This IKEA KULLEN makeover has transformed a simple unit into a boutique wooden furnishing

The minimalist staple is now a hand-crafted work of wooden art – complete with a stylish fluting-effect

IKEA KULLEN hack with plants
(Image credit: Alessandra Cahill)

Our favorite type of IKEA hacks are those that turn conventional furniture into exclusive pieces of art – and this IKEA KULLEN makeover does exactly that.

Introducing, London-based Interior enthusiast Alessandra Cahill of Borgo Otto, who converted her minimalist KULLEN into a bespoke wooden structure that is unrecognizable from the original chest of drawers. Alessandra's unit is covered in fluted-style timber and a chic marble top that turns the unit into an unrivaled focal point that will struggle to fall from style. 

With its unique half-crescent aesthetic and soothing natural tones, we're wondering how we mirror Alessandra's drawers in our own modern homes – and as she suggests – it's possible to recreate on almost every budget. Here, the designer explains everything we need to know.

IKEA KULLEN hack before transformation

The IKEA KULLEN before transformation

(Image credit: Alessandra Cahill)

Alessandra originally picked up the white KULLEN after looking for more storage space, but the drawer's practical elements didn't deter her from accentuating its style. 

She picked up pine dowels that would later create the staple half-moon shape and pay homage to one of her favorite materials: wood. 'I love to be surrounded by timber, as I love the smell of untreated wood. I also like the fact that timber contains no man-made chemicals or toxic varnishing,' Alessandra shares. 

IKEA KULLEN hack with fluted wood and marble top

(Image credit: Alessandra Cahill)

Alessandra used 18mm pine dowels for the sides and 12mm for the front of the KULLEN, which were specifically cut down to size. She began by removing the first drawer and laying the dowels across the front, making sure they were spaced equally and concealing the white acrylic underneath. 

Once each dowel was in position, Alessandra used a glue gun to set them in place – before repeating this process with each drawer. Then, she followed the same method for every side of the unit. 

IKEA KULLEN hack with fluted wood and a marble top

(Image credit: Alessandra Cahill)

After covering the unit in dowels, Alessandra created a luxe marble top which was a Carrara marble offcut from her kitchen worktops. This material elevates the KULLEN further and creates an exclusive ambiance that glazes the chest with instant allure. 

It also acts as an elegant setting for Alessandra's flowers that make the KULLEN feel well-dressed and even more personal. 

IKEA KULLEN hack with fluted wood

(Image credit: Alessandra Cahill)

See: This IKEA cabinet transformation has elevated a dated kitchen into a chic interior paradise

However, the question is not how we accessorize our transformed KULLEN, but whether we have enough time to head to IKEA this weekend. We'll see you there. 

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

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 whilst 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.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.