Nothing beats the versatility of IKEA's furniture if you're on a budget. Amusingly, we don't remember ever using an IKEA purchase for the original intention that it was designed for. From a storage bench for a music server, to wall kitchen cabinets for the small office storage, the Swedish furniture store always has a solution for you, but looking beyond what the catalog suggests can open a world of possibilities...
Websites like Ikea's Hacker and Make Magazine, are a nice source of inspiration of what can be done and how to implement it into your needs. We are going to show you a couple of great solutions that we've found in one of our trips to the "mother of all furniture stores".
Ikea's Wall Kitchen Cabinet.
We have a lot of limited space in our bedroom's home office. The lack of storage, forced us to start looking for smart solutions. European style stores, offered some options at extraordinary prices. Ikea on the other hand, didn't have an specific item designed for the space and storage. Then we found Ikea's Akurum; It's part of the wall mounted kitchen cabinet solutions they provide. Installation required the use of a metal rail to be secured at the wall. You make sure this rail is level and then, attach the cabinet to the rail via 2 screws and nuts. Pretty easy. You can later play with the wide combination of available doors; from classic looking ones, to modern and sleek, satin finished glass and the ultra modern high gloss color finishes.
There is one for every decor. We used the satin glass with aluminum framing for the one on top of the white glass computer desk and decided on the black/brown doors for the ones used inside the closet (these actually hold paper supplies, power sources, printer ink and speciality paper; and even some small tools). The doors open upward, taking less space but you can either go for side to side opening or even sleek sliding doors. These provide ample storage capacity with an adjustable glass shelf for extra convenience. Like everything Ikea, they are well made and durable; but as we discovered, if you made a small mistake while putting it together, you better buy another cabinet, as the solidity of the structure would be compromised by mistakes, or by over tightening some fasteners.
Ikea's Storage Bench
We loved the look of the floating credenzas that we've seen over and over on magazines and advertisements and we wanted to implement the concept on our Apple Mini media server that we have in our living room. Again, Ikea came to the rescue! Taking measurements indicated that the Ikea Besta Bench with legs, could fit the bill. We chose the dark wood finish and paired with a high gloss cream colored doors. The completed floating cabinet looks and perform like a more expensive unit; and to think, that we spent $35 on the cabinet alone and $80 for the doors! We used the internal storage to hide the snakes of cables, power strip and power bricks. And since the unit is floating, we were able to mount our tiny security camera underneath. The cabinet holds our Mac Mini and a pair of small speakers with the ability to store the keyboard and mouse when not in use. It's clean and sleek and does a great job.
We are planning on finding a solution for the media center that we have in the bedroom but we need to figure out a way for the doors to being able to allow the pass of the IR signal for our remote. So far, we like what we've seen on obsessillicious' website. He ended using the Aspvik unit and installed it floating on the wall. It works great holding some of our media players and keep them out of site while not being in use. Fantastic!