Sunday, June 02, 2013

Two Down ... One To Go

Last time I mentioned three projects I was hoping to tackle by the end of May - drapes, utility closet, and record storage.  Well, I managed to get two of those projects done.  Yeah!

First.  The utility closet in the kitchen.  Eventually Manuel would like to build a shelving system for this space, but right now he's got a lot more important things to do on his list.  So, in the interim I wanted something that would make the space more functional.  Some shelving for storage, and a place for the recycling were my main goals.  I wanted to use items that I could re-purpose later since I didn't want to spend money on temporary things that wouldn't have much longevity.  I found two perfect solutions at Ikea.

For the storage portion I was looking for something that could fit into a 41cm square area - the deeper portion of the closet.  I found the Limhamn stainless steel shelving unit (product # 801.777.16).

It was one of the few units I could find that wasn't too small nor too big.  It fit just right.

For the recycling portion I was looking for something that I could stack.  I had considered the more traditional blue-style boxes that you can find at Home Depot, but that meant using the deeper portion of the closet, thereby losing out on more storage options since the shallower part of the closet is only 30 cm and I couldn't find any real useful storage options that shallow.  Enter the Retur recycling bins (product # 001.657.03).

At only 20 cm deep they fit perfectly in the shallow part of the utility closet.  Plus they are stackable ... and I can attach them to the walls.

I went from a fairly unusable space ...

... to something that works really well.

I'm happy with the results - it's definitely made things neater around here which was a big goal.

The other project I managed to complete was the drapes for the living room.  I thought about sewing curtains for this rather large slider.  Window coverings are fairly straight forward, but I just couldn't find the right fabric (or more appropriately, there were too many that I liked ... I couldn't make up my mind).  After doing a fair bit of reading on-line I realized that I was probably better off getting a second set of Merete curtains from Ikea (product # 801.119.85).  First, I sewed two panels together and ironed the seam flat.  I then measured from the curtain rod to the floor (just shy of 90").  Reading the curtain package, shrinkage for the fabric was 4%, which meant a measurement of 93.6" would be appropriate.  I laid the curtain down on our living room floor and marked out 94" across the fabric with a pencil.  I made a 1/2" inch fold in from the hem and ironed, followed by folding to the pencil mark and ironing this fold.  I pinned as I went to hold it all in place.  I then sewed this new hem length ... and repeated the same process with the other two panels.  Once I had finished with both sides I hung them, and finished everything off with some simple finials (also Ikea - Blast - product # 402.172.48).

The end result is a billowy curtain.  When the curtains are closed you really don't notice the panels that are sewn together as the seams are camouflaged within the folds of material.

I'm happy with the results - the colour is neutral enough to not stand out.  It doesn't call attention to itself.  It just does its job.

I didn't get the final project - the record storage - completed.  I'm still thinking through some ideas.  In the interim ... I've moved the boxes into the guest room closet.  Out of sight out of mind?  At least I don't have to stare at them constantly.  Plus, we now have room for my little ninja to practice his karate moves.  Bonus :)

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