Before and After: This “Dopamine Decor” IKEA Hack Is $100 and Super Funky

published Oct 31, 2023
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When you’re shopping for furniture — or planning a furniture upcycle — you can take inspiration from everywhere, not just furniture stores or actual pieces of furniture. “We usually do a lot of research on IG and Pinterest but also like to go to museums, exhibitions, and flea markets to get inspired,” sisters — and dynamic DIY duo — Lischa and Cira Steiper (@donanddandy) say. 

One of their favorite DIYs in their “dopamine decor”-filled home, which is packed with bright colors, funky shapes, and eclectic prints, is an IKEA hack in which they turned a four-cubed KALLAX into a one-of-a-kind piece that looks MoMA-worthy. 

The first step? Paint the KALLAX frame. 

They got the shelf secondhand for cheap, and then they disassembled it, filled in the pre-punched IKEA holes, thoroughly sanded the KALLAX (Lischa and Cira recommend starting with a coarse sandpaper and then switching to finer sheets for each round of sanding), and painted the square frame a light pink

Then they nailed on a 5-mm piece of fiberboard onto the back of the shelf. 

They cut the squiggles with a jigsaw. 

The curvy design on the front is made from fiberboard, too. Lischa and Cira used the same square shape and dimensions, sketched out their design using a projector for help, and cut out the wavy-edged shape using a jigsaw. 

They nailed the new cabinet front to the KALLAX body, then painted the new frame lavender.

A wooden base completes the look.

A new base elevates the piece (literally) and makes it easier to move around because the bottom has a felt sheet underneath so as not to damage the floor, though Lischa and Cira say felt coasters would work for this, too. The new base is made from approximately 1/2-inch thick lumber. 

“We obviously wanted to keep the budget low, so we spent like 100€ in total [about $106 USD] excluding more pricey tools such as the jigsaw and the sander which were already part of our equipment,” the DIY duo says, and Lischa and Cira are proud of the “unique aesthetic” they created in about 2 1/2 days. “It’s a statement piece, and we love it,” they say.