If you can’t already tell, I’m a huge fan of Ikea. There is a huge market right now for that minimalist Scandinavian look and there aren’t very many options that are budget friendly. Ikea does a great job of bridging that gap and, in recent years, has been doing a great job of branching out from that very “Ikea” look we all know from our university days, and doing lots of capsule collections with well-known designs as well as just bringing in some great Scandinavian designer replicas and alternatives as well as amazing mid-century modern inspired pieces. Most people don’t realize that my dining room contains two big Ikea pieces. Both the dining table and glass cabinet are expensive for Ikea (notice the italics), but they’re still so much more affordable than the alternatives out there. (For a list of my current favourite IKEA pieces, check out this post.)
Another reason I love Ikea is for the possibility of Ikea hacks. Taking one of their inexpensive basic pieces and making it uniquely yours is a great way to achieve a more expensive look without the designer price tag. I have so many Ikea hacks scattered around our house, mixed in with some great Scandinavian designer pieces and a few replicas as well (hello, Eames chair). I’ve only shared one Ikea hack on here so far (our popular learning towers), but I’m planning on bringing more and more of these tutorials to the blog in the coming months.
When I was planning our family room (aka pinning like a mad woman), I knew I wanted a sideboard that could go seamlessly from being a change table while I still have kids in diapers to a nice bar cabinet once the kids are a bit older. One of my favourite pieces I found was this white and light wood sideboard but (a) I could not find the source anywhere, and (b) I knew just looking at it that it would be too short for us as a change table. We’re both really tall (I’m 5’11” and my hubby is 6’4″), so we needed something higher up. Enter the Ikea BESTA cabinet. It was the perfect width and depth to accommodate a change mat and a few other diapering essentials, as well as the right height to add some custom legs and bring it up to the perfect height for us tall parents.
This is one of the easiest Ikea hack we have done to date. It just involved sawing the legs to size and added two holes in the doors for knobs (you could go without door knobs or pulls if you prefer an even cleaner look). And the price was right up my alley as well. The whole thing cost us just over $200 (in CAD, taxes included), with $140 of that being the cabinet itself (frame, doors, and hinges). It would have been even cheaper had I found shorter legs (since we cut off nearly half). In fact, if you’re in the US, this project would cost you $124 (plus tax) since Home Depot in the US has the 16″ legs (insert cryface emoji for all the times I’ve found what I’m looking for in the US but not in Canada).
Even though this was a relatively easy hack, here is a step-by-step tutorial to take you through how to make your own:
- Ikea BESTÅ frame and LAPPVIKEN doors (not pictured)
- 2 x Ikea BESTÅ door hinges (not pictured)
- 4 x approx. 14-16″ round tapered wood legs (I used larger ones cut down to size)
- 2 x knobs (I used Ikea HACKÅS knobs)
- drill (with appropriate drill bit)
- saw (if you’re cutting your legs)
[ Step 1 ] Using a saw, cut your legs down to approx. 14.5″ / 37cm. I could only find either really short or really long (27.5″) round tapered legs here in Canada (that were reasonably priced), so I went with the long version and cut off nearly half to make them the length I wanted. In the US, you can find 16″ legs (at a third of the price) which would probably look good as is. I don’t like the silver self-levelling foot so I would personally always saw that off, but that’s completely up to you!
Note: make sure to cut off the bottom of the legs or else you’ll need to reinstall your hanger bolt (the screw at the top of the legs). Also make sure to add felt pads to the bottom of your newly cut legs to protect your floors.
[ Step 2 ] Put together your Besta frame, minus the included round levelling legs.
[ Step 3 ] Lay the cabinet on its side and screw in your four tapered legs.
[ Step 4 ] Place your cabinet upright and attach to the wall. Now that the cabinet is raised off the ground significantly, it will definitely need the added stability that attaching to the wall provides, especially if you’ve got kids running around.
[ Step 5 ] Mark where your cabinet pulls / knobs will go and drill a hole just large enough to hold the screws that came with your knobs. I used a 5/32 drill bit for the HACKÅS knobs. The placement of your knobs will depend on how large they are, but I drilled my holes at approximately 1 1/4″ (3.2cm) from the side and 1 1/8″ (2.9cm) from the top.
[ Step 6 ] Attach your doors to your cabinet using the BESTÅ hinges.
That’s it! You can make this hack more complicated by angling your legs for a more mid-century modern look (like this cabinet). That was my initial plan, actually, but then I tried screwing in the legs into the pre-existing bolt nuts (aka where the legs go in) and loved the look. If you want to go the angled route, you’ll need to screw angled hardware plates into the base of your Besta cabinet (further towards the centre of the cabinet from where the existing bolt nuts / leg holes are). You’ll also need to make sure you’re sawing off your leg at a bit of an angle so that your cabinet is not resting on the corners of the legs only (or just leave your 16″ tapered legs as is since they have a self-levelling foot already).
I’ll be putting together a second post with our current change table setup soon so you can see what this cabinet looks like as a change table. I wanted to style the tutorial in the form of a sideboard / bar cabinet since I feel like that is a much more common need for this sort of hack. Plus it’s our end goal for our family room space. (Note to Nicky: potty train yourself already, please!) But, if you’re looking for a unique (and inexpensive) change table idea that will double as a sideboard once your kids are older, definitely give this ikea hack a try. Especially if you’re on the taller side! Change tables made for tall parents (or dads, in general) are so hard to come by. This hack let’s you adjust the leg height to fit you and your partner’s heights perfectly.
As always, if you have any questions about this hack, leave me a comment below and I’ll make sure to answer as soon as I can.