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)?

Comments

  1. Miranda says

    It looks great! However I think it’s funny that Sue the napkin’s sisters name is the same as hers (Susan) :)

  2. says

    Love those handles! I see you got them from Hobby Lobby. Our store is across town as well. One is 30 mins away, the other is 1 hour. The closest one I will never go to again. They don’t stock up on a lot of knobs and they try sell us one that an employee broke in the store after we waited a month for the shipment to come in. Anyway excuse my rant, gorgeous file cabinet. The handles match very well with the cane chairs.

  3. Hanna says

    Effectiv looks wonderful! And may I say that the glass and the facets… very vintage? /grin

    John, whenever I get scolded for making up words… or merging words… or whatever… I just loftily tell people that I am a professional writer, I am ALLOWED to make up words!

    Since you two are such prolific writers, and make a living from it, I think you are both allowed to make up whatever words you want. The Dictionary will just have to catch up!

  4. says

    John, great progress on the office. I love that you and Sherry just keep moving things forward but not in a hurried way, it’s always so well thought out. Can’t wait to see how this evolves over time. And the pic of the file folders (I do love me some of those too) makes me all inspired to get my crap in order and get organized! Happy weekend!

  5. Danielle says

    I’m a law student, so hanging files are de rigeur for keeping my stuff organized and accessible. I have a 2-drawer filing cabinet that I just spray painted metallic chrome, and just snagged a new desk from IKEA (oh blue/yellow doors, how I love thee!)

    I’m definitely going to have to branch out in the office storage department, and I’m going to completely steal your Effektiv idea (and quite likely, a Schlobby Bobby trip may be in order, because I’m totally groovin on those glass handles).

  6. Thais Bessa says

    Oh no, we just bought this same printer and were very excited about it. What do you guys dislike about it? Ours is still unopened, so we can return it if it is not worth it. Thanks!

    • says

      It just doesn’t always work wirelessly (so sometimes we have to plug it in or wait a looong time for it to work – but usually it does, just hours later – haha). Others have seemed to have the same issues (but maybe it has been fixed in the newer ones?). So annoying! Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s

    • Debbie says

      I have a wireless printer by Brother and it’s great. Maybe return the HP and get a Brother instead!

    • Courtney says

      My husband and I bought the same printer a couple months ago when we moved into our new house, and we have the same problems! We’ve only been able to use it once since we bought it! We’ve always had bad luck with printers, so I just assumed is was our bad juju again. I’m glad to hear that it’s not, and that others have the same problems!

      PS – I’m a (fairly) new reader, and I love your blog! We just bought our first house, and I’ve been making a list of all the things I want to try from your site!

  7. says

    Lookin good, handles!

    One of my first Ikea purchases was a wardrobe (this was like 15 years ago) and the pre-drilled holes for the handles did NOT match the holes in the handles for the screws. I kind of got one on there, but the left handle was only attached at the top and would swing from side to side if you pulled on it from an angle. Sigh. Had I been out of middle school I may have changed out the handles for something chicer (and re-drilled the holes). Good thing your cabinet didn’t already have holes drilled!

  8. Nikki says

    How was drilling through the laminate on those drawers? I’m thinking of putting handles on my Malm dressers and am a bit nervous about that.

  9. says

    You should check out http://honestoffice.com/ for office supplies. If you can’t find what you want on their site, just call. Their customer service is awesome and I find that they deliver really quickly. It’s great when you can’t always find time to get to the store.

  10. says

    It looks good, not that you need my (or anyone elses) praise. I have to say though, the one thing that continually impresses me whenever you put office pictures up, is that you two share a desk. Blows my mind impressive. Desk sharing is not up for debate in my house. Then again, our laptops live on the coffee table – so maybe that counts.

    • says

      Haha, we definitely “travel” with our laptops a lot (the kitchen table, the sofa, etc). And one of us is always on Clara duty while the other is working so it’s not usually too bad. When she gets older and goes off to preschool and we can both work at the same time we might change our tune! Haha.

      xo,
      s

    • says

      Thanks for clearing that up! All I could think was, “they must almost never argue if they can work together in that close of a setting for days on end.” I didn’t even think about the fact that the bean doesn’t just sit quietly with you guys haha.

      Logic has proven I am not a mom yet. Love babies, but right, duh…one year old’s don’t sit still.

    • says

      Haha, yeah we get quite the workout when we’re watching her. Someone can be demo-ing or painting something while the other is on Clara duty and the person with the baby can end up more sweaty and tired at the end of the day. Haha. But she sure is fun!

      xo,
      s

    • says

      Haha I love it! Babies and toddlers are hands down my favorite age range. I recently had a visit with a friend with a 3 week old…for 4 hours. My husband found me at home with hands on my laptop, head back on the couch and passed out, for almost 1 1/2 hours by my calculation.

      She wasn’t even moving. Just a lot of bouncing, fussing, feeding, changing, being peed on, etc. I loved every second of it but holy smokes. I can totally see how a one year old would school you! Our best friends 3 1/2 year old wipes us out and it’s the best.