Anyone with kids knows that their "stuff" can get out of hand quickly, especially after a birthday, or holiday. Even with donating away kids' gear as fast as I can, we have entered into a new era of toys that will be with us for a couple years. It became clear that we needed to expand our storage while still keeping it accessible to the little ones.
This project started as most of them seem to do these days, over a bleary-eyed cup of coffee and a discussion with the wife. We volleyed ideas such as additional shelving in the living room, but we really did not want to see the "stuff." Of course there were also concerns of growing boys climbing the shelves and the added work of having to clean more surfaces.
We decided that a cabinet should cover our needs, but it would take a special piece to blend in with our limited selection of furniture. After shopping all the local thrift stores and coming up short, we decided to go to the next best thing, Ikea.com. We opted for the playful, PS cabinet in white. The reasonable price point allowed for part of the budget to go towards modifying the piece.
The metal cabinet was a good start and did not require a whole lot of work. I reinforced the thin, interior shelves with 1/4" MDF panels. After living with the piece for a week, I decided that the all white cabinet was too stark and should have a wood top to visually add warmth to the piece, as well as additional strength.
The only remaining issue was the door locks. The integrated locksets do not allow you to leave the cabinet unlocked, unless you leave the keys in the door. I did not buy this cabinet as a locker and aesthetically this was unacceptable. This is an Ikea product after all, and you could literally pull the thing apart with very little force, rendering such locks pointless.
Another issue that coincides with the lock problem, was the lack of handles for the doors. In order to resolve the two issues, I drilled out the cylinder and ran a bolt through a spacer on the exterior to act as a simple drawer pull. It is still subtle enough as not to detract from the minimalist form.
With the PS cabinet fully modified, it feels like we have always had this piece in our furniture collection. The cabinet did end up stealing the footprint of a vintage Ikea floor lamp. We have had the matching pair for over a decade and need them both to adequately light the room. We decided to convert one of the floor lamps into a table lamp. This was easily achieved with a simple pipe cutter and NPT tap, adding another custom element to the space.
I love the way you transformed the piece and would love to have a go of this myself! How to you attach the wood on top?
I mounted the wood top onto the cabinet from underneath. I removed the metal top of the cabinet for easy access, then laid it upside down on the wood board.
Make sure your hardware is shorter than the thickness of the wood so it does not pierce through the top of the wood. I also recommend using washers with the screws because the sheet metal is rather thin.
Hi, Just wondering what type of wood you used for the top? Thanks - Amanda
The wood top is pine, it is pretty soft and prone to marks. Any species would work. Lowes sells large pine boards like this one.
Thank you so much for your help....I am new to this DIY thing but I love what you have done to this cabinet!! - Amanda
How many pieces of pine did you have to use for the top, and how did you attach them together? I love this and plan on trying it this weekend.
The top piece consists of just one large pine board, so no joinery was involved. Actually, if I recall correctly, there was no cutting at all, the board had just enough overhang to look right.
Can you show the detail (front and back of door) for the bolt/pull? Thanks.
Mike, thanks for your interest, the cabinet is currently in storage and I do not have any detail shots of the pull. I do recall that it was a rather simple fix though. I removed the screw and latch from the back of each lock, and drilled a hole all the way through to accept the new bolt.
I keep a variety of hardware on hand, so I chose a flat, hex bolt from an old futon to act as the pull. I threaded it through an aluminum spacer to add depth, and then through the lock face and out the back. I used a flush nut on the interior that allowed me to snug up the assembly without sharp edges. You could also use a cabinet knob following the same procedure, I hope that helps.
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