Before and After: The Best IKEA BESTÅ Hack We’ve Seen in Ages

published Nov 8, 2018
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(Image credit: IKEA)

IKEA hacks are always fun, but this one resulted in a piece that looks more like a high-end mid-century modern credenza that would cost at least 10 times more than it actually did. This BESTÅ is about to truly live its best life.

First, a little bit about how Alex Mcclain, the mastermind behind this hack, was inspired by:

I really liked a mid-century style credenza I saw from a company called Rove Concepts but couldn’t justify spending the $1,000+ dollars so I had to get creative.

That’s how so many of the best projects come about—a glimpse of something unobtainable leads to something unique and even more amazing. The pieces in question were the Rove Lucas Sideboard and the Rove1955 Sideboard, if you happen to have the budget.

(Image credit: Alex Mcclain)

This is exquisite! I never would have guessed this credenza started life as the ubiquitous IKEA BESTÅ—it truly reads as a major mid-century modern classic sure to be featured in design books for the next 100 years. It’s elegant yet playful, highly sophisticated yet made of totally approachable—even humble—materials.

The main one being, of course, plywood. Inexpensive plywood has so much beauty and character, especially when it’s well-stained. Here, the layered edges of the plywood create a lovely pinstriped effect on the facade’s frame—a happy accident or brilliant choice. The single gray cabinet door sets this apart from common credenzas even further, adding a bit of quirk and appealing asymmetry. The white and gray doors combined with the gold knobs and wood create a look that is equally cool and warm, meaning this piece could work with almost any palette. Down the line, the knobs could be switched out if a different metal or a totally different aesthetic was desired.

Here’s how it was created:

I purchased two BESTÅ cabinets from IKEA: the 48″ base cabinet and the 24″ extension cabinet. We have some great wood supply shops here in L.A. and I sourced some walnut veneered plywood and had it cut to the BESTÅ dimensions. I then wrapped the BESTÅ in the plywood and stained it. Lastly I bought two white doors and one gray to pay homage to the cabinet by Rove and added some gold knobs from Target for the final touch.

The plywood was roughly $100.00 for the 4×8 sheet cut to spec. Doors and BESTÅ cabinets were roughly $200.00

Having plywood custom cut and then encasing the BESTÅ in it sounded so intimidating, I assumed that this project would have been far more expensive. Low in cost, high in confidence and competence! By the way, the wood legs were $34.99 for a set of six from Amazon and they elevate the credenza literally and stylistically.

Alex loves the new sideboard, but said “If I were to do it again I would miter the edges.”

Thank you, Alex Mcclain!