Storage space is a huge issue for us. We live in a narrow terraced house, and just one big through lounge/dining room. We have enough toys to rival a branch of Toys ‘r’ Us, and they’re always in view. We have managed with lots of mismatched bits of furniture – a dresser holding the craft stuff, a bookcase holding the books and stationery stuff, and two storage units holding plastic boxes of toys. It did the job, but I was sick to death of it looking mismatched and cluttered.
I was MEGA excited when Shelfstore got in touch and asked me if I wanted to design my own shelving system. Of course, I jumped at the chance – this was surely going to be the answer to all our problems. We spent a long time looking at the designs on the website and drawing plans, to make a system that would work for us.
We wanted something that we could put storage boxes on so that the kid’s toys and clutter could be hidden away. We wanted two narrower shelving units each side, to put the boxes on (lego, playdough etc at the top out of reach) and then a wider shelving unit in the middle for books and to put candles and my teacup collection on. We decided we would sell the bookcase and the dresser, to make space for it. We set about measuring and designing.
We used the online planning tool, where you enter the dimensions of each bay, starting with the depth.
You then enter all the dimensions for the rest of the bays and gradually build up the system to how you want it. As you build it up, it is illustrated so you can see exactly what you are building.
This part is all straightforward and simple to use. You then choose a method of stabilising the shelving – you can choose from wall attachments, backboards and cross braces. The next screen was additional parts, such as infills and shelf covers. It automatically recognises how many you would need for your design, which is really useful – I wouldn’t have had a clue otherwise! You can also buy extras such as cupboard doors and drawers, but if I am honest, I found it a little bit confusing. I was worried about making a mistake when ordering, so we decided to keep it simple.
You then get a summary page to check the components, before going through to the simple payment page. The whole process was relatively straightforward, apart from the adding cupboards etc.
If you order before 3 pm on a weekday, your order is despatched for next working day delivery. We missed the deadline by just a few minutes on Tuesday, but it was with us on Thursday, giving us just enough time to sell the bookcase and dresser to make space. I was so excited when it arrived by courier – finally, we would have a tidy living room!
Graham started putting it up. It was simple. Attach the long bits (no idea of the technical word!) to the wall, and slot in the shelves. Nothing tricky. I am pretty sure that even I could have done it. All he needed was a screwdriver and his drill. But when he had put up the first bit, I noticed we had a problem. A big problem. A huge problem.
It wasn’t deep enough.
Not even by a few cm, but by a whole 22cm. Realising this, I jumped back onto my laptop, praying that Shelf Store had sent me the wrong part by mistake. Then I swore. Very very very loudly.
I had ordered shelves at a depth of 18cm rather than 40cm. It was our fault.
The only thing I can imagine is that I clicked on the 40cm, but without realising, managed to scroll up to the 18cm. I know Graham measured it right and I clicked the right button because we had a conversation about it (We initially wanted 48cm but the choices were either 50cm or 40cm). Whatever caused me to make that mistake, I should have noticed it and double checked on the review page. I didn’t, and that was my own fault and a big lesson about checking carefully has been learned.
Anyway, we realised we couldn’t do a lot about it and built it up. It took less than two hours, and that was with taking a shelf off the wall, and Graham having two cigarette breaks, so considering the size of it, not bad at all.
We then had the task of trying to make it work for us, as it was only just deep enough for some of the smaller kids books, let alone any storage boxes. Several hours of rearranging and moving things, we got it work for us.
It’s not exactly how we wanted, no, but it’s created more storage space, and we are working with Shelfstore to see how we can adapt this to make it work better for us. The great thing about it being modular is that you can build upon it and extend it to suit you and your needs. I absolutely cannot fault the service that we received, nor the ease of assembling of the product. I just now know why I am not a furniture designer!!
*We were provided with this for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.