I have been working with a lovely family for years now, gradually transforming almost every room in their house. They have two boys, and live in a 4 storey town house a stone’s throw from Sloan Square. On this occasion they called me in to help them control the masses of sports kit that was slowly taking over the dad’s home office. There was tennis kit, cricket kit, golf clubs, helmets and bicycles. The reason it all ended up in the home office was that it’s the first room off the entryway, and so a natural spot for the boys to dump it all before heading downstairs to the kitchen for dinner. The problem was – there were no other area of the house that lent itself well for this type of stuff. The dad graciously offered up a corner of the office, but it was narrow, and small. I knew I’d have to make the walls work double-time, and looked to extend the storage upwards. All kit also needed to be easily accessible, and easily tidied away. Enter the pegboard:
I decided to clad the entire allocated corner with bespoke pegboards (I made them to size in my workshop). There is a vent high up on the right hand wall which I didn’t want to cover, hence the varying heights. I painted them in black cupboard paint – a self-levelling and extremely hardwearing paint that won’t show every scuff or mark, but can be easily wiped down if dirty. I then kitted the pegboards out with everything they needed to hold all the sports kit.
There were three large sports bags that needed housing in this little corner: two cricket (if memory serves) bags and one golf bag with clubs. These were too bulky and heavy to hang from the pegboard itself, but still needed to be accesses frequently and with ease. I designed and made a purpose-built platform trolley, with high sides on one long and one short side, and more like a lip or threshold on the remaining long and short side. This trolley holds the cricket bags, and allows for them to be grabbed quickly from the open sides, and rest securely against the tall sides – meaning they wouldn’t fall off when the trolley was moved. Behind the trolley, in the very back of the corner is the golf bag – easily accessed by swiftly moving the cricket bag trolley out of the way.
The bicycles are mounted on two double hooks intended for this purpose. I mounted these hooks onto small boards of plywood to allow for multiple anchor points. For extra reassurance, I put one screw through each small board to secure it to the pegboard behind. With the amount of not just weight from the bicycles, but also movement involved in taking them down and hanging them back up again, it made sense to add a fixed anchor point. The height of the bicycle mounts can still be easily adjusted by loosening the screw, and tightening it again when it’s in the desired position.
Pegs are the heroes of pegboards. I made 12 of them for this family, as I believe you can never have too may hooks. Anything from helmets, to bags, to tennis rackets – hooks can hold it all.
I think it’s important to see solutions like this in real homes, serving real families. We all get so easily seduced by the crisp beautiful photos on Pinterest and other social media, but the reality may be slightly less crisp. This brief was about function, easy access, and utilising a small space to the max. A bespoke pegboard met this brief very well! This project was completed almost 5 years ago, but the family is still using this corner for sports kit in exactly the way it was intended back then. It goes to show that made-to-measure yet versatile solutions can certainly stand the test of time!