Small Space Clutter Buster

12 Materials
4 Days

We have a uselessly small dining area of approximately 10' x 11' in our mid century post and beam home. The area is open to our kitchen and is a high traffic zone with a door and doggy door leading to the back yard. We have tried several different table/chair configurations over the years with no satisfaction. Our table and chairs always ended up as a catch-all for leashes, dog towel, recycling odds and ends. After deciding storage and order was more important than a traditional table, I turned to Ikea for a solution. Now we have plenty of storage and a place to eat.

From this . . .

Dining room space

To this

A more usable space.

I found Kallax storage units from Ikea were very sturdy but also heavy so I decided to add wheels to both units and make a drop leaf table out of the smaller unit.

The wheels for the longer unit are larger than the ones I used on the smaller unit to accommodate a table top and keep the units the same height.

I pre-drilled all the holes before attaching wheels and hardware. When mounting the wheels I found that when mounting each wheel I would not be screwing into solid material so I added some glue to the wheel mounting plates. Hopefully this will keep the wheels well secured.

I determined the best size of boards for a table would be 2 drop leafs at 16"x 36" and 1 top at 18" x 36" giving us a table that can seat 4 people. Overall size when open is 50" long and 36" wide. I had everything cut to size at Lowes. I have a laminate router which is perfect for rounding the top edges of the boards so I did that and then sanded all surfaces and stained the underside each board.

I found some drop leaf hardware on Amazon and purchased the wheels locally.

I stained all the boards with a coat of stain and sanded with 220 grit sandpaper. I repeated this process 2 more times to get the depth of color I wanted.

I did the same process with a clear semi-gloss finish to protect the wood from spills and such.

Almost done

My new counter to bar height stools have arrived from Wayfair! At the counter height of 24" they work perfectly.

I still have 4 cabinet doors still to install.

Doors are installed hiding my shoes and some jars destined for recycling. The other bins are ideal for the dog stuff and a multitude of items like power outage supplies, games and the like.

We are now able to easily move our table in the center of the room and put it aside when we are done. One last note: the table can be tippy on those wheels so I will be attaching a fold up telescoping leg to the underside of each leaf for stability. I have an older tripod that has the ideal type of legs to repurpose for this project.

I hope you like this project as much I I do!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Linda R
    on Jan 15, 2019

    In your list of materials you didn't ay where you got the "leafs" to make the drop leaf table. Was that wood you already had or did you purchase them and, if so, where and how much did they cost?

    • Carol Truman
      on Jan 17, 2019

      I purchased the board at Lowes and had it cut to spec. Some Lowes stores do carry the pine boards in sizes that are off the shelf. My local store didn't but they offer 5 cuts free. Cost will depend on where you live. You can price out on line.

  • Jean Danner
    on Jan 20, 2019

    Did you check out the IKEA dropleaf table? It has large drop leafs on both sides and built in drawers plus chairs.

    • Carol Truman
      on Jan 21, 2019

      I know which one you mean. There was just so much not right (color, width, depth, etc.). The amount of storage I gained from my solution seemed a much better solution for now and in the future. Thank for the thought though.

  • Peggy Porter Smelcer
    on Jan 29, 2019

    Where did you get the cabinet doors and hardware?

    • Carol Truman
      on Jan 30, 2019

      Ikea sells the door kits for this cabinet so hardware is included. Look for Kallax series for this look.

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