Studio Progress: New IKEA Cabinets Purchased, More Of The Mural Installed, and A Slight Change To Salvage A Floor Board

If you missed yesterday’s post, then the information in this post will be a bit confusing. So you may want to read yesterday’s post first. But if you’re all caught up on the change of design for the cabinets on the mural wall of the studio, then let’s move on.

First up, I got two more panels of the mural installed! When I was planning to use the upper cabinets on the mural wall, I needed eight panels of the mural. I ordered ten panels so that I could have two extras (one extra of each panel) just in case something went wrong with the installation (e.g., if I ripped one or something like that). Fortunately, nothing went wrong during the original install, so I had these two on hand and got them on the wall last night.

Once I got them up, I was thrilled with having more flowers on that wall (which, again, will not be blocked by upper cabinets because the plan for upper cabinets has been axed), but I also just stood there shaking my head at the fact that those two panels covered everything except about two inches of wall on the left, and about four inches of wall on the right. 😀 I’m six inches shy of having the whole wall covered.

I posted that photo on my Facebook page last night to see if anyone had any clever suggestions, but the majority said I just need to buy the extra wallpaper to cover those six inches. *Sigh* They’re right, of course. So that’s what I did. Unfortunately, since this is a two-piece mural and not regular wallpaper, I had to buy two more rolls because the strip that I need for the left comes from Panel 1 of the mural, and the strip that I need on the right comes from Panel 2 of the mural. Of course. 😀

But it’s fine. The wallpaper is ordered, and in the meantime, I can get those windows trimmed out. That will go a long way towards giving this wall a finished look.

So what about the countertop? If you’ll remember from this post where I showed you how I made this long 20-foot countertop on the mural wall, I got most of the countertop covered with the laminate flooring, but I was short one board. At that time, I was still planning on using those upper cabinets that would sit directly on top of the countertop, so I simply spaced the boards just right so that them missing pieces would be in the far back corners at each end of the countertop, and hidden by the upper cabinets. But now that I don’t plan on using upper cabinets on the mural wall, those areas are now going to show, and I need that extra flooring board to finish up the countertop.

I called LL Flooring to see if I could buy just one piece. Nope, I can’t. I asked if they have samples, and they do, but their samples aren’t full floor boards. They cut those boards into much smaller pieces to give out as samples. So the woman I spoke with said that if I needed just one more full piece, I’d have to buy a whole package of flooring.

I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. It’s not that it would break the bank, but it’s just the principle of the thing. 😀 I mean, if I absolutely couldn’t find another solution, obviously, I’d have to do it. But I wanted to make sure I had exhausted every other possibility first.

Well, I found a solution, and all I have to do is make a minor change in my plan for the other section of cabinets — the cabinets in the office section of the room — so that I can steal a floor board from that countertop to use on the mural wall countertop.

In order for me to explain the change I’m making, let me first back up and remind you how the original plan for this office area (which is on the wall perpendicular to the mural wall) originally looked. I had planned for two lower cabinets with an open area in the middle to be used as a desk area, with a countertop spanning the entire width of the lower cabinets, and then upper open shelves flanking the window.

Then when I decided to go with IKEA cabinets instead of building my own, I decided to eliminate the open desk area (since I have an actual desk in the room) and fill in that open desk area with more cabinets.

So the plan as of a few days ago was to have four lower 15-inch-deep cabinets installed so that they sit away from the wall a few inches, and then put a countertop over the whole span of lower cabinets, and then put the upper 15-inch-deep cabinets on top of the countertop flanking the window and installed right against the wall so that they sit back a few inches from the lowers. Those uppers were going to be open shelves. You can see the lowers installed with the countertop started (the original countertop that I made incorrectly) in the picture below.

Thankfully, when I was working on this countertop (the one I messed up on), I never got the point of actually adhering the flooring boards to top the MDF, so I still have all of those boards, and they’re perfectly fine and uncut. I have just enough flooring boards to span that entire width of lower cabinets.

