Mechanical room shelving

The studio has a lot of rooms within a room. Most of them we’ve added (see: Viewing Room and Furnace room-ish thing that still needs to be finished off. We keep debating our options), but one was inherited: the mechanical room.


The construction of this room is very fortress-like. Seriously, you could repeatedly ram a firetruck into the room and the mechanical controls would still be safe. They were not messing around when they built this feature, which begs the question “How poorly do firetruck drivers drive?”

Long story short, the room had to stay and it seemed like the perfect place to store some of our frequently used office paraphernalia and camera equipment that might not enjoy or survive life in a basement.

While prepping for paint, Aaron covered the window opening with a piece of plywood and caulked the edges. He also removed any wires that he could from the defunct systems, like the fire alarm box.




Everything got a nice coat of white paint.



Aaron constructed the custom shelves from 2 x 4’s and plywood. It’s not the most elegant option, but this space is all about function… and one that will probably only be viewed by the two of us (save for this extensive post).









Originally we planned to purchase a new door for the space, but the opening turned out to be a very strange size. Plan B included covering the transom window with plywood and a coat of paint and adding a simple curtain (repurposed from the last studio).




023mechroomshelves  022mechroomshelves

We can pack a lot into the space, making it super functional. It’s not the most glamorous project, but it precipitated some furniture swaps that I’m still pretty happy about. Is anyone else cramming storage into every nook/cranny/room-within-a-room?

  1. That’s fantastic. I think your storage room (neé mechanical room) is bigger than my current bathroom. Count me among the jealous. Hey, did you ever consider using those commercial freezer flaps as a curtain? Maybe painted, so you could have a more flat and unpeekable-by-clients door system? Somehow it seemed like a restaurant style walk-in fridge/freezer, and the visual popped into my brain.

    1. Ha! You definitely can’t fit a full bathroom in there so maybe the images made it look a little generous.
      That would be a cool door! We’re thinking of doing something like for the workshop door in the basement.

      1. I measured: 76″ x 62″. And that’s generous, as there’s an angled door, so that 76″ number shrinks as you move across the room. I’m guessing your measurements are pretty close. 😉

        1. Ok, I measured. It’s 76″ by 60″
          Two things. 1 – Good eyeballing. 2 – OMG! How are you living with a bathroom that small!?!? New York real estate always blows my mind.

  2. I too am jealous of your space. When I lived in a 250 square foots studio in NYC I got very good at playing a game of tetris with all of my stuff, constantly packing and repacking stuff into tighter and tighter arrangements to make the best possible use of the space. When we moved into our 2000 square foot studio here in St. Louis, I was thinking I could never possibly fill the space. Two years later I’m back to the game of tetris, particularly now that my prop closet is overflowing with more dishes and glassware than I could ever imagined owning before becoming a food photographer.

    1. It’s definitely become a game of tetris in there. Maybe that happens to all storage spaces?

  3. I just watched your episode on house hunters and as the episode ended, my first immediate thought was “I must google them and see if they have a blog about their reconstruction!” I am so happy that you do!!! I can’t wait to keep checking back in on your progress. Kudos to you, the space is awesome and you two have impeccable style, it’s going to look so badass when it’s done. Loving the viewing station in the studio you have set up so far.

    1. Thanks, Mary, and welcome!!

  4. […] Build shelving in the mechanical room […]

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