Published on August 17, 2020

Ivar, Pax, Kallax, Billy—these are the beloved IKEA storage systems that come to mind when you want to rid your home of clutter for good. But for the frequent mover or small-space dweller, the front-runners can fall short when you realize you have no room left for a dining table or that your precious kitchen shelves weren’t designed to disassemble. When nothing seems to fit, we turn to the Swedish retailer’s secret weapon: Besta.

This lesser-known solution might be the most versatile. The piece can be expanded to function as an all-encompassing media station or mounted to the wall to serve as a floating buffet. More important, it’s easy to make it your own. To get you started, we rounded up a few of our all-time favorite hacks. From a color-blocked filing system to a minimalist book nook, these Besta DIYs are the absolute best.

A Living Room Media Console 

cozy living room wall lined with glass bottlesPin It
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLAIRE ESPARROS

The hack: Leftover marble scraps from this Brooklyn home’s kitchen renovation came in handy in the living room. Designer Crystal Sinclair had the offcuts honed and cut to size to fit on top of the Besta cabinets that line the TV wall. 

Level of difficulty: 8/10

A Chunky Support System 

white modern living roomPin It
Photography by Matthew Williams

The hack: Sarah Sherman Samuel’s cabinet looks like it’s sitting on the ground, but the two Besta units are actually hooked into the wall with suspension rails. Using an orbital sander, she flattened the top and bottom of four wood balls and screwed them to the bottom of the furniture so they look like proper feet.

Level of difficulty: 6/10

Pro tip: To get a flat plane on the balls, the designer recommends holding the sander as still as possible. If your floors aren’t level, sand a bit, test it out, sand a bit, test it out until it’s perfect. 

A Floating Bedroom Credenza

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photo courtesy of sugar & cloth

The hack: Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth wanted to give her daughter’s bedroom a more mature look while still making it easy for her to put toys away. She used the shell of the high-gloss Besta shelf as her base and upgraded the top with a panel of aspen, cut down to size and stained at her local hardware store.  

Level of difficulty: 4/10

A Family Room Bench

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Design by Laura Melling Photo by Janis Nicolay

The hack: Designer Laura Melling went for a custom millwork look in this family room by pairing crisp wood paneling with a configuration of mounted Besta modules.

Level of difficulty: 5/10

Pro tip: To take her wall-to-wall storage solution one step further, Melling incorporated a felt gray bench in one corner that can double as a reading nook for little ones or a bonus seat for guests.

A Bench for a Daybed

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photo courtesy of this maine house

The hack: Sarah and Wes Day of This Maine House wanted to create a space near the kitchen where they, along with their little one, could comfortably lounge post-dinner. A daybed-and-bench combination with soft closing drawers proved to be the perfect fix. The couple went outside the box with brass cabinet knobs from Schoolhouse Electric and five coats of Sherwin-Williams Inkwell paint.

Level of difficulty: 7/10

A Mid-Century Credenza

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photo courtesy of sarah sherman samuel

The hack: Here, Samuel used her Besta storage unit as a building block for a larger credenza made from birch plywood and incorporated sleek side channels into the design for added stability.

Level of difficulty: 8/10

Pro tip: It’s easiest to build around the Besta if you assemble it upside down. For every joint, Samuel used wood glue and a ton of screws.

A Color-Blocked Cabinet

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photo courtesy of sugar & cloth

The hack: Rose’s next big Besta hack comes in the form of a rainbow-infused credenza. Before assembling the doors, the Sugar & Cloth blogger coated each front in spray paint, adding a clear shellac coat on top to seal the vibrant hues.

Level of difficulty: 3/10

Pro tip: This project only works if the Besta cabinets you choose are not high gloss. The Lappviken faces will have a sheen to them that makes them difficult to cover with spray paint.

A Shiplap Media Built-In

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photo courtesy of Erin Broege of the heart and haven, via Semihandmade

The hack: Erin Broege of The Heart and Haven used the Besta TV unit as a divider between her shiplap built-in shelving units. She swapped out the Besta’s original doors for Semihandmade’s white super-matte Shaker fronts in order to seamlessly merge the piece with the farmhouse-fresh look of the built-ins.

Level of difficulty: 6/10

An Adult-Approved Toy Cabinet

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photo courtesy of Angela Rose, via semihandmade

The hack: DIY blogger Angela Rose also opted for a natural finish with Semihandmade fronts. To complement the design of her newly completed mural, Rose chose the brand’s Cove doors by Chris Loves Julia and bone knobs from CB2.

Level of difficulty: 3/10

Pro tip: Semihandmade’s cabinet fronts come with the hinge cup hole already drilled. When you’re drilling to make pilot holes for the screws, be sure not to drill all the way through the door.

A Geometric Nightstand

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photo courtesy of curbly

The hack: Transform the most basic Besta cabinet with a touch of texture. This project calls for Norse Interiors’s white lace cabinet fronts and side panels, as well as the Leg Vega ash-wood legs.

Level of difficulty: 2/10

See more stories like this: 
I Renovated My Dated Home Office for Only $3,800—Can You Spot the DIYs?
This Creative Couple’s Built-In Cat Shelves Are, Well, Purrfect
A DIY Herbal Tea Could Be the Answer to Your Sleep Problems

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