Use IKEA's KALLAX Cabinet To Build A Chic Storage Bench
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Use IKEA's KALLAX Cabinet To Build A Chic Storage Bench

Jun 09, 2024

What's better than a piece of furniture designed for some much-needed storage? A piece that can be multi-purposed into something else — without sacrificing its original storage capacities. And, with IKEA's KALLAX 16x57 shelving unit, it's possible to do just that.

According to IKEA's website, the entire KALLAX range was designed specifically with personalization in mind. Each piece can be placed upright or on its side ... and that's where the option for a chic DIY storage bench comes in. Given its design, technically speaking, a KALLAX cabinet could be laid on its side, given a wash of paint or varnish, and used as-is, without looking too out of place. However, as a number of DIY content creators have demonstrated, these shelving units can also be repurposed in such a way that you may even have visitors asking where you found such a polished, yet practical design.

So, just what does it take to turn that KALLAX cabinet into a fun, functional piece of furniture? Not much. As it turns out, this hack is decidedly fuss-free.

A post shared by DIY Mum | Kayleigh Sherbourne (

After painting or treating your KALLAX cabinet in the finish you'd like (which could include molding details, a la Instagrammer Kayleigh Sherbourne), you'll need just three components: timber, screws, and hinges. Cut the timber into two sheets big enough to cover the open ends, get ready to tighten the screws as much as possible, and opt for a soft-close hinge, like this one from Amazon.

Start by attaching one of the sheets to one of the open sides of the unit. This will form your base, so be sure to screw it on as securely as possible. As for the other sheet, this will be your lid. Paint or varnish it however you'd prefer (remember, this part is visible), then fit it to the long end of the other open side, and secure with soft-close hinges. Et voila, a finger-friendly storage bench, ready to be placed in your home.

Whether or not you'd like to top everything off with a cushion is purely a personal preference. But, like the bench itself, it's easy enough to do at home. Get a sheet of plywood and a piece of foam cut to the size of the lid, then cover with cotton batting and a fabric of your choice. Staple it to the underside of the board, and place it on top of the lid. Alternatively, top the lid with a few stylish scatter cushions for an even quicker fix.

If the thought of securing hinges and tightening screws feels like too much of a hassle, the beauty of a KALLAX cabinet is that it can be transformed in a variety of different ways. In fact, as demonstrated by countless DIY content creators, even without a lid, your IKEA cabinet-turned-bench can be just as chic. Simply allow the storage boxes to remain visible. Those can be filled with books for literature lovers or even blankets and cushions for the rest of your living room. Alternatively, pop in some baskets to use as a nifty storage space for kids' toys.

If you'd prefer a full-size couch over a bench, the KALLAX can work just as well. Even better, this hack doesn't require any glue, staples, or hinges. Simply slide two of the cabinets together, then slide another two together and create a sectional couch frame. Be sure to keep those storage boxes facing out, to make the most of the design, fill them with coordinating baskets, and top everything off with sofa cushions. While a DIY option is always possible, if this is to be your main couch, you may want to look into having those cushions made professionally for some extra comfort.

So, there you have it. Whether you choose to create a sofa, reading nook, breakfast bench, or functional storage, IKEA's KALLAX is your new best friend. Say hello to unlimited versatility!