Adding Hardware To An Ikea Cabinet (And Hiding The Printer)

So as much as you guys gushed over our temporary string handles for our new Effektiv file cabinet (note: this is sarcasm), we did scoop up some actual hardware that we much prefer.

They’re black glass handles that were originally $9, but Hobby Lobby (aka Schlobby Bobby) was having one of those perpetual 50% off sales, so they were $4.50 a pop instead.

As I mentioned here, I was a bit nervous about installing them, since it was up to me to make sure they were all centered and level (Sherry + measuring = meltdown). So I triple-measured and even made myself a little guide out of card stock. First, I figured out that my holes needed to be 6.25″ and 9.25″ in from the edge if I wanted it to be centered (which is why I drew those two vertical lines), and we decided we wanted the handles to be placed 2.5″ down from the top of the door (so I added that horizontal line 2.5″ down from the top fold). I used the crease in the paper to line it up consistently for each handle and some tape to hold it in place while I screwed through it to create guide holes. Maybe I should’ve splurged the $3 or so to buy the little plastic hardware guides that a lot of you mentioned from various places (Ikea even had one), but this actually ended up working really well (and I wasn’t sure the Ikea one would work with non-Ikea handles).

Once the holes were made in my guide, it also made it easy to flip the piece of paper over and use it on the opposite cabinet door (ensuring perfectly symmetrical placement).

Luckily all of my holes came out perfectly. But it was only after drilling them that I noticed not all of the handles were perfect. Urgh. Notice how the holes on the right handle are perfectly centered? And the right hole on the left one kinda looks wonky, like it’s raising an eyebrow?

If Hobby Lobby weren’t on the other side of town (good news, we just heard one is coming closer to us in October) I would’ve driven back and exchanged the two bad ones. But instead I just drilled the corresponding holes in the door a bit longer (you know, taller?) to account for the crookedness. Then we could just tighten the hardware to hold them in place so they were nice and level. That worked out just fine, thank goodness. Note: this all looks very whitewashed, we can’t wait to get some color on those walls.

They’re definitely a subtle addition from afar, but up close they make us glad we waited to find these outside of Ikea’s big blue doors (or are they yellow?).

Sherry calls them “her lovies” and says things to them like “don’t you look posh today?” when she walks into the room. Gotta admit that I really like them too.

We especially like how the shape kind of plays off of the caning in our office chairs (which will look a whole lot better when we make some desk upgrades among a thousand other things):

Oh, but no post about a file cabinet is complete without a look behind the doors at the glamorous things that we store in there. A printer & camera bag. Oooooh. Extra paper & hanging files. Ahhhh.

Our wireless printer (an HP PhotoSmart C4780 that we don’t love – let’s just say it’s quirky) fits in there quite nicely (it’s 17 x 11 x 6.5″) since the paper tray folds up when not in use. Of course it still has a wire for the power cord, which I first attempted to slide through the back by drilling a hole. Then I realized it’d be easier just to detach the top shelf of the Effektiv momentarily (since it installs in three vertical parts) and then lift it slightly and tuck the cord through the crack in the back (thanks HP for making a tiny flat cord!).

See, you can’t even see it:

In the file cabinet drawers there are lots of, well, files. Surprise!

We bought some colorful hanging ones from Office Depot (for something like $7 for 25) to make filing a bit less manilla. If only there were some green ones in the mix, we could almost call them Sue the Napkin’s more productive sister: Susan the File Folders.

We even decided to store some various printer papers in there for easy access. You know, for that one time a month when we actually print something.

So thar she be for now. Effektiv is officially decked out with handles (string, you will be missed) and various office necessities (pile in the corner of the room, you will also be missed). Up next? Perhaps some furniture rearranging and definitely some building/lighting/general upgrades.

In the meantime, who else is obsessed with hanging files? Have you ever ended up with crooked hardware that has a sarcastic eyebrow-raise-thing going on? Did you notice I spelled card stock as all one word in my file tab (Sherry gently mentioned that to me a second ago)?


    • says

      We’re not sure! Originally we were going to go with the same soft gray as the dining room since they’re so open to each other, but now we’re thinking we might go with something a little darker. We’ll have to pull some swatches and see what we end up with!


  1. says

    There is nothing more frustrating than lopsided hardware. It was only after drilling holes in our plaster wall and installing anchors, that we realized the hooks on the back of our new dining room mirror weren’t level. I thought my husband was going to have a mental breakdown!

    Glad it was an easy fix for your new cabinet. :-)

  2. says

    I will have no need to drive to short pump!! Well, thats kind of an exaggeration…Next time I need something measured will come over and do it for me?! I’m with Sherry. If it’s not even numbers count me out. Looks great, especially with the chairs!!

  3. says

    the handles look great — nice upgrade from standard ikea bland. and I have that same printer — it is the worst! I finally gave up on trying to use it wirelessly and always just use the usb cable now. definitely a huge disappointment.

  4. says

    I have the same hanging files! I love the colors, too. Hooray, the first thing I ever noticed we have the same in our homes is hanging files. Why does that feel oddly lame?

  5. Michelle says

    Hi Guys, just had a quick question. I am from the same area you are and wanted to travel up to Ikea this weekend, but was wondering if the upstairs/room/design setup had been changed or if anything was new since the last time you went? Thanks so much and love your blog!!!!!!

  6. says

    Love this! And kudos on the handles. A small detail can still tie a room together better! Can’t wait to see what color the walls will be! Looks like y’all get a lot of natural light in that room so that’s a great plus for keeping it bright and airy.

  7. Ezza says

    I love your blog-I really do!-but please, please stop saying that things cost X amount “a pop”! You do it all. the. time.

    • JennyB says

      Funny, I really like knowing how much stuff costs! I love to see what kind of deals you guys are snagging. Maybe because I’m such a bargain shopper myself:)

    • says

      “The total fund expenditure on the handles equated to four dollars and fifty cents per unit, with a retailer discount of 50%. Due to the unexpected discount, the hardware acquisition came in under our budget expectations.”

      Idioms are definitely regional, and some drive people more nuts than others. Here on the East Coast, I can tell you I have yet to meet one New Englander who doesn’t cringe at the word “Hella” being used, and someone from outside the Northeast who doesn’t laugh when we perpetually write and say “wicked” without realizing it.

      After being in the tax field for a long time I for one am happy to read “a pop” in reference to a cost expenditure (and to have a job in marketing). To each their own!

  8. says

    I have those handles in clear and I love them! I do find that they get a little loose, so a little Loctite could help prevent that. I got them on sale as well and did find that they had wonky holes too, but you can’t beat the price!

    As for color- I’d love to see a teal or a spicy orange color!

  9. Missy G. says

    I’m so excited that y’all are working on your office next! I was browsing through your house tour recently (and watching a video that one of you posted), and was wondering to myself when y’all would attack that room. Especially since (I’m assuming) that you are in there a good bit. I can’t wait to see what colors, paint techniques, stencils (maybe?!) that y’all do above the chair rail. Such a cliff hanger. haha.

    P.S. Your love of parentheses is (apparently) rubbing off on me. hah!

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