Friday, October 25, 2013

Project Dining Nook

By Ms. Mommy
Ms. Mommy here. Earl and Petunia are taking the day off and allowing me to share my latest home improvement project. See, our house is not very large and we don't have much of a dining room. We have a dining nook, which is partially taken up by some Ikea Trofast storage units that house toys and double as a child-sized table which Earl spends most of his day standing at while he pushes his cars around and builds block towers. 

I've been wanting to better utilize some of the space occupied by our table and chairs. We have an appalling lack of storage in our kitchen (considering we are are a family of five), so along with a switch from chairs to benches along two walls, I wanted something that also had extra storage. One of my primary concerns was our budget- it's tight, so we couldn't spend too much on this project.

After browsing, I decided that hacking an Expedit unit would be the best option. Many people have used the 5 shelf Expedit bookshelf/storage unit tipped on it's side as a bench. Oh that we could have done something so simple! Unfortunately, we had only 68 inches of space to work with along the longer of the two walls.

I'm a creative thinker, so after browsing Ikea's website for a bit, I determined that it would be entirely possible to hack two Expedit units together to create perfect sized benches for our space! First, we bought the single and 8 shelf Expedits in matching "birch effect" finish. 

Sadly, I didn't have the foresight or energy to photograph the processes as I assembled them late at night, but I've color coded the pieces belonging to each bench here:
I hope that made sense! Here is what the large bench looked like immediately after assembly (with storage inserts, also purchased from Ikea). I realized after this photo was taken that the benches were going to overlap, so I had to remove an insert. 

Here they are in the dining nook, with the cushions fully crafted (material purchased during a foam and fabric sale at Joann Fabric) and secured with strips of adhesive velcro!

Oops, I still need to get the last insert in!

The final setup! The Expedit units with a three inch cushion are the perfect height for both kids and adults! So far, so good. As an added bonus, all three kids can sit on the long bench as long as I don't mind them poking and harassing each other for the entire meal. ;)

I consider Project Dining Nook a rousing success!


About Earl

Earl enjoys "traditional" styles, and prefers a classic, vintage look when dressing up. His everyday wear is best described as "uber casual".

About Petunia

Petunia is a daring dresser who does her best to keep up with all the latest fashion trends. Among her favorite designers are Vintage Couture, Tea Collection, Gymboree, and Zutano.

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