The crates fit perfectly in their new home. The reason this shelf is so awkward is due to the v-shaped library shelf above it. The point of the "V" is a mere 9" from the bottom shelf. Very few storage containers are 8.5" high, and if they are, they are either too long or too short to work in the space. Shorter containers exist, but I wanted something that came up higher to hide all of our stuff. I had originally intended to use old locker baskets in this space, but they are proving to be both expensive and hard to come by.
I am planning (at least at this point) to try and hang the wagon wheel above the armoire. The old windows I have will hang above the bentwood chairs, but will come up at least a foot higher than the armoire. I needed something to create a sort of rounded peak above the armoire, and I'm hoping I found just the thing. I'll keep you posted.