Sunday, 2 November 2014

who’s idea is it anyway?

After solving our recent book storage problem, we decided to tackle the lack of storage in the bedroom.  We had a wall with a couple of old bookshelves, a tatty old chest of drawers, and a small ottoman, with everything piled higgledy-piggledy.  We decided to to replace these with some proper wardrobes.

Googling around, we came across something that looked plausible, from Ikea.  Not being previous Ikea-ites, this required a bit more research before splashing out.  I was a bit dubious, frankly, so one evening after work I drove over to the Leeds Ikea, and wandered the maze of twisty little caverns, snapping photos of the installations we had identified via the web.  We looked these over at the weekend, and decided they seemed fine.

There’s also a spiffy little online design tool, so we played around with various options for quite some time, before deciding on a configuration.  This was great, as we ended up with something quite different from our original ideas.  We ordered it, paid an extra £35 for delivery, and sat back to wait.

that’s a lot of flat-pack
Six carcasses, 16 drawers, 8 baskets, and 22 shelves take up surprising little space when packed flat.

The first weekend we tackled construction, we managed to erect two of the carcasses.

two down, four to go
The first one took us two hours to build.  The instructions are all pictorial, and quite clear (although do require careful peering in places to see orientations), but we went slowly at first to ensure no mistakes.  By the time we built the final carcass, a couple of weeks later, we were down to less than half an hour.

ready for the shelves (the ice cream cartons are to hold the various fixings)
Once we had connected the carcasses together, and attached them to the wall, they were rock steady.  All that remained was installing the shelves and drawers.

the finished construction, awaiting content
The drawers were the most complicated to assemble, so again we started slowly and carefully, but by the 16th, we were fairly ripping along.

I was very impressed with the build quality.  Sure, the “wood” is laminate over fibreboard, but the fixings are solid, and everything fits together snugly, solidly, and firmly.

Given the number of carcasses, shelves, and drawers, we managed some small process improvements as we went.  One of these was rather peculiar.  On the bottom of each drawer are a couple of plastic clips that hold the drawer on the runners.  The instructions say to install the clip after the drawer is placed on the runners; this is quite fiddly to do.  As we were assembling the drawers for the second small carcass, Charles said: “let’s put the plastic bits in before we install the drawers”.  So I took the drawer we’d just assembled, turned it over, and pushed the clips in place.  “Oh, I meant the plastic bits for the shelves, but that looks a good idea.”  It was: it made the drawers much easier to install.

So, it was a good idea, but who actually had it?  I was just following what I thought Charles had suggested; he was actually suggesting something quite different!

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