I can't believe it's taken over two years to get a legitimate toy storage system in our living room - but it was worth the wait. I couldn't be more thrilled with this Ikea hack that has become a functional and stylish way to store toys.
In all honesty, Jude doesn't have a ton of toys, but he has enough to give me anxiety when they are thrown all over the floor. Our living room is the first room you see when you enter our home and it's where we spend a majority of our time. It's important to have a few toys in our lower level or he's climbing on the kitchen counters and playing the drums on all of the blinds. So... toys are a must.
Prior to getting a legitimate toy storage system, I had purchased this wicker basket and threw a handful of toys in there to keep them hidden. In theory, it sounded great, but as he got older, he only played with the toys at the top, and the pieces would get missing and sunken to the bottom. Eventually, the basket started to overflow and I was forced to stare at a plastic vacuum cleaner and remote control cars.
When I realized we needed a legitimate storage system, it needed to:
- be less than 55" long to fit our space
- be tall enough that I could decorate the top without him being able to reach it
- be short enough where it wouldn't interfere with the existing framed photographs
- have doors to store all of the toys
After searching some of my go-to online furniture sites, I was blown away by how expensive sideboards/consoles/storage units were. I could not find what would work with our space for anything less than $600. I am a huge advocate of investing in quality furniture and owning statement pieces, but I also love the challenge to determine if I can get what I want for cheaper.... and that's why I love Ikea.
If you haven't heard of the Ikea Besta products, run to your nearest Ikea now. Their storage units are extremely affordable and customizable to your space using their online planner tool. We have a Besta unit in our attic, but because this is our living room, I wanted this piece to look more like a statement piece instead of stock Ikea furniture.
So, here is the breakdown!
This besta unit can be purchased with doors or just the frame. I didn't love the door options, so I just purchased the frame in white. They also have new options for their tops, and I purchase a faux concrete looking top so it was a little more spruced up than the typical Ikea laminate. I also purchased two shelves to divide the units and allow more storage, and purchased two of the soft close hinges.
I purchased the doors from Semihandmade. This company is phenomenal. They sell custom door fronts for Ikea kitchens, bathrooms, and storage units. They have a ton of colors and styles or you can buy 'slabs' that you can paint or stain whatever color you want. This is an incredible way to customize your Ikea furniture and get a high end look without paying high end prices. I chose their Cove door because I loved the warm wood tone. The doors are made for Ikea furniture, so they fit their hinges and frames perfectly.
They also sell hardware (their doors do not come pre-drilled for hardware, so you'll need to keep that in mind). I went with a 5" matte black pull handle.
Because the Besta unit was a little short for my needs, I wanted to add some height to it so it would sit higher and wouldn't be eye-level to a toddler. I didn't love any of the leg options on Ikea's website, so I purchased these black wooden legs from prettypegs. They shipped super fast and twist right onto the unit. I love that it gives the unit height and allows it to feel more custom.
Inside, I placed the shelves at a height that worked for his toys. Books, magna-tiles, cars, puzzles, and balls are his favorite toys and they are all neatly stored in here. The clear containers are functional as he is able to see what goes into each box and makes clean up a breeze.
I can't believe it's taken two years to have a designated toy cabinet. I love how functional this piece is and it can be repurposed as a bar/sideboard/china cabinet as our family gets older and we don't need the toy storage anymore.
Here is a breakdown on cost:
Besta Unit: $65
Faux Concrete Top Panel : $30
Soft Closing Hinges (x2): $30
Shelves (x2): $10
SemiHandmade Doors in Cove (x2): $134.40
Matte Black Pulls: $27
Legs (x4): $55
Much cheaper than the options I found online, and I was able to customize exactly how I wanted it to look! Win, Win!
Have you hacked anything from Ikea before? What products do you love to make your own? Share in the comments below!