The Mani Cave…we’re back!

The Mani Cave…oh how I’ve neglected you. Finally in early December I threw in the towel and committed to picking up the quest after the New Year. I haven’t completely ignored the room. Over the last few weeks I’ve bought lighting, fabric and a few other items. They are piling up in the corner just waiting for installation. But what I really want to show you is this…

The Mani Cave Polish Storage (work / play / polish)

Yesterday, I spent hours and hours hanging one of my new polish shelving systems. I wanted something with a TON of storage. But I also wanted it to be a piece of art in and of itself. I just couldn’t get excited about the traditional acrylic polish racks. I knew I wanted something glass or metal and very clean and minimal. Awhile back, I had the bright idea to use cabinet pulls from IKEA. After bringing home at least four different types, I finally found STRECKET. These stainless steel cabinet handles come in packs of two. They are about 12 ½ inches long with a 1 ¼ inch lip. They are pre-drilled with two holes and come with four screws. The regular IKEA price was $7.99 per pack. But just my luck, there was a wire basket of these babies sitting in the aisle way with a magical yellow sign. Are you ready for this? $0.49/each! Yup. Forty-nine cents! How can that even be possible!?!?! I grabbed as many as I could…40 packs. That’s 80 shelves for $20. Not bad, huh? People were staring at me as I shoveled the packs into my IKEA bag/cart. Whenever I made eye contact with any of the gawkers, I’d defensively say “Yeah…these are polish racks…and they’re going to be very cool.” I must have looked like a crazy lady!

The Mani Cave Polish Storage STRECKET Shopping Spree (work / play / polish)

The only downside is they aren’t deep enough to fit China Glaze, Orly or Revlon. I‘ll eventually build different, more traditional shelves, for those polishes (wood, white, molding, etc.). I like the idea of having more than one “vignette” of polish in the room anyway.

The Mani Cave Polish Storage STRECKET (work / play / polish)

So back to the STRECKET shelves. Installation was a lesson in patience and mathematical prowess. I measured, measured some more, divided, added, moved, leveled, sketched, spreadsheeted and even PowerPointed this shelving wall! Once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t so bad. The key is to make each shelf level all on its own. I used the adjacent shelving for spacing and consistency, of course. But the wall bows and the shelves aren’t perfect either. So if you rely solely on the shelf you last hung – a 1/16” mistake on shelf two will turn into a five inch mistake on shelf 32.

The Mani Cave Polish Storage Installation (work / play / polish)

The shelves won’t bear much weight. I added a touch of glue on each screw as I installed it to the wall. Screws are meant to be installed on the other side of the handle (where there’s a recess) so they aren’t flush. I decided this didn’t bother me; especially since it will be covered with polish eventually. I’ve installed eight rows of five shelves. Each shelf holds about ten bottles of polish. So that’s 400 bottles of storage now. I have many more shelves, so I’ll grow “up” and can add another three rows of five when I need them.

The Mani Cave Polish Storage (work / play / polish)

Isn’t it just so orderly and organized. I can’t wait have all of my polish on the wall eventually!

The Mani Cave Polish Storage (work / play / polish)

The Mani Cave Polish Storage (work / play / polish)

But Leslie, you say, wouldn’t it have been easier to hang a few big long shelves? Yes. But I decided against this for a few reasons. 1) I like the look of having the separation on the wall. From a “decorating” perspective, it’s more interesting. 2) Having long rows of polish is bothersome if you’re adding or rearranging polish. If you add just one bottle, suddenly you’d have to push 60 bottles down a shelf to make room. That’s easier said than done. With smaller shelves, moving polish around is more manageable and separating polishes by brand looks cleaner. And finally, 3) The STRECKET handles don’t come in a longer length.

I don’t believe IKEA is making STRECKET any longer (hence the deep discount) but you can find them on eBay. Even though you can’t create these exact shelves…knowing that cabinet pulls are an option, it definitely opens the possibilities. I’m sure there will be new IKEA handles which will also work. Or, look at Lowe’s, Home Depot or any other home improvement store. I think it would be neat to use many different handles on one wall.

I’d love to know how you organize your polish! Describe it in the comments or post a picture to Facebook. :)

Please leave a comment. I read every single one!

Comments (56)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. peachcordial says:

    Wowza! This looks amazing. Great work! Definitely something to be proud of. Haha all my polishes just sit unimaginatively in a box.

