Easy Hacks That Will Transform Your IKEA Kallax From Basic to Wow

Even the simplest changes (like adding legs) can have big impact

black and gold credenza made from a Kallax unit

Kylie Hughes

Is there anything as satisfying as an IKEA hack? Whether it’s as simple as adding a coat of paint, or if you’re going all-in with the power tools, putting your own DIY spin on your favorite IKEA furnishing, from the BILLY bookcase to the MALM dresser, makes it a one-of-a-kind talking piece. 

One of the most versatile pieces to hack is anything from IKEA’s Kallax cube storage series. The different sizes, shapes and storage spaces are just waiting for you to put your own unique spin on them. We scoured the Internet for our favorites that’ll get you inspired to DIY yourself.

  • 01 of 08

    Posh Console Transformation

    Cane cabinets made from IKEA kallax units

    Vivien Albrecht

    Home decor blogger and Youtuber Vivien Albrecht despised the laminate look of her Kallax unit, so she thought: why not disguise it?

    With 1” x 2” pieces of pine cut to size, 4” x 4” offcuts for the legs, burlap, primer, latex paint, and magnets, she turned her store-bought storage unit into a cane console fit for a magazine spread. You can check out the entire process from start to finish (and DIY along!) on her Youtube channel

  • 02 of 08

    Bookcase to Credenza

    Black credenza with blue and white ceramic vases on top

    Lisa Hassan

    After moving into her new home and finding inspiration in Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and Arhaus catalogues, home decor blogger Lisa Hassan decided to take the more affordable route and upcycle her old Kallax unit into a stylish credenza. 

    She added legs from Amazon, had wood cut for the doors, framed them with picture frame moulding, and added door hinges and magnetic catches. After sanding and staining everything over about five days, her bookcase was unrecognizable. 

    “I never imagined it would turn out so amazing!” she said. “All of my friends and family couldn’t believe that it’s the same Kallax bookcase from our old house!"

  • 03 of 08

    A Bargain Breakfast Bar

    Blue breakfast bar in a kitchen

    Leah Minett

    DIY blogger Leah Minett wanted a kitchen island for her new flat, but was on a super tight budget. So, instead of dropping money on new furnishings, she took an extra Kallax unit from her living room, flipped it on its side and used Gorilla Glue to add MDF board and moulding to one side. She kept the other side open for easy storage, gave it a coat of paint and added IKEA’s LILLTRÄSK countertop.

    After adding two stools (also from IKEA!), she had the perfect breakfast bar for her space. 

  • 04 of 08

    Make It Luxe

    black and gold credenza made from a Kallax unit

    Kylie Hughes

    When decorating her music room, furniture hacker Kylie Hughes couldn’t find the perfect credenza to match her husband’s black baby grand piano. After spending hours looking through magazines, furniture stores, and designer websites with no luck, she decided to customize a Kallax into exactly what she wanted.

    Hughes built the Kallax and door inserts, attached legs she found from Pretty Pegs, added handles, and attached glamorous gold-style panels for a chic look. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    A Kitchen Island, But Make It Mobile

    White and wooden kitchen island on wheels

    Daphne Kampani

    DIY vlogger Daphne Kampani had always wanted a kitchen island, and when she moved into her little apartment she had the perfect opportunity to make one herself. She was looking for three elements: lots of storage, a large surface area and the ability to move it from room to room. 

    “That’s why we opted for two 2” x 2” Kallax units instead of one bigger one (the 2”x 4”)—so that we could move at least one of the two units to the living room or patio and use it as a buffet trolley when we have people over,” Kampani said in an email. 

    She fastened wheels to the bottom of each unit, cut and glued a countertop, then joined the two units with a magnet. Within a few hours, she was done!

  • 06 of 08

    Level-Up With Legs

    Green storage unit with wooden legs and wicker baskets


    Home decor blogger Bethan is no stranger to an IKEA hack. This simple (but gorgeous!) DIY is one of many. She added legs purchased from Amazon, placed wicker baskets, and voila—a storage unit that looks totally high-end. You can watch it all come together in her Instagram reel.  

  • 07 of 08

    A Mid-Century Makeover

    Kallax stand for vinyl albums and record player

    Ryan Battles

    In his search for a stand for his vinyl collection that didn’t look like it came straight out of a dorm room, Ryan Battles turned a run-of-the-mill Kallax unit into a mid-century modern statement piece. He added 4” hairpin legs and reinforced the back with two 1” x 4” pieces of lumber to keep the records from sliding out the back. The best part: it only took him an hour.

    “Adding the hairpin legs to the Kallax was the perfect blend of style and cost-effectiveness,” he said. “I wanted to make the upper shelf one long shelf because I had speakers that I needed to position and didn’t want them to take up a whole square, so this setup allowed me to showcase the album art in the center and place the speakers to the sides.”

  • 08 of 08

    Stylish Display Unit

    White bookcase with wooden legs showing off art and toddler toys

    Alyssa Depew

    Here’s another example of how a small detail—like adding legs—can give your IKEA piece an elevated (literally) look. DIY blogger Alyssa Depew took her love for modern furniture and desire to display items in a fun way and turned it into a budget-friendly, beautifully styled shelf.

    She found a four-pack of legs on Amazon for only $30, drilled them in, and, two hours later, had a shelf that looks more like a sophisticated display case for keepsakes than a place for storage.