Living Room Storage
In our apartment, our DVD collection was crammed on the shelves behind the sofa, along with our books, board games, and CDs. In the house, I want to make an effort to keep the living room a bit less cluttered looking.
I love the Besta units that our TV unit sits nested between – they provide deep shelves that neatly display my vases and add some drama to the room. The glass doors on the lower half hide video game peripherals from sight. I decided that I wanted something similar to store DVDs.
The odd nooks on either side of the fireplace were screaming for some storage. Built-in shelving is a bit beyond our DIY capabilities at the moment, so I went back to my default for shelving – Ikea. After considering just getting more Besta units, we decided that the shallower Billy would fit better. Jace dragged a pair in from the other room to see how they looked. We both quickly agreed that they were a good choice.
The next step was to find some doors. While I’m excited to display my books openly in the library, for some reason the plastic shiny DVD cases just don’t appeal to me. I browsed Ikea’s website and lamented that there just weren’t any doors quite like I wanted.
The Morebo were frosted glass like the other doors on the Besta, but they are trimmed with a grey plasticky looking frame.
Then were these solid doors, but I worried that they would make the room a bit too dark.
Finally, these glass doors with a wood frame looked nice, but the glass was clear, meaning that they wouldn’t actually hide anything.
The Ydre doors looked just right… except that they didn’t come in black.
I’m not sure how I landed on the solution, as it is so clear to me now. We purchased the Olsbo glass panel doors, and frosted them ourselves. I did some quick research on various ways to frost glass. Essentially there are three: (1) a spray on or paintable coating (2) stick-on film (3) chemical etching. The chemical etching is the highest quality option, but I was concerned that the Ikea glass just wasn’t thick enough to have any bit of it eaten away. The spray is fairly simple, but it is a bit more temporary – it can be scraped off. As these are doors we will be opening frequently, something scratchable didn’t sound great. I decided to go with the film option.
We purchased a few sheets of privacy film from Home Depot, and cut them down to size – a bit larger than the window panel itself. We sprayed down the window with a diluted soap solution, and the back of the film itself. To pull the film apart from its backing we used some tape on each side.
We then placed the film gently down on the window, and began to removing bubbles with a credit card. After a final trim with a razor blade the remaining bubbles were removed. Basically you just use the credit card as a squeegee to move the bubbles outward from the center and smooth everything down. We had some issues with the final trim being a bit sloppy, or bubbles getting stuck on the edges when we didn’t trim off enough film.
The results certainly weren’t perfect, but from a distance the doors look fantastic. They really add a lot of polish to the room and keep the DVDs from drawing the eye too much.
We did find that securing the bookshelves to the wall was absolutely necessary with the doors on – the weight they add is significant. Another quirky thing to note with the Billy bookcases is that the doors actually use the shelf holes to secure themselves. We had hoped to add extra shelves, since DVDs are much shorter than books, but the way the doors screwed in made that impossible. It turns out not to really matter – we have more than enough space for DVDs.
I didn’t really like the push-to-open mechanism that came with the doors, so we plan on adding handles instead. Probably something like this:
They were out of them last time we were at Ikea, so they’ll have to wait for our next trip. I hate to admit it but I’m actually getting tired of Ikea.
One last storage item I want to add to the living room is something to hold blankets. My original thought was an ottoman, but I haven’t found one I liked. A basket would work too, but I have a weird aversion to baskets – they remind me of the country-style decor that I grew up with.