Adding Storage In The Sunroom

We’re trying to redo the sunroom on a budget using as much that we already have as we can (since we have other projects like Clara’s big girl room, a guest bathroom, and a porch & carport overhaul that we’re saving our pennies for). But there’s a delicate balance between function and saving money. Sometimes you can use 100% of what you already have and achieve 70% function in a room, or you can spend a little money along with using 90% of the things you already have and end up with 100% function. So as you might guess, we’re going for 100% function on a small budget.

So far all we’ve bought is one gallon of paint for the walls & ceiling of the sunroom and everything else has been furniture, accessories, and art that we already have (except for these $7 frames we built here). But the time recently came to buy one more thing. The room needs storage, so instead of adding more seating or another table that we already have, we decided that a bookcase with eight whole grids of storage space was the way to go.

And thanks to Ikea’s not-too-bad prices, we scored this bad boy for $69. It’s this one (in the “white” finish, since the “gloss white” one was $20 more) and John and Clara had some bonding time on Saturday morning putting it together.

Looks like we have a little DIY lover on our hands…

As for how long it took to assemble, it wasn’t too bad. Maybe half an hour? Here it is all put together in the sunroom:

We opted to store items that would be the most functional for us, so it just made sense to use it to store board games, books, and a few toys for Clara since she plays in there sometimes and we play the occasional board game at the table in front of the daybed. And as for the books… well… we just love storing books in bookcases. Ha. And while there are some on the built-ins in our dining room, those are actually really narrow shelves, so our bigger design books don’t fit up there. Now those can live here in the sunroom. Cha-ching.

As for the things on top, I just thought adding color with some vases that John got me for Mother’s Day last year and tossing down a secondhand bike that Clara picked out a few years back would be fun. Does two pieces of bike art + a 3D bike = the bike trifecta? I think it does for John. Also, he’s wearing a bike shirt in this post. He’s gone off the deep end guys.

So here’s where the room is now:

And as for a little budget breakdown, everything in here was already owned except for the paint on the walls, those $7 frames, and this new bookcase, so we’ve spent under $135 to upgrade a room that used to look like this:

But we still have an empty corner to attend to, as well as adding some finishing touches to help polish things off (for example, that wooden side table still feels a little unbalanced to us, but we have a plan). You know we’ll keep you posted!

What Ikea furniture are you guys assembling these days? Or are you hunting things down on Craigslist? One tip: before you buy anything from Ikea, check if it’s on Craigslist (in this case the right size/color wasn’t available, but sometimes it is and you can save some money). Are you building bookcases instead? We thought about building something, but for this much chunky wood, it actually would have been more than $69! Hootie hoo for affordable shortcuts.

Oh and before I stop rambling, guess what Clara’s favorite part is?

Yup, the box. Who’s surprised?


  1. says

    Oh that looks so fresh and cozy. I love that you guys worked with what you had. I may need to get my daughter one of those 8-cube storage things when we move her up to “big girl room” status. We’re going to DIY this bed from Ana White (love her): except we’re tweaking it to twin size and may only do head/foot board rather than daybed. It will be posted on the blog whenever it’s done! I think the cube-y storage thingy would look good with the geometric bed.

  2. Peggy says

    Looking good! My mom and dad were big time diy-ers, and I’m so thankful for what they taught me. I have no doubt Clara will follow in your footsteps.
    Can you tell me about the orange on white pillow in the back right corner of the day bed?

  3. cd says

    I’m kinda shocked you bought new. I shark Craigslist for Ikea stuff like expedits. Those are like clist essentials.

    Looks good in the space though.

  4. Stacey says

    i’ve always loved the expedit bookcase. like another commenter said, it’s clean and simple…and affordable! i recently decided i need to pick one up for my sons’ room to replace another bookcase i’ve been using in between their beds. the expedit will help to break up the wall a bit (i’m going to use it vertically) and give them a ton more storage for their tablets, headphones, video game controllers, etc.

  5. Alison says

    Didn’t you guys have the same one in the basement of your old house? Did that one stay with the house or get sold when you moved?

  6. says

    Um. We LOVE putting together Ikea furniture. Love it! When we were building our built-ins that consist of 7 bookcases, Chris and I would race to see who could get one together the fastest–we were clocked under 5 minutes.

    And it was similar when we built our fauxdenza.

    Can’t get enough of the thrill. (Officially pathetic. Hahaha.)

  7. Sharon says

    The sunroom is really turning out great. No surprise there.

    We moved to Germany into a flat with ZERO storage so we bought a HUGE Pax/Komplement closet system for our master bedroom. It wasn’t cheap but worth every penny as we have room for everything plus some breathing room. It was a sound investment.

    I really miss my closet space from the good ole US of A

  8. Ann says

    We have three expedit bookshelves. We love them. One is used to store all of our son’s diapers, burp cloths, next size up clothing, bath stuff, and yes, even books.

  9. says

    Popping in to share the IKEA love! I could spend a whole day there…99 cents for breakfast, browse around the life-sized doll houses, back for delicious meatballs for lunch, roll around in the fabrics, and then a soft serve for dessert on my way out.

    Oh, and thanks for preaching the Bible of “live with it for a bit.” I just moved into a new house and while I’m tempted to CHANGE ALL THE THINGS I’m taking a page from your book and stopping to decide what I really want, save my pennies, and only buy things that I really love.

  10. Natalie says

    My husband just started his Doctorate and we are expecting identical twin boys in June….So we added two of those IKEA pieces to our finished basement to make an office since he is getting kicked out of the guest room that will quickly become a nursery. We used the birch expedite (sp) as a new place for a tv and then the tall work station version next to it for all of his studies :)

  11. Rachael says

    This room looks so awesome now!! When you first painted I remember thinking, that’s pretty good, but didn’t think it was so amazing (I really kind of like the look of brick) but now when I see the before pics and how it is now it just reminds me how it wasn’t so great as I was thinking it was, haha! Great job!

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