down with vinegar and let them dry in the sun. They are much less stinky now, but I should have done it again as they still have a subtle odor.


Once the drawers were dry, they got a quick sanding and wipe down. Next, everything got a coat of Zinsser 123 Cover Stain Primer and 2 coats of a turquoise paint from Behr (sorry I don't know the name, it's the same one I used on my stools). Painting the drawers took no time at all because I used a 4" roller; the towers however, had to be done by brush and took forever! I finished them off with 2 coats of MinWax Poly in Matte finish, applied with a foam roller.


I was working on these towers amid other projects, so it seemed like my garage looked like this for ages. It was probably just under 2 weeks, but boy was I happy to finally bring them in the house!


Here's a glance at the drawers the day I brought them in. Nice and white and shiny, and less obvious cheapy wood edges :)


My next step is to do what I always do with furniture makeovers that involve drawers: line them in fun paper! Seeing a pop of whimsy on the inside of drawers makes my heart skip a beat whenever I open them. It's the little things, people! I bought this MacBeth paper from Marshalls; it's the same I used to line the drawers on the other side of the room!


Next, the towers came in. If you look closely in the picture (way above) where I first brought the brown towers into the room, you can notice that they lean away from each other and don't look like one unit. For both safety and aesthetics, I really wanted to bolt these two towers together. Since I was working alone, laying them on their sides was my best option! It actually worked really well!


I used these simple flat brackets from Lowes to connect the two. These went on surprisingly easy, and within minutes, I had one unit to move around and adjust!


Next, I put the towers back into the corner and determined their final location. I used these brackets (bottom right) (leftover from my son's nursery furniture) to secure the towers to the wall. Since these towers are on carpet and have a heavy load up top (the drawers are solid wood and NOT light!), I didn't want any chance of them falling. I secured the towers to the walls with long zip ties.


Before loading the drawers back onto the shelves, I put little furniture pads on the bottom of each cube. After all that painting, I wasn't about to let everything get scratched up!


My last step was to add these awesome stick-on plate labels (by Martha Stewart from Staples). To label the drawers, I used Jenn's washi tape trick!


The bottom shelf of the towers can't be moved higher, it's how the towers are held together. Unfortunately, the drawers didn't fit in the bottom compartment (which I would have preferred!), but again, I was just trying to make this all work! In the end, I re-discovered these baskets from my son's room...they fit the shelves great and hold the rest of our paper and office supplies perfectly!


I styled the top with my collection of craft resources and books. My LOVE letters, leftover from my Valentine's display, got a gold makeover and were added as book ends.


I know you're dying to know about those gold dots. I'll tell you about them soon. But doesn't this whole corner just look so fun?!?!?! Nothing says "Megan's house" more than fun colors, great organization and a dose of whimsy all in one shot!!


This was such a gratifying project to work on because I literally used furniture that was heading for a yard sale or found in a thrift store. I love color (just take a look at my house!), but I always play it safe when it comes to furniture, and I am so glad I "went for it" and painted them blue. These beat up old towers are now my favorite thing in our entire house! Well, I have a lot of favorites. But they sure are up there!



And just to re-affirm the power of paint (and patience!)...


...and the power of good organization!


I know you're probably dying to see what's all in those drawers, but I thought this post was long enough. I PROMISE I will give you a full tour of all the goodies inside those drawers here very soon! Until then, I hope you have a great week!!


P.S. I just revealed this INSIDE of these towers! Check it out HERE!

Storing Craft Supplies-027

I've entered this into this season's Creating with the Stars!

15 comments:

  1. I love the shelves! The color is so fun and looks great with the white and gold. You did a fabuluous job on your first painted furniture. Love, love, love it!!

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  2. just curious if you want the drawers at the bottom could you flip the shelving unit upside down? I know it would be more painting but then(if the bottom of the shelving units looks ok) the shelves would look even better with the drawers anchoring the heavy look on the bottom like you preferred.

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    1. Hi Jamie! Ha - I tried flipping the unit over - great minds think alike :) I wish it worked, but the shelves are "hollow" underneath and no real way to flip them over. I tried everythng to get the drawers on the bottom two cubbies but no luck!

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  3. an amazing transformation! i want some of those drawers. so versatile and perfect for the space. you are so talented! glad to find your blog

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  4. Awesome shelves, lucky find. Love the color you chose.

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  5. That is awesome that everything fit together so perfectly. Just curious - are the media towers laminate? I have some of the Ikea Expedit shelving units and I want to paint one of them. They're laminate, so I haven't had the guts. Yours look really nice!

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  6. Love this re-do don't you love when things just fit like this?

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  7. how did you make the letters 'love'? I am looking for something like that to make for my living room.

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    1. I wish I had a tutorial for you, but alas I found the letters at a thrift store! They were country kitschy but I modernized them with a few coats of spray paint! Keep your eyes out - you might find something similar!

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  8. Awesome! Love the color! Very creative putting it all together the way you did!

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  9. Wow what a major score on those drawers AND the fact they fit so perfectly on those towers! I.AM.IMPRESSED. with the end result~ Well done!

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  10. Woah! I am loving those little drawers! Perfect for an office. Fabulous inspriation, as the office is on my list of rooms this year. Great post!

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  11. What an awesome job!! And I am totally jealous of that thrift find with those drawers... :) great job.

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  12. I absolutely love what you've done with the shelving units & drawers! It looks fantastic! I do have some info on those drawers for you...they were sold MANY years ago (I plead the 5th on exactly HOW many!) by Sears in their unfinished furniture section. I still have a set that size (along with wider ones and some with open shelving) that we used in my bedroom as a teenager. That particular size is so handy and your design makes me wish I had more of them! Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas!

    Christie B.

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  13. These look amazing! Way to re-use and re purpose! The colors look fresh and clean and I bet they're a huge help in the way or organizing!!

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