  2. sugarmitten says:

    Oh my goodness, this is amazing! I wish I had seen this before I bought the acrylic racks. I love the look of this, genius idea!

  3. sugarmitten says:

    Reblogged this on sugarmitten and commented:
    This is the best polish storage/organization idea I have ever seen!

  4. Eryka says:


  5. eklinman says:

    you’re incredibly dedicated, and it came out beautifully!

  6. Jenie says:

    It’s beautiful! I am staring at that wall in awe. And all for $20!

  7. Genius, pure genius~shared this on my Page and pinned it for future reference when I need a polish rack. : )

  8. That is the coolest thing I think I’ve ever seen a blogger do! It looks absolutely awesome. And so professional looking too! I had a laugh at your response to people looking at you buying millions of racks lol! Never mind them, it looks fantastic. :)

  9. Judy says:

    What an absolutely freaking awesome idea!!! Girl you have really gone and outdid yourself! That looks so so soooooGREAT!! I am so jealous but really excited for you!!! Can’t wait for the finished product…. I have really enjoyed you taking us through step by step of your progress! Love it!!! Great job and excellent choices on everything!!!

  10. Sophie says:

    Love this! I’m looking for a shelf system as well; searching for colors in my dark cabinet isnt very exciting. I wanna see what my choices are all the time. Ill let you know what mine ends up looking like :)

  11. Wow!! This looks amazing!!! Well done you!

  12. Vilcis says:

    I absolutely love this system. It is one of my dreams to have on room enterely dedicated to nail polish and I will keep these shelves in mind for the future. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You did a great job, the room look fantastics.

  13. Nicole says:

    This is amazing and visually stunning. I’m a little worried that the tiny screws that came with it will have a hard time holding the weight of the polish over time but hey, if that happens you can get different screws. This looks so cool! I like how you’re using it as an art piece. If I had a room to dedicate solely to polish this is exactly what I’d be doing. I like your style!! :)

  14. Deborah says:

    Gorgeous, really a piece of art indeed! I loooove this!

  15. satine89 says:

    Whoooooa!!! It’s heaven!!!!

  16. daPerley says:

    Looks sooo amazing, want that room (a)

  17. KD says:

    to hold more weight, you need anchors. They are little screw things that go into the drywall, and expand on the other side, so the whole wall supports the screw. I’m having horrible visions of nail polish avalanches in the middle of the night. :(

    something like this:–25200.html

    they come in all sorts of sizes :)

    • Hi KD! Thanks for the tip and link. We did extensive testing prior to hanging them all to see if anchors were necessary (we had one version attached to drywall w/polish on it for a month!) We think the screws + glue will be adequate for the weight. I hope we’re right! :)

  18. Wow, girl, AWESOME! I love the look of multiple short shelves. The Mani Cave looks like the polish equivalent of a candy store. :-D

  19. craftynail says:

    What a great idea, and a great sale! WIN!!!!!!!!!

  20. blimbo2005 says:

    omg i died and wemt to heaven when i saw this post. it looks amazing

  21. oh my god this looks so amazing. i have two wall racks i made from foam board and then a plastic drawer of polish AND a spice rack on my desk filled with polish – i’ve needed a better storage solution for a long time and this post seriously makes me want to get in gear and get it done! it looks sooo awesome.

  22. Alex says:

    Looks awesome! Nice work!

  23. Crystal says:

    Love that you call it the Mani cave, priceless! It looks great….so pretty!

  24. OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! TMC is now my favorite room on the planet. Looks gorge, of course.

  25. Laura says:

    That looks so beautiful! The issue with bigger bottles would drive my OCD crazy though. Right now my polish is in acrylic racks on my bathroom wall, but I’ve recently cleared a walk in closet that will be for the family’s shoes and coats on one side and nail polish on the other so I’ll have lots more space to work with. Still going to stick with the acrylic racks since it’s in a closet but I’ll for sure keep this idea in mind if my collection can ever be displayed better someday. A question though, I’ve heard that polish should be stored in the dark cause constant light exposure will fade it, is this really a problem?

