Finding functional and attractive storage can be a challenge. Using what is already available to you should be the first thing you consider; after all, using what you have is both economical and practical as long as it functions well for what is needed—now. What worked before may no longer be what will work today.
After you access what your space can accommodate, and measure your current pieces, you need to start moving your furnishings around so they will function best. After determining function, see how you like the arrangement. Is it attractive as well as functional?
If you no longer want what you have, and your budget allows, find new pieces that will fit your space. There are places where discount retail shopping is feasible. IKEA is a master at utilizing function and space while keeping the look clean, attractive, and budget friendly.
I knew the office space in our new house would be a challenge for me because I had an oversized office previously. Like a goldfish, I grew my possessions to fill the available space; downsizing is no easy task. My current office would have accommodated the large cube structure I had before, but would not be as useful as a different configuration. I purchased three, equal cube towers from IKEA. Like the building blocks I played with as a kid, I could conform these to suit my new needs.
Laying one of the structures on its side with the two other rectangular pieces upright on either side, creating a low center—perfect for my TV, filling the wall space between two windows.
One of the improvements IKEA has made with their most popular storage structure, is in the various coverings for the cubes. The choice of drawers, doors, bins in many materials or the option to leave a cube open, make these building blocks very useful for work or play.
As with many things, I needed to try a few options out to see what I liked best. I discovered I did not like so much open storage; it was too chaotic seeing all that stuff every time I sat at my desk. I had more open storage and, very few bins in my previous storage unit, but I did not see it much, because it was behind me. This was an exercise in trial and error, I needed to determine what I wanted or needed in the way of closed storage, doors or drawers or bins.
I made a scale drawing of the units and played with the balance of the coverings open to me, as well as what I had to store in these spaces. I needed to do a bit more editing of stuff I have kept over the years. I finally decided that the two taller towers would have open cubes across the top, and just below, I chose to have a combination of a bin next to a set of drawers; both sides of the towers matched, of course.
The next level of openings was a bit more of a challenge since it would go across the entire width of the combined three units, as well as the bottom level. Drawers were better located up off the floor level, but doors would do fine there as well as bins.
For my office, this works well; the units suit my particular needs. I can see how they would work for many home offices. If more space is needed, you can easily add more. Everything is bolted together and to the walls, for safety. These would also make a great play storage station for a playroom with plenty of space for toys, games and crafts.
IKEA has made a great business of simple, efficient units; and there are several color options to suit your decor. These units will not withstand abuse, of course, and will not appear stately in many homes; but they are great service pieces at a great price for many.