Before and after – this budget IKEA Eket cabinet is now a luxe bookcase with a magnificent marble top

Thanks to some dark brown paint and repurposed marble tiles, these IKEA Eket cabinets have become a designer worthy bookcase

a marble topped ikea cabinet hack
(Image credit: Kristine Broen (@privatbr0ensh0me))

Nothing says Scandi like the simple and sleek design of the IKEA Eket cabinet. This versatile piece of furniture makes a great storage unit for any space and can be easily customized thanks to the various combinations that can be fitted together. However, this IKEA hack goes above and beyond, taking the concept of a customized Eket to a whole new level. 

With a coat of dark paint, some marble slabs, and a decent amount of know-how, this IKEA staple has been transformed into a modern bookshelf with magnificent marble detailing. The design makes a beautiful addition to this moody living room, the carefully curated shelves helping to create a dark academia vibe that feels timelessly cozy. 

This impressive makeover is down to the work of home renovator, Kristine Broen (@privatbr0ensh0me). Her DIY project is part of an ongoing renovation of her mid-century home in Norway. While Kristine enjoys luxury designer furniture as much as the next person, she also has an appreciation for IKEA furniture and the endless creative possibilities that refurbishing holds. Here she shares how she made her magnificent marble bookcase in just a few simple steps. 

Lilith headshot for bio
Lilith Hudson

Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. A personal fan of the Scandi-inspired interior, her job entails keeping up with everything there is to know about the Swedish powerhouse IKEA. Paired with her insight into the latest home renovation projects, she regularly shares IKEA hacks with readers to inspire their own DIY projects in home design. 

A dark painted IKEA Eket cabinet before renovation

(Image credit: Kristine Broen (@privatbr0ensh0me))

Kristine had had the IKEA cabinets for some time before she decided to give them a modern makeover. The idea for the project came to her after struggling to find suitable shelving to match the dark color scheme of her interior.

'We've gone for dark colors throughout the house, incorporating features of brown marble and dark wood,' she explains. 'I spent a very long time trying to find a wow-factor bookcase to have in the main living room, but I didn't find anything exciting enough.' 

After a while of searching, Kristine looked to her own home for inspiration. 'Our interior mixes designer furniture with lots of IKEA hacks and second-hand items that we have refurbished, so, after looking for a bookcase for a long time without success, I came up with the idea to just make it ourselves!' 

A person relaxing in a living room in front of a fireplace with an IKEA Eket bookshelf in the background

(Image credit: Kristine Broen (@privatbr0ensh0me))

Knowing a thing or two about home renovation, Kristine is no stranger to the functionality of the Eket cabinets which she's used for several IKEA furniture hacks before.

She knew the cabinets could withstand a decent amount of weight, so she decided to use the three IKEA cabinets she already owned to create her bookcase. 'We also had some brown marble tiles left over from tiling our hallway and decided these would be perfect for the wow-factor I wanted,' Kristine explains. 

A refurbished IKEA Eket cabinet with marble shelving

(Image credit: Kristine Broen (@privatbr0ensh0me))

To build the bookcase for her living room shelving, Kristine decided to use hardwood panels drilled to the existing cabinets. 'We started by making a foundation for the three Eket units to stand on and then we made the top part from scratch from oak planks,' she says. 

After measuring the planks to fit to the ceiling of the room allowing for three shelves divided in the middle, she used corner brackets from Amazon to fix them in place. 'Then it was just a matter of sanding everything, filling all screw holes and painting in a lovely brown color,' says Kristine. 'My fiancé then cut up the tiles to the perfect size which are glued to the wall and the top of the Eket cabinets.'

A refurbished IKEA Eket cabinet with marble shelving decorated with a twisted candlestick

(Image credit: Kristine Broen (@privatbr0ensh0me))

Once the plank shelving was painted, Kristine and her fiancé fixed it to the wall so it floats above the Eket cabinets. 

Proving she also has an eye for decorating bookshelves, she then carefully curated the shelves to house books, candles and other decorative pieces. Metallic accents in the decor give a luxurious edge to the bookcase that marries beautifully with the polished marble. 

An IKEA Eket cabinet refurbished with marble shelving

(Image credit: Kristine Broen (@privatbr0ensh0me))

Thanks to this clever IKEA hack, Kristine now has the perfect bookcase to match the style of her living room and she's over the moon with the result. 

'It was finished just a few weeks ago and I definitely feel like I've achieved the wow-factor I was searching for in the living room,' she explains. 'It's so much fun to be able to have something that no one else has, and know that my fiancé and I made it together.'

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.