Friday, January 6, 2012

Ikea Hack

When we moved into our house six years ago, I planned on having a contractor make custom built-ins for two places in our home. The first set of shelves were for the dining room, which we converted into an office/sitting area that is open to the kitchen.
Knocking down a wall and replacing it with this bookcase totally changed the feel of this area. The second set of custom shelves that I had planned were supposed to flank the fireplace in our living room and would be the perfect place for the TV and storage. But, as we were starting to exceed our budget I decided to look for a less expensive solution.

Enter Ikea. I flipped through their catalog and found the Leksvik cabinet (which is listed in their dining room section). It was the perfect size to fit the walls on both sides of the fireplace!
 It's even notched for the molding to clear and fit flush against the wall. 
Only problem was it came in a medium wood grain finish (I wanted white) and there was no back on the unit--it needed a back for more strength to hold a TV.
So, I measured and had plywood cut to fit the back. I painted the backs a soft brown for contrast and painted the rest of the units white. 
(It took about four coats of paint to cover--one coat of Kilz primer and three coats of oil based semi-gloss white)! I left one shelf off so the TV would have room to fit and secured them to the wall with anchors to ensure they wouldn't tip.
The hidden storage behind the doors is the perfect place to stash video equipment and other things I don't want to show.
They served us well for six years (and they're still in great shape!), and ended up costing about a fourth of the cost of custom!

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