DIY Project: Drop Zone! A Victory for Home Organisation
Do you love an organised home? Yep, me too. Yet our kitchen was constantly littered with the daily detritus of work and school—bags, shoes, sports stuff, books, keys ("where are my keys?!") and drifts of sand my son likes to empty out of his shoes. This solution was a DROP ZONE! Here's how it happened...
This project takes place in the laundry—my home’s much-used but under-loved utility room, and also a convenient and oft used thoroughfare in and out of the house. Ostensibly a skinny room (2.1m x 3.9m), I always hoped that with some clever planning we would be able to make better use of it.
My initial musings involved custom cabinetry ($$$$) or creating a storage bench by hacking an IKEA Nordli unit ($$). The challenge was to find a solution that would utilize the long and skinny floor space without cluttering the walkway. Then I saw this photo, posted by Bunnings on their Instagram feed, and the plan fell into place. No cabinetry required—a simple wooden bench that we already owned, with coat hooks above and storage tubs underneath ($).
The beauty of a drop zone like this is that you can create it at virtually any entrance to your home.
To create the rail, we screwed a piece of 66 mm primed moulding to the wall ($17 from Bunnings). A stud finder came in handy to make sure that the screws were anchored into the timber studs that sit behind the Gyprock (dry wall) sheeting. Don’t scrimp on the screws or rely only on self-drilling wall anchors (Wallmates)—the weight of school bags can quickly add up, so you want to know that your timber rail is secured tightly. We positioned the timber rail 165 cm from the floor.
Before you fill the holes and sand and paint the rail (we used leftover paint from a previous project), take a minute to mark the position of the screws on the wall above or below the rail. When it comes time to attach your coat hooks to the wall, knowing where the screws are located will help you miss them when positioning your coat hooks. We used seven coat hooks ($7 each from Bunnings), positioned 28cm apart. The storage tubs are Lekman boxes from IKEA ($14.99 each).
I grabbed a sample pot of Taubman's Azalea Leaf ($8), as featured in the original inspo photo, but found that it was too dark for the space and not really in keeping with the coastal vibe of our home. Typically, I then over-corrected and went for a grey-green that was totally bland and made the room feel even more utilitarian. And it stayed like that for months—perfectly functional, but about as welcoming as cold porridge.
And then I stumbled upon DIY wallpaper from Luxe Walls. With their promise that the process was idiot-proof—the sheets come numbered, custom-scaled, custom-sized, ready to peel-and-stick and are repositionable—I decided to give it a go. For our 1.5m x 2.7m wall, the price came to $284.
It’s best to tackle this project with two people because you need one set of eyes on the pattern and a separate set of hands on the paper. The instructions say to start at the top, work from left to right and to focus your effort on matching the pattern at eye-level. Once in place, you trim the excess from the edges with a sharp blade. We papered behind the light switch by unscrewing the switch plate from the wall.
Did we match up the pattern perfectly between panels like a true professional? No, not perfectly, but pretty close (the pattern is forgiving!) and the room has a much more inviting feel to it. I'm also loving the fact that bags no longer leave scuff marks on the wall. What do you think? An improvement? Where is the drop zone in your home?