Ikea Expedit Hack: Compact Storage Bed

It’s happening… our oldest is officially a “tween” and has asked for his own room. The timing works out, as baby J and middle brother L are excited to move in together and play all day (hopefully not all night), so K can have the former nursery as his own.

J’s nursery was a small room – you may remember that it was converted from the former master bath – so I put a lot of planning into making a space-efficient layout that would be useful and not feel too claustrophobic. As part of the plan I needed a bed that was “zero clearance” – just the size of the mattress, and when I didn’t find what I was looking for shopping, I decided to get creative! As you know, I’m definitely one of those people who thinks everything is more fun when you make it yourself.

Awesome Ikea hack. DIY compact bed with tons of storage, using Ikea EXPEDIT. {Jewels at Home}

Here’s how we made our compact bed with plenty of storage space below.

Materials:

  • Two (2) Ikea EXPEDIT 1×5 bookshelves. Ours are black-brown
  • Ikea SULTAN LADE bed slats
  • Mattress (we used the one we already had)
  • Optional headboard: Ikea LACK wall shelf in the 43″ length for a twin bed – you could use the longer version for a full or queen bed
  • For hanging the headboard, Command Large Adhesive Picture Hanging Strips. I used these black ones to match the shelf.

Instructions:

  • Assemble the two EXPEDIT bookshelves, placing the felt pads on the long sides
  • Place the two bookshelves next to each other, with a gap in between. (pictured below, left)
  • Lay the SULTAN LADE bed slats on top of the shelves. (pictured below, right)

Awesome Ikea hack. DIY compact bed with tons of storage, using Ikea EXPEDIT. {Jewels at Home}

  • I moved my slats in 2″ from the edge, so you won’t see the slats when the mattress is in place. If your bed will be exposed on both sides, I would recommend trimming the slats, so the bed base is not too wide. Since our bed is up against the wall, I just shifted the slats over, and they hang off the edge next to the wall. (pictured below, left)
  • Since the EXPEDIT is just a couple of inches shorter than the mattress, I also let the slats extend about an inch over the bookcase at the head, for extra support. (pictured below, right)
Awesome Ikea hack. DIY compact bed with tons of storage, using Ikea EXPEDIT. {Jewels at Home}

Place the slats about 2″ from the edge of the shelf and hanging over the “head” end by about 1″.

  • You can paint the bed slats before securing, so they blend into the the shelves better, since you do get a little peek of the slats, even when the mattress is on. (pictured below)

Awesome Ikea hack. DIY compact bed with tons of storage, using Ikea EXPEDIT. {Jewels at Home}

  • Use four screws, two in each bookcase, to secure the bed slats to the bookshelf at each end and create a stable base. Then then screw down some of the slats in the middle, to keep them from slipping around.
  • For the headboard, trim off a few inches from the LACK shelf, so it matches the width of your bed. (pictured below, second picture)
  • Add the Command Large Adhesive Picture Hanging Strips to the back of the shelf. I used eight large strips, to make it very secure. (pictured below, third picture)
  • Attach the headboard to the wall above your bed. (pictured below, bottom)
Ikea hack: LACK wall shelf hung as a headboard for a compact bed. {Jewels at Home}

LACK wall shelf hung as a headboard for a compact bed.

I’m planning on this wide stripe bedding from West Elm to complete the big boy bed!

West Elm wide stripe duvet cover.

Here’s the finished bed. I’ll put up some more pictures as the rest of the room comes together!

Awesome Ikea hack. DIY compact bed with tons of storage, using Ikea EXPEDIT. {Jewels at Home}

DIY compact bed with tons of storage, using Ikea EXPEDIT.

Although the rest of the room is unfinished, our tween boy is very happy hanging out in his new room. This spot for the bed is perfect for our bookworm to read away the afternoons.

“Jewels”

How to Fix Sagging Drawer Bottoms

It’s just too tempting to buy inexpensive furniture. A lot of it looks good, and for a fraction of the prices of higher end pieces, we’ve definitely acquired several dressers from Ikea and similar places.

It seems as if even when these relatively cheap dressers hold up well overall, the drawer bottoms always end up sagging. You know what I’m talking about – the thin, flexible panels are just barely held in place by little grooves, and after your stuff sits on them for a while, the bottoms bow and come out of the grooves.

Thankfully, there’s an easy fix for this problem, so you don’t need to be annoyed or get rid of your furniture.

