The corner of the studio across from my (sad) desk had been a mis-matched balancing act for far too long (since last July; but who’s counting?). My rolling, stackable file bin was perfect for my old studio due to space constraints, but my need for an actual file cabinet returned with every frustrating frenzy to find a document – only to realize it’s been buried in the bottom bin:
An attractive file cabinet is not easy to come by, and if they are attractive, well, the price tag reflects that. At first, I wasn’t sure what price point I felt comfortable with, and sacrificing quality wasn’t something I was willing to do. It’s a dreaded balancing act; you know the feeling.
I checked in on Craigslist often, and made the rounds on Overstock, CB2, Ikea and the like – but nothing was wide enough for the space (we had a 60″ width to play with) or the finishes were a bit too traditional for our tastes (think: dark cherry walnut). Months ago, I found this one from Home Decorators Collection and had been eying it ever since, but I couldn’t commit to the price with so many other projects on our plate. But as luck would have it, during a recent check in, (likely during yet another moment of frustration, in which I was ready to hurl my files across the room!) I was thrilled to see that they were having a 15% off sale with free shipping (saving another $50!), so, I went for it – yay! Much better:
On a side note: Yes, we still have a bare hanging light bulb from our landing. That junction box was moved when we reconfigured that opening (remember when it was a wall?), and we’ve yet to settle on a fixture. It drives us nuts, but what’s a bare bulb when you still don’t have a closet?
This guy came in two huge boxes, each weighing in at about 60 lbs, and after just surviving the flat packed boxes from the workroom’s Varde, I thought, well, what’s one more? The reviews on the file console warned of a tedious construction process, but oddly enough, I sort of enjoy piecing these beasts together. It’s a perfect formula, and it’s so satisfying when completed. (I’m a very meticulous person, so, surprise, surprise!) Of course there’s no point in us showing you the step by step of the process, but after putting together our fair share of flat-packed-furniture, we’ve picked up some lessons along the way to make it easy (we promise!):
PREP. Take the time to lay everything out, check off the supplies list and double check that every last piece has been accounted for. This can sometimes take a good 30 minutes, but it will make the build time go much, much faster. Afterwards and before diving in, set aside all the foam/cardboard and packing materials so they’re not in the way.
MAKE ROOM. Give yourself plenty of space and lay down a drop cloth – or work on a carpeted surface. Flat packed boxes will almost always have a lot of dust and MDF bits that can rough up the surface of the product, especially when rubbed against a hardwood floor.
USE THE BETTER TOOL. We never ever ever rely on the small tools that are provided in the box. A power drill / screwdriver / hex kit will speed you up ten fold and ease (or completely eliminate) frustration. Make your life a little easier, won’t you?
MAKE A PLAYLIST. While working, make sure you set yourself up with a good go-get-’em playlist! Our go-to has always been Girl Talk or LCD Soundsystem, but a so-bad-it’s-good 90s shuffle will make you forget you’re spending your lunch break hunched over particle board.
GO AHEAD, MODIFY. Don’t be afraid to make changes, big or small! This is the easiest time to do so, as your furniture is still in pieces. In our case, we replaced the file console’s standard rubber feet for shiny gold casters. Using a pair of pliers, we reverse-screwed the bit that was inside each leg, and the caster hardware fit right in – no drilling required!
I am so happy I went with this cabinet, although there’s still one more step – those knobs. After putting it all together, the plain wooden knobs felt so sad to us (I believe Scott called it Holly Hobby), so I searched online for something to complement the casters and landed on these. They’ll be here soon, and this little corner will look even better! Even still, I’m loving the new view from my desk.
The television you saw before will ultimately be mounted onto the wall above the cabinet, and I’m also thinking that’s the perfect space for a small gallery wall to finally bring in color – if only to conceal the television a bit while giving me something pretty to look at (always important!). I’ve already begun digging through our frames and photos that we’ve yet to hang, but I’m also thinking of incorporating a thing or two that’s new.
Organization! Love this feeling. (Just don’t look at the baseboards… er, lack thereof.)