Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wall Unit Project

4 or 5 months ago, I found a Craigslist ad for a Danish Wall Unit. Their price was very reasonable, but it was in Battleground, WA. Now, I'm not really from Oregon and unless we're talking Tri-Cities or Seattle I kind of think everything else in Washington is just on the other side of the Columbia. I now know that Battleground isn't really close to Gresham.
I contacted the sellers, arranged a time to come look at the wall unit and hit the road after work. I guess it really wasn't THAT far, but the hour drive on a dark rainy night took me by surprise.
When we finally found the place, the wall unit was in pieces, stacked up in a back bedroom in a doublewide and I was ready to leave. BUT upon closer inspection, the pieces were very nice, the hanging mechanism was ingenious, and the sellers dropped the price $300 before I even started any haggling. Soon we had the whole thing packed into the back of the truck and were heading home.

The kitchen remodel was job #1, so we stored the wall unit until last weekend when Haley said, "Hey, let's set up that wall unit today." There are LOTS of pieces. You must make sure things are level AND make sure the shelf hanger holes line up perfectly. It was kind of intimidating.
Here's what we did first:
We cleared out the room and did a sort of test run on the floor. We looked at a few design arrangements on the Flickr Mid-Century Danish Wall units and storage Group to get some configuration ideas and decided this would work best for our needs (stereo, record storage, bookshelf, tiki mugs...).

I thought that hanging the vertical wall supports was going to be really difficult, but it turned out to be pretty easy. Just used a level and 2" long screws. Since the wall is T-111 siding, we didn't have to mess with stud finders or sheetrock anchors.

The unit came with four long supports, two shorter ones and one corner support. We didn't use one of the shorter supports or the corner support. There are three corner shelves and one good size corner desk, but maybe we'll use those in one of the kids rooms someday. This will work just find for us... for now.

We had to reposition things a few times, but overall, everything fits, looks good and we like it. The Eames chair we picked up in Long Beach CA looks great at the desk.

I really like the book/magazine display shelf. Note the Atomic Ranch Magazine and the Julius Shulman book. Both are packed with great eye-candy.

Here it is all set up and ready for books, records, tiki mugs, stereo receiver, speakers....

NOTE: The doors on the upper cabinet are glass. We don't really care for them, so I cut out a couple of pressboard panels, Haley covered them with grass cloth and now they look like they belong. I still need to come up with some way to hide all those electric/speaker wires!


Amy in Arizona said...

Very cool!! I'm glad you guys are getting everything fixed up so that I can come for a visit!!

Lesley said...

I'm so jealous! It's stunning!!! I need some good Cado Karma like you.

Paul and Beth said...

... nice! It really works... what a fabulous space.

custom office furniture said...

What you have done to the wall is amazing...a simplistic eye catchy the texture of wood and the design of the cabinet.

nickarmadillo said...

Hello. Not really sure if you keep up with comments any longer, but I thought I would give it a try. I love this wall unit and, from the cut of the wood pieces, it looks to be a home-made design. I'm thinking about giving it a try myself and was wondering if you might be able to provide me with a few additional details. You can reach me at and my blog is at Thanks!

Steve said...

Hi Nick,
We're not really checking as often as we should... you know how it goes. :)
I don't think the unit is a homemade, but if you're handy in the woodshop, I bet it would be a doable project.
I'm happy to take detailed pics and take measurements. I'll drop you a note.
(love your super comfy home, btw!)