Monday, February 18, 2013

Basement built in cubbies!

Hello and happy Monday to you! Oh my goodness, there has been a lot of activity around our house in the past week. It’s (mostly) wrapping up today, and I may have mentioned one time or 45 how giddy I am about the progress.

So here’s the thing – the biggest project I’m excited about is something we weren’t planning on doing just yet. Actually, it’s been planned forever…I’ve had it in my head for a year now. I have been thinking all that time about how I could make it happen, myself. Or at least with Dad’s help.

You see, there’s a HUGE wall in our basement that has been crying out for some awesome storage since day one. Well, since before day one – I imagined it even as we were finishing the basement last year.

It’s this big honkin’ wall that the TV and toys are on:

basement carpet

I eventually moved the two plastic shelves together off to the side so the toys were all in one spot. We’ve been planning to move ALL of the toys in the house down to the basement (there’s still a few upstairs and in the family room) but it’s been stalled out because there was simply no place to put them. There wasn’t a good spot for the ones we have down there and it has been a thorn in my side for months.

I got donate-happy when we finished the basement and got rid of those plastic shelves that had been all over the basement for years. I donated one too many, and I didn’t have a spot for the toys.

Well you know how you feel like “If I could just ‘X’ space done and organized, I could get ‘Y’ space decluttered” and it goes on and on? That’s how it is around here anyway, but that’s a whole other post.

This spot was one of those for me, in a BIG way. I had been dreaming of ways I could DIY a wall of built ins, and first was leaning toward trying to make something from IKEA work, like Jen did on her family room wall. But when I measured, the bookcases weren’t going to fit right, even with some trim added in.

I figured Dad and I could do it, but considering how fast we work (NOT. If you were along for the library built ins ride you know how funny that is.) I knew it would take FOREVER.

So the guys who finished our basement were here working on a project and I just kind of threw the project out there…and they they were low on work for the week so they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I tried. :) I mentioned it to my hubby and he even said sounds good, let’s go for it.

There are no more romantic words coming from my man, let me tell you. Happy Valentine’s Day to ME!

So the process started, first with a base:

built in cubby storage

At this point I was thinking that maybe Dad and I could have done this project…but then they kept going.

When they took three trips to their workshop to cut down everything on a huge table saw, I knew it was best we hired this one out:

built in cubby storage

I wanted the built ins a certain depth to hold the TV components, so every piece of wood had to be cut down to custom measurements.

It took three guys working and they got it done by the middle of the second day:

built in cubby storage

Next up was priming and painting, but I had a little project I wanted to do to the top. I wanted a butcher block look like we have upstairs on the big built ins, but I reeeally didn’t want to drive two hours to IKEA to get them, or spend the cash.

So I came up with a new plan. I took a trip to the hardware store and grabbed some one by six’s – which aren’t really one by six, I’ll never get it. :) I needed seven of the eight foot boards total because this beast is 17 feet long.

I cut them down into three, four and five foot lengths (give or take) and started by figuring out the layout – I wanted them to be staggered across the top:

DIY butcher block counter

I grabbed my wood glue and put some down (I added a bit more at the edges):

DIY butcher block counter

And then used my nail gun to nail them all down. The majority of the time was spent figuring out the layout, and even that wasn’t too bad. Actually installing them when supafast.

I gave it all a quick sanding (I think I used a 180 grit?) just to knock it all down a bit, especially where the boards met up:

DIY butcher block counter

I never fill holes by the way, you can’t see them when you stain anyway (if you get the stain in there).

I may have mentioned along the way that this spot was going to be a GREAT one to display all the Bub’s Legos, so the boy was happy to help the process along.

We wiped all the dust off together:

DIY butcher block counter

And then it was time for the stain! Ohhh, the glorious, rich stain. The folks at Rustoleum had me and a few other bloggers out for an event a couple weeks ago that I still need to tell you about, but I tried out their stain there and was hooked.

I used the dark Kona color and went with that for this project:

rustoleum kona stain

They promise one coat coverage and being able to poly over it in an hour…and I’m the most impatient DIYer ever so this was right up my alley.

I applied it like I showed you here, with a foam brush:

rustoleum kona stain

It was then that I realized just how HUGE this thing is, because I had to go back and start wiping it down at one end before I was done staining. I never have to do that -- it really does dry fast!

Isn’t that color beautiful? One coat and done!

We finished it off the built ins with three coats of paint and primer:

And then I got busy prepping it for the TV stuff. I drilled a few holes in the bottom and sides of a few cubbies:

drilling holes in wood for plug

See all that dust back there? Yeahhhh. It’s insane.

