The monochromatic MALSJO is among IKEA's most sought-after pieces – and all for a good reason. The glass-door cabinet is more of a statement than a storage space – even before its transformation into a boutique kitchen piece – as is the case in our latest IKEA hack crush.
The modified MALSJO comes from Karolina Zagrodzka, a designer who was looking to create a stylish kitchen focal point that maintained her minimalist scheme.
On her blog (opens in new tab), Karolina discusses the design process – and how she turned her flatpack into a fashionable feature.
Sharing her modern kitchen ideas, she explains what you need to know.
IKEA MALSJO – before
After picking up a MALSJO (opens in new tab), Karolina began by painting before gluing the top and bottom shelves of the display window. Then, using Śnieżka Supermal's (opens in new tab) acrylic enamel in Silky Gloss, she painted the wooden part of the unit.
'The paint will not leave an 'egg shell' effect on the furniture, provided that you paint with a sponge furniture roller. It has a soft satin sheen but does not shine like Dulux. However, it required thorough painting with three layers. The effect was great,' Karolina explains.
After the paint dried, she assembled the display case and then began work on the new legs. She cut four pieces of square timber before taking the frame from the base and drilling the legs. Karolina then applied the legs using screws.
'The screws cannot be at the same height, so they are 2 cm from the end of the leg on one side and 4 cm on the other side. You have to drill holes with milling for the screw heads to hide them,' Karolina says.
'We turned the leg rack over [to] check its stability. The legs are thick and durable – they are tall and raise the unit 70 cm above the ground,' she adds. However, while the legs are stable, she recommends that you still anchor the unit to the wall.
IKEA MALSJO – after
Finally, she used Dulux's Weathershield One Coat Gloss (opens in new tab) to paint the unit – which, Karolina shares, has a glossy finish that is perfect for the IKEA unit.
The result is an individual furnishing that stands tall above the kitchen space. It's the stylish storage idea – and the statement piece – every kitchen needs.
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.
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