4 Ways to Maximize That Unorganized Corner

March 2, 2017

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Every other week, Chris and I head over to the studio in Preston’s home to record our podcast. He’s done an amazing job giving it a cool vibe, but there was one corner that has been hard to ignore:

His studio is his office and he has been using these two carts to house a lot of the paperwork and equipment he accesses daily. We even grab our microphones off the carts before recording. I had some ideas on how we could help as a part of our IKEA’s ambassadorship, but I wasn’t sure how to approach the situation in a way that was, indeed helpful, and not judgmental or stepping on toes. Fortunately! He could not have been more excited about the idea, saying it has been a dream of his to whip that corner into shape. And that we did:

Here are 4 ways we maximized this corner organizationally and visually:

1. Everything needs a place. A storage solution isn’t really a solution if it doesn’t fit everything you have or use. We surveyed what Preston had, made a list (cables, microphones, binders, paperwork, software, CDs, records, travel cases, amps, etc.) and shopped for a unit and storage solutions that would fit everything he had. If the things you have have a place, it’s so much easier to get and stay organized.

2. Go Vertical with Storage. Although the wall treatment Preston created in this room was so cool (and functional–it buffers the sound waves!), we hated to cover it up, but there was nothing in the room over 4 ft. tall. Not only did this make the whole room feel short and squatty, it left so much of the room’s organizational potential untapped. Going vertical with storage saves floor space and adds visual height to any room–especially if you a small amount of square footage or a room with standard height ceilings (like in here). We used this extra tall BILLY/OXBERG Bookcase so that it would go all the way to the ceiling and we could pack even more in there.

We’ve used BILLY bookcases in the past, particularly with our built-ins that we made in our last home and we still love that, even though these bookcases were designed back in 1979, they’ve remained timeless. They’re discrete, functional, beautiful, and a great storage option that fits perfectly into a variety of styles. Plus! I just learned that a Billy Bookcase is sold every 5 seconds! There’s a good reason for that.

3. Concealed Storage Will Keep You Sane. After we made a list of what we had to organize, we realized there were a few items, like traveling mic cases, cables and paperwork, that aren’t necessarily pretty to look at, but still needed a place.  I’ve learned that I work better when my surroundings are visually appealing–and let’s face it–real life is not an Instagram post! In order to make organizational solutions work in the long run–every day, not just for a picture–honestly address everything you need to organize. We decided on the half glass/half closed doors for the bookcase so the bottom half remained concealed for bigger, unsightly items and also stocked up on small storage solutions like these baskets, paper organizers, and storage boxes that he could stash cables, paperwork, and loose ends in.

4. Accessorize with Real Life. Whether its microphones, records, cookbooks, paint brushes, fabric swatches or your extensive collection of art and design books (guilty!), storage shouldn’t be overrun with all the pretties, so that there’s no room for the actual stuff. Instead, let your most visually appealing things take center stage. Here, we made the microphones into sculptures and his records into art. In fact, the only “decor” we added was this plant stand (drool) because every room needs a little green, and a picture of his family.

This was a simple, quick and effective way we whipped this corner into shape, but it was in no way by accident. Truly organizing takes a bit of thought and planning to be successful in the long run, but I can’t tell you how much more productive and beautiful it makes life in general.

This post is sponsored by IKEA. We’re proud to be a part of their ambassadorship program this year. 

What do you think?

  1. Kristi says:

    I would love to know more about the wall treatment if you guys have any details – my husband records music in his office and I’d love a way to buffer it, but I hate how ugly most solutions are. Or maybe I can show this to my husband and he’ll understand it. :)

    Also – love this storage solution and I love how cool it is with the microphones and ESPECIALLY the Coheed album being shown off, as it is currently my favorite thing to listen to <3

  2. Ali says:

    Hey! We have the same vacuum! ???? Great job team! Looks amazing as do all of your projects. Love what you guys do and the podcast! Congratulations on the new addition! I’m excited to see how that affects future projects!

  3. Molly says:

    Can’t think of a more deserving, hard-hustling dude to get a beautiful storage unit! It looks great. Nice work, c+j.

  4. Kristen says:

    It looks great!

  5. Monica says:

    It looks really nice, but I’m surprised you went with glass in a room used for audio recording. If this is a long-term situation for Preston’s studio, you may want to heavily research materials that are best for audio quality, and the placement of the objects in the room. Anyway, it really looks good and is always a good feeling to have an organized place to work. Big improvement!

  6. Amy says:

    Looks great! I also happen to be thinking through the storage in my husband’s basement music studio, which is connected to the bathroom we are renovating… Is there some subliminal messaging in your podcast that has me taking on the same projects in my own home? Haha! Either way, thanks for some great inspiration!

  7. Christine says:

    How did Preston create a wall treatment that buffers sound waves? My husband is obsessed with creating an anechoic chamber-like nursery and I’m looking for options that might satisfy his desire to dampen the sounds of a crying baby and my desire to not make the room look…weird. Thanks!

    • Chris says:

      He made it out of fabric and batting, then added a few diagonal slats. The fabric/batting serves for echo-dampening, slats are for looks. Hope this helps!

    • Preston says:

      Yo Christine, I put up studs and insulation just like any wall would have. Then instead of sheetrock, i stretched breathable fabric across the whole wall. it has a horizontal seam in the middle but youd never notice it. I stretched and stapled it to the outside “frame” of the studs and 2x4s. Then i took those 1/4 inch tick cedar boards and stained them and nail-gunned them to the studs through the fabric. the result is a wall that sound doesnt really bounce off. It mostly absorbs it. you can push the fabric and it feels like a pillow that “gives” because there is insulation behind it. Hope that gives you a start! -Preston

  8. Amanda says:

    Looks great, I love the dark bookcases. When are you going to show the whole studio!?

  9. Kate says:

    Is that a fake plant in there? Just worried about it surviving behind glass if real

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