Published on February 4, 2019

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Photography by ikea

IKEA’s Kallax series—the Swedish retailer’s answer to the discontinued Expedit shelving system—has long been a mainstay in our homes, especially when it comes to storage. The versatile line offers a slew of customizable shelves that can fit right in with a variety of decorative styles and aesthetics. Tack on the fact that the simplicity of their structure allows them to be easily customized, and you have a real winner.

Both a decorative and functional staple for just about any room of a home, the streamlined features of the Kallax shelves have made them one of the more sought-after pieces from IKEA. With this in mind, we turned to a few of our favorite DIY-ers who made their Kallax their own. Ahead, a few ingeniously crafty ways to personalize this not-so-standard shelving unit—read on for the best IKEA Kallax shelves hacks we’ve seen so far.

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Courtesy of The Decorista

This hack, we spotted over on The Decorista, transforms the Kallax unit into a style-focused storage solution with the help of a vibrant splash of paint. Paint your unit in the same shade as the walls and allow it to become a seamless extension of the walls.

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Courtesy of Tonic Living

Place the Kallax unit on its side and pair it with a custom-fit foam cushion to create the ultimate storage bench for the entry.

Get the full scoop on this setup on Tonic Living.

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Photography by Erika Lapresto for Redbook

For a more dynamic rendition of the side-setup hack, take a style cue from this situation—we came across on Redbook—where a set of metal-detailed peg legs give an added dose of height and personality to the otherwise streamlined shelf.

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Photography by damask love

We can’t resist a solid pop of color, especially when it comes in an unexpected form. Here, a statement-worthy shade of yellow imparts the streamlined shelf with a welcome burst of color, allowing it to fit right in with its equally bold and bright surroundings.

Get the how-to on Damask Love.

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Photography by Esteban Cortez for apartment therapy

According to the duo who lives in this San Francisco home, the best way to make the most of tall ceilings is to fill the space with a spanning floor-to-ceiling shelving unit. The relatively budget-friendly IKEA hack is comprised of three Kallax shelves placed on top of one another—they’re bolted to the floors and ceiling for added support—and finished in a glossy and statement-worthy shade of navy.

Get the how-to on Apartment Therapy.

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Photography by

This one is about as simple as they come: simply set a pair of the Kallax units side by side to transform the set into a handy storage system or even a media center. Swap out the pulls on the cabinets with a fresh set or sub in new baskets to create a personalized piece.

See more on Lisanne van de Klift.

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Photography by the Everygirl

Here’s the bar cart you never knew you wanted. All it takes is the addition of a new set of glam legs and a handful of decorative accents to transform this shelf into the ultimate entertaining center.

Get the how-to on The Everygirl plus, see the two other ways the piece can be styled!

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Photography by nicole gibbons

Can you spot the hack? This DIY is all about a cleverly concealed storage solution, which comes by way of a two-tone coverlet. The skirted table (which actually happens to be an Expedit bookshelf) houses a slew of essentials—from books to files—keeping them neat and out of sight.

Get the how-to on Nicole Gibbons Style.

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The best way to upgrade a standard storage piece? A mod base will certainly do the trick. Here, a standard shelf is reinvented by way of a mid-century-modern-inspired addition, which manages to elevate the unit both physically and aesthetically.

Get the how-to on Hawthorne and Main.

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Photography by The Pink Dream
Who knew that a glam storage unit was just a DIY away? We’re swooning over the thoughtful details that comprise this elegantly-crafted piece—not to mention the ornate mirror on top to match. Gold ring knobs and a fun overlay detail instantly transform the bulky unit into a stylish statement.


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