Jun 10, 2011

Build it in or not? Storage and shelving solutions.

Simple construction with 8 x 10 boards can be DYI.

I love to collect things. My clients love to bring back memorabilia from trips. When you have a variety of collectibles, you need a place to store and display them. Do you purchase shelf units or have them custom built? 

The answer to that question has several facets:

1) What is your budget and time frame? You can purchase and install a less costly product, faster than if you order custom shelves. 

A great ready-made shelf unit that looks great against a wall or as a divider.
2) What are the dimensions of the space? If the area to cover is challenging - a niche or unusual configuration - a custom unit may be the only option. If you have a large wall to cover, ready-made may fit perfectly.

Fully custom for the TV and storage with touch-latch doors.

3) Is there a style and finish you need for the space?  Store bought items are better left in the finish they come with...painting melamine is difficult and the durability is low. If you love the color options from a store then try that  route first. If you need a specific stain, grain, style and paint color, custom is the better option.

Store bought, hung differently- WOW!

4) What is the expected life cycle of the shelving?  While I disagree with throwing away any unwanted furniture, a short life span in shelving for a child's room may be better addressed with a non-custom option.  If you consider long-term use, custom is a viable option, particularly when shelves for this application need to be durable albeit adjustable as the child grows.

You can purchase pre-made modular units and fit them together in a custom design. To further customize pre-made shelving, add moldings to tie them together and them to tie them to the architectural details in the room.

Custom but worth it

Floating shelves are easy to purchase but challenging to install, so be prepared to do it right or hire someone who can.  No one wants a shelf to fall from wall.  

Ready made shelves installed by the homeowner - NICE!

If you have experience, AND THE TOOLS, you might try your hand at fabricating shelving from hardwood.  When you have doubts about doing more than handing over a credit card, even assembling some of the store-bought versions may be too challenging. 

Fully custom to conceal the TV  and uniquely sized books.
Whatever you opt for, I hope that these images inspire you to design the best shelving system for your space.