Before and after: This monochromatic IKEA MALSJO is now a kitchen staple piece

This is what happened when the iconic glass cabinet received legs and became a bespoke furnishing

IKEA MALSJO hack in a kitchen
(Image credit: Karolina Zagrodzka / @house_loves)

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. 

IKEA MALSJO hack in a kitchen

(Image credit: Karolina Zagrodzka / @house_loves)

On her blog, 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  

IKEA MALSJO before hack

(Image credit: Karolina Zagrodzka / @house_loves)

After picking up a MALSJO, Karolina began by painting before gluing the top and bottom shelves of the display window. Then, using Śnieżka Supermal's 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. 

IKEA MALSJO hack in a kitchen

(Image credit: Karolina Zagrodzka / @house_loves)

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. 

IKEA MALSJO hack in a kitchen

(Image credit: Karolina Zagrodzka / @house_loves)

'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 

IKEA MALSJO hack in a kitchen

(Image credit: Karolina Zagrodzka / @house_loves)

Finally, she used Dulux's Weathershield One Coat Gloss to paint the unit – which, Karolina shares, has a glossy finish that is perfect for the IKEA unit. 

IKEA MALSJO hack in a kitchen

(Image credit: Karolina Zagrodzka / @house_loves)

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 Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly loves writing about contemporary styles and trends for Livingetc.