x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

House Doctor: An unexpected compromise leads to the perfect cabinet

Conceding one of the project's initial goals results in a customised, under-budget storage system.

My search for an interesting cabinet that would provide extra bedroom storage has been more difficult than expected.

Although I found a great lawyer's cabinet at Marina, the shelf depth was too shallow to accommodate half of my shoes. With the door open, it appeared fine, but after taking a measurement with the door closed, I found the depth was reduced by almost 25 millimetres. This experience is a good example of why you have to consider all conditions before making a decision. How terrible would it have been to have made the purchase and have it delivered, only to find out it did not serve the purpose for which it was intended?

Furthermore, I was unable to find a reasonably priced Chinese storage cabinet large enough to accommodate my storageneeds. While some I found were quite beautiful, the prices werefive and six times my budget, thus eliminating them as options.

Feeling somewhat discouraged but keeping my options open, I conceded on one of my initial goals and made a stop at Ikea to discover what alternatives it has for bedroom storage. To my delight, it has a storage system called Pax, which allowsusers to custom configure a wardrobe unit to meet their individual requirements.

After looking through the showroom examples and reviewing my plan, I realised that I can accommodate all of my bedroom storage needs with a single unit.With numerous finishes anddoor styles to select from, I am confident that I can design a cabinet that will fit in with my style concept. Using a combination of shelves, drawers and racks, I can store shoes, bags, clothes and seasonal items.Instead of using both a dresser and cabinet, I will be able to use one item of furniture, comparable in price to what I had budgeted for just one of the two originally planned pieces. This unforeseen compromise provides a saving in my budgetthat may permit the acquisition of a high-quality decorative item that was edited from the original budget.

I am delighted to have also found a great, small-scale desk at Crate and Barrel that is part of the new Tahoe collection. The simple, straight lines and hand-waxed finish of the wood relate to other pieces of furniture in my apartment, and add warmth to the bedroom without being overwhelming. The ideal size permits me to use it as both a bedside table and worksurface, and since it came in below budget, the additional savings permits an upgrade in the task chair I have yet to find.

Robert Reid is a professor of architecture, art and design at the American University of Sharjah.