If you’re looking for some of the best Ikea Kallax hacks and ideas available, then you’ve come to the right place!
The Ikea Kallax range has been around for a long time now and lends itself so well to hacking. It has previously been seen under the Expedit name too but the basic concept hasn’t changed. You may well own or have owned the Kallax at some point, but have you considered any of the following hacks to turn it into something stunning?
We’ve added several more ideas in 2023 that have appeared since we first wrote this article and the quality has gone up a few notches!
The Kallax range is so versatile you can easily create many different pieces of furniture with relatively little work. From entryway consoles to window seats and dressers! This list covers them all!
The majority of these hacks have tutorials, but we also give you tips and tricks to achieve the looks as well as where you can find what you need.
This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here for more info.
The Ikea Kallax Hack Ideas:
Modern Pastel Ikea Kallax Hack
This beautiful Ikea Kallax Hack from Haus Matter is so simple, but so effective. We love how it has been wonderfully integrated with the colour scheme of the room so as not to stand out too much.
The addition of the circular handles really makes this hack work so well.
Stunning Elegant Kallax Update
Yep, there’s a Kallax in there somewhere! This is an incredible makeover from Designing Parkside.
They have chosen a fantastic colour to contrast the pink in the background and then embellished it with lots of brass fittings and decorations.
The sunrise pattern on the door fronts are utterly sensational on this piece!
Dark Fluted Kallax Sideboard
We love the dark style of this hack from Real Homes. They have added some fluting to the front of the doors along with some lovely minimal brass handles to make this sideboard pop.
Some tapered black legs give the unit a bit of height to suddenly turn it into a sideboard.
Perfect Slatted Wooden Boxes For Kallax
These lovely wooden boxes are the perfect accompaniment to the Kallax unit. If you can’t find the Kallax boxes you want at Ikea, you can always find alternatives in other places, such as wwwKallaxNet on Etsy.
They completely change the look of the Kallax unit, along with the use of little wooden legs to raise it up.
Colourful Kids Room Storage
For something a bit more colourful, this cute paint job to a Kallax unit by Anika’s DIY Life turns the plain Kallax into something visually exciting!
We also love how they have added shelves and dividers in a really neat and repeatable way.
Gorgeous Glamorous Sideboard Hack
Lux Hax offer a huge range of creative panels that you can add to almost any piece of Ikea furniture. This great Kallax hack uses a gold mirrored effect panel from the Lux Hax range added to the Kallax insert doors to create an impressive, ornate console table. They have also added long, tapered, capped legs to enhance the look.
The addition of some oriental blue and white china seems the perfect fit!
Be honest, you wouldn’t believe this started out as an Ikea Kallax if you saw this is a hallway would you?
Rustic Storage Box Hack
We adore this rustic storage hack from Handy Harry on Welke.nl. He has used reclaimed timber boards to create storage crates for each of the Kallax compartments. The wood gives a lovely natural feel to the otherwise white room and it’s great the way two Kallax units have been used to give a really long sideboard.
The mix of wood and white furniture is a classic look that always works well in any situation.
Ikea Kallax Window Seat
This is an absolutely stunning Ikea KALLAX window seat hack from The Heart and Haven. The upholstered bench cushion is gorgeously simple and is made by Tonic Living. We couldn’t find the leather baskets they have used in the compartments, but a great resource for alternative KALLAX baskets is through this post by Apartment Therapy. You can also find a few on Etsy.
This hack goes to show how much of a transformation is possible with the Ikea KALLAX. It fits in beautifully with the high-end finish to the rest of the room and accessories.
Wine Lovers Ideal Wine Rack Hack
Any piece of furniture dedicated to wine is always going to go down well in our household! This great wine rack from New Swedish Design on Etsy is a great Kallax hack that uses their own wine rack inserts specially made for the Kallax. They are available in white or black.
You could fill a whole 4 x 4 Kallax unit with these and have enough room for 144 bottles of wine. Now there’s a challenge!
Alternatively, you could alternate between wine rack and open shelf for some beautiful accessories or cocktail shakers and glasses.
Ikea Kallax Handbag Display
If you are a handbag-a-holic like Catrin then you’re probably going to love this Ikea Kallax display cabinet hack that uses wardrobe lights, such as these to highlight your prized possessions.
For a masculine version, perhaps the same hack could be used for displaying power tools!?
Ikea Kallax Mid Century Vinyl Storage Hack
It turns out vinyl records fit perfectly in a Kallax unit…could this be the reason it was designed perhaps?!!? This stylish mid-century modern hack from lehippo_ on Instagram makes great use of this fact to house vinyl, speakers and a turntable on top. There’s still room for an era-appropriate bowl too!
The look is completed by six tapered mid-century style legs.