Here’s a quick tip if you’re ever taking apart your TV components – use painters tape (I used my trusty FrogTape of course) and write down where each cord goes. I do this every time and it SAVES my sanity, fo sho:

label cords with painters tape

We have a sound system down there and I marked those cords long ago:

label cords with painters tape

It only took me about 15 minutes to put everything back together, which is much better than the two hours full of pouting, foot stomping and perhaps crying that would have happened if I hadn’t done it. Maybe those things would have happened. Who knows?

I also put the TV bracket up last night and we got that hung:

installing tv mount

I just love the look of a TV up on the wall instead of the stand. It’s cleaner looking to me – I’ve done it with all of our TVs.

I am SO STINKING EXCITED about this being done!! Here it is as it looks right now:

 built in cubby storage with DIY butcher block top

It still needs baskets and lots of organizing (and hiding those cords, eww!) before I’m calling it done, but I couldn’t wait to show you!

Here’s the lovely dark top – I forgot to mention I finished it off with a coat of satin polyurethane:

DIY butcher block

This sucker is LONG and it is GLORIOUS. Seventeen feet by about 16 inches deep:

 built in cubby storage Isn’t it AWESOME???

Here’s a look at the whole room a few months back:

Mohawk carpet honored tradition

And here it is with all the beautiful storage!!! ACK! I die:

 built in cubby storage

Now we are going through the toys and purging big time. They will go in baskets, and then games will fill the shelves too. Ugh, I am thrilled about this!

You can see the Bub already started displaying his Lego creations. ;) That wall will get a huge redo too – I have big plans for it that include floating shelves, stenciling and fun art.

Can’t wait!! For now, I’m hugging my big cubby built ins every chance I get. For real, if I knew I wouldn’t fall off I’d totally sleep on it. Love.

57 comments:

  1. I LOVE your new cubby shelves in your basement! I don't know if you have decided on baskets for them already but I couldn't help but think how nice our new Your Way cubes from 31 gifts would look in your beautiful shelf! Ever heard of them before? You can check them out at www.mythirtyone.com/nolt or email me at 2Beka4Bags @gmail.com with any questions you have. I would love to help you get a bunch of them for free or half price by doing a party with you! Thanks for all your inspirational projects and posts! Blessings, Beka

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  2. Your built-in storage looks awesome!

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  3. Sarah, they look great and I love your idea for the butcher block top. I am wondering about hanging the tv, is that a really easy job? I always see that it cost so much to have that done, is it DIYable? Can't wait to see the finished room.

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  4. It looks awesome girl! We are finishing our basement right now and doing something similar by our tv too. I love the butcher block look alike creation! So fantastic!

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  5. Can I ask how you hid your TV cords? We recently mounted our TV on our bedroom wall.
    I found a few ways online, but they were all followed with disclaimers in all caps about how the method outlined was not 'to code'. Scary? Maybe a bit.
    Thanks in advance!

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  6. i aboslutely LURVE it. we need this in our bonus room. i am super jealous.
    and i love the stained top with the white base. awesome touch!

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  7. It looks AWESOME Sarah! I'm a wee bit jealous of all that fabulous storage!! Can't wait to see what you do with that wall!

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  8. Fabulous! You can never, never,
    never have enough storage!!

    ~~Angela

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  9. Those are some pretty cubbies! Great idea getting 3 guys to do the hard work in 2 days, too, then you and the Bubs finished it off! I like that all the cubbies aren't all exactly the same size either, it makes it more interesting to look at and decorate. Great job you and the Bubs did!

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  10. Oh, yeah! That there is some good stuff!

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  11. I love it! It opens up the space, it makes that wall look like a mile long!:)

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  12. Wow, that's a lot of awesome storage. My favorite part is how you put together to top and I'm really loving that stain color!!

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  13. Looks awesome!! Love them. I did a similar top in my entryway/mudroom built-in and love the look of the dark wood with the white cabinets.(http://frazzledjoy.blogspot.com/2012/10/ta-da.html) I was very surprised to find out the the 1X8's were in fact NOT 1X8's. Crazy!!

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  14. Brilliant! I love how it turned out. Have a good day Sarah.
    Audrey @ neverendingdecorating.blogspot.com

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  15. A-MAZING!! You're so lucky to have "guys" that are working on projects that you can tap into for stuff like this! I'm still trying to find the "guys" to help with some things that are out of my league. ;-)

    But the storage and function of this piece are fantastic!! Nevermind that you could put some snacks on top of that unit when you're chilling out to watch a movie! Great work!!!

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  16. What a great storage system!! The kids and you are all going to enjoy it. Love what you did with the top! The stain looks great!

