DIY cabinet [IKEA hack]

In our home, the room sizes are a bit smaller than you’d expect in a 1930s house. We needed a storage cabinet in one of the living room alcoves for our DVDs but my search for a stylish, practical, not-too-deep and affordable one that would fit the tiny 88cm wide alcove proved fruitless.

I know kitchen cabinets come in 80cm wide sizes, among others, and the wall units aren’t too deep, so you can guess where I went with that! If you can’t find it, make it!


When thinking about the style of how our DIY DVD cabinet would look, I came across the following sideboards that I quite liked (except ours would be narrower and taller). Wooden doors, white frame, slim black handles, tapered legs… they’re contemporary but with a nod to midcentury which makes them suit lots of different styles.

Inspiration 1
Inspiration via Rue Mag
Inspiration 2
Inspiration via Homepolish

What we did:

  • Got excited that the IKEA METOD kitchen wall unit with lovely textural rough sawn oak HYTTAN doors gave us a great starting point for our cabinet.
  • After constructing the METOD wall unit (80x80cm) with HYTTAN doors, we measured for the panels that would make up the white frame, ensuring the doors would be boxed in within the frame – this makes all the difference with the cabinet not looking like an amateur DIY attempt!
  • For the cabinet frame, I could’ve looked for made to measure end-panels from a kitchen manufacturer, but as I was already ordering some made to measure wall shelves for another room, I commissioned the same company (Mersey MPP) to make the 4 gloss white panels (aka shelves) that would make up the frame of the cabinet. (If anyone wants a more in depth explanation about how to measure for the frame pieces, please let me know!)
    We started with the side panels first, screwing them in place one by one, ensuring they lined up exactly to the top, bottom and back of the cabinet, then attached the top and bottom ones.
  • Next we attached the legs (they are vintage, sourced from eBay), ensuring the screws were clear of the side panels, and then the slim black handles which are from Ironmongery Direct.
  • Finally, we secured the cabinet to the wall using the fixings available for free from IKEA to prevent any chance of the cabinet being pulled over by my little kids!

Et voilà!

DIY Mid-Century Style Cabinet 1 - Arty Home.png

IKEA METOD HYTTAN wall unit: £97 + bribes for the hubby
Gloss white ‘frame’ panels (aka made to measure shelves): £37.50
Handles: £15.60 inc. P&P
Legs: £17.50 inc. P&P

Total: £167.60

Not a bad price for something that’s just right for our space and requirements, we think.

DIY Mid-Century Style Cabinet 2 - Arty Home.png

What do you think? If you didn’t already know, would you have guessed this is primarily an IKEA product? Have you ever done anything non-kitcheny with a kitchen product? Do you also need to bribe your other half to go to IKEA? 🙂

Pin for later:

DIY Mid Century Style Cabinet IKEA Hack by Arty Home


  1. 4 February 2016 / 4:30 pm

    This looks fab Meera!! Really good. Love the ethos of “if you can’t find it – make it.” A lady after my own heart. You should send this over to Ikea Hacker!!

    • Meera
      5 February 2016 / 9:34 am

      Thanks so much, Karen! It’s such a boost coming from a creative genius such as yourself! Good idea about submitting it to Ikea Hackers, I’ll get on it! xx

      • 5 February 2016 / 9:37 am

        Oh stop it. I’m just making this all up as I go along! 😉 xx

        • Meera
          6 February 2016 / 8:56 pm

          Haha, well your work is very inspiring! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend xx

  2. 6 March 2016 / 6:41 pm

    Why am I not getting your updates dammit!?! (Need to check my bloglovin’ account and see if I set it up right!) I totally missed this one so I’m late but it’s freaking genius! You would never know this was Ikea – it looks gorgeous! Really impressive 🙂 xxx

    • Meera
      6 March 2016 / 9:01 pm

      I see you’ve sorted it on Bloglovin’ now :-). Don’t worry, you haven’t missed much!
      Thanks so much for the lovely words on the little cabinet! Very kind! xxx

  3. Valentina
    3 June 2016 / 10:37 am

    I love it! If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get the “made to measure” shelves done and where did you buy those beautiful legs?

    • Meera
      3 June 2016 / 1:11 pm

      Chuffed that you like my project, Valentina! The legs are vintage from eBay and the shelves are from Mersey MPP. Have a read of the ‘What we did’ section and you’ll find the link. xx

  4. bertha
    12 June 2016 / 7:54 pm


    i love, love, love this. I am a wanna be Ikea hacker and I am trying to make a long piece for my dining area. How did you measure frames? Thanks

    • Meera
      13 June 2016 / 12:46 pm

      Delighted that you like my IKEA hack, Bertha! When constructed, the cabinet with the doors measured W800mm x H800mm x D382mm. So the side panels of the ‘frame’ were H800mm x D382mm each. The panels were 18mm thick, which made the top and bottom panels W836mm x D382mm. If you’re creating a long unit, do ensure that the legs are sturdy and the cabinet is anchored to the wall. Might be worth having leg support in the middle too. Hope this helps! xx

  5. Christine
    13 July 2016 / 4:31 pm

    I LOVE THIS! and growing up in the ’50’s, I love it even more.

    • Meera
      14 July 2016 / 11:02 am

      Ah thanks so much for your sweet comment Christine! Lovely start to my day 🙂

  6. Rose
    12 November 2016 / 5:05 pm

    This is genius! I wish there were a great place in the UK we could buy new ‘mid century’ legs. I’m forever trying to hunt them down on ebay!

    • Meera
      14 November 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Thanks very much Rose! Agree, there is definitely a gap in the UK market for midcentury style furniture legs. Good luck with finding suitable vintage ones on eBay!

  7. Sophie
    28 January 2017 / 2:51 pm

    How did you attach the sides to the cabinet? You said you screwed them on but I don’t understand whereabouts that you screwed them!

    Really love this DIY project – Inspired me to do my own too!

    • Meera
      29 January 2017 / 9:53 pm

      Thanks very much Sophie, I’m delighted this has inspired you to do something similar! For attaching the sides, we used the second row of pre-drilled holes from the top and bottom (the first and last rows of pre-drilled holes are used to attached the door hinges). First we drilled right through the holes, then rotated the cabinet onto its side (one side facing up) and aligned a side panel onto it. Next we marked through the drilled holes onto the side panel, removed the side panel and drilled short guide holes in the centre of the markings, and placed the side panel back onto the cabinet. Finally we screwed through the cabinet holes into the side panel. We used 4.0x30mm wood screws for the project. Hope this makes sense for you!

    • Meera
      26 July 2017 / 9:23 pm

      Thank you very much Jane! Means a lot coming from an IKEA hacker like you! xx

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