IKEA shelving is more than just shelves!

My new studio contains two built in closets that I elected to not have the standard shelving built in. Instead, I wanted to be able to build floor to ceiling shelves that would allow me to store a lot more stuff. It seems there are a gazillion companies dedicated to building all kinds of shelving – and you can pay a small fortune for it. I decided that for these two closets, the shelving needed to be functional and good looking – without the high price tag. Thus started the trips to IKEA.

I decided upon IKEA’s ALGOT shelving system for these two closets. It’s extremely customizable, it looks good, and the price was right. In the beginning, the two closets were going to have identical shelving layouts as they are both the same size. Due to an error in my arithmetic when figuring out how many bits and pieces I needed, they ended up being slightly different – and this turned out to be a good thing!

My thought for both of the closets was that I would hang quilts (I have a lot of them!) at the top of the closets and then have shelves in the lower half of the closet to stash all the non-quilt stuff. Such as the stuff in this box:

Totally random stuff from studio

This is what I came up with:

IKEA ALGOT Shelves

On both sides of this closet:

  • At the top I have 4 ALGOT clothes rails for brackets, 31.5″ wide, for a total of 8 rails.
  • At the bottom I have 5 ALGOT shelves, 31.5″ x 15″, for a total of 10 shelves.

It is all hung on three 77″ wall uprights, each of which is extended by adding a 22″ upright to the top. I used 15: 15″ ALGOT brackets and 12: 7″ ALGOT brackets.

The beauty of this system for hanging quilts is in the brackets that attach the clothes rails to the wall uprights.

The 7″ ALGOT brackets have 2 notches for hanging shelves – and clothes rails:

IKEA ALGOT bracket

I used these brackets for the 1st and 2nd rails from the top. On the first (top) bracket, I attached the rail to the back notch. On the second bracket, I attached the rail to the front notch.

The 15″ ALGOT brackets have 4 notches for hanging shelves – and clothes rails:

IKEA ALGOT bracket

The back two notches correspond with the position of the 2 notches on the 7″ bracket. I used these brackets for the 3rd and 4th rails. On the first (top) of these brackets, I attached the rail to the 3rd notch from the back. On the second of these brackets, I attached the rail to the front notch.

This gave me some beautifully staggered rails that are perfect for hanging quilts:

IKEA ALGOT Clothes Rails

For the shelves, each bracket allows for 2 shelves to be attached to it, one on each side of the bracket. That gave me some beautifully long (61″) shelves that almost filled up the width of the closet:

IKEA ALGOT Shelves

From the top rail to the top shelf is about 44″ – plenty of hanging length for an 88″ long quilt folded in half over the rail. The rails are about 5″ apart in height.

It turns out that I have a lot more quilts than I thought. The 8 hanging rails were filled up really fast, even with some of the rails holding 2 or 3 quilts. That left a lot of my smaller quilts – and I didn’t want to fold them. I decided to roll them, and was able to get a ton of them into the closet without the risk of fold marks.

IKEA ALGOT rails for hanging quilts

IKEA ALGOT rails for hanging quilts

One thing I almost forgot… instead of purchasing 16 clothes rails, 8 for each closet, I only purchased 8, enough for one closet. My original plan had quilts hanging in both closets. I like this way better, with quilts rolled. The other closet is still a work in progress, so that description will have to wait for another day!

34 Comments

  1. Such a great idea!

  2. That is a great IKEA hack! Now all I need is an extra closet!

  3. Your closet project is perfect….how neat!

  4. Great use of space, Sarah; thanks for sharing. Your new studio is wonderful!

  5. That looks great. Sarah I to am in the process of redesigning my craft room. Trying to work out weather or not to remove a wall between 2 rooms, removing a hideaway bed in one of them and turning it into a storage area similar to what you have done.
    Decisions decisions,
    Judy H

  6. What great ideas! I am glad I don’t have as many quilts as you, but hanging them is wonderful! And rolling the others up – great idea! I only have one closet that dh built shelves in for my stash, but I am always messing it up looking for just that “perfect” piece. Congrats on getting organized! Isn’t it a wonderful feeling?

