Tiny Update for a Tidier Built-In

Now that West is sleeping in his “big kid bed,” Adam and I figured it was time to address a few issues we’ve been having around the couch, starting with aspects of the built-in shelving. As such, we outfitted the exposed cubbies in our main room with custom drawers that allow us to use the entire height, width and depth of the cavity. (This is what these ledges looked like for 7+ years prior to this lil’ update. I very much liked the relaxed, natural look, but it just wasn’t the most efficient use of the interior space.)

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I intended to add drawer pulls of some sort (probably vegetable-tanned leather) to the front, but West has had so much fun putting pebbled and crayons in the finger outlets recently that I haven’t had the heart to change them quite yet. Plus they match the holes in the under-sofa storage doors, and they are most likely keeping our son from pulling the drawers out onto the floor (and onto his adorable feet). Meh, I’m in no rush.

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I am so accustomed to seeing the old baskets there that these white, squared-off drawers make me feel a bit like I’m at Space Camp. But They brighten up the space, and they’re so much more useful.

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While I’m always an advocate for fewer belongings over more storage, it made no sense for us to continue to ignore the inches being lost by the baskets, which only filled up about 2/3 of the cubbies. Now this funny little built-in zone feels cavernous to us.

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The middle drawer holds my office supplies, such as envelopes, tech dopp kits, and a few small accessories in pouches.

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The top is where we keep StanLee and Sophee’s pet bags, deshedding brush, harnesses for the cargo bike and car, and specialty collars (like a safety collar and the one StanLee wore during our home wedding). I also keep a lint roller in here, though I plan to switch to a sustainable brush once this one is worn out or chewed up.

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The bottom drawer holds West’s wooden train track parts. (The apple basket in which they were stored before made a perfect plant holder for a new variegated rubber plant that we found at Venice Plants.)

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I’m always amazed by what an impact a tiny change like this can have on the appearance and function of a space our size.

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