Toy Storage Hack
It’s always hard to keep control of the ‘toy situation’ in any house, but this clever Ikea Kallax hack from Ikeahackers gives a great solution for somewhere to tidy them away before settling down for a story. The top has been covered in upholstery foam and a sheepskin rug to create a comfy seating area. They have even used Ikea spice racks to create bookshelves!
The cushions are rather lovely too, check these even cuter alternatives on Etsy.
Check out our huge post on Ikea kids hacks for lots more ideas for children’s furniture, storage and accessories.
Double Height Shelving Hack
This amazing Kallax hack from Apartment Therapy takes the Kallax to new heights, literally! The units have been painted a deep blue along with the drawer and door inserts, but the main attraction is the fact they are stacked on top of each other to give an imposing shelving system upon which stunning pieces of artwork, accessories and photos can be displayed.
Of course, you do need the height to be able to accommodate this, but if you do this would be a stunning statement piece. I don’t think anything other than the huge banana plant next to it would do it justice!
Kallax Rustic Cabinet
Homemade Lovely has come up with a gorgeous Kallax hack with this rustic cabinet. The compartments have distressed wooden doors fitted on standard butt hinges, which give them a more authentic look. We love the distressing, done by utilising an assortment of tools to just bash away at the doors.
The way they have carefully thought through the creation of this piece of furniture makes it sit well as a rustic industrial style within what is essentially a french country style room. Very clever!
Kallax Room Divider Hack
Another great way to use the Ikea Kallax. This room divider hack from Ikeahackers combines two different sizes of Kallax units with custom built frames underneath and between them. It’s always a good piece of design to combine room dividers with storage and the use of the Kallax for this purpose is perfect.
I don’t think there are many better looks in interior design than a white shelf with an assortment of books on it… maybe that’s just me!?
Rolling Media Unit Hack
To prove my point, here is another white shelf with books! This one sits perfectly in the highly styled room by mercedes.dozci on Instagram. This hack consists of attaching castors to the base of two different sizes of Kallax. That’s it! But it looks stunning in the setting because the accessories around it become the star. You don’t necessarily need an expensive piece of furniture when you can style a room like this!
They have the ubiquitous fiddle leaf fig taking pride of place as well as a rather eclectic collection of pictures, artwork and cacti. Also a lovely Friesian cowhide rug!
Ikea Kallax Rabbit Hutch Hack
Going a bit more left-field with this rabbit hutch KALLAX hack from Ikeahackers. It really is a genius use of the KALLAX and the separate compartments give the bunnies a lot of areas to explore. It certainly makes for a better looking hutch than the standard brown, treated plywood hutches you usually see!
It’s important to line the inside of the hutch with a thin ply so that if the rabbits chew on it then it is much safer than the laminate of the Kallax unit.
Kallax Mid Century Sideboard Hack
Another mid-century modern vinyl record storage hack, this one from toujourspaloma on Instagram. This time the creator has used doors on the middle two compartments to give more of a standard sideboard look, or perhaps they didn’t have enough records?
It is amazing how the addition of tapered legs, as with the previous example, can make such a difference to what is quite a basic piece of furniture in the Kallax. They have really made a vinyl shrine of this area with the display shelves above the sideboard. I really like this one!
Sideboard with Wood Surround
Some of these Ika Kallax hacks are fairly simple in concept, but completely transform the unit into something special. This example from Young House Love is no exception, with a wooden surround all the way around the Kallax unit giving it a completely different vibe.
This look was achieved by edge-jointing pine boards and staining them a dark walnut colour before attaching to the unit. It’s the age-old trick of adding in a bit of wood to create a bit of added interest to the piece and it really worked here.
For that gorgeous wooden cactus baby toy, look no further than amazon!
Mid Century Side Table Hack
Once again, just the addition of some wood, this time in the form of handmade legs, gives a stunning transformation. This side table hack from Hawthorne and Main has simply been given some stylish legs and some awesome accessories to make a statement in any room.
The legs have been made (albeit with a good quality Dewalt mitre saw!) from simple pine timber cut at angles to create the mid-century style base legs you can see above.
The styling with plants, accessories and rug are the added bonus that really make the look work well, but the simplicity of both the Kallax and the hack allow the accessories to shine.
Kallax Long Sideboard Hack
The colour combinations in this Ikea Kallax hack from Honeybear Lane are excellent and bang on trend. The grey/blue colour used to paint the Kallax units works perfectly with the browns of the rattan basket inserts, the wood worktop surface and the cardboard boxes. What is clever is they have only used the horizontal elements of the two Kallax units on either side of the main central one, which gives them wider shelves and a bit of variation in shadow space.
Adding the wood work surface on top and the baseboards at the bottom brings the whole piece together as one unit. It is a really long unit which gives it a lot of presence in the room. It also adds so much storge, but done in such a stylish way. I really like this hack for it’s well-thought-out design.
