The one on the right, however, had become a stashing station. You know what I'm talking about...you'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...
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).
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.