I have been twittering a lot about our study lately. I thought perhaps the time has come to share some pictures.
Here is what the study used to look like, in theory.
The bookshelves along the South (bottom) wall are built-in, white melamine. Six rises, each about 60cm wide, with variable height shelves. They go all the way to the roof. As you can see, they were blocked by the desk to the point that we really couldn’t use a third of them – which had lots of old paperwork sort of jammed in. Not a good look.
The desk is an old one of Fraser’s family’s, with a drawer unit to either side of a central gap for sitting. Great if you have a big office and are entertaining clients, but not much use if you have two people wanting desk space at once. The filing cabinets were also hand-me-downs from our respective families, and the two bookshelves were 6′ tall with five evenly-spaced fixed shelves.
Here is what it had come to look like, in practice.
The study got a lot worse earlier this year when we moved rooms around and, in particular, when we moved Otto into the old spare room. Stuff that was in there – another of the pine bookshelves, as well as the poker machine Fraser was given for his 18th birthday – had nowhere to go but the study. So we had boxes everywhere. The room was even less usable.
The shelves were blocked at the bottom by the boxes. In the lower right hand corner of the picture, they were blocked by the desk. Accessible parts of our “good” built-in shelves were being used to hold piles and piles of paper, including old magazines dating back to the 1980s. Meanwhile we had nowhere for our books and even the games were overflowing into the study. It had reached the stage where the children were banned from taking friends into the room as I was scared something might fall – and if it did, we might see a domino effect.
And here’s my new plan.I used the IKEA home designer tool, which is excellent except that it does not allow you to add any non-IKEA furniture . I had to improvise a bit to get things laid out to even an approximate scale. I’ve replicated it in VISIO because that is more manipulable, if less full-featured.
I was a bit nervous about this layout, especially about hanging the bookshelves out from the wall, but we needed the storage space. Here are the pictures from the IKEA home design tool (remember, the existing desk is kind of wrong). I had to use a tall cabinet to represent the poker machine, and a combination of desk, gap and drawer unit for Fraser’s old desk. And wall to represent the built-in bookshelves. Ah, it’s all wrong 🙂
In that second photo, you can see that it is a little cramped – well, a little tight, anyway. The room is actually a little bigger than it looks, though, as the poker machine is against a fireplace that is set back a bit from the wall, giving us a whole 15cm extra to manoeuvre. That’s critical space, that is.
So far, it’s working. My new desk isn’t in yet – we’re waiting till we’re done unpacking – but we seem to have plenty of room. That’s helped by the amount of stuff that we’ve been chucking out. We were averaging 1 box out for every three we unpacked. Old papers (I even bought myself a shredder to cope with it all), duplicate books, redundant magazines. Old “records” that really weren’t needed. And omg so many CDs!
We spent nearly an hour yesterday just matching up computer games with their boxes, cases and manuals. Urgs. I think we are going to toss out most of the boxes in a week or so, too (F wants to scan them for http://www.videogamegeek.com first).
We will never have a lean, streamlined home, but at least we have got rid of some of the crap.
And the KASSET boxes from IKEA are our friends. We have oh so many and then some, and even need some more. Also the amazing leg of my desk, which is actually a storage unit all in itself and currently holds stationery, printer paper and Important Files.
So it’s all good, so far. We’ve unpacked all the boxes that we stored in Bigster’s room for the week, and just have a few to go from Otto’s room. Then we can move the old air conditioner out (I’m hoping for a big project before the end of the year, so we can buy a split system and get rid of the big ugly portable one), sort the last box of memorabilia into our own boxes (still need to get those) and move my desk in. With a few shelves to spare, even.
And the **THIRTY TWO BOXES** that are still in storage.
I need another week off.