I've long been a fan of the website Ikea Hacker which shows awesome projects where people have revamped ikea items to better suit their needs/style. Very cool stuff on there. So when we moved into our latest small apartment and we realized that our 'office' would have to be in our living room, it became clear that I'd need to do something to hide the shelves full of school textbooks and binders. We have enough clutter due to my craft projects all over the place - I have to minimize visual clutter in other ways somehow.
Yesterday we finally made it to the hardware store to get supplies and I hacked something together pretty fast after we got home. We're going to live with it like this for a while and see if we want to put some embellishments on it or not.
Here's the before - messy shelves full of stuff. (Pardon the Christmas decor, this picture is a bit old.) I believe this unit is part of the "Journalist" line at Ikea - that's what the tag on the shelf says; I can't find it on the Ikea website, so I don't know if they still make it.
And - about $20 later:
And, we've still got easy access - the panels hinge upwards:
I almost don't want to divulge the secret - it's embarassingly simple... but here it is. We got two sheets of that plastic stuff that goes over your lights in the kitchen - the acrylic stuff that comes in "ice crackle" or the dimond pattern. It was the perfect width right off the shelf. I cut it to the height of the shelf then taped the two bits back together with a tiny gap between them so it could bend. Then we slid the short bit under the heavy books on the shelf above. So the plastic isn't mounted to the shelf in any way, it's just wedged under all the books. Ditto for the top shelf - there are a few books on top of the unit holding that cover in place.
Possible modifications for the future - putting fabric or coloured paper on the inside to further hide the clutter and make more of a statement... or alternatively maybe just some trim on the bottom edges to define the 2 shelves.... we'll see....