Before and After: This IKEA Room Divider Hack Solves Two Problems at Once

published Sep 8, 2018
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(Image credit: IKEA)

IKEA’s KALLAX is perfect for holding boxes, bins, baskets, and books, but one DIYer saw its potential as an understated entertainment unit—and the results are inspiring.

(Image credit: Meraki)

This looks so great. Nicole Witney of Meraki came up with and completed this smart hack, which has so much going for it. Its central position means it is viewable from the kitchen—essential for tedious food prep/cleaning tasks—and yet it doesn’t dominate the space. All of the decorative accessories on the KALLAX draw the eye away from the television, but really, nothing can compete visually with that gallery wall. Your eyes instantly go to the bold arrangement of art and the grid of black frames, while the TV gets ignored as negative space. This camouflage job is extremely well done. Bonus: The bins below the television could potentially hold the cable box, remotes, and so on.

Another clever aspect of this project is that the KALLAX serves as a room divider; you can glimpse the corner of the bed at the right side of the photo. In an apartment with no doors or walls (like this one, which only had a front door and a bathroom door), creating a wall is the way to go if you can manage it. The bins on the bottom shelves and the TV itself block a lot of the view of the bedroom, while the more open shelves (those with books and accessories) allow light to flow through. That lush plant also serves as part of the room divider, also obscuring the view while letting through light.

(Image credit: Meraki)

When I saw the thumbnail of this project, I assumed the central grid of the KALLAX had been removed to accommodate the television. Doing it this way, with brackets, means all of the KALLAX’s storage space is preserved, the shelf unit retains its integrity for future use, and the construction required was minimal. (The shelves behind the television are also the perfect spot for any books that you’d like to conceal from the prying eyes of guests.)

If you’re interested in tackling a similar project in your home, Meraki has detailed instructions with step-by-step photos. And if anyone has an idea for how this could be constructed so the TV is easily movable/flippable for bedroom viewing, please share!

Thank you, Nicole Witney of Meraki!