This new add-on for IKEA's KALLAX unit will instantly make a small living room feel bigger

The KALLAX underframe elevates your storage in more ways than one

A living room with a wooden effect IKEA KALLAX unit on a white legged underframe
(Image credit: IKEA)

The IKEA KALLAX is a universally loved storage superpower. With its deep square shelves, clean aesthetic, and various customizable options, this versatile piece of furniture has been praised as an organizational system in our homes for decades. Better still, the iconic four-shelved unit can now be purchased complete with a legged underframe that not only makes the KALLAX look more expensive but instantly makes small spaces feel larger, too. 

I've lost count of the number of times I've seen furniture flippers add legs to the KALLAX. From slanted mid-century style legs to black hairpins for a more industrial feel, the simple addition can elevate your furniture in more ways than one. The thing is, not all of us are proficient in this kind of DIY. 

That's why IKEA released a KALLAX unit that comes complete with a legged frame, and our favorite small-space-friendly version is finally available in the model. It's essentially an IKEA KALLAX hack, but with no power tools necessary! Here, we take a closer look a the latest innovation from our favorite Scandi brand. 

A living room with a wooden effect IKEA KALLAX unit on a white legged underframe

(Image credit: IKEA)

As a renter in London, space is an invaluable commodity. I'm always on the lookout for new ways to make my existing furniture more functional and apartment friendly, whether that's with a fresh lick of white paint to bounce some light around or the addition of castors to move my bookshelves between rooms. One thing I hadn't considered though (until recently, that is) was a set of legs for my IKEA KALLAX. 

The compact square unit, measuring 30 3/8 x 30 3/8 inches, has been the perfect multipurpose storage in my living room. The deep shelves house four baskets that are the perfect fit for paperwork and files, as well as all those miscellaneous odds and ends that don't have a home. Meanwhile, the surface itself is perfect for more decorative items like my lampshade, some framed photos, and a ceramic vase. But, convenient and compact though the shelving is, I've never been able to shake off the feeling that it was just a little bit clunky. 

A boot room with an IKEA kallax on a white legged underframe

(Image credit: IKEA)

On a whim, I decided to switch it out for a KALLAX with a white underframe instead, and am I glad I did. I'm convinced that the simple design of the legs with their clean lines is the secret to making the KALLAX look more expensive. The shelves align perfectly with the frame to create a strong, sleek, solid piece of furniture with a more airy and elegant look. It's totally rid my shelves of that bulkier quality, and it also makes vacuuming the floor far easier, too. 

The legged frame, available in both white and black, adds a whole 6 7/8 inches of height to the unit making it a far more useful level of elevation as a sideboard as well. It feels just the right height for my side lamp placement or for putting down my mug of coffee on a hectic morning, and it's certainly made my small living room look bigger. Currently, the KALLAX underframe is only available online as an entire unit complete with shelves, but the European IKEA site sells the frame separately as an add-on so here's hoping the modular idea will soon follow suit here. 

If you're looking to improve your living room storage and make a cramped space feel more roomy, the KALLAX underframe is a must-have. You could even try out an IKEA hack and add your own furniture legs to your existing KALLAX if you're feeling brave. Not only is it a more budget-friendly option but it also gives you more creative freedom to design a shelving system suited to your interior design style. We'd call that a definite win. 

Alternative furniture legs for the IKEA KALLAX

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.