I thought the simple and affordable bed hack in Erica Massey’s Dallas, Texas rental apartment was pretty brilliant. A tall bed with storage for her, and a cozy and cool spot to call his own for her dog Deacon. The fact that most of the components were sourced from IKEA for not a lot of money is the cherry on top. But that’s not the only smart IKEA hack in her home! One IKEA trip and less than $200 later and Erica was able to nearly double the storage space of her kitchen.
While there are plenty of kitchen islands/carts on the market that are in the affordable realm for renters, few can offer the style and sturdiness—in a price perfect for a PhD student’s budget—like this DIY idea Erica came up with. It looks good, provides storage for stuff, room for eating, and Erica swears she and her friends can even sit and lean on it. Plus, it’s a mobile furniture piece she’ll be able to take with her when she moves away from this rental.
Erica made the smart choice to go to IKEA when she knew the KALLAX shelves were on sale, picking up this KALLAX unit in white. Table tops were discounted for IKEA Family members, and she grabbed one in a natural finish. “I think my total cost was around $165, without the discount I think it would be right at $200.”
Erica explains how she put it all together: “Then I got silicone caulk from Home Depot and some angle brackets to attach the two together. I put a bead of caulk all the way around the edge and then in a zig-zag pattern down the middle. Stuck the table top on and then stacked a bunch of books on top and gave it 24 hours to fully adhere.”
“Frankly, the caulk was probably enough, but I came back and added two brackets on the bar stool side as well just for extra support. It’s heavy enough that it’s plenty stable for me and friends to sit around it and lean on it.”
“And once I filled up the base I tried sitting on the bar stool edge of the table top just to see if it would wobble/the top would hold, and it was solid! Granted, I’m only 100 pounds, but as a mobile island in a rental it was super cheap/cute compared to other options out there and after several months of use I’m still very happy with it.”
“One thing I would recommend is to seal the table top immediately. I made the mistake of eating strawberries over it before sealing and now have a little red stain on one corner!”
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