Tutorial for repairing sagging drawer bottoms:

You’ll need:

  • square wood molding.  We used some that is about 1/2″ on each side.
  • strong glue, such as wood glue
  • saw for cutting molding
  • hammer
  • fine nails, like brads
  • optional: woodworking clamps

    Tools for reinforcing sagging drawer bottoms.  Tutorial by Jewels at Home.

    Tools for reinforcing sagging drawer bottoms.

This is not a big carpentry job at all, and once you do it, you’ll be so much happier!

  • cut sections of square molding a little shorter than the width of your drawer bottoms
  • push the drawer bottom into place and glue a piece of molding under it to add support.  Here’s where the woodworking clamps might come in handy, if your drawers bottoms are really sagging and won’t stay in place.
  • nail brads through the molding and into the drawer front, to hold the molding in place.
Sagging drawer bottom reinforced with molding, glue, and nails.  Tutorial by Jewels at Home.

Sagging drawer bottom reinforced with molding, glue, and nails.

Hope that helps!  I wish that I could do fun stenciling and painting projects every day, but some days, I just need to get boring repairs like this one done.

“Jewels”

Perfectly-Mixed (not Matched!) Contemporary Dining Spaces

A matched dining set is just fine. But sometimes, your chairs wear out, you come across the perfect table at a thrift store, you move house and your old things don’t fit… or you just want to create a fresh and creative look in your dining area. If you’re feeling inspired, look at these examples of mixed chairs and tables to see how you can create a space that is unique and beautiful!

You can make a big statement by using a furniture piece of a completely different style from the rest of the room, but usually, it works best to balance contrast and connection. That is, the contrast of different materials, colors, and forms creates visual interest, but connections, or common elements between pieces in the room will pull the look together.

Here are some examples that blend modern style with a comfortable, homey look. I look at more traditional spaces in a companion post.

Hanna’s Room

This is a fresh and airy dining area from Hanna’s Room.

Contrast:

  • The natural wood of the table stands out in a space that is otherwise all white.
  • Its simple straight lines form a backdrop for the curvy chairs.
  • The bare bulb pendants and modern white chairs feel crisp against the other soft, worn surfaces in the room.

Connection:

  • White is the obvious theme in this room, found in the walls, floor, curtains, chairs, and other accessories.
  • The wood table is simple enough that it doesn’t overpower the rest of the room, and the material ties into the wooden floor planks.
rustic table with modern chairs

This wooden table works perfectly in a clean white space by providing a contrasting material and color. Its clean lines fit with the modern design, and the wood relates back the painted wood floor. From Hanna’s Room blog.

Go to Hanna’s Room

Quiest-Brooke

Here’s another example of a mixed dining set using mid-century modern elements. The photo is from Quiest-Brooke

Contrast:

  • The warm red of the chairs contrasts against the distinctive white tulip table.
  • Both the red and white provide interest against the wooden floor and wooden sideboard.

Connection:

  • All the furnishings in this room have a mid-century style.
  • The round back and mid-century style of the chairs works perfectly with the tulip table and warms it up considerably from the cool space-age look of a complete tulip dining set.
  • The red color is echoed in the pot and vase, and the white blends with the white walls and ceiling.
tulip table with red chairs

This distinctive white tulip table was paired with red wooden chairs. The circular back of the chairs and the mid-century aesthetic tie them together. The chairs are a beautiful accent in this room. From Quiest-Brooke.

Go to Quiest-Brooke

Dad’s beach house:

The two rooms above were part of my inspiration in creating the dining space in my dad’s beach house. This home is built with modern straight lines, but with an emphasis on natural materials, like the mahogany trim. As a coastal vacation home, it should be warm and inviting, too. There are many wonderful sources for rustic wooden tables – flea markets, Craigslist, thrift stores, or furniture manufacturers that make tables from reclaimed wood. I ended up buying a new table that still has that aged look. It’s the Antique Honey Verona table from Cost Plus World Market. I like the trestle style for its looks and for easy of seating (no bumping up against the legs of the table!). You can see in the picture below that Cost Plus paired chairs with a bench, which is another great way to add interest to your dining set. It’s still a lot of wood in the same color, though, and the look is too heavy and rustic for our space.

Cost Plus World Market Verona dining set

Cost Plus World Market Verona dining set

I chose to pair this rustic table with Jake chairs from Room and Board. These are very similar to the ones in picture from Hanna’s Room. I’ve seen the same style for literally ten times as much money from other sources, but I couldn’t tell you why. I was inspired to add some color after seeing the red chairs in the picture from Quiest-Brooke, so I got the Jake chairs in coastal-inspired white and blue, with two orange chairs for a fun accent at the head of the table. I still haven’t decided of three different chai colors is too much, so I took some pictures with and without the blue chairs. I could spray those white. What do you think?

