DIY Playroom Workbench/ Storage Unit

DIY Playroom Workbench + Storage Unit | Classy Glam Living

The new season brought to our house a series of organizational projects.  While the Mr. is busy finishing up our entryway drop zone storage unit, I should document another much-needed piece that he had completed.  That is, the sanity-saving storage unit for little man's playroom.

As mentioned here, we've dedicated the small bedroom beside little man's room as the playroom, which is a great idea so we can keep his toys contained in just one space.

The playroom is relatively small, and with an existing desk, there is not enough space for storage and small play table.  We needed a 2-in-1 piece here!  The toy storage unit was designed to provide a workbench (for Lego'ing) and storage pull-out bins underneath.  It's a similar idea to IKEA's pull out storage...

IKEA STUVA toy storage bench

IKEA STUVA toy storage bench

... and in combination with Restoration Hardware's rustic/ industrial toy storage activity table:

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware

It's a simple industrial-inspired utilitarian piece that serves its purpose.  Nothing fancy.

The Mr. had previously completed the work bench portion of this unit, as posted here:

The storage bins were finished a while ago, and I'm so glad to finally be able to clean up the playroom (somewhat) to show you!

DIY Playroom toy storage unit | Classy Glam Living

The pull-out bins are just wooden boxes on castors.  Again, totally utilitarian, and something "easy" for the Mr. to put together.  The bins fit board games in #1, more Lego boxes in #2 and even Nerf guns in bin #3.

The entire unit was stained in Minwax Classic Grey, which is my favourite stain that gives a somewhat Restoration Hardware look.

DIY Playroom toy storage unit | Classy Glam Living

After the Mr. stained the bins, I stencilled the numbers (downloaded this font) on them using chalk paint.

DIY Playroom toy storage unit | Classy Glam Living
DIY Playroom toy storage unit | Classy Glam Living

I didn't want to spend too much on the bin pulls, and these are just right for my budget.  I like the thickness of this pull for little man's small hands, and this antique nickel finish is the perfect pewter for the piece.

DIY Playroom toy storage unit | Classy Glam Living
DIY Playroom toy storage unit | Classy Glam Living

Here's little man assembling another Lego set, making full use of the work bench.

DIY Playroom Storage Unit with Workbench | Classy Glam Living

It's more practical to use bins on castors than drawers, so he can wheel them all the way out to maximize his workspace and leg room.

Well, I thought the playroom is done with the completion of this unit.  As little man grows up, his toys collection grows with him; specifically, his Lego collection.  It's just a waste to disassemble the kits and mix the pieces with everything else...  you know how pricey Lego kits are!  Just see how crammed all his Legos are on his bench in the photo above...  and those are not even all of them!

Instead of cramming his entire Lego collection on the work bench, we decided to install a display shelf on the opposite wall.  

I love the industrial vibe of this shelf and it goes well with the overall look of the playroom.

It's a good size for the wall that used to house a canvas art and art display frame:

Art display wall | Classy Glam Living

For now, this wall shelf would be used to display his Lego collections and whatever he wants to showcase.  When he eventually grows out of his toys, the shelf can perhaps be used for books...  or other collections of "cool stuff".

Playroom CB2 Stretch Modular Wall Shelf | Classy Glam Living
Playroom CB2 Stretch Modular Wall Shelf | Classy Glam Living

And with this display shelf in place, we can finally call this playroom COMPLETE.  Many thanks again to the Mr. for building the storage unit, which is just the perfect size for this tiny room!

To see more of little man's space, here's the post of his big boy bedroom.  It was also featured on Shutterfly as one of 75 Cheerful Boys' Bedroom Ideas.  

Shop the post here:

Drop Zone Unit - Design Board

I left off my previous post with the difficulty I had in finding the right storage unit for our drop zone, and our most feasible option would be to DIY a unit from scratch.  I'm confident it shouldn't be a problem for the Mr.; you can check out his previous builds here

The Mr. doesn't take on a build lightly.  I had to show him that I had at least tried to shop around for a unit, but my options are constrained by size and budget.   I really wanted this storage unit to blend in with the existing style of our main floor, and the elegant look of these mirrored cabinets are exactly what I'm after. 

All from Wayfair

All from Wayfair

However, as mentioned in my previous post, these are around 28-32" high, which I think is a bit too low for the 9' ceiling.  I also prefer to have all drawers, so I turned to dressers with drawers instead.

Unfortunately, dressers are usually 18-20" in depth, which would be too deep for that little nook by the window.  I wanted to keep the depth at a maximum of 15", so that the storage unit doesn't protrude too much beside the window.  See the nook right by the window, our current drop zone:

Drop zone makeover | Classy Glam Living

And that was when I turned to my last resort...  I made a MAYDAY request to the Mr. to PLEASE build a 3-drawer unit for our main floor's storage!!  Thankfully, he's all game to build another piece of DIY furniture 😁

The pros with going DIY custom route are:  1. it would be in the exact dimensions for the nook, 2. done at a fraction of the price of an actual furniture piece (if I could even find one).  The cons?  Well, it'll have to wait for the Mr.'s availability...  when the hockey season is over and he is free from his coaching and chauffeuring responsibilities.  

