When Griffin found this old shelf just "collecting dust" at a local thrift store, she knew there was some place in their home for it, perhaps the garage or maybe the playroom. But it was some creative thinking (and not even that much work!) that transformed it into a surprisingly sophisticated storage piece for a dining room!
With the help of my husband we started by removing the base which was made up of 2x4s. We reused the 2x4s and attached them to the back of the unit to offer the support needed to mount it to the wall. We elevated and leveled it on some books while we drilled through the back of the shelf, through the 2x4s, and into the studs in our wall.
We then painted the entire cubby the same soft cream color as our dining room so it would blend into the space and not call attention to its imperfections. I purchased ten woven bamboo baskets from Target that fit into the cubbies and would conceal the vibrant colored toys, puzzles and stuffed animals it would house.
The cubby was topped with a counter top made of a stainable wood panel we found at Lowes. We cut it down to size leaving a 3/4" overhang on all sides and stained it a dark walnut that coordinated with the baskets. The end result is a piece of furniture that is as versatile as our dining room. It maintains the look of a formal dining space, offering a surface to display objects or serve food, while providing plenty of accessible toy storage for our daughter.
Thank you Griffin!
Re-edited from a post originally published 2.2.14-NT