Jake Chair from Room and Board

Jake Chair from Room and Board

Here is the dining space in my dad’s beach house. I feel like it succeeded in blending modern features with a comfortable, coastal style. The chandelier is from West Elm. I don’t think the room needs anything more, though I might find or make a piece of art for the wall.

Contrast:

  • The antiqued wooden table adds a rustic touch to the new and modern space.
  • the orange chairs at the head of the table add interest next to the white chairs.
  • The modern lacquered chairs contrast with natural materials in the table, chandelier, and window trim.

Connection:

  • The wood table echoes the wood in the trim.
  • The chairs are all the same style, although they have different colors, and those colors are found in other parts of the room as well.
  • The chairs, table, and chandelier all refer to the ocean in the material, color, or form.

Eclectic coastal dining room by Jewels at Home

Eclectic coastal dining room by Jewels at Home

20120529-152145.jpgEclectic coastal dining room by Jewels at Home

Jewels’ house:

Although the style is completely different, I also have a mixed dining set at our house, where I painted and reupholstered our Ikea chairs. I talk about examples from that room and other more traditional spaces in the companion post: Perfectly-Mixed Traditional Dining Rooms.

I hope you feel inspired and emboldened to create your own unique and exciting mixed dining set. As long as some elements – shape, material, color – tie into your space, you’ll end up with a look that’s striking and cohesive.

“Jewels”

Easy Coastal Transformations for Ikea Dressers

My dad has a love of the ocean. He grew up spending summers at the beach, and it’s one of those memories that still stirs him. He’s downsizing his main home to a condo and invested in a getaway house near the ocean. A big part of his vision is to have our boys play on the beach the way he did, so I know we’ll be at the house a lot, too.

I’ve been charged with putting his house together, which at times has been a curse (construction project from &$@%!) but is, of course, also very exciting. I can’t deny I love a good decorating project and am fortunate to have this opportunity from my dad. And of course, since we’re by the ocean, I’d love to incorporate elements of a beach house into the design.

One of the many beautiful things the ocean gives us is the beautiful bleached grey patina of weathered driftwood. This dresser from West Elm caught my eye, because of the organic feel of the wood tiles and the fresh look of white against wood.

20120527-114310.jpg

West Elm prices are reasonable, but I had a whole house to finish, so I was hoping for a lower-priced option. What do you think when you think of inexpensive furniture? Ikea, of course! Ikea is a real mix of flimsy stuff that is barely worth the low prices and some really fantastic finds. For furniture, I try to stick with their solid wood pieces, which are sturdier and will last a lot longer than paperboard and foil. These Hemnes dressers definitely feel like they’re sturdy and a good value.
20120527-095211.jpg
One of the current finishes at Ikea is this gray-brown, which I think has the look of driftwood. The super-easy trick I used was to buy two Hemnes dressers in white and two in grey – all for the price of one dresser from West Elm. I then swapped the drawers between the two sets, and tada! Instant coastal charm with a clean look that will endure!

A simple swap was all I needed for the master bedroom dressers, and the white matches the West Elm Window Headboard perfectly.

Ikea Hemnes dresser hack - swap the drawers for a coastal transformation. By Jewels at Home

White dresser with gray-brown drawers in the master bedroom.

Ikea Hemnes dresser hack - swap the drawers for a coastal transformation. By Jewels at Home

For the kids’ bunk room, I wanted to use a surfing theme, so I painted surfboards on the drawers. The designs were taken from some of the bedding in the room. This is a fun coastal look that is great for young kids and still works for teens.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers in the boys’ bunk room.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

Gray-brown Hemnes dresser transformed with painted white drawers. By Jewels at Home.

How to:
To paint the drawers, I sanded the drawer fronts lightly and sprayed them with white primer. I painted the surfboards with acrylic craft paints then sprayed a clear finish on top.

By the way, I realize not everyone needs multiple dressers, but you could swap with a friend or just paint the drawer fronts for the same effect. It was easy to work with the panels before I assembled the drawers.

Hope you’re getting the calm feeling of the beach from these easy and inexpensive dresser makeovers!

“Jewels”

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Ikea Dining Chairs All Grown Up – Craftsman and Regency Makeovers

No doubt it’s lovely to buy something new for your house, but it can also be fun when furniture you have had for a long time takes on new forms and uses.

