Next: I’m dropping a sink right into that 18″ deep shelf.
Yes, it takes “forever” to finish all the details in a room design project. As you will recall, step #1 in my retro crafty office remodel was to get the room gutted, add insulation, add recessed shelving, put on new drywall. Step #2 was for me and Denise to make a patchwork quilt of 18 different kinds of wallpapers, on all four walls. Once all the foundations of the room were in place, I could then proceed to follow up projects — the furniture, storage and decor. Followup project #1, I decided on and installed my crafting storage area using children’s storage and a salvaged countertop. Now I have completed followup project #2: Installing modular storage along the wall by the doors.As you can see, I was influenced by my recent story on the history of Knape & Vogt shelving — the original (1938) patented modular storage system — and that’s what I installed. Read on for more details about why I chose the KV, along with tips from my DIY experience installing this shelving.
Above: It is my intention, followup project number #3, #4 or #5, to drop a sink into the shelf at the top of the photo, above. Squint and you can see the plumbing is there between the middle two KV standards. Oh, I found a better photo, isn’t this just the most exciting thing you’ve seen all day?:
There is a bathroom on the other side of that wall, so when the wall was open I paid a plumber to bring the pipes into my office. Since my office is also now my crafting/collaging space, I thought it would be nice to have a small sink to wash my brushes and hands in. Also, down the line when I am a little old lady on a fixed income, if I want to have renters down here in the basement, I can make this office into a kitchen. Now I’m ready for the sink. Hope they like the wallpaper!
Why I chose the Knape & Vogt shelf system
Anyway, returning to my shelving choice, I chose the Knape & Vogt in great part because these standards (that’s what the long pole things that you screw into your studs are called) allow you to move shelves up or down to the exact height you need. The brackets that hold the shelves can be sized from like 6″ to 24″ deep — meaning you can get brackets deep enough to hold a shelf that can hold a kitchen countertop — and sink. Don’t trust my memory if you are going to do this, check the KV data sheets, but as I recall, the heavy duty (two prong thingie) standards that I used can hold up 300 pounds. I can easily adjust the height of my “sink counter” — I am going to set it to about 40″. Woah, I just adore the utility and flexibility of this set up.
Other reasons I chose the KV: I liked that KV was “the original” historic modular shelving system. This provenance impresses me. I found the standards and brackets to be terrific quality — heavy and well machined. The bright white powder coating (I assume) onto steel suited my 60s acid trip with white decor goin’ on. And, the Carr Hardware in Pittsfield had everything. I was able to buy what I needed, in stages, as I made decisions… I could see just what I was buying and I didn’t have to wait for internet purchases to arrive.
I made the shelves myself out of wood I had around the house. Yes, the wood is kind of warpy, and my painting is indifferent. But, I figure the wood will unwarp when weight is put on to it. And no one but me, really, knows what a bad job I did painting. Like I said, I was indifferent. I have too much else going on right now.
Another reason that I cut the shelves myself, was that I needed 49″ shelves to bridge the span, and KV only sold shelves that went 47-7/16″ wide. I think I messed up by not making the standards exactly 16″ apart. That’s my main tip: As you are locating your studs, make sure the standard on the far right and the far left are not off — you need to get the 47-7/16″ shelf to fit. Honestly, if I had not been off in my calculation, I would have used their pretty thermofoiled white shelves and saved myself the painting headache.
Think hard about where you place the standards
Okay, I thought of a second tip, or rather, a thing to think about: I used 63″ high standards, because I did not have wall height to fit the next size, 80″. Also, I really did not want to see the standard all the way to the top if I didn’t need to. So, when I was trying to figure out where to start the standard.. I had to kind of guess how I would use the space at the top, and the bottom. My decision to kind of split the difference was not as good one as it could have been, because I thought of another trick that came into play…
I used shelf brackets for bookends and between the books in a packed row
… Tip #3, I used 7″ brackets as bookends and also used brackets on each standard all the way across the row of books — this helps keeps the books upright in each section.
Going back to my issue of where to start the standards, if I would have started the standards several inches higher — just enough to also hold these “bookend” brackets at the top — I could have used this solution when and if I add books to the top in the future. Most of the books in the shelving now are my “historic” books used to reference when I have the blog. I have lots of books in other places in the house, so I don’t need to put them all here. Plus, I like having lots of decoration space, too. Nonetheless, it turned out I had extra standard at the bottom that I could have allocated to the top, for this flexibility reason.
Rubbermaid brackets seem to fit KV heavy duty standards
Part of my research in the project was looking at other systems similar to the KV at Home Depot and Lowes. I’ve kind of already forgotten the differences (bad reporter)(because I was set on the KV once I saw they were available, like I said, I wanted to have ‘the original’), but one takeaway I can pass along is that the Rubbermaid brackets seem to fit the KV heavy duty standard that I have. The Rubbermaid notches are different, though, so I’m not sure I would *trust* them to hold really heavy stuff like I’m going to trust the KV brackets to hold the weight they promise. I did not price shop, it seemed to me everything was “pretty close” in price. Close enough for me, and I got to buy from a locally owned hardware store, though I assure you I still have spent a small fortune at Home Depot and Lowes in my lifetime.
All that said: I am super happy, overall, with my KV system.