  7. Wow! That looks great! Gotta love Ikea

  8. I am not sure where are the closets you are talking about are because all i see are those gorgeous quilts inside them <3 🙂

  9. Way to go Sarah–wish I had that much room. Anxious to see the whole studio finished.👏🙂

  10. Beautiful job, Sarah! You must be having such fun!! Oh how I envy the space you now have.

  11. ]Great Job!! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Great job. Makes my sewing room needing some help.

  13. Thanks so much for this update! We just moved to a new house with nothing in the closets (no closet rod, no shelving unit). This will be perfect!

  14. Great idea. What a nice way to store quilts and projects. It looks fabulous. Great studio!

  15. Oh gosh Sarah! What a total inspiration this is for me as I redo my little house!

  16. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  17. Bravo Sarah! I love it!

  18. That is so wonderful, what a great idea. It looks so useful for lot of your beautiful guilts. What a beautiful mind you have! Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. Awesome! Thank you for sharing, I’m going to be needing some ideas for a studio soon and I am so visual… your ideas encompass a working – functional room and storage to boot!

  20. It looks wonderful and easy to use, keep up posted as you keep working and giving us ideas for our sewing rooms as well.

  21. I have about 4 large size quilts and the rest are wall hangings. As soon as I finish a “bed” size quilt it is given to one of the kids, grandkids, or greatgrandkids. To say nothing of the charity ones. If my grandkids would quilt reproducing I could make more for hubby and me. lol I love your beautiful closet idea. What did you do with your clothes?

  22. Wonderful ideas. Ikea can be overwhelming and mind-numbing. Thanks for the food for thought!

  23. Love all your great ideas, Sarah. Just one problem – I don’t have the space you have to implement them!!! Good luck with everything.

  24. Great ideas.
    Thanks for sharing

  25. Wow what a great idea.

  26. Thanks much for the description of your new closets!

  27. Pingback: More IKEA shelving ideas - Machine Embroidered Applique by Sarah Vedeler Designs

  28. Great idea, in the past, I have used the same size fabric bins to store my fabric in, I use Seville shelving, because it’s a nice sturdy strong unit, in which you also place the shelves where you want them as your putting the unit together and not like other shelving where you put the 4 poles together, and the big x on the back then add the shelves in a not so easily adjustable manner. With Seville, if you already know what is going between the shelves, you can measure easily then place the shelving as you go, if you need to change it later you simply move the black part to adjust the shelf, but by doing this it allows the shelf to gain it’s strength all around and you don’t add the bix X in the back, the shelf can roll around with wheels attached or stay in place. I like it simply because all my fabric bins do look uniform on it, but because I can label the bins, and easily take and put the fabric in back and forth easily. I love your closet idea and will definitely give that a try.

  29. Janet Hintermeister

    Wonderful! I need lights like the tall spray of lights in your studio. From Ikea also? If not, let me know where to get them. Please! I’m in San Tan Valley for the winter (from Minnesota) and have my 880 and my “Express Yourself” project with me…among other bags of fabric and thread!

  30. Don’t you just LOVE Ikea?

  31. Your progress in outfitting closets is helpful to me as I’m about to setup a new sewing studio & while my issue isn’t outfitting closets, I’ll be able to use your tips in setup of many shelves needed for storing supplies- that includes such a long list of necessities! I have a lot of furniture that’s storage oriented but I hadn’t been able to get out (likely an IKEA destination) since I struggled to surgical date for fixing a spinal issue & severe lower back pain. With Stimulator in place, 100% pain dissed, I’m no longer bedbound & can begin actually stitching the many Sarah Vedeler designs purchased over many years-some in your records, others in Accuquilt records-thanks for your amazing design work! Clearly, you are supremely talented as well as ardent in your work. I look forward to buying many more designs in our future.

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