My husband loves spreadsheets. After we moved into this house, we (he!) started making a list of all the projects we needed/wanted to complete. Eric then had each of us rank the projects in order of priority, and created a master list according to our preferences. There were 23 projects in all, ranging from 10 minute tasks (hanging shelves) to a job that took several days (completely re-doing our staircase to the basement, which was quite narrow and steep). So it was that list that we presented to my gracious and talented father-in-law when he arrived for his two-week stay. He did an amazing job, and I am thankful to enjoy the fruit of his labors and to show it to all of you!
So here's how he worked his magic in our laundry area, which is the back entryway of our home. First of all, our house is so old that it still has bulky metal heat registers (the one pictures is quite small compared to the others). I've been told they produce amazing, even heat, and their look certainly coordinates with the woodwork, etc., but they are very space-consuming. Our main floor has just one closet, which is in the guestroom. So we really needed a spot to store hats and mittens, items to return, etc. I was originally thinking I'd like to just add a cabinet to extend the laundry/cleaning cupboards, and then was inspired to put up cubbies instead! They're a very basic design, but Eric and his dad did all the work themselves, and I love how they turned out. I don't think I have a before pic, but they also replaced the laundry cabinets, as a bonus surprise for me. The old ones were bulky and inefficient in that space, and my father-in-law was able to re-purpose the piece into storage for our basement. He's brilliant!
This was a quick project, and cost less than $5. I'd seen this creative idea (hat tip to Like Merchant Ships), and thought it would be fun to try in our basement. We were buying gutters for our house, anyway, and got a sweet deal on some used ones. My father-in-law attached it to the wall, and voila! unique book storage. Nathan loves having the shelf at his level, and naturally the books spend less time in the gutter than out!