IKEA Hack: Customizing a Shelving Unit to Add More Function & Storage

I've had this inexpensive IVAR IKEA shelving unit for years and every time I've moved into a new apartment, I've found a way to "hack" it so it would adapt to what I needed in my new space.
In my Chicago apartment, I wanted a cork board in my home office so I used cork tiles to fill in one of the sides. I cut the tiles to fit, glued the cork tiles to cardboard and then used small nails to secure it to the side. I liked that it the shelving unit look like a solid piece of furniture.
In my NYC studio apartment, I needed a place to organize and store my tools so here I used pegboard to fill in the side transforming the shelving unit into a mini-workshop. It might not seem like a lot of space, but it was just enough to keep everything I needed within reach and organized.
You can get hooks made for pegboard, or dowels to hang your tools. If you have drapery hooks on hand, they're an inexpensive alternative that can also work really well for some tools. You can cover up the side with a curtain as a finishing touch but since I love tools, I don't feel the need to cover them up - they double as wall art for me!
I also added shelf inserts to maximize the vertical space in between shelves and make it easier to access things. More details on this project on my blog.
Engineer Your Space
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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2 of 4 comments
  • Gigi Gigi on Apr 24, 2019

    Great !

  • CHARLOTTE CHARLOTTE on Feb 11, 2022

    I love it!! The Pegboard at the end of the shelving and the extra small platform added to the shelf are such great ideas...it reminds us to look for 'hidden storage' places that we may overlook. :-)