Sometimes buying the perfect piece of furniture just isn’t possible. Either you cannot find exactly what you want, or if you can it is priced way out of your meagre budget. This is the predicament I found myself in recently so I had to get a little creative. After lots of surfing on the Internet and driving from one end of the city to the other dragging two very uninterested kids with me I decided I had to do an IKEA hack. And of course, after my actual visit to IKEA I came out with a trolley full of treasures and several projects were on the go at once. By the way – this is not sponsored but if IKEA would like to fund my shopping habits in their store I would be more than happy to oblige.
IKEA Hack 1: Tall Console Table
The main project. I have a space near the breakfast bar in the kitchen where I have set up my day-to-day work station. A place where I can have my phone, computer and to do lists at hand but out of reach of my kids. I can easily pull up a bar stool or stand there to quickly check on a few things. This is in addition to my actual workspace so I don’t need to fit everything here, just the daily essentials.
I needed something fresh and bright because this is part of the girls playroom. After months of searching for something that matched what I had in my head I was coming up empty handed. I then started looking for someone who could custom make what I was after but then I realised that I could probably do this myself, and for a lot cheaper.
I bought the Alex Ekby floating shelf with drawers from IKEA. My biggest challenge, after having an extra screw leftover, was the legs – I didn’t want to attach it to the wall, I wanted some flexibility in being able to move it around. I found it very difficult to get the legs the right height to fit up against the kitchen bench. I was originally going to go with three pronged raw steel hairpin legs but this proved to be difficult to source. Being impatient I decided instead to go with some slimline turned wooden legs set in angled plates. These were surprisingly easy to attach myself.
I have drawers for hiding away all the bits and bobs that tend to collect on the countertop, I have organised the leads to hide away in the back and there is even space for the essential coffee and a vase of flowers. I can easily paint the drawer fronts or cover them in washi tape whenever the mood strikes me. I haven’t done this yet because I feel like there is enough colour and clutter there at the moment.
I have claimed this space as my own and am going to attempt to keep it that way, no toys, kids crayons or grubby little fingers allowed. Wish me luck, I think I will need it.
IKEA Hack 2: Corkboards
A mini side project was to fill the bare gap on the wall above the console. With a simple round clock already hanging I decided to keep the round theme and added a few round corkboards (thanks again IKEA). I could have kept them natural or covered them in material but decided to paint each one a different colour. They are bare at the moment but I will be able to add little touches as I go hanging up inspiration and pretty little things I find.
IKEA Hack 3: Kitchen Step Stool
Anyone who has kids know how much they love to be involved in everything you do and the kitchen is no different. Mine are always in there helping out – stirring, chopping and of course tasting. When you are little that kitchen bench is pretty high so it is handy to have a small step stool for them to be able to climb up on to reach easily and safely.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just for kids. I often have trouble reaching the back of the pantry shelves and the top shelf of all my cupboards. This is my saviour. My girls even use it as a little table, sitting on the bottom step and using the top step to eat snacks, draw and play games. I’ve even seen them turn it upside down and use it as a pirate ship. So needless to say, you are only limited by your (or your kids) imagination for the amount of use you will get out of it.
We have always had a basic pine step stool in the kitchen but it was getting a bit old and worn and was hijacked into the garden so the girls could climb up on the trampoline and into the veggie patch. So in love with the simplicity of the design we grabbed another one from IKEA but this time I decided it needed a makeover.
I had some paint left over from another project so before I assembled the stool I painted all of the legs in this beautiful aqua colour. So I could paint all of the sides at once I hung the pieces on a rope strung between 2 trees in the backyard. I did a few coats of paint and once it was all finally dry I screwed it all together. I painted the legs and not the steps not only for contrast but because the steps are pretty high traffic and the untreated pine is much easier to clean and avoid scratches on. I also added some small felt dots to the bottom of the legs to stop the horrible squealing sound wood makes when pushed across tile floors, just be wary that until these wear in a little bit it can make the stool very slippery so keep an eye on anyone climbing on it.
There you have my 3 quick IKEA hacks that transformed by dull little useless corner into something bright and cherry and practical.
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