The Cushion Correspondent

DIY string shelving

string shelving

Look what I made!

Ok, I didn’t make that one. But it was very much the inspiration behind my latest DIY project. So, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned (in the last five minutes) but I’m really into retro design… and our flat, which was built in the 60s-70s and is virtually featureless architecturally, makes a perfect blank canvas for bright colours, and funky retro-modern modern style.

The String shelving system was invented by Swedish architect and designer Nisse Strinning in 1949 and it became a design classic, winning an award at the time and now enjoying a resurgence thanks to the major trend for mid-century furniture.

We already had the G-Plan Librenza but the other side of the room was still just a bare wall. A bare wall that would be greatly improved, I thought, with a string shelving system. These days they come in all sorts of cool colour combos. How good, for example, would one of these look…

string pocket shelving 1

string pocket shelving 2

string pocket shelving 3

A straightforward set of three shelves with two brackets like the String Pocket system shown above cost around £110. You can see the full range of String products at which also has a list of UK stockists.

But of course I can’t afford the real thing. So I made my own…

Ikea hack

DIY string shelving

What do you reck? I ummed and ahhed about what colour to paint the brackets as you can see from my er… technical drawings.

Shelving designs

But in the end I decided to go for red. Here’s what I used…

3 x Ekby Jarpen shelves £8 each, Ikea (I went for brown/black but you could also buy them in white and spray paint them)

2 x Ekby Gallo brackets £12 each, Ikea

1 x Rustoleum Cherry Red Painter’s Touch £7.99 (you can pick this up in most DIY and hardware stores. I got mine from Homebase).

And er… that’s it.

Total: £55.99 – almost exactly half the price of the real thing.

Then all I did was give the brackets three or four coats of spray paint before assembling it as normal. It did kind of leave my garage looking like a scene from a horror film but…

Spray painting

… I’m quite pleased with it.

DIY string shelving

DIY string shelving

I don’t know if you remember what our dining area looked like when I first moved in so I’ll help you out. It looked like THIS:

Dining room before

Mmm. And now…

Dining room after

Getting there, eh? This wall desperately needed some colour and just, you know, to not be totally flat and empty any more. The poster is René Magritte ‘Empire of Light’ and we fell in love with it at the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice when we were there last summer. You can pick one up HERE (just kidding, you can buy it at Easyart).


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This entry was posted on March 23, 2013 by in My Pad, Projects and tagged , , , .
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