So when I was trying to figure out a way to steal one flooring board from this countertop to finish up the long 20-foot countertop on the mural wall, I remembered that I had saved a picture of an office done with IKEA cabinets from House With Home, and the whole arrangement looked similar to what I had in mind…with one change that could very well result in me having a flooring board left over.

Instead of carrying a countertop all the way across (i.e., separating upper and lower cabinets with a countertop on the tall end cabinets like I had planned), Katie kept her end cabinets as one uninterrupted tower of cabinets (she used different cabinets than the ones I’m using), and just kept the countertop to the area in between those two cabinet towers.

Custom home office using IKEA cabinets from House With Home

Isn’t that pretty? You can see more details of her office here.

So after doing some measuring and marking and rearranging of the floor boards I had set aside for my office area countertop, I discovered that if I make this change, I will have exactly ONE spare flooring board! And since I messed up my first attempt at this countertop (more about that here), and it has to be redone anyway, making this small change (i.e., stacking those cabinets that flank the window directly on top of each other instead of separating them with a countertop, and just having the countertop between those tall tower cabinets) will be super simple. And to be quite honest, I like the look of Katie’s end cabinets (i.e., not separated by a countertop) much better than my original plan. It would be different if I were using 24-inch-deep lowers 15-inch-deep uppers. But since all of the cabinets in this section are 15 inches deep, this new design makes more sense.

So with these changes that I’m making, I needed to place another order from IKEA. As I mentioned yesterday, the two cabinets that I had planned to use as upper cabinets on the long mural wall are now being moved to the area just inside the door coming from the breakfast room.

Since those cabinets are only 30 inches wide and 40 inches high, I needed more cabinets to go with them to complete the wall. I decided to keep things simple and just stick with all cabinets with doors and shelves. Since they’ll all be 15 inches deep, I didn’t see any need to have drawers since drawer boxes would just decrease the amount of valuable storage space, and items are not likely to get pushed to the back and forgotten or difficult to retrieve in a 15-inch-deep cabinet.

So the cabinets on the wall just inside the door from the breakfast room will be 60 inches wide and 90 inches high, plus I’ll add the same base that I’m adding to the rest of the cabinets in the room, as well as crown molding. The 40-inch-tall cabinets that I already have will go on the bottom, and then new 30-inch-tall cabinets will go on top of those, and then the top will be finished off with new 20-inch-tall cabinets, giving me a total of 90 inches of height and 60 inches of width in this new storage area.

And while I was at it, I also ordered a few new things for the office area cabinets. So let’s focus again on those office area cabinets (i.e., the wall perpendicular to the 20-foot mural wall), and I’ll share a couple more details.

In order to complete my two uninterrupted towers of cabinets that flank that single window in the office area, I ordered two 20-inch-high drawer units to sandwich in between the existing lower cabinets and the upper cabinets that I already have (but haven’t yet assembled). I also purchased doors to go on the upper cabinets, which I had originally planned as open shelves. So with these small changes, the finished look will be something closer to this…

So basically, my plan went from a studio with four open shelf units being used as upper cabinets and sitting on top of countertops (two in the office area and two on the mural wall) to now having no upper open shelves on the mural wall, and closed upper cabinets in the office area of the room. With this new plan, there won’t be any open shelves anywhere in the studio. All of the storage will be enclosed, and I wont have to spend time styling open shelves and keeping them pretty. I think this will make all of my cabinets much more useful.

All of the new cabinets will be here next Wednesday. In the meantime, I have plenty to keep me busy!



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  1. Perfect redesign IMO. I might be tempted to use a different color on those cabinet areas for fun. Maybe a light purple on one & chartreuse on the other. It would be blocks of color on your neutral walls & floor. But then again, I might wait until all the cabinets are all in along with your work tables to get a feel for how the eye bounces around the space before I decided on a color for them. It will make a difference & having doors on all the cabinets will mean big big blocks of color on those walls, so you might decide differently. You are the only interior design blogger that I have followed for years. You really have a great design sense.

