Office Hacking

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When we decided to move to Denver I knew I was going to have to share the common living room space with my office. Being that it doesn’t have storage I was posed with how to cram all my stuff in while looking nice. It is our living room after all, I don’t want my office to be an eye sore.

The Ikea in Denver had just opened before we moved. That was pretty much a saving grace. I’m not saying Ikea is awesome, well it kind of is, but overall it’s good for what you pay. And when you are trying to start a business you have limited funds. I ended up putting Ikea units together that don’t go together, I hacked the Ikea system. I love how it came out.


On either end I used the Expedit bookcase. They are the 1 by 5 cubes high. I wanted to have a space for my cork, thread, and notions. So I decided to figure out a way to leave some wall space and have my desk snug in the middle. The desk is Ikea but it’s Richard’s old desk thus why it doesn’t match my birch effect. I wandered through Ikea with measurements and a ruler in hand deciding how I wanted to fill the space above the Expedit bookcases. Then I came across the Effektiv system. IMG_5372

You can mount the Effektive to the wall but I was worried about the weight of what I was cramming into each cabinet. The solution was to get boards from the hardware store to put across the top of the bookcases and mount the Effektive cabinets onto that. Richard mounted 3 brackets in the middle to stabilize the weight. I also bought the Grundtal lighting which Richard attached to the top of the cabinets so I would have better lighting. He’s a pretty awesome husband for helping me get set up. Oh, check out those shorts he’s wearing, he made those!

I liked that each Effektive cabinet was long. I was thinking in terms, “Can a bolt of fabric lay across it?” Which they do! I also liked you could add shelves, doors, or drawers. Since I knew I was going to be stuffing them full I opted just to get just the doors to hide the ugly. Problem was the door cost added up fast. To get the birch colored doors it was going to be double the cost of the white ones. Then I had a great thought, get the cheap doors and cover them in fabric! It probably ended up being almost the same cost as the birch doors, but they look way better!


Since I had six square doors I decided to use a different fabric for each, almost like a quilt. Makes sense for someone like me, don’t you think? I used spray adhesive to glue the fabric to the door then I stapled it down on the back side. I contemplated weather or not to cover the back but really who’s going to see that side.


Ikea has a great selection of handles. I ended up getting the Tag handles. Again Richard was nice enough to help me attach them. I wanted to have them mounted lower to make it easier to open since they are so high up.

Here’s the thing with fabric, it doesn’t like the drill. Richard and I learned this when we recovered our dining chairs. The drill bit eats it up. I remembered that my handy Bernina Swiss Army Knife had an eyelet cutter. It was perfect. Figure out where you’re drilling and use the eyelet to cut a hole into the fabric then drill. Worked like a charm! A warning though, the laminate on the boards liked to come up a bit, so after drilling, take a rubber mallet to press he wood back down or you’ll have a circular hump where the handle goes.


We attached them to the cabinets and voila, pretty doors! I’m very happy with how it came out. IMG_5415

See how nice it holds bolts and hides the ugly! I managed to cram all three cabinets to the brim.


Now I know some of you, mainly my fabric loving friends, may want to know what textiles I used.

From Left to Right: Lock and Key in Khaki by Sandi Henderson of Michael Miller Fabrics, Ironwork in Granite by Joel Dewberry of Westminster Fabrics, Sparrows in Bark by Joel Dewberry of Westminster Fabrics, Damask in Saffron by Joel Dewberry of Westminster Fabrics, Optic Blossom in Linen by Amy Butler of Westminster Fabrics, and Lodge Lattice in Vintage Yellow by Joel Dewberry of Westminster Fabrics.

I bought all the fabrics online from Hawthorne Threads.

I’ll post more pictures of our apartment later but I hope you enjoyed seeing my office space.



1 Comment

I would love to know where you got or how you made your thread holder!