I first priced some large heavy duty shelving units at the local big box store and it ran into several hundred dollars. I decided I could do better than that and have a nice cubicle customized to my needs. I will admit this idea was sparked many years ago when I first saw some custom cubicles in a book, Nomadic Furniture, but mine goes a bit beyond those designs.
This cubicle is built of about 30 2x2s for framing, 1x10s for shelving, hardware consists of 1/4 inch nuts, bolts, and lock and fender washers. A few deck screws secure the shelves. I wasn't sure the 2x2s were going to be strong enough, but with the intermediate supports in the middle of each side, its plenty strong. I had the red paint and some of the wood, and the desk its built around, but I think the whole thing could be done for around $100 max. Far cheaper than equivalent amount of store bought shelves!
Two sides are against walls, and two sides are open beyond the cube, which helps keep me from getting claustrophobic. But, that's not a problem for me - I love this space!
My finished size came out to about 7 x 7 x 7 foot cube. I first envisioned a cube within a cube with the space between them filled with shelves. But, as the design developed, it ended up being constructed as a series of "ladders" going around the area - you can see this in the build sequence pictures. Notice I had to stagger the level of shelves from one side to the adjoining sides.
UPDATE: SIZE MATTERS!!
I have since moved back home, and had to re-size my cubicle. It is now about 5.5 x 6 foot - I'm still getting used to it... My feeling is this is a bit too small to be comfortable, but maybe that's because I had it bigger for so long.
I have a workshop in a basement room, but my wife let me put the cubicle up between the living room and kitchen - albeit, a smaller version. It's a compromise for both of us. This way, I don't disappear for hours at a time; I'm in my cubicle, and she's watching Pride & Prejudice, and we coexist happily! (There's a little bargaining power there for those whose spouse may not be keen on having a Mancave... or, cubicle, in the middle of the house!)
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