Hubby and I first bought these chairs from Ikea thirteen years ago when we were living on the other side of the continent. There were four of them in birch with white seats around a small matching kitchen table in our apartment. Over the years, we accumulated more from Ikea and then through Craigslist, when Ikea stopped making them. Our collection of twelve chairs has moved across the country and through several houses with us. They’ve held up wonderfully as our everyday dining chairs for thirteen years!

I can’t dig up a good picture of the way the set originally looked, but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Meanwhile, I found this old stock photo on the internet.

original ikea chair

This is the original chair we bought from Ikea in birch, tough ours had white seats. I can’t remember its cute Swedish name, but I think it started with “A.”

Ikea borje chair

Ikea Borje chair.  A current model that has a somewhat similar look.

The cute birch table with a glass top met an untimely end (long story), and we replaced it with an Arts and Crafts/ Craftsman/ Mission style cherry wood table. At that time, I put slipcovers in the chairs, since they didn’t match.

Arts and Crafts Makeover:

Three or four years ago, I was shopping for chairs to go with the Arts and Crafts style dining table, when I realized the solution was right beneath my nose! I still liked the elegant geometric lines of the Ikea chairs, which I think are reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright, perhaps the most well known architect of the Arts and Crafts movement. It was just the light color of the wood that didn’t work. Staining the chairs would have involved stripping the finish and trying to match the color. Even if i had been able to do that perfectly – and that is not likely – the grain of the woods would still not have matched.

In any case, it really isn’t necessary to have chairs that match your table – nor nightstands that match your bed. It actually looks so much more interesting to mix and match. The chairs at the head of our dining table are not the same as the side chairs, either, and I feel it all works together.

So, our chairs that started as Scandinavian modern evolved to Arts and Crafts with new black paint (tips on painting in an earlier post) and tan microfiber suede seats. Microfiber suede, also called faux suede or ultrasuede, has a nice soft texture but is extremely durable and washable – I have scrubbed these seats with a soapy kitchen sponge on more than one occasion, and they end up looking as good as new. There are microsuedes intended specifically for upholstery that have a backing to give this soft material a lot more structure. If you can find this, it’s highly recommended! Four of the chairs with the tan seats are at our games table, which is our original cherry dining table, in the family room.

ikea to arts and crafts

The first makeover: I adapted our modern Scandinavian chairs to go with an Arts and Crafts style table by painting then black and adding tan faux suede seat fabric.

games table

A round games table in the family room is perfect for art projects and board games with the kids. The tan microfiber seats hold up very well!

Regency Makeover:

We move way too often, but I do like the opportunity to change the design of our rooms. We still have some great Arts and Crafts furniture, but I wanted to brighten up our home and incorporate more contemporary and Asian elements. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m trying to develop a bit of a Hollywood Regency/ Chinoiserie feel in our new living-dining room, and I love that these familiar old chairs have been able to come along for the ride.

So, in our current home, I’ve changed the seats on the majority of the chairs to a whimsical Chinoiserie print in blue and cream: Robert Allen Lake Paradise in spa, an outdoor fabric that’s durable and wipeable. These are chairs that are used daily – including by the kids – and I just didn’t think that ordinary fabric would hold up. The polyester is not as soft as a nice upholstery cotton, but our bottoms haven’t minded. I showed how to upholster the seats in earlier post. Start looking around, and you’ll find that outdoor fabrics now come in almost any color, pattern, or texture. Many great fabric designers have beautiful prints meant to stand up to the outdoors, often including some of the same patterns they have in their indoor collections and more!

ikea to regency chair

Another step in the evolution of our old Ikea chairs. This new fabric gives them an elegant yet whimsical feel that fits in with the Chinoiserie/ Regency look I am working on in our living-dining room.

Dining Room with painted and reupholstered chairs by Jewels at Home

Dining Room with new chairs. The space is still a work in progress.

Dining Room with painted and reupholstered chairs by Jewels at Home

Dining room from the other side. I’m happy with the wallpaper inside the shelves.

The dining room is starting to come together. I do like how the Imperial Trellis silver wallpaper looks inside the bookcase. Now that I look at the collection of plates again, I think I could use a couple more. I also want to make over or replace the sideboard. My fantasy is to find an old Thomasville or Henry Link Bali Hai dresser with faux bamboo accents to repaint for that area. And most of all, I would love to change the fireplace mantel. It is plaster with a cheesy faux marble finish, and there are two disembodied heads that stare out at you! Part of me wants to take the whole thing out, but since it’s historical, I might keep it and try to remove the heads and repaint it. I’d also like to do a few small projects like recover or replace the cushions on the head chairs, sew a runner for the sideboard, work on accessories, etc.. Well, one thing at a time. I’m having fun every step of the way!

“Jewels”