Before and After: A Major Twist on a Plain Jane Cube Shelving Unit

published Feb 24, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Amaryllis of Ohoh Decor)

The ubiquitous white cube shelf unit is affordable, attractively minimalist, and endlessly useful, but occasionally it needs a bit of a twist to fit in with the rest of a home’s decor.

This particular unit—similar to this one from Target or this one from IKEA—needed some real TLC:

I had this six-cube shelving unit in the playroom. It has several scratches on top and stickers on the sides but it was still in good shape. These shelving units are very popular and practical but they really lack style—it really needed a little twist. So instead of throwing it away, I decided to keep it and to turn it into a nice piece of furniture.

An excellently thrifty and environmentally-friendly attitude and solution.

(Image credit: Amaryllis of Ohoh Decor)

Amaryllis of Ohoh Decor took something fine but a bit ordinary and transformed it into a charming piece with mid-century modern flair. The wood backing adds texture and a finished look, while the white cubes create frames for the beautiful woodgrain. The objects on display are lovely on their own, but they look particularly fantastic against that beautifully swirled wood. The hue of the wood Amaryllis chose coordinates wonderfully with the chair and the leather plant holder on either side. The pale wood top hides the scratches, and the cute base literally elevates the unit; together they give the shelf a cohesive, elegant look, finishing it further.

Here’s what it took to turn this neglected piece into something special:

It took one afternoon to redo the shelving and didn’t cost me anything because I used reclaimed wood. I used a few simple tools and a lot of wood glue. I choose to keep the wood in its natural shade, but you can stain or paint it to give the shelf your own style. [If I were to do it again] I would have made the leg base a little wider, so it fits perfectly on the base of the shelf.

This project was a fabulous use of the scraps of wood so many folks happen to have lying about, and wood glue can certainly make up for a lack of major power tools if needed. If a piece already has a bit of damage anyway, it’s a great idea to attempt to upgrade it before giving up on it—there’s really not much to lose.

Thank you, Amaryllis of Ohoh Decor!