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. Jen says

    My 3 boys ages 2,4,6 helped me to put an Expedit together for their playroom last week while my husband was at work. They had so much fun with it.

  2. says

    You can’t beat an Ikea bookcase in my opinion. I’m check craigslist everyday and looking at the Ikea catalog because i want to redo my mother’s house. She’s had some rough times lately and I think I bit or organization and refreshing would help her have a new perspective…literally

  3. Shannon says

    I love the Expedit! We use them for closet/office storage and toy organization. We use a white one for toys and the finish has held up well!

  4. says

    The Expedit is my most-favoritist piece in the world. We have three of them in our house.

    Putting them together? That’s a whole other story…

  5. says

    Haha. A kid’s favorite toy is always the box. Why do we even spend money on the things inside the box for them? Anyways, love the update, however I am still drooling over the bike artwork. I haven’t been to Ikea in a while (it’s a three hour drive for me) but I am so antsy so go!

  6. nancy50 says

    The room is coming together beautifully! I wish I could find the bike posters for my bike activist husband – he would love them, but I don’t see them listed on the website John linked.

    We are currently giving our kitchen a “freshening” up – we’re at a different stage of life – one child through college but one left to pay for – so a total remodel of the kitchen is not in the cards. What we are attempting is to replace the nonfunctional cabinets in our peninsula with rubric stainless steel cabinets from Ikea and then replace the doors and reface the other cabinets. We found a website to order real wood – maple – doors that are less expensive than Ikea’s doors. They come unfinished but hubby is going to finish them in salad bowl oil that is zero VOC. I’ve got my eye on your white corian countertops and your penny tile backsplash – thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Michelle M. says

    LOVE my expedit! When I re-did my room (it was a converted one-car-garage shape, long and skinny, with angular cielings that were only about 6 ft tall on the short end…) I needed a new book case, and I purchased a Billy, realized it was too tall and did NOTHING to split up the room, went back and came home with an expedit in the birch color. So, I used it to go down the center of my room horizontally, and section it into a “bedroom” area and a “seating” area, and put the TV on top of the expedit so that I could see it from both areas simply by turnging it -perfection! And even better, it has room for 2 rows of books, so I could put books facing out on both sides. It looked SO nice that I was actually sad about having to dismantle the set-up to move into my first apartment. Now it’s our TV stand in our living room. My roommate is super lucky and got a free sectional, so the L wraps right around it perfectly. It holds most of my books and all of our DVDS. Couldn’t ask for a better, more useful piece of furniture, and so CHEAP!

  8. says

    I love those Ikea book cases, we used ours as a buffet in our dining room – so versatile! Great job on scoring the free bike pics too, I’ll be stalking my local Gap to see if they have any graphic posters I can poach!

  9. Leigh Anne says

    The room looks great! Seeing the shelf laid on its back behind the Clara/box picture made me want to make a huge coffee table with a hinged lid + added backing+ legs. Hmmm…

  10. says

    Could you believe that I have NEVER been to an Ikea!? NEVER! We just don’t have one that is close to where we live, unfortunately. I’ve never been to a HomeGoods or World Market, either. My wallet is probably for the better because of that, haha!

  11. Jessica says

    Looks great! I have that same bookcase in my son’s nursery. Well, it’s the gloss white one because grandma “splurged”!

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