Ikea Kallax Lighting Hack
The creators of this Ikea Kallax hack at Ikeahackers have really put a lot of effort into making a dramatic visual piece of furniture. They have used cabinet lights, like these, across the top of each compartment to highlight them. The clever part s that they have painted the outside of the unit a darker colour to make the lighted white interior stand out even more!
This would be a great hack to use if you have some amazing pieces of artwork to display, or even an amazing sneaker collection to display. What would you put in in this display unit!?
Stunning Leather Cubby Bookcase Hack
Another Kallax hack with the grey/brown combination that works so well, this one from The Decorista. Here the Kallax unit has been painted the same colour as the surrounding decor to help it blend in a bit. This is a good trick for smaller spaces to help prevent a big piece of furniture like this to not stand out too much.
The ‘Dompen’ dried coconut palm leaf boxes don’t seem to be available anymore, but you could create something similar by stitching squares of a similar fabric/paper to the front of a plain insert box with a thick brown thread.
Clever Kallax Kitchen Island Hack
This is an imaginative use of the Kallax from Jen Lou Meredith as a kitchen island. It is simply a Kallax unit with a wooden work surface added to the top and castors on the bottom but it adds really useful workspace if you are struggling in that department in your kitchen. As it is on wheels, it can be moved to the side when you don’t need it.
The compartments underneath give much-needed added storage (following the law of never enough kitchen storage!).
Ikea Kallax Industrial Shelf Hack
We love this fun Kallax hack that would look great in a boys room. Grillo Design have taken a Kallax 2×2 unit and added upholstery nails to create the rivet effect around the outside edge. They then simply painted the outside in a grey, the inside in orange and used a product called silver leaf wax that gives the metallic effect you can see in the finished hack.
It’s a great way to create something with a metallic look for a piece of furniture that could fit into an industrial decor scheme.
Wall of Shelving Ikea Kallax Hacks
We had the tall Kallax shelving unit with one stacked on top of another, then we had the room divider hack with a small Kallax unit stacked on top of a larger one, now feast your eyes on the bank of Kallax units! This offering from freundevonfreunden isn’t so much a hack as a large collection of Kallax units!
Of course, this only works in certain (large) spaces, but shows you the kind of dramatic effect you can create when you just oversize something. You could do this with 4×4 units and 2×4 units if you don’t have as much ceiling height. We think a sliding library style ladder would be a great addition to this shelving!
The use of so many units makes whatever you put in the compartments become integral elements in your decor scheme. Mundane items such as filing boxes become decorative at this scale, especially if you organise them with this in mind.
Mid Century Bar Hack
You might notice a few drink related Kallax hacks in this post, it’s not a reflection of our lifestyle…honestly! This mid-century bar sideboard from Dash of Jazz is a really cool modern take on an Ercol unit. They have used standard Ikea drawer and door inserts with a wood grain contact paper covering to create the same look as an Ercol piece.
The versatility of the Kallax unit allows you to create exactly the drinks cabinet you want in terms of drawers, cupboards, open compartments. You could even add the wine rack insert from earlier.
The pineapple ice bucket is essential by the way!
Ikea Kallax Elegant Bench Hack
This is a particularly pretty Ikea Kallax hack from Craft Box Girls with beautiful square turned legs (set on the diagonal to give an added bit of interest to the look) and floral patterns on the insert boxes and seat padding. This creation would be perfect for a hallway and even provides storage for shoes after you’ve sat down to take them off.
The upholstered seat is really quite simple to achieve with upholstery foam, fabric and a staple gun. The extra set of legs in the middle is actually necessary to take the extra weight of a person sitting on the bench.
Kallax Dresser Hack
This hack from Remodelaholic would also look great as a hallway dresser if you have room for it. It is a very simple Kallax hack, just adding a frame for the unit to be raised up slightly on and then a baseboard all the way around. That may be simple, but it completely transforms the Kallax into something much more sophisticated.
The addition of both drawer inserts and basket inserts gives the dresser and chic farmhouse style. The added bonus of carefully selected accessories on top as well as a stunning large round mirror adds to the stylish look. You can even get the Stockholm round mirror from Ikea, which is what we have in our hallway!
Mid Century Drinks Cabinet
Another drinks related Kallax hack! Why do these keep catching our attention!? This one from The Everygirl makes a very easy, small addition of short tapered legs with brass leg caps. You can buy the legs as they are, or find tapered legs and add the caps to them.
Add in glasses for every occasion and some exceptional accessories on top (we love that picture of the ornate pink door!) and you’ve got a great statement piece for any living room.
Art Deco Dresser Hack
Once again, what is quite a simple hack has completely transformed this Kallax unit in this hack from The Pink Dream. They have used a greek style overlay to provide the shape which are simply glued to the doors and then have added ring pulls, all of which creates a lovely art deco design. You could also take it a step further by adding legs underneath.