  26. Rebecca says:

    This looks amazing! And I love the colour of the blue on the wall too! All my nail polishes are stuffed in a drawer but I have nowhere near as many as you. I’ve been thinking I need better storage though as you end up wearing the same colours/forgetting what colours you have when you can’t see them all. :)

  27. Meghan says:

    This is amazing, very beautiful and well executed. I live in an apartment so I wouldn’t want to put this much work into shelves knowing I could be gone in a year or two, but if I owned a house something like this would be nice. I’m assuming that is a watermark added to the photos, but wouldn’t it be cool if you had it stencilled on the wall! :) One quick question though, do you worry about light hitting the nail polish? I heard that can fade it.

  28. beachgal says:

    OMG!!! This looks fab! I live in a cottage on the ocean – meaning no room – there are only 2 drawers in my kitchen!!! I need to get rid of some furniture as it is now and try to get a more open flow feeling.

  29. acetonehuffingcougar says:


  30. amazing! i would love to own a 1/4 of that collection!

  31. Angie says:

    So jealous of your mani cave! I would love to have something where I could see all my polishes lined up, but I think hanging 700 polishes would take up a whole wall! And then I couldn’t possibly hide them any longer!

  32. OMG! So jealous of your wall space. Every single wall in my mani corner is covered with shelves not conducive to polish storage so most of my polish lovelies are hidden away in drawers and boxes. Boo hoo, they want to come out and play with your beauties!

  33. it feels like a dream for a polish addict..

  34. Amanda (Mae) says:

    oh my goodness I am sooooooo jealous!!!!! your room is coming along so amazingly, love love love the new shelves!!! <3

  35. safclyndz says:

    This looks so amazing! I’ve been on the lookout for something for a long time, struggling to find even a decent acrylic rack in the UK, but as you said, it opens possibilities, so I think a trip to IKEA is due soon!

  36. Nanni says:

    I’m so jealous right now :D

  37. creepmynails says:

    wow…this is heavenly! You did an amazing job!!! :))))

  38. amazing amazing idea! i never would have thought of this before and it seems so much easier than traditional racks! great post girl!

  39. Nail Luxxe says:

    It looks incredible. You should be very proud. Why I love this so much is because the idea was so far-out to begin with, I mean who has a mani cave…YOU DO! :) and despite blogging, being a Mum, a Wife and working (and no doubt much more!) you have stuck with it and seen your dream materialise. I also love how supportive your hubby has been you two sound like a great team. Very happy for you, and those polishes better stay on the wall after all that work!!

  40. Your Mani Cave is a thing of beauty. Well done.

  41. blimbo2005 says:

    just stopping by to recomment that I am nominating you for the sunshine award. I know you have been nomitated alot but I want to show my appreciation as well

  42. Arul says:

    Thanks so much for these tips! I love your work! If you can remember, which blue pliosh is on the model in the picture? It’s gorgeous! I’d love to add a blue to my collection and that one looks stunning. Thank you in advance!

  43. joybrewed says:

    wow!! this is amazing! I would be so tempted to keep doing this all day if I had a room like this! ;)

  44. tmvikholt says:

    Oh my god, I am so jealous! This looks amazing :D

  45. Gloria Atkins says:

    Brilliant, I’m going to try this for my polish. I’ve got close to 100 polishes & limited space so this would totally work for me. Thanks again!

  46. I did a quick search and it looks like IKEA currently carries the BLANKETT handle which comes in several different sizes, 15″ up to 36″. You might want to add this to your article to help people since the STRECKET is long discontinued. ~Ana

  47. Jay says:

    Frickin brilliant

  48. Jane says:

    I love your idea of the closet pulls. It looks completely different than traditional polish storage and IS a work of art. And who doesn’t love that kind of deal :)
    My collection of about three hundred bottles are stored on the inside wall of my closet. It keeps them organized and out of the way while still easily accessible and I don’t have to stare at bottles of nail polish unless I want to!

  49. JPF says:

    You’re a genius! I absolutely LOVE the way it looks. I’m new to your blog and when I saw the thumbnail I thought it had to be a high end store or salon. Absolutely gorgeous and so clever of you to use the cabinet pulls like that. It is a work of art and I completely agree that the columns of shorter shelves look much better than long ones. I saw a picture of a similar setup with a single column of longer shelves and they looked like they were sagging in the middle. They were also arranged by color rather than separating the brands and while it was very pretty I don’t think my OCD and love of symmetry could live with it. Your mani cave and your swatches are to die for! XO – J

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: