Space-Saving STUVA Storage Closet and Shelf Inset Into Wall

Materials: 1 – STUVA Storage combination with shelf [098.778.02], 1 – STUVA Storage combination with drawers [498.887.09], hammer, hand saw, plasterboard saw, 3″ nails, 2″x2″ angle brackets, 4″ straight straps, 2″x3″ framing studs

Description: This project builds upon approach used in this IKEA hack posted earlier using HEMNES units. The objective was to utilize space behind the knee walls which abound in our Cape Cod–style house. Destination of STUVA units was knee wall beside each of our daughters’ beds. Units we chose were two STUVA units of same height which we planned to stack on top of each other. We configured bottom unit to have 2 small top drawers and larger bottom drawer. Top unit was skinnier and only had shelves with no doors.

Wall Preparation
Stacked STUVA unit was 50.5″ high. The knee wall can only accommodate a 46″ high unit. Opening of appropriate size was cut out of the wall using plasterboard saw and hand saw. Simple inverted-C platform using 2″x3″ studs was provided to support the bottom of unit. Nailers were attached to wall studs to provide mounting points for STUVA system.

STUVA Unit Preparation
Bottom of skinnier unit only had shelves so we decided to cut off the bottom by 4″. The total height of stacked unit now became 45.5″ which fitted in 46″ high wall opening. STUVA units had flimsy cardboard backs so ¼” MDF boards were nailed to backs. Some old newspaper was stuffed into the cavity between these 2 boards. Two 2″x2″ steel straps were screwed into backs of STUVA top and bottom units. Additional 4″ steel straps were screwed on each side where units met.

Unit Installation
System was eased into wall opening and leveled. Holes were pre-drilled at the back bottom of lower unit. Bottom was anchored to inverted-C platform under it using 3-3″ nails. Additional holes were pre-drilled on each side and anchored to wood blocks installed earlier using 3″ nails. Molding was installed around each unit to cover gaps between wall and closet system. All moldings were caulked, spackled and sanded before applying two coats of paint same color as walls. Drawers and shelves were assembled and installed.

~ Mac Flores, Oak Lawn, IL