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When his new condo didn’t have enough storage, he came up with a smart solution.

Photograph by Scott Suchman.

When Bobby Gignilliat moved into a one-bedroom condo on Capitol Hill, the only storage was a small hall closet and a walk-in bedroom closet.

Lack of storage was only one issue: He also couldn’t figure out the living room.

“My sister has a master’s degree in architecture, so I was constantly bouncing ideas off of her,” says Gignilliat, 28, an engineer. “I mentioned that I was thinking about getting some modular cabinets—from Ikea’s kitchen department—to use as a TV stand and to contain all the electronics. My idea was to build the cabinets under the single window on the right. She suggested that I run cabinets all the way across the room and not worry about giving up a bit of floor space. She was right.”

Gignilliat put legs under the 24-inch-deep cabinets—they’re freestanding, not attached to a wall—and topped them with Ikea kitchen countertops. He estimates that the project cost $400 to $500. Says Gignilliat: “The finished product gives the clean look I was going for, a ton of storage, and extra seating for when I have friends over.”

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