The IKEA shelves everyone is talking about from Jared Leto's stylish Golden Globes backdrop

We asked interior designers how to recreate Jared Leto's stylish IKEA shelving backdrop

IKEA cabinet from Jared Leto House
(Image credit: IKEA)

The Golden Globes blessed us with a host of memorable content this year. In true pandemic style, we saw technical difficulties, film stars drinking champagne in loungewear, and, most importantly, Jared Leto's $70 IKEA shelf. 

While we were pleased to see Jared nominated for his role in The Little Things, we found ourselves a little distracted by the star's backdrop, featuring the iconic KALLAX unit from everybody's favorite home decor giants. 

Any doubts over the bookshelf's manufacturer were cleared up in his pre-show interview with actress Jane Lynch, who highlighted his minimalist setup - to which Leto remarked it was 'straight from IKEA.' 

Jared Leto IKEA Shelves

(Image credit: 2021 HFPA Presents: Golden Globes Countdown Live / Contributor)

The actor, who is best known for his roles in Suicide Squad, Dallas Buyers Club, and Fight Club, filled his KALLAX with books and cacti; however, the versatility of this unit means it can be styled in an array of different ways. But where should you begin? 

Following the Globes, we gathered some tips from some interior experts who shared their thoughts on Jared's bookcase while offering design tips to help you bring the look into your home. 

1. Personalize with accessories

While Jared Leto stylishly decorated his KALLAX by standing his books vertically, Lucy Henderson, head designer at My Bespoke Room, suggests using the space to experiment with different layouts. 

Jared Leto’ house has a similar IKEA KALLAX shelf

(Image credit: IKEA)

'We love styling the IKEA KALLAX with books stacked both horizontally and vertically to help create different levels,' Lucy began. 

The designer then suggested using the shelf as a palace to exhibit treasures that reflect certain elements of your life - from a rare heirloom to your favorite plants. 

'You can marry these with displays of other treasured items, such as a cluster of vintage-colored vases to add a pop of color. Adding mini succulents and trailing plants is another great way to add natural color to your shelves,' she added. 

Lucy's suggestion is further emphasized by New York-based designer Tara Benet, who also urges us to choose and display our accessories carefully. 

Jared Leto’ house has a similar IKEA KALLAX shelf

(Image credit: IKEA)

Tara shared: 'If I have a client who doesn't like their shelves to feel too 'decorated,' I will stick to nicely arranged books, a few well-potted pants, and black and white photographs to fill the shelving.' 

See: Retro IKEA furniture is now collectable - your pieces from the 90s could be worth a fortune

2. Incorporate storage solutions

Alongside its aesthetic quality, the KALLAX is undeniably practical. The designers continued, offering solutions that maximize storage, while preserving the shelf's good looks. 

'These units look great styled up with rattan storage boxes which work wonders for tidying away clutter. You can also add drawers or cupboards available in the range to keep things tidy,' Lucy shared. 

She continued: 'In my own home, I have a few Kallax units that we use for kids' toy storage. I've added colored boxes to tie in with our color scheme, as well as using a cushion on the top to create extra seating. The larger Kallax units are also a great solution to breaking up open plan areas while providing extra storage.'

Bedroom with plants, Jared Leto’ house has a similar IKEA KALLAX shelf

(Image credit: IKEA)

Eva, the Creative Director & Founder of Eva Sonaike, similarly noted KALLAX's versatility, sharing she uses the unit to stay organized in her office. 

'I love it,' Eva declared. 'It is straightforward to assemble and practical to display and store various items, whilst looking stylish and clean. We use it for storing our sample cards in clear boxes, which we access daily. I kept my KALLAX white as it provides a neutral background and makes the items inside the shelf stand out.'

3. Less is more

Jared Leto kept his KALLAX minimal, and according to Tara, you should too. The designer offered her advice to ensure your shelves don't appear overcrowded and maintain that all-important A-Lister look. 

Living room with IKEA bookcase

(Image credit: IKEA)

See: The ultimate IKEA Pax wardrobe hack - How a couple created a beautiful walk-in closet from a flatpack

'When styling bookshelves, I go for the less is more approach. I am very thoughtful about which books I choose to showcase and tend to stick with the ones that have nice thick spines. I then arrange them by size and sometimes even color.'  

'When selecting decorative accessories, I tend towards a few larger pieces as opposed to lots of smaller accessories so that the shelves don't feel cluttered. I make sure each piece has an interesting shape and is arranged in a balanced way,' Tara added. 

We can't decide whether we love Jared Leto more - so we'll be sure to remember this stylish combo for many more Golden Globes to come. 

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.