Tools you'll need for this project:
- Screw Driver
- Power Drill
- Tape Measure
- Caulking Gun
- Paint roller and tray
- 8 x Amerock Allison Collection Cup Pull; $4 each, The Home Depot.
- No More Nails Construction Adhesive
- Screws of various lengths *
- 2 x Newell Rubbermaid Two-Ring Knob; $4 each, The Home Depot.
- Perfect Home Essentials Wide Storage Unit; $100, The Home Depot.
- Perfect Home Essentials Narrow Storage Unit; $90, The Home Depot.
- 2 x Perfect Home Essentials Wide Storage Drawers two-pack; $40 each, The Home Depot.
- 2 x Perfect Home Essentials Narrow Storage Drawers two-pack; $37 each, The Home Depot.
- 4 x Perfect Home Essentials Adjustable Rod (18-30" range); $9 each, The Home Depot.
- Pine work surface; Prices vary, The Home Depot Pine Shop.
- Surface paint: Behr Creamy Mushroom UL130-15, The Home Depot.
1. Shop for storage units and supplies
As always, measure the designated space before you shop, including width, height and depth. Peruse Homedepot.ca before shopping to get a sense of what’s available in-store versus online-only.
It’s also helpful to draw a simple diagram of the space and your planned closet configuration before you head to the store.
For our project, we knew we had exactly 30” of space for a work surface between two storage towers. We selected a 36” wide Pine Shop board, and had a Home Depot associate cut it down to a 30” width.
To brace the work surface, we had a piece of 2”x2” cut into three lengths to go along the back wall and the sides of the storage towers. The supports don’t need to meet in the corners. Cut them all a couple of inches shorter than the edge of the work surface they are supporting to avoid overlap.
2. Paint the top and sides of pine work surface
To allow time for a second coat and for paint to dry completely, you may want to start with this step. We picked an alkalyd enamel paint for durability and shine.
3. Assemble the storage tower frames and attach to wall
With a partner, assemble the towers according to instructions. Although the units we used are sold with a particleboard backing, we opted to leave ours open in the back to allow the wall colour to show through for contrast.
4. Add hardware (optional) before adding drawers and hanging doors
The drawers on the units we selected do not come pre-drilled for hardware. Rather than measuring and marking each drawer front individually, create a cardboard template. Cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the drawer face, then mark where the hardware screws will go and, using a narrow drill bit, make a hole at each marking. Lay each drawer face up, and place the cardboard template on top. Using pencil make a mark in each hole. Once all drawers are marked, drill holes accordingly and attach your hardware. Because the tower doors did come with hardware, we simply screwed in knobs which coordinated with the decorative drawer pulls.
5. Create a support for the work surface
Measure and mark on the wall exactly where you’d like the top of the work surface to hit. For counter height this should be 36” from the ground. Average desk height (which we used) is 30” – but you can do higher or lower depending on what you find comfortable. After marking the wall, make another mark beneath it to reflect the bottom of the work surface; our work surface was ¾” thick, so we marked ¾” beneath it. You will install the top of your blocking along this line. With a partner, hold the piece of blocking level and steady against the wall or storage tower. Using a narrow drill bit, drill a pilot hole through the blocking and into the surface behind. (Make sure you don’t drill all the way through the side of the storage tower!) Along the wall, use these pilot holes to show you where to install your anchors. Put the blocking back in place and using the appropriate head on your power drill, screw through the blocking and into the wall or storage tower. When screwing into the storage tower, make sure your screws are long enough to go into the side of the tower, but short enough not to poke through the other side.
6. Mount work surface
Using paneling glue and a caulking gun, run a bead of glue along the top of the blocking support. Then, affix the work surface on top and press gently along back and side edges. For extra security, you can screw up through the blocking and into the underside of your work surface. Be sure that the screws you are using are long enough to go into the work surface, but short enough that they do not poke through the top of the work surface.
7. Mount adjustable clothing rods
Simply hang two clothing rods (which are available as part of the storage system shown here) between the two storage towers at the top with the hardware supplied. If you’re setting up the area as a gift wrapping station, you’ll want to string ribbon spools and even wrapping paper through the rod before mounting. You can also use the rods with hangers for sewing projects and fabric samples.