Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tackling the Built-In

Getting to our dining room built-in has been on my to-do list for quite awhile. We actually have a pair of matching built-ins, one on each side of the door between the dining room & kitchen. The one on the left houses my crystal and fancier dishes, and really doesn't get unorganized because I rarely open it.  :-)

The one on the right, however, had become a stashing station. You know what I'm talking're picking up around the house, get a small pile of stuff that doesn't really have a home, so you just stash it somewhere to get to it later. Guilty.

Here's that built-in before, closed...

...and open...

Now, I realize it doesn't look THAT bad. And actually, the bottom 2 shelves are relatively organized because they're the ones I use regularly. It was the top 2 shelves that were really bugging me, because there really was no rhyme or reason to what they housed.

The white plastic bins were alright, but for a built-in with a glass door that I see all the time, and that other people see when they're at my house, I wanted something that looked a little nicer. I decided to splurge a little & find some nice baskets that would fill the space perfectly. I measured the shelves & ordered a pair of baskets from The Container Store, and a trio of baskets from Walmart (actually have 4 more of those, elsewhere in the house). 
There, much better!  And functional too!  The baskets on the top shelf store party supplies - paper plates, plastic cups & silverware, tablecloths, streamers, balloons, etc.  The second shelf has some photo albums, my childrens' baby books (I'm keeping them handy so I can update them when milestones happen!), and my organizing books. Dollar stores are also GREAT places to find storage baskets & bins - that's where the cute teal-ish blue ones came from. Admittedly, they are empty right now, but I'm sure they'll fill up soon. :-)

The two baskets on the 3rd shelf store my kids' arts & crafts supplies, which at this age pretty much consist of crayons, colored pencils, washable markers, finger paints, watercolor paints, and Play-Doh.  Coloring books & drawing paper go in one of the drawers directly underneath these shelves.  The bottom shelf is my cookbooks & recipe box.
How about a before & after, side-by-side?

I'd love to paint the back wall inside the built-ins someday to give them a little more color & dimension, but the shelves aren't removable so that would be more of an undertaking than I care to do right now. I'd also like to remove the cup hooks from this half of the built-ins (keeping them in the one that houses my fancy dishes), but they're painted in to the shelf pretty good, so I'm not messing with them at this point.

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