5 IKEA Hacks That Transform Basic KALLAX Shelves into Something Super Special

published May 14, 2020
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IKEA KALLAX shelf unit in white
Credit: IKEA

The IKEA KALLAX is already an impressive piece on its own — you can use it as a classic bookshelf, a room divider, or as a stylish way to display collections. But you don’t have to settle for — ahem — off-the-shelf. With a few clever hacks, the KALLAX can truly be taken to the next level. We’ve rounded up five of our favorite projects that turn this versatile piece into a showstopper.

1. Style a home bar with a mid-century look

Blogger Jazzmine Woodard turned an ordinary KALLAX into an extraordinary home bar. The mid-century-style doors have a secret: They’re not real wood! Instead, Jazzmine used wood-patterned contact paper over the KALLAX’s white doors, plus brass ring pulls to complete the look. The setup provides plenty of storage for barware, cute accessories, and more.

2. Create a rustic cabinet

The simple shape of the KALLAX makes it easily adaptable to a range of styles. Blogger Shannon Acheson took a smaller style of the KALLAX and turned it into a rustic-looking cabinet by using distressed 1-by-4 boards to make the farmhouse-style doors. Now, it looks more like something you’d find at a flea market than in the aisles of a Swedish big-box retailer.

3. Construct a storage-rich kitchen island

Blogger Jen Lou Meredith used a KALLAX to create a kitchen island that won’t break the bank. The hack is an excellent way to revive your cooking space without completing a major reno, and you won’t be sacrificing any of the storage space the original piece provides. Key elements: a wood top, towel bar, and handy casters.

Credit: Delia

4. Keep it simple by just adding legs

Adding legs to your KALLAX is a simple yet completely stylish way to upgrade the piece and ensure it will complement the other items in, say, a dining room. Mid-century modern legs remain in style and look lovely in blogger Delia’s space.

5. Create a functional flat file cabinet

Flat file cabinets are a smart way to store trays, napkins, and other kitchen linens, and blogger Bettina Johnson shows how to create one using a KALLAX. Wood drawer fronts in a dark color provide a just-right level of contrast.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 9 IKEA Hacks That Transform Plain KALLAX Shelves into Something Special