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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. Below, 12 of our favorite projects that turn this versatile piece into a showstopper. Before you know it, you’ll be hacking EKETs, RASTs, LACKs and FROSTAs too.
1. Completely change it up
Husband and wife duo Starr and David added doors to their KALLAX cube shelves for a glam storage system makeover. They added half-round molding to the plywood doors for texture, and then painted it all a dark gray-green, plus added gold pulls.
2. Create a custom showstopper
You would never believe that this statement stacked bookcase is actually KALLAX shelf units bolted together. Each opening offers space for a new décor accent.
3. Embrace the Scandi style
4. Make simple upgrades
Legs from Home Depot and hardware from Anthropologie were simply added to this KALLAX unit which is used as a living room console.
5. Style a home bar with a mid-century look
Blogger Jazzmine turned an ordinary KALLAX into an extraordinary home bar. The midcentury-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.
6. 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 one-by-four 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.
7. 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.
8. Give plain shelves a vintage library catalog look
Library catalogs are so stylish but can often be quite expensive, which is why we were thrilled to discover blogger Terra’s KALLAX hack. This revamped piece fits the KALLAX two-drawer units with file cabinet pulls for a vintage-cool vibe. All those drawers look great, and they provide tons of practical storage for a home office, too.
9. Glam up plain doors with overlays
You don’t have to change the color of your KALLAX to give it a high-impact makeover. Get inspired by blogger Ceres and turn your KALLAX into a totally chic sideboard fitted with Greek key-inspired overlays. Lean a luxe mirror on top, and the setup looks totally high-end.
10. Make a mini wardrobe for clothing storage
Yes, you can use the original KALLAX for folded clothes, but Becky and Kelsey of The Sorry Girls show that adding a clothing rod to the inside offers hanging storage, too. Wood legs and doors add some warmth to the white piece.
11. Keep it simple by just adding legs
Adding legs to your KALLAX shelf is a simple yet completely stylish way to upgrade the piece and ensure it will complement the other items in your home. Midcentury modern legs look lovely in blogger Delia’s space.
12. Create a functional flat file cabinet
Flat file cabinets are a smart way to store documents and other small items, and blogger Bettina created one using a KALLAX four-cube unit. Wood drawer fronts in a dark color provide a just-right level of contrast.
Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann