A simple hack elevates this office sideboard

ikea kallax office sideboard

Plain IKEA KALLAX gets upgraded to office sideboard

I wanted a side surface to my bay window desk which also had a lot of storage, so the KALLAX offered a blank canvas to work from.

A few months earlier I had bought a second hand upcycled IKEA STOCKHOLM walnut veneer coffee table. It had been covered in Orla Kiely wallpaper and varnished.

So I wanted to embrace this within the unit I made.

Orla Kiely Linear Stem on IKEA STOCKHOLM coffee table

The coffee table that inspired the project


My office sideboard hack

My walls were grey, so the grey/wood effect 2 x 5 KALLAX was an excellent base to go with my sanded floorboards.

The KALLAX unit and the 2 drawer inserts probably took about 90 minutes to build.

Adding the feet, less than 20 minutes.

KALLAX shelving unit

My trusted assistant helps me decide how tall the legs need to be

The cats were more than pleased with the extra cubbyholes!

Related: EXPEDIT becomes a beautiful blue sideboard cabinet

Wallpapering the drawer fronts

The drawer fronts took a while longer.

I did not build the drawers before they were wallpapered and varnished.

Because I chose patterned wallpaper, it was important to get the positioning right so the lines were straight and the pattern continued perfectly from the top drawer to the next. A lot of measuring went into that but it does pay off.

Using spray adhesive, both drawer fronts and wallpaper was sprayed for max adhesion.

Afterwards, using a sharp craft or carpet knife on a cutting mat, carefully cut any excess wallpaper away.

You could of course make this much simpler and choose a plain wallpaper or even easier, a sticky backed film in for example copper or another funky colour.

Finally, when the adhesive was dry, I varnished the fronts 3 times with a decorators varnish, ensuring each layer was dry before applying a new coat.

IKEA KALLAX office sideboard

The completed office sideboard

Pay particular attention to the edges so the paper won’t catch on the units and come away. 

When dry, I assembled the drawers and added some Hemnes drawer knobs.

IKEA KALLAX office sideboard

A few accessories

The hardest part was getting the wallpaper accurate, and working with the spray adhesive I’d chosen.

I’d bought a cheap heavy duty adhesive which seemed to come out like candy floss, so a finer mist craft version would be better. Or wallpaper paste perhaps. Overall it wasn’t a difficult project.

KALLAX drawers with Orla Kiely wallpaper

The drawer fronts

I love how the two drawer units compliment my little coffee table, and add a totally different look to the otherwise very basic KALLAX.

My home office

The overall look

Also, repurposing the drawer handles from a previous hack of a HEMNES shoe cupboard does away with the rather basic and ugly silver button knobs that come with the drawers.

~ by Trude 

Jules Yap