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  17. Oh, wow. All that storage is enough to make a girl giddy. Great use of space. Thanks for sharing, liz

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  18. Oh my goodness. I love it! So much storage space and perfect for your basement family room. The stained top is gorgeous with the white cubby holes.

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  19. Looks fantastic!! One of these days we'll live somewhere with a basement and I'll be looking up this post again to reference storage solutions.

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  20. UBER love !!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about one word .. Fabulous .. I know that your loving it and NOT to mention I would love a basement.. LOVE your place.... hUGs .. Sherry @ The Rusty Pearl

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  21. Oh WOW! Great job, girlfriend!! Way impressed!

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  22. What I want to know is where do you find these awesome contractors?! <3

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  23. Wonderful project. It makes such a difference when we see the before and after pictures!

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  24. These shelves are awesome. The stain is so rich after only one coat? I am going to have to check it out. One of my complaints about staining is the long process.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

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  25. It is really clever idea for storing a lot of things together but seperate!

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  26. Love it! And love the kona color. Starting my basement in march and bought unfinished cabinets this weekend. I'd love to do this for a countertop. I'm only doing a small 8 ft counter. Or maybe switch from my white color I thought of and do this for my cabinets.... Thanks for the inspiration.

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  27. What a fab idea and it looks absolutely WONDERFUL! LOVE the stain, too! Thanks a bunch for sharing, I may have to copy this idea! :) xo ~Liz

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  28. The cubbies look awesome, and I love love love the white with the dark brown top.

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  29. I love organization, so this post made me so happy! It looks so nice in the basement too!! Way to go!

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  30. Nice!!!! I love that you went darker for the top, really matches that wall going down to this space!!! Great job!

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  31. This is Great. You did a wonderful job. I love it. Blessings, Jo-Ann

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  32. Looks absolutely amazing! Wish I had storage like that! Way to go girl!

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  33. Wow, what a difference. Must feel great to have all that storage!

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  34. Your new cubbies look great! It's great that you left the spot open in front of the outlet. My husband put up bookshelves in our upstairs loft, but covered up the outlets! (Instead he snaked extension cords from the outlets.) I am thinking of removing the backing to the bookcases so I can get to the outlets!

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  35. That's a lot of cubbies! ;-) Now imagine what you'll be filling them with when your 'young child in the house' days are over.

    That's gonna be a lot of fun thrift store shopping :-)

    Nice work on the cubbies!

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  36. Looks fabulous! And all that storage for kid stuff is to die for. I too am wondering...how did you hide the plethora of cords coming off the back of the TV?

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  37. Looks amazing! I'm so jealous for organized storage! Wanna' come fix my office? ;)

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  38. You SHOULD be proud. It turned out great! It always fun to celebrate progress! Thanks for sharing.

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  39. Looks great! There's always room for more cubby's!

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  40. Wow. I've been planning a wall of cupboards but dont have the skills to put them in myself and can't afford the quotes I've received but maybe if I forget about doors this would work for us.
    Ultimately though its the finish that counts, and you did a terrific job there. Thanks for the explaination of the top...I think even I could do that.

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  41. This is what we call the real living room organizing just like DIY fixing of Etched Glass. I'm inspired to learn from your example .

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  42. Gorgeous... and built ins always add such a finished look to a room.. Great place for the toys!

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  43. Congratulations! It's fantastic. I'm a total organization nut, so I totally understand your excitement. I'm getting goosebumps just looking at all those empty spaces. Have fun filling them.

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  44. Holy banana boats! Incredible! Love love love! The top is insane beautiful! Such an incredible amount of storage and great impact to the space.

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  45. What a great work. You people had no extra space but you have to create it. What a lovely work you people have to done. End result is amazing and you got the juice of your hard work. Your basement look like a proper room and your whole furniture and other stuff like living room furniture is looking more beautiful.

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  47. Love it. Only thing I would do differently is paint the wall behind the cabinet white to match but that's just me. We could benefit from something like this in our basement.

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  48. wow - all that storage makes me giddy - looks amazing! Your mouse story has me totally freaked out - I heard some strange noises the other day - now I;m skeered!

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  49. I looked up this stain on Amazon...
    $67 for a quart??????

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  50. What perfect timing! I was trying to figure out how to make a counter for 12" cabinets without driving 2.5 hours to IKEA or settling for the ugly prefab things at Home Depot. I modified your idea a little since I didn't have plywood to nail in to but I found that 2 1x4 with a 1x6 in the middle fits perfectly on the 12" cabinets with a nice lip. Thanks!

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  51. I'd like to know what type of wood they used to build the cubbies. It looks way nicer than plywood. What is it?

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    Replies
    1. They used pine wood, the cheaper stuff. (You just have to pick through it to find good pieces.)

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