I was so excited for another DIY furniture piece and immediately went on Pinterest to check out design inspirations!

Design Inspirations

The colour combination of this unit was my jumping off point.  I love the grey unit with gold hardware.  It'll tie in with our kitchen decor!

This is such a beautiful piece from Ethan Allen.  The details surrounding the drawers and the legs are absolutely gorgeous.  Those ring pulls also reminded me of a set that the Mr. loves (more on that below).

The side profile of this unit highlights the elegance of this unit.  The top and bottom rounded edges give this unit a sophisticated touch.

Yes, I know this is a vanity, but the design is totally "buildable" by the Mr.!  I'm loving the frame at the face of the unit, enclosing the drawers.  

Hayburn & Co

Hayburn & Co

Combining the above design elements, can you imagine the finished product with this lion ring pull (the Mr.'s most favourite hardware ever)...

with these legs...

Or are you a visual person like the Mr.?  Well, here's a summary design board I made for him:

Drop zone unit design board | Classy Glam Living

I just can't wait for hockey season to be over, so that the Mr. can start on this project!  I see a light at the end of the tunnel; the day is near when our clutter will have a home!

We Need a Drop Zone!!! + Design Inspirations

This past weekend's gorgeous Spring-like weather has put me into cleaning mode.  But just like how this Spring tease won't stick around for long, neither would this "cleanliness" at our home.  The one main culprit is CLUTTER.  

Mail, papers, homeless decor items...

Mail, papers, homeless decor items...

One thing I'm not diligent with is dealing with all the papers that come through our door.  No matter how much I try to cut down on our paper trail, some are still inevitable.  At times (actually, most of the time), our dining table is a dumping ground for piles of papers and homeless decor items.  On the rare occasion that it's cleared off, I snap a photo for Instagram:

Dining Room | Classy Glam Living

It all comes down to the fact that I'm just not a good cleaner-upper.  Our main floor has no closed storage at all, except for our kitchen and cloak closet.  As much as I want to hide my keys and mail in a kitchen cupboard, it just doesn't make sense (and I better not start with that habit!).  I desperately need a place to temporarily put away these things!

What I need is a drop zone/ storage/ command centre by the entrance.  A designated spot where I can drop off my keys/ sunglasses as I walk through the door and hide the mail that I'll eventually attend to.  A place where I can store papers temporarily until I file/ shred them, and where I can have a simple filing system for our family.

At the home office of our old house, the lower right cabinet of this DIY built-in unit was my drop zone.  It wasn't ideal, since the office was on the second floor, and I just didn't drop off the stuff in there often enough...  ie. the stuff would linger on our kitchen counter back then.

Home office | Classy Glam Living

At our current house, there's a perfect spot for a multi-purpose drop zone right by our garage entrance.  It's an empty corner beside our seating area; a space that's only 32" wide, where we put out our Christmas tree.

Our designated drop zone

Our designated drop zone

When it's not Christmas time, it's literally a drop zone...

It's a drop zone in reality, and I hate it.

It's a drop zone in reality, and I hate it.

So, as usual, I flipped through Pinterest for design inspirations to make this little space of our main floor more functional and presentable.  What I get are very out-in-the-open, in-your-face kind of drop zones/ command centres.  I see designs of...

1. mudrooms...  It's beautiful, but we don't need a closet that's out in the open.  

2. gorgeous built-in command centres/ work stations in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, our kitchen isn't designed with this purpose.

Drop zone inspirations | kitchen work station | Classy Glam Living

3. gallery walls of command centre.  These products are beautifully designed, but it looks too busy for my liking.

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

Pottern Barn

Pottern Barn

My preference is to have our drop zone blend in with our seating area, such that it appears to be more of a decorative element than an actual "drop zone".  Most recently, Jen at Rambling Reno also added a drop zone of a similar idea at her new house.  I wish we had addressed our need of a drop zone early on like she did when we first moved in.  

These beautiful inspirations show how drop zones can be functional and beautiful:

Simple, right?  It's basically just a dresser, or so I thought.  I wanted to limit the depth of the unit to a max of 15", so that it's not in the way of the window by too much.  That proved to be a problem in finding a piece at the right size.  

Anything that's at around 15" in depth is the height of a side table, which is around 28"-30".  That would look too short for our 9' ceiling.  I need a piece that's at counter height of 36", but it automatically becomes the depth of a dresser at 18-20".  That's too far out for the little nook.  

Could it be that a piece that fits our dimensions and budget does not exist?  The simplest things are always the hardest to find!

Seems like I've no choice but to add this drop zone unit to the Mr.'s to-build list.  Check back soon, as I'll talk about the design of this DIY unit next!