Before and After: This IKEA KALLAX is a rustic statement piece – inspired by Scandinavia

This focal point is a celebration of IKEA's Nordic roots – and you can recreate its style at home

IKEA KALLAX hack
(Image credit: @our_bears_home)

IKEA is synonymous with Scandinavian design, but nothing celebrates Nordic style quite like this transformed KALLAX. 

This piece is unrecognizable from its flatpack heritage – but it does stay true to Sweden's traditional aesthetic through unique wooden details and a minimalist color scheme that creates a rustic style space. 

You've probably seen the KALLAX repurposed as a bookcase, home office organization center, or perhaps even as show storage – but this design takes the crown for uniqueness – and nods to all its Scandinavian roots, in all the right ways. 

What does this IKEA KALLAX hack involve? Here, designer Kate (our_bears_home (opens in new tab)) reveals more about the design process – so you can replicate its style in your home. 

IKEA KALLAX before  

IKEA KALLAX hack

(Image credit: @our_bears_home)

Kate began by picking up the KALLAX (opens in new tab) and assembling them from the instructions. She then used a pencil and tape measure to mark where the hairpin legs (from IronmongeryDirect (opens in new tab)) would sit before using a drill and screws to secure them in place.

'To celebrate the launch of Rothley's Hairpin legs, I was challenged to transform a piece of furniture,' Kate shares alongside the reveal (opens in new tab). 'What better than an IKEA hack?'

The designer then took two KALLAX door inserts and used WordPress White Oak 22mm x 7.5mm Real Oak Iron-On Edging to cut the pieces to size. This oak veneer comes in different tones and can be cut to size using scissors. So, you can choose the pattern that works for you. 

IKEA KALLAX hack

(Image credit: @our_bears_home)

She then ironed the pattern onto door fronts before attaching IKEA BEGRIPA handles to each door.

Once the doors were complete, Kate sanded down the worktop before placing it on top of the cabinet with strong glue – and left it to dry. 

IKEA KALLAX after

IKEA KALLAX hack

(Image credit: @our_bears_home)

To conclude the transformation, Kate styled her KALLAX with a curated selection of accessories – to keep it on the right side of minimalism. Notable features include the Athena Calderone-inspired circular vase and art books that complement the unit's subtle color scheme. 

IKEA KALLAX hack

(Image credit: @our_bears_home)

This modern decorating idea will elevate your scheme through its minimal lines and pared-back hues that wouldn't look out of place in a Stockholm showroom. It all starts with a trip to the interiors powerhouse.

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.