UPDATE: Starting 12/18/19 through early February 2020, all Elfa storage systems and installation services are 30% off — woot woot!
Elfa shelving systems ROCK! Today, I’ll walk you through the Elfa shelving installation process from start to finish and show you just how crazy easy it is to install a custom Elfa storage solution.
Welcome to week 4 of the One Room Challenge™ ! I must say that I’m pretty darned impressed with myself…not because of any mad design skills that I possess, but for the fact that I haven’t yet succumbed to a nervous breakdown. My project is really not that involved, relative to some of the other projects that other ORC participants have taken on. But working at this lightening-fast pace has rreeeaaally taken me out of my comfort zone.
In case you’ve just stumbled upon this post and haven’t read all the deets about this latest room transformation, you can learn more about the room we’re transforming (complete with BEFORE photos) HERE. You can also read all about the design plans HERE.
And you’re welcome to follow along each week as I continue to cross off more tasks from the massive project TO DO list:
The BIG task that we crossed off the list this week was the Elfa shelving installation project.
This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, which helps keep my blog up and running but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know I’m a BIG TIME Elfa Fan Girl. Over the years, I’ve shared many projects that included The Container Store’s customizable Elfa storage systems, including:
So it only makes sense that THIS room makeover would include an Elfa storage solution, right? From the moment the idea for a homework room was conceived in my head, I envisioned an Elfa system that included a wall with built-in adjacent desks coupled with rows of shelving.
So I took a trip to the local Container Store and — with the help of one of their Elfa designers — brought my vision to life:
If you’re in the market for an Elfa storage system, I highly recommend getting assistance from one of the Container Store’s expert designers (either in person, or by phone if you plan to order your system online). They’re so helpful when it comes to fleshing out the specifics of your design and suggesting options that you probably wouldn’t come up with on your own.
When you meet with a designer, have your measurements handy, as well as some photos of the space where you plan to install your storage system. It’s also helpful to know what types of items you’ll need to store and a rough estimate of the quantity of each item category.
After I fleshed out the details of my design with my designer, I was able to purchase all of the components and take them home during my visit. I was so thankful I didn’t have to come back later, since I live almost an hour away from the store.
Truth be told: I made my trip to the Container Store several weeks ago. So I’ve been staring at this set of boxes, for a while now…chomping at the bit to get going on the install once The Challenge began.
HOMEWORK ZONE DESIGN COMPONENTS
Our final design consisted of three rows of Birch decor shelves, with coordinating birch desk tops. We chose white standards and brackets to coordinate with the white finish of the furniture that will live the soon-to-be craft zone.
We also included a set of white mesh drawers in the design for storing all of those random office supplies that every good homework station needs. The drawers also serve as the perfect “His” & “Hers” space divider for those times that both kiddos will be working in the room simultaneously. I even went the extra mile and purchased the custom mesh drawer dividers and drawer label holders.
THE ELFA SHELVING INSTALLATION PROCESS
Big props to the Container Store for their attention to detail and their uber-organized packaging methods. They really do make installation a breeze with the detailed written instructions they provide with your order pick up, and their online DIY video tutorials.
Rather outsource the installation? They do offer installation services.
You might remember from previous Elfa installation tutorials I’ve shared, the most crucial step in any Elfa shelving installation is to properly install the top track — the horizontal track that serves as the anchor point for your system. Brian is the mastermind who figured out the optimal placement for the top track, based on:
- the height of our uprights (the vertical components that hang off the top track)
- my desire to have it centered on the wall as much as possible
- Our need to carve out clearance on the right in order to access items in the closet
- Our goal to secure the top track to as many wall studs as possible (you can use Elfa wall anchors to safely secure your system in drywall, but we like the added peace of mind that comes with securing it in studs)
One of the many great features of Elfa storage systems is the fact that the ONLY component that gets secured to your wall is the top track. This translates into minimal wall damage, should one day you wish to remove/relocate your shelving system.
Once the top track is secured, the next step in the process is to hang the uprights. You’ll need to refer to your custom design plan (using the handy spacer tool that’s included in your red bag) to correctly space the uprights across the wall.
Now the FUN begins!
It’s time to secure the brackets (for shelving and drawers) to the uprights. Pay attention to bracket size as you work through this process. For our build, the desktops used 20″ brackets, while the shelving and drawers used 16″ brackets.
Brian went for instant gratification and chose to install the drawers first. Once the brackets were installed, he attached the drawer frames, then dropped the mesh drawers into the frames.
Voila! We have storage.
Moving onto the desk and shelf installation…
Take a peek at what Elfa Decor shelving/desktops looks like on the side:
To install Elfa Decor shelving & desktops, simply line up the grooves on the shelf side with the notches in the bracket and press down firmly to lock it in place.
Once we had the drawers and the desktops installed, it was time to move onto the shelves.
(working at such lightning speed!)
Brian repeated the process of placing brackets and locking in shelving pieces for each row of shelving.
In order to determine the height of each row of shelving, we brought in a few standard size storage containers and placed the shelves at a height that provided sufficient clearance for the containers.
The good news is that the shelving height can be easily adjusted if need be. It’s just a matter of popping out the shelves, relocating the brackets and popping the shelves back in place. #CUSTOMSOLUTIONSROCK
HOUSTON: WE HAVE A HOMEWORK ZONE
It is an amazing thing to see your vision come to life! We couldn’t be more happy with the way this Elfa shelving installation turned out.
TOTAL COST: $1,220
TOTAL INSTALLATION TIME: 90 minutes
I still need to fine tune things with the addition of drawer dividers, labels (and perhaps an Elfa utility board above each desk).
Elfa shelving systems aren’t cheap. But they ARE in investment in your happiness! The materials are high-quality and extremely durable. I’ve been super pleased at how my existing Elfa storage systems have held up over years, and I’m confident that this homework zone will serve my kids well in years to come.
Perhaps the best thing about Elfa storage is it’s ability to adapt over time to your changing needs, since these systems are fully customizable. And with the wide variety of Elfa accessories, you can really create a custom storage system that functions exactly how you need it to.
MODERN HOMEWORK/CRAFT ROOM PROGRESS: WEEK 4
Even though we only crossed off two tasks from the project To Do list, they were BIGGIES (the Elfa shelving installation and assembling desk chairs).
Did I mention how much I’m digging the desk chairs?
My kiddos had their hearts set on these crazy expensive bungee chairs, and weren’t exactly thrilled when I told them that the bungee chairs were not in our budget. So, they already had a grudge against the chairs I selected before they ever crossed the threshold.
But once we assembled these, they quickly changed their tune! Of course my son is requesting caster wheels on his chair. Hmmm….
Here’s what we’ve completed so far and what remains to be done over the next few weeks:
Sell bed Sell light fixture Donate/Sell CD collection Remove wallpaper Purchase & install new light fixture Repair & paint walls Apply wall stencil Purchase homework zone wall shelving & desktops Purchase desk chairs Decide on craft storage/table configuration and purchase Install wall shelving/desks for homework zone Assemble desk chairs
- Build craft zone furniture
- Source area rug
- Build DIY wall-mounted wrapping paper storage solution
- Purchase accessories & accessorize (clock, storage containers, etc.)
- Relocate craft items to new space
Wait! Before you go, take a few minutes to check out all the rooms that are being transformed by both the featured participants and my fellow guest participants in this season’s One Room Challenge over at Calling It Home!
Ready to get epically organized?
Get access to 100+ printable pages to help you organize your home and life!