I'm excited to share today's post with you. When we moved my girls' rooms around back in March, I used an IKEA Expedit (now called the IKEA Kallax) to make a great shelving unit and desk in Snowflake's (my oldest daughter's) room. It turned out fantastic and I wanted to share it with you.
It is a simple IKEA Hack that I think most anyone can do. The shelving unit could easily be used as we used it or as an entertainment center, office, computer area, or so many other ideas.
We knew we needed additional storage in the smaller room when we moved our girls into their own rooms. I also was on a budget. I came up with the idea to buy 3 IKEA Expedits and make a shelving unit with lots of storage. I also planned to place a desk in the center to create a place to study or get ready in the morning. It turned out just like I wanted it to and really wasn't a very hard project. You just need to know how to use a drill as well as how to put IKEA furniture together.
The shelving unit (not including the desk and chair) cost me about $245 to buy and put together. That includes the 3 Expedits, 4 door kits, as well as the hardware to secure them together.
To start this project, you will need to buy and put together your IKEA Expedit. We used three.
Next up, dry fit your pieces together. I used two upright as the sides of the unit and one laid flat on top of the two upright.
Take your time and line up the upper unit with the bottom units. Make sure they are plum. You can do that by using a level on the side of the upright and top unit. If your level has the bubble in the center you are good to go. It the bubble isn't in the center, keep working to get the units dry fit together properly. I'm a little picky with things like this, so it took me a little bit to get it how I wanted it. They still don't line up exactly perfectly, but no one notices because it is so close you really can't tell…unless you are looking for it.
Now we need to secure the units together so that it will be safe. To do that, you will need mending braces, a drill bit, screws, and a screwdriver. The mending braces (affiliate link) we used were 3-1/2″ by 1-3/8″. We used 3/4″ wood screws to secure the mending braces.
Mark off where you want to brace your unit together and pre-drill the holes for the screws.
Screw the mending braces into the unit to brace it together. We used 4 braces, two on each upright unit.
We also secured the whole unit to the wall. It makes it safe so that it can't get pulled down on top of anyone should someone decided to climb or pull up on the unit. It also makes it impossible to move, which I don't like since I am a serial furniture mover. The safety of my kids is more important. We just used the brackets that came with the Expedit to secure it to the wall.
IKEA sells door kits that go with the Expedit. We added four of those to our shelving unit. I thought it would be a great idea to give some additional storage that could be hidden.
I had originally planned to buy a door kit like this that had a mirror on it, but in March when we went to IKEA and did this move, they were phasing out this Expedit. They didn't have any more mirror door kits. Since then they have come out with something to replace it the Expedit, the KALLAX, but still no mirror doors. Anyway, I wanted the mirrored door as a great place for Snowflake to get ready in the morning. At some point, I will DIY a mirror onto a door for her so she will have a place to get ready and do makeup, etc.
The hidden storage is a really nice place to tuck away things you don't want out in the room.
The doors are also a perfect place to hang things and leave notes. 🙂
We are so happy with how this unit turned out for Snowflake. It works perfectly for her. It gives her plenty of storage as well a place to study and do her school work.
I'm going to show you how I put the DIY desk (<— it is in this post now) together. It was part DIY and part things bought at IKEA. Can't wait to show you!