Tuesday, May 19, 2009

#20...personality for elfa

I think that the elfa shelving system from The Container Store is genius. One top rail that mounts into the wall, and everything else suspends off said rail....what could be easier than that. It is perfect for people who hate to put holes in the wall, and people who hate measuring and leveling. I have two large elfa shelving systems in my house, and they hold an unreal amount of weight. Maybe it's magic.

The only thing I don't like about elfa is the actual shelves that the Container Store sells for the system. They are short, so you have to string a bunch together to get long horizontal shelves, and they are way too expensive (in my opinion) for veneered pieces of pressed particle board..(i.e. fake wood)

I have found a solution to this elfa shelf dilemma that is much more economical than purchasing the pre-fab shelves. I simply buy wood from the local home improvement store and make my own shelves. The only difference in using the elfa shelves and using wood is that you will have to buy some small wood screws and screw the brackets into the wood once the shelves are in place instead of using the pins that come with the pre-fab shelves and brackets.

elfa brackets come in several sizes, so once you decide on how deep you want your shelves and what bracket to purchase, you can buy planks of wood in the chosen depth. The great thing about stores like Home Depot is that most will even cut your wood to size for you for free.

Since the shelves are made of wood, they can be painted or stained to coordinate with their new home. There are so many options for what your shelves can look like. I have painted my shelves to match the color of my wall, as shown above and below.

I have also stained the shelves to match the floor.

And I have painted them an accent color like in this room. No two elfa's will ever look the same again!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I am in dire need of one of these shelving systems, but as somebody who hates to drill holes in walls, I had never realized it was possible. Off to check it out right now :-)

Carey said...

I love this! I'm definitely doing this in my daughter's room. Could you explain a little further how you attach the wood boards to the brackets? Thanks!

Christie Chase said...

Hi Carey,
Attaching the wood boards to the brackets is fairly easy. The Container Store brackets come with holes on the underside of them, which you can simply buy a small wood screw for, position it up through the bracket hole once your brackets and shelving are all in place and screw up into your shelves to secure them. You will need wood screws, either a size #8 or #6 about 1.25 inches long. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Hi, now that you've had these up for several years, can you tell me if you've experienced any sagging in the shelves? Do you have anything heavy like books on these? Thanks!

Bob said...

Which type of Elfa brackets did you use - the 'solid shelf' type or the 'ventilated shelf' type? My guess is the former, but it'd be great if you'd confirm. Thanks for the helpful post.

Christie Chase said...

I have not experienced any sagging in my shelves, and they do hold groupings of heavy books. If you read carefully in the post, and other comments, I did not use Elfa shelves, only Elfa brackets. My shelves are wood cut to size from the lumber store. Also, I do try to center my book piles over a bracket to prevent sagging.

The elfa brackets are solid I believe, as they are attached to solid shelves. I'm not sure they were making the ventilated shelves when I bought my brackets.