You know the Ikea cubbies you see everywhere?
I believe they used to be called Expedit but now are named Kallax.
When some of our old neighbors left their rental they left a set behind. In passing, the cleanup crew offered them to my husband and of course (since we love freebies) he said yes.
We were using them to store the kids' toys but decided they needed a makeover. Our littles were always knocking toys out the back and the cubbies were already a bit, dinged, dented, stained and falling apart. It was time.
A particular set of cubbies floating around Pinterest caught my eye, so a plan was made to redo the Ikea cubbies to give them the same look. Turns out my inspiration is the retired Mitchell Cubby Storage (x4) from Pottery Barn.
As inspired by the original, for now we are using our cubbies as dining room storage. This may be short lived though since we have two other storage pieces in this space (a matching buffet and hutch) and to me it feels too out of place. We will most likely be putting them up for sale in the near future or might save them for our workshop renovation.
I throw around workshop renovation as if it might happen soon. Probably not. We still have some house projects to finish first. Not to mention my idea of workshop renovation is gut and redo whereas my husband wants to cover and go. I've informed him cover = bandaid = not good enough for my future plans for the space. He's informed me bandaid = affordable AND gut job = out of the budget. Blast.
So here they sit until we make up our minds.
This is a relatively easy hack and as an added bonus the changes sturdied the unit up quite substantially!
First, cut 1/4" plywood to size and nail to the back of cubbies. Tack the plywood around the perimeter and then tack the plywood to the vertical cubby dividers. We marked the verticals using a yardstick and pencil, which made it much easier to keep a straight line.
Next, cut strips of 1/4" plywood to cover the front horizontals.
To create a 1" lip on each cubby shelf, the base board needs to be 3" tall and the rest 2" tall. Each strip gets nailed on flush with the base of the shelves.
Next, cut and tack strips of 1/4" plywood to the vertical spaces remaining between the horizontal trim (perimeter of cubby unit only). No trim needs to be added to the vertical shelf dividers.
We chose to paint the whole piece with Old White Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It covered the smooth factory finish and the raw wood perfectly.
Lastly, we purchased and attached 16 antique copper (bronze) metal label holders from D. Lawless Hardware. At only $0.53 each they helped keep the cost down. The holders don't come with hardware so to make the silver screw heads match I sprayed some oil rubbed bronze spray paint into a cup and painted them with a Q-tip. You would never know they didn't come as a set!
Even though we might not keep this piece in the dining room it hasn't stopped me from filling it full of fun finds and gifts!
Now I just need to figure out, if we decide to move it, what will take it's place.