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DIY Series: My AMLI DIY Contest Winner Spotlight: Erica Ellis

May 21st, 2015

Another month brings another DIY project! This month we’re spotlighting Erica Ellis, one of our regional winners of the My AMLI DIY contest.

Erica tackled a project to maximize the space in her high-rise apartment and ended up building a functional window seat. We asked her to tell us more about her project and found out everything from her inspiration, design style, materials used, and advice she has for other DIYers. She even gave us the tutorial she used for her project so we can all make our own window seat!

Here’s what she had to say.

What is your design style?

I would say my design style is contemporary meets modern with a touch of shabby chic. I am drawn to bold prints, bright colors, and metallic accessories.

Give us an overview of what your project is?

I made a window seat with storage out of an IKEA bookshelf using a tutorial online.

And how does this fit in with your design style?

From the espresso colored wood and wicker baskets to the bold green chevron pattern and metallic Tic-tac-toe board, this window seat embodies all of my favorite design aesthetics in one.

Tell us more about your DIY project…

What materials did you use to create the project

IKEA bookshelf, fabric, foam, MDF board, staple gun, and scissors.

What was the total cost?

 Total cost was about 30.

How much time was spent on it?

 Three hours shopping plus two hours of assembly.

What was the biggest challenge when building and/or creating your project?

Getting the bookshelf from IKEA in Schaumburg, Ill. back to Chicago in a teeny, tiny two-door car!

What was your inspiration? What was the goal for this project?

With limited space in my apartment, it is crucial for me to find pieces that serve multiple purposes. Think ottoman for both seating and storage, an entryway table with hidden compartments for shoes, or even a full length mirror with a jewelry organizer inside. This is truly the secret to maximizing a small space. When I moved into AMLI 900, I knew I needed additional seating in the living room, but wanted whatever piece of furniture I settled on to do double duty and also provide storage. That is where the DIY bookshelf-turned-window seat idea was born.

What is your favorite element of the project?

The simplicity of it! A bookshelf, a piece of MDF board, foam, fabric and a staple gun? Yes, please!  

What do your friends say about the project?

They all ask me, “Where did you buy this window seat? I love it!” I always smile and say, “Well, I actually made it!”

What is your best advice for other DIYers?

Pinterest is and always will be your best friend.

Stay tuned to the AMLI Blog as our DIY Series continues in June!

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