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Was there ever a more versatile flat-pack than the IKEA KALLAX? Simple, practical, and multi-functional, this storage solution epitomizes everything the Scandi homeware brand does best. It's also a DIYer favorite when it comes to customizability, and after seeing this elegant living room sideboard hack, it's no surprise why.
With pine molding, a lick of paint, and some metallic gold touches, the art-deco style IKEA hack brings a touch of Parisian chic to this living room alcove. It's all down to the work of home renovator Emma-Jo Woollin (@mysecrethouseaccount) who shares the DIY improvements to her Victorian villa over on Instagram, and this one was just too good not to share. Here, she explains the steps she took to turn her KALLAX from lackluster to luxe.
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.
Noticing that her alcove was crying out for a sideboard, Emma decided to put her skills to the test with a bespoke IKEA hack. The eight-shelf KALLAX unit was the perfect fit for her living room DIY project, measuring 30 3/8 x 57 7/8 inches.
Using the KALLAX doors for her fluted credenza idea, Emma set to work adding molding. 'We used half round pine moulding and cut them to size (8.6 inches) using a chop saw to cover each door, using sandpaper to file the edges for a smooth finish,' she explains. 'We then attached them to the doors with No Nails glue, using a heavy object to weight them down whilst they dried.'
There's a reason Zinsser's B-I-N shellac-base primer is an industry favorite. Use their white primer before painting to help make your color pop and prolong its life. The best part? It sticks to any surface without sanding making it perfect for IKEA hacks and furniture painting.
Once all the doors were attached to the unit, Emma used Zinsnsers B-I-N primer - which she calls 'the holy grail of all primers' - to prep for painting. She knew she wanted a dark, moody color to contrast with the white walls in her lofty living room and make the metallic touches pop. 'I used a KALLAX door to get a color match service, mixing the paint the same color as the unit,' she says. 'I gave the doors three coats of color in total.'
Finally, it was just a case of adding the hardware and styling the sideboard for an elegant, art deco alcove. She used gold handles from Amazon and matching feet, also from Amazon, to raise the credenza off the floor. The complimentary gold finishes in the mirror frame, plant pot, and pendant lights make for a high-end, luxe look that elevates Emma's living room. If you ask us, it's the perfect lesson in how to make an IKEA KALLAX look more expensive.
This stylish sideboard will be living rent-free in our heads for the foreseeable!
For a hint of luxury, go for gold cabinet handles like these ones, from Amazon. Made from aluminum, these handles won't rust and are easy to install, requiring just two small screws. This pack of ten is perfect for recreating this elegant KALLAX look (with a few extra spare!)
The Livingetc Newsletter
For style leaders and design lovers.
Lilith Hudson is the Staff Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. 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.
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