In Partnership withIKEA

This Is the Iconic IKEA Product That Never Fails to Bring Order to Small Spaces

published Jan 29, 2024
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Credit: IKEA

Do you ever look at photos of a beautiful home and think, “But where’s all their stuff?” The miscellany of everyday life — mittens, dog leashes, those packages you need to mail — can make even the most stylish space feel cluttered. That goes double for small spaces, where every square foot has to count.

Maggie Lambert, Apartment Therapy’s Director of Brand Partnerships, lives in a duplex with her husband, toddler, and two Bernedoodles, so organization is key. She keeps their space looking tidy with one of our longtime favorite IKEA pieces: the infinitely adaptable KALLAX shelf unit. And she uses it in a super clever location — a nook under the staircase!

Credit: IKEA

A Fit for Every Nook and Cranny

The genius of the KALLAX shelf unit is in the simplicity of its design: squares that can be multiplied, divided, added on to, and Tetris-ed into just about any configuration. The standard two-by-two setup makes the most of the space beneath Maggie’s staircase, squeezing into what would otherwise be unused square footage.

“On top, we have a few small catch-all organizers for everything from paper supplies to my toddler’s hair accessories,” she says. Inside each shelving unit are drawers — drawers! — dedicated to her dog’s accessories and her daughter’s art supplies.

Credit: IKEA

Endless Customizations for Every Room

The KALLAX isn’t just a shelf; it’s a whole system. The full KALLAX series includes thoughtful accessories like drawers, boxes, baskets, and diagonal inserts — everything you need to make any extra bit of space in any room work harder (and look better).

Credit: IKEA

In a WFH area or craft room, fit your KALLAX shelf unit with the LINNMON workstation for an instant desk surface. Clever basket inserts are the perfect size for stashing kids’ puzzles or organizing mail.

Credit: IKEA

Or configure multiple KALLAX shelves and accessories to create a bespoke media console: Display books and decor on the open shelves and stow games, DVDs, and other entertainment items in closed-door inserts. You can even get lockable doors. And everything is available in a variety of materials, patterns, and colors.

Credit: IKEA

And because all that adaptability is paired with quality, sustainable construction, the KALLAX can evolve as you need it to. “I’m confident this simple, timeless unit will grow with us for years to come,” Maggie says. “Knowing we will eventually outgrow our space, I can see this living in a bedroom or playroom in the future.”