  2. Oh, more storage is always a great plan, and so cool that it also solves another problem with the flooring. You think of such great solutions…when you have an issue, you really can problem solve. Maybe you think sometimes you have indecision about some of the choices, but your problem solving is another whole level! This room is going to be incredible, and I know we are all envious! To have that space, storage, working areas, and be beautiful too? It’s the bomb!

  3. Love it! Particularly the shallow drawers you’ve added. I absolutely love storing ribbons, tools, art painting supplies, etc. in visually accessible, less deep drawers. With your inspiration I may even get the courage to paint and put overlays on my commercial grade 5 drawer pullout shelf file drawer cabinets I use for crafting, DIY’ing. I can’t see myself investing in new cabinets but making existing things spiffy could be a joyful plan.

    With age I’ve also come to appreciate “stuff” being behind doors. Less cleaning, less visual clutter for a less stimulating space and it redirects to what is important in a room (decor) or in this case flowers and whatever awesome project you have underway.

    It’s all coming together wonderfully. Onward!

  4. I’m a little confused because my pictures would not open. Maybe later. You figured it out without having to buy more flooring. Love the extra wallpaper. It is so beautiful. You are getting closer to the end every day. Do you have a sewing machine desk to put your machine on? Has the bid come in on the addition yet?
    Just keep on keeping on!

  5. Am I correct in “assuming” you are not going to put fancy grid work on the drawer? I hope you don’t because the drawing looks so nice with plain drawer fronts. Also several ladies mentioned dust. I never even thought of that but it is a big concern. Who wants to do all that dusting. Just thinking out loud.

  6. So happy for you that you found workable solutions for the problems. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I like the idea of having all closed cabinets. Less to dust, and lots of storage. Have you considered leaving the cabinet doors plain except for the crown molding at the top? I did that in my kitchen, and it makes cleaning the cabinet doors so much easier while still giving them that “little somethin’ “. There will be lots of visual interest between the floral wallpaper and the cabinet color, plus whatever projects you have going on. I’m looking forward to seeing the completed studio!

  7. So you already have enough floorboards for the second countertop, and making it shorter is how you’ll have enough of the flooring to fill in the missing bits in the first countertop? Just clarifying to make sure I understand.

  8. To anyone else who’s confused: I read this post like 5 times and went back to the one with the whole studio design plan in it in order to understand 😆 everything on the back wall (the mural wall) is staying the same. The wall to the left of that is the one with the exterior door and “beveled” upper corners. On that wall, she was going to have 2 lower cabinets, the countertop on top of them and spanning the space in-between, and then 2 upper cabinets in top. Now, instead, she’s putting the upper cabinets directly on top of the lower cabinets without the countertop in-between. So she will have some extra boards to go on the countertop on the back mural wall. Hopefully this helps someone else understand!!!

    1. Not sure how anyone who has followed along, got confused. Pretty simple to me. But maybe not everyone follows her closely.

  9. Hi Kristy, I know in principal you don’t want to buy a box for just one plank … hey you may find a use for it! But … this is your space!! I think you would have 1) enjoyed looking out that window from your desk; and 2) I work from home too and I find it very useful to have a second desk or table area. Why? Because I generally will be working on more than one thing at a time. And it makes for a far more flexible work space. BTW, extending your flooring into the entryway has opened out, and made visually larger, your area by joining it all together. Big thumbs up from Claudia in Oz👍🏽

  10. Love your plan…always storage first for a work room (that’s what I call my home office, sewing, craft, etc room)….so smart! The storage will look not only neat, but great.

  11. I see you already ordered the wallpaper, but you could have also trimmed-out the wall using trim slightly wider than the widest portions without wallpaper for a custom look.