Budget-Friendly Shelving Solutions

The Lack Shelf - a floating, visually bracket-less wonder - has been a staple of Ikea's inventory for as long as we can remember. International interior designers Colin and Justin show us easy and budget-friendly ways to update your shelving.

As familiar faces on LifeStyle HOME, we've seen Colin and Justin use the clever storage solution to add affordable form and function. In most applications, the duo have simply hung them, created a ladder effect above and below each other, but, every so often, they'll tweak and twist them into a whole new look.

Here Colin and Justin show us how they have turned tricks with the budget buy staple. And don't worry - each vignette is affordable and a breeze to assemble.

Pastel Perfection

A little Colin and Justin whimsy. Perhaps fun in a teenager’s room? We used LACK shelves and painted them in soft, almost pastel shades. But take a tip: always apply primer or undercoat so that paint properly adheres. A ‘staggered’ position for each shelf creates visual interest. It’s all in the detail, right?

When we were happy with the positioning of each shelf, we chopped red painted dowel and power glued sections of this between each shelf to add a faux 'connection'. The red tone is a fun anchor for the softer toned shelves. Find a great range of colours at British Paints, similar accessories in Target, and wood dowel at Bunnings.

Console Yourself

To add interest to our vignette, we painted panels in taupe and cream. Use masking tape to create straight lines and take a tip: run a coin down the edge of the tape to remove air bubbles and provide a better seal.  When adding colour, brush ‘over and away’ from the seam rather than on to it: this stops paint ‘bleeding’.  Finally (contrary to what other designers might tell you) remove tape before paint dries. This stops a ‘shell’ forming and will tempt cleaner removal.

Next up we positioned a long LACK to serve as a narrow table surface. Hanging loads of little LACK shelves creates the illusion of ‘legs’. We detailed with ‘roll strip’ nickel pins (find these at upholstery suppliers) to add sparkle, and hey presto – a great console that would work wonderfully well in a narrow hall!

Architectural Fantasy

This cool look was surprisingly easy to achieve. On a cream painted backdrop, we positioned shelves horizontally and then, to add an unexpected twist, we inserted small individual shelves vertically and secured these in place. This creates a much more ‘fitted’ and custom appearance. And of course there are endless ways you could arrange the shelves to fit your individual project.

Next up, we applied micro ‘architects tape’ as a graphic detail: just a new way to add personality. Simple huh? And if you're tired of this look? Simply tease the tape away. Finally, we decorated with cute wee balletic figurines. Oftentimes, when you gather lots of inexpensive similar items together, they take on a much bigger presence. As they have here…

Miami Magic

Another surprisingly simple project. And again – a wonderfully easy project to tackle. This time we framed our white painted vignette with dramatic indigo and added a central panel in the same lively tone. 

Step two? We base coated and then painted the shelves to match. Discover an exciting colour range at British Paints for inspiration. When everything was thoroughly dry, we applied glue on ‘detail’ using mail order product from myoverlays.com. This product is lightweight, flexible, and comes in loads of different shapes and sizes. Visit the website and prepare to swoon!

Finally? Time to accessorise. One of our favourite ceramicists is Jonathan Adler and we felt this fresh, vibrant arrangement had an echo of his style. So we added crisp white ceramics (including felines from his studio) to complete the look. Simple, crisp, and SO South Beach!

Colin & Justin will be emceeing Gift & Life Instyle Awards (GALA) which will be showcased at Dockside Pavilion, 21 February.

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