One of our best (and cheapest) home improvement projects was this "floating credenza" made from IKEA's Akurum Cabinets and inspired by the living room storage in Andreas' Greektown Loft. It hangs from the wall and holds our books, so we had to account for a lot of weight on the piece. Our wonderful friend, and professional handyman, Dave stopped by to help us install it. (Thanks, Dave!) Click below to see the step-by-step...Warning: This is a big project with a few safety concerns including avoiding live wires and accounting for weight placed on the cabinets. If you're not particularly handy (we're not), ask a professional handyman to install the cabinets for you.
Materials: We purchased three 30 x 24 inch Akurum Cabinets with white Applad doors. The IKEA installation kit came with 2 cabinet rails (that had to be cut to size), 3 cabinets, 6 shelves, 6 doors, 12 door hinges, and cabinet screws for around $250. To help us with the installation, Dave brought a power drill and stud finder. We used our own heavy duty stud screws, toggle bolts, and saw.
Step 1: IKEA gave us two guide rails, 80 inches each. Our "credenza" is 90 inches long, so we had to cut down one of the rails to provide the extra 10 inches of support.
Step 2: We measured the height of the credenza, placing it 38 inches high and giving it clearance over our electrical outlets.
Step 3: Dave looked for studs behind the wall using an electronic stud-finder. Studs are usually placed 16 inches apart behind drywall. Dave also used the stud-finder to search for any live wires so we could avoid them during installation.
Step 4: Dave drilled holes into the studs to make sure they would work for our wall-mounted cabinet rail. He also planned where to to add extra support with toggle bolts.
Step 5: These are the toggle bolts. The two hinged wings are pushed through a hole in the wall, then they snap open. As you turn the bolt, the wings push up against the inside of the wall, adding extra support for heavy objects. Dave marked on the cabinet rail where the stud screws and toggle bolts would go, then he threaded the toggle bolts through their corresponding places on the guide rail before inserting them into the wall.
Step 6: The holes for toggle bolts were big; the holes for stud screws were smaller. We used a level to mark the guide line for the cabinet rail.
Step 7: Dave drilled the guide rail into the wall using heavy-duty stud screws and toggle bolts.
Step 8: We put together the Akurum cabinets according to the IKEA instructions. They hung from the guide rails using bolts that came with the installation kit.
Step 9: The cabinets weren't hanging perfectly level, so Dave leveled them and used wood screws to attach them to one another and keep them in place.
Step 10: We installed the shelves inside the cabinets and the cabinet doors using the IKEA instructions. Inside, the cabinets hold books. We used all our white books along the top shelf to keep it looking organized, but we might change that look once we get the rest of the room together.
Step 11: (Which we haven't yet done.) The top of the shelf currently shows the screws. We're going to have a piece of cork cut to act as a countertop. We also still need to tweak the alignment of a couple cabinet doors.
We're happy with the new look - it provides lots of storage, and the streamlined piece will be a nice compliment to our more colorful furniture once the whole room is finished. Thanks again, Dave!
Photos: Sarah Coffey
Re-edited from a post originally published 5.27.2008