These IKEA Cabinets Hold Everything the Tiny Closet in My Studio Apartment Can’t
From hats to wineglasses.
Published Mar 2, 2023 1:00 AM
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Living in a small studio apartment and loving stuff isn’t an ideal combo—I speak from experience. After having roommates my entire adult life, I finally moved into a space of my own this year, a 13-by-17-foot rectangle with one closet, to be exact. Even a minimalist would struggle to fit all their belongings into my petite space, and I happen to be the opposite. Vases, bowls, baskets—I can’t get enough. As Domino’s style editor, I use many of these things as props on shoot days, but sourcing vintage wares with friends is also just a hobby. And either way, my finds need to go somewhere.
The single closet barely fits my clothing; under the bed is reserved for suitcases and linens; and there’s only so much you want to have visible on open shelving. I needed a big piece with optimum storage, so I thought, why not reuse my IKEA Ivar cabinets? In my last apartment, I had two of the classic pine chests stacked vertically for towels, cleaning supplies, and any other miscellaneous household clutter. All I had to do was buy one more and put them side by side to create a credenza-esque piece under my TV.
One flaw of the Ivar is that the doors can snag on the floor when it’s flat on the ground—I needed to DIY feet to elevate them. Of course, I turned to Amazon, where I bought these wood blocks. After painting them the same color as the cabinets and walls, Skylight by Farrow & Ball, I oriented the feet in their corners and drilled them into the bottom of the unit from the inside. Drenching everything in this dusty blue makes the shelves look like built-ins that almost disappear, which is exactly what I was going for.
The finished piece is 95 inches wide but only 12 inches deep, so it doesn’t feel obtrusive, considering all that fits inside. I’ve split the unit up into thirds: I keep bags slotted and hats stacked in the left cabinet, everything from tools to emergency gifts to my iron in the middle, and entertaining accessories and liquor in the right. I love that Hay’s small recycled colored crates fit inside lengthwise to help me divide it all up and separate the smaller items like belts and scarves. But honestly, organization doesn’t really matter. Because once the doors are closed, it’s all hidden. Ahhh.