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. Anne says

    The sunroom looks great!

    I have my eye on a couple of Expedits, too. I found an idea on Pinterest to make them into benches. I’m going to put them in the playroom. I picked up a gateleg table from Ikea the other day. It will fit perfect in a small hallway we have, and folds out for extra seating when we have people over. Currently it is sitting in the box and I’m trying to decide if I am brave enough to put it together or if I should wait until my husband gets home and let him handle it.

  2. says

    Love Expedit! Probably one of my favorite pieces of furniture in our apartment. We bought two of those and I use them side by side as craft shelves. Thanks for the tip about checking Craigslist – I hadn’t thought about that before!

    The sunroom is looking amazing!

  3. Adina says

    I love your expedit there! I have a few around my house. Do you guys like plants? I feel a sunroom could use a nice tall plant-brings a more natural touch. Ikea has a good (and inexpensive) selection, at least mine does. I don’t know about dogs and plants but I have 4 kids and all my plants survive.

    • says

      Oh yeah that would be fun! The sunroom isn’t heated in the winter, so we’d need plants that would live outside and not house plants so they wouldn’t freeze :)


  4. Brenda says

    It looks great! I’m of the opinion that you can never have too many book cases, especially ones like these with deeper shelves!

  5. Sara T. says

    Love the Expedit! We have the 4×4 in white and the1x4 in the dark brown and they hold SO much…not looking forward to moving them one day when we move on to a bigger house because they are REALLY heavy, but I still love them. I’ve also see them used in nursery’s with the legs (about 4″ tall) for some added height. Maybe for the next one… :)

  6. Jess says

    Love it!
    We have expedit shelves in several rooms in our house, in different colors and sizes and we LOVE THEM. They’re so useful and they cubbies are big! Enjoy!

  7. Emma says

    Ah I love the Expedit. Such a functional furniture family. Have you considered jazzing up your new Expedit with legs? As you know, Ikea sells them. It looks good sans legs but it’s good know that’s always an option.

  8. Bettina says

    Even in Switzerland we buy Expedit book cases. We are planning of buying 6 of these (same size, same colours as yours), three for each kid’s room. And then you can also buy coloured plastic boxes that match the book cases to store the toys and add some bright colours to the kids’ rooms.

  9. says

    Love it! We’ve got a massive Expedit upstairs and it’s fantastic.
    You should do a floor pillow like the one you made Clara! It would look fantastic hanging out with all those square corners. :)
    Man, in my next life (aka house) I am sooo making sure we have a sunroom.

  10. Shirley says

    Love those expedits. I picked up 2 of them for 5 or 10 EACH at a yard sale that I went to spur of the moment (saw a sign in my neighborhood), it was last pickings of the sale (it was a Sunday or Monday) and the sellers just wanted to get rid of it. I had to disassemble both of them on the spot in order to fit in the station wagon, and at 70+ lbs each, it was not fun for me to do. They had the large one as well which I also would have taken except that I would have had to take that apart as well and am sure that would have weighed 100 lbs. We have them in our playroom as well and they are so great, they hold and organize everything. My husband was thinking of getting rid of one and replacing with something else, I told him forget it. The expedit is an organizing genius!

  11. Chelsea says

    LOVE the Expedit, and that looks great. I’m impressed you can get Clara to put together IKEA furniture. I get so confused and annoyed by the lack of any actual WORDS on the instructions that I get frustrated and whiny after about five minutes and my husband bans me from “helping”, ha. So yup, your toddler is better behaved than me, an adult. Oh well.

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