Published on June 18th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Eames’ esque Storage unit hack

Materials: APA Storage Boxes, HYLLIS, Peg Board, Observator

Description: So I must confess I got half of this idea from IKEA hackers this was my take on an already great idea posted. The other half of the idea came from the great Charles and Ray Eames. I love the Eames Storage unit! However I do not love it to the tune of 2 grand. My wife and I wanted a simple credenza for our small dining area. Here is how we did it.

1. We purchased 4 APA storage boxes, 2 HYLLIS shelf units, 1 Observator cross brace, a few colors of spray paint (white, red, orange, and green. We used this awesome new matte spray paint from Aaron Brothers. It worked great) 1 sheet of peg board for the sliding doors, and 1 sheet of poplar for a top

2. Here is where you can get creative. Before we put the APA storage boxes together we spray painted the sides of the storage boxes and planned which side were going to show since it is 2 wide by 2 high 4 of the sides will not be shown so you only need to paint 4 if you choose. We turned some of the side panels inside out so the white was showing which saved paint other we painted colors.

3. We assembled the APA storage boxes leaving the end off on all but one. The one we put together we left the back off and put the Observator brace on the back to help give the Eames feel.

4. We measured the peg board for proper fit to use as a sliding door for 3 of the APA storage boxes. ( We used the insert for the storage box for reference our dimension for the door was half of the length of the insert x the height of the insert)

5. We used a dremel to sand where the door was going to slide we had to make this route wider to allow for smooth sliding. Another trick that helped was sanding down the peg board after we painted the board white because the paint is sticky.

6. We painted the peg board white, let it dry, and slid it in to the front of the APA box put the painted backs on and put the end on.

7. We cut all metal legs from the Hyllis to 33″ high. We used wood screws to attach the legs to the APA storage boxes. Aligning one box to the top of the cut hyllis legs and putting the other just under it. Leaving a small gap under the last APA. You do this twice and basically make 2 ea 2 high units.

8. We than measure and cut the poplar to 10-11/16″ x 55″ and screwed the poplar top to the top of the units to make them one 55″ long credenza.

9. Last but not least we used the remaining APA tops and HYLLIS shelves, and spray paint and made a nice piece of art for behind our sofa to tie in the 2 rooms.

10. It is awesome having a super talented wife as a side kick

~ Zion Hilliker, San Diego

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

11 Responses to Eames’ esque Storage unit hack

  1. Nat says:

    This is great – and what a genius idea for the leftovers! I love it.

  2. Evan says:

    Love this! I work for Vitra, who produces many of the Eames products (albeit in Europe, not the US). This looks pretty accurate, fantastic work!

  3. Robert says:

    Looks very rag tag, don’t know if this would fit into everyone’s house style.

  4. mydecoreview says:

    The red and yellow spray paints makes this piece unique.

    • Anonymous says:

      A side note…I work for a Herman Miller dealership and I got the idea for the sliding peg boards from their sliding overhead units. Basically you can use the door to hide half of what is in each unit. Thank you for all the awesome comments. We are really happy with how it came out!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I like it a lot. Thanks for sharing

  6. Anonymous says:

    Really clever and looks fantastic. Nice job!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Amazing. Very inspiring.

  8. Anonymous says:

    looks amazing!

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