The use of an ornate gold over-mantle mirror with some gorgeous flowers in front adds to the elegant look. You can get some excellent (and cheap) artificial flowers from Ikea!
Don’t worry, we noticed that pineapple table lamp too!
There are lots more dresser ideas in our post on Ikea Malm hacks.
Ikea Kallax Dolls House Hack
An Ikea Kallax hack for the kids! This wonderful dolls house hack from mikrokosmos on Facebook makes great use of the Kallax shape to provide rooms for the dolls house. A simple A-frame roof has been added to the top. The back walls of the rooms have all been treated with a different wallpaper design, presumably dolls house wallpaper for scale! You can also get different floor coverings. When you dive into the world of dolls houses it’s a rabbit hole!
Ikea do sell dolls house furniture of some of their own favourite pieces but you could also make your own (or buy them while lost in the aforementioned rabbit hole!). YouTube is a great resource for dolls house furniture crafts, just search for “DIY dolls house…..” plus the piece of furniture you are making.
The tree wall decal is also a stunning addition to the room!
Don’t forget to check out our Ikea kids hacks post for more great ideas!
Apothecary Cubby Hack
Who doesn’t like an apothecary cubby? Well, the creators at Petal & Ply were so keen they made this one by hacking a Kallax unit they were given for free. This tutorial involves a bit more work than a lot of the others, but the results are fantastic!
We love the vintage glassware and crockery they have filled the cubby with. I think coloured glassware is going to make a much-needed return to popularity and this is such a great way to display it!
Copper Pipe Clothes Hanging Rail
This a great opportunity to have a go at a bit of plumbing! This Ikea Kallax hack from Emily’s Little World uses copper pipe to create a hanging rail for this mobile wardrobe. You could either go for soldered joints (which would require a blow torch, flux and solder) or compression fittings, which would just require a couple of spanners. Alternatively, you could try glueing the solder joints, but this may not be strong enough in the long term.
The base has had castors added to allow the unit to be moved around.
Ikea Kallax Cat Bed Hack
Are we just adding this because the cat looks so cute? Probably, but it’s also such a great idea and the cat bed is specifically made for a Kallax. You can get them from Supercat in Sweden, or you can get them on amazon or have a go at making one yourself with stiffened felt.
Cats love to be cosy and have a view of what is going on around them, so this is such a good way of giving them their own space but in a stylish way!
Cactus-Themed Bookcase Hack
We are currently creating a cactus-themed nursery and so this Ikea Kallax hack stood right out to us. The mid-century tapered legs start the transformation off in good style but the addition of the cactus decals from StickersColoray on Etsy to the Kallax insert fronts really lifts the unit to new heights. Having plants in the open compartments really helps the continuity of the look.
Of course, you could choose from a whole range of decals specifically made for the Kallax , but cacti are big right now! We love how bright the overall finished hack is and will consider something like this in our nursery!
There is a great cactus-inspired hack in our post on Ikea Kura toddler bed hacks.
Striped Banquette Seating Hack
A banquette is a great way to provide both seating and storage in a dining room and can help add colour and texture to the room with the fabric used on the upholstery. This great Kallax hack from Melo-Drama goes with a striped theme (even down to the boxes used underneath!) but as you will see in the tutorial you could go for any design you can imagine!
The Kallax is the perfect height (with the addition of the foam padding) for a dining room seat which is just another example of how well-designed this piece of furniture from Ikea is. It really lends itself perfectly to a variety of hacking possibilities.
Stylish Media Unit Kallax Hack
One final offering that makes the most of the perfect vinyl-fitting size of the Kallax . This media unit hack from digsdigs is a collection of three different-sized Kallax shelves fixed together and raised up on short tapered wooden legs.
The difference to the other Kallax hacks that contain vinyl records is that this one uses a clever insert to separate the records into categories. We also love the use of non-matching inserts elsewhere to give an eclectic look to the unit. It’s one of those creations that gets more and more clever as you look at it for longer. Just to prove my point, as I was writing that I noticed that the middle Kallax unit has been fitted to the others without it’s side panels to make sure it has a continuous look without doubling up on the chunky side panels. Clever!
If you have to have all your media in one place, you could do a lot worse than this great Kallax system
I think the Kallax is one of our favourite Ikea creations due to its massive versatility and simplicity. We’ve certainly shown that there are so many ways you can use Ikea Kallax hacks to create something perfect for your space. In fact, I think you could probably think of any piece of furniture you need and find a way to make it by hacking the Kallax!
Have you found something here that you have been inspired to make, or even been spurred on the design something entirely original? We’d love to hear from you with your creations!
Good luck with your Kallax adventures, and if you want more Ikea hack and DIY ideas then follow us on Pinterest where we gather all the best Ikea hack ideas.
Editors Note: This article was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated and revamped for comprehensiveness.