The living room of our new home gives me a headache. It has super weird alcoves that I assume were designed to house a massive entertainment system from the early 2000s, you know back when TVs were like 2 feet deep and you had to have standalone speakers to hear anything. Anyway, while I figure out exactly what to do with the weird living room wall, I put together an affordable media console to hold our new Samsung Frame TV from Best Buy. We eventually want to wall-mount this TV but didn’t want to mount it if we’re going to break down walls in the near future. So making a DIY slatted media console was the solution!
Before I chose to go the DIY route to save money, there were two consoles that kept catching my eye, the Joybird Aaro Small Media Console and the West Elm Quinn Console. Both are over $1,500 and again, we’re not planning on keeping this console for long, so that money could be better spent elsewhere in the house. I ultimately decided to try to recreate the Quinn because I thought it would be a cool way to introduce the slatted furniture trend into our home.
To be honest, this project didn’t come out quite like I’d planned, but I’m learning that it’s ok if things aren’t perfect! *Thank God for therapy. Here’s what I used and how I put it all together.
P.S. I followed the instructions from this blog post pretty closely, so if my explanation doesn’t make sense, check hers!
What You’ll Need
- IKEA Kallax
- 4 IKEA Kallax door inserts
- Half-round molding (I bought 15 of these but ended up cutting down 13)
- Gorilla Wood Glue
- Optional: Wood Stain
- Furniture Legs
- Wait 6 weeks for white IKEA Kallax to be in stock at your local IKEA. Give up and buy black IKEA Kallax
- Have your best friend assemble IKEA Kallax & doors
- Measure & cut 1/2 rounds to fit the length of Kallax doors
- Stain cut molding (or stain before cutting – your choice) to desired color. Let dry thoroughly.
- Glue half rounds to Kallax door fronts and let sit for a few hours.
- Optional: glue single half round piece to dividers on Kallax to try to recreate a seamless slatted look all across
- Hang doors following regular instructions
- Attach feet to console
- Attach handles to doors, if desired (I bought handles but they didn’t come out far enough)
And voila! It didn’t take me that long to actually assemble everything once the molding was cut and stained. What made this project not my favorite is that I struggled to get the molding pieces all the exact length. It was my second time using a miter saw and I kind of forgot how to ensure that the length of what you’re cutting is the exact same for each cut — I know, a basic rookie mistake! But I was in a rush and was cutting multiple rounds at once so they’re not all quite even. I had just 2 days to get this project together before my content was due for a campaign, so I had to prioritize speed over finesse. I do want to take the doors off and just pass them through a table saw super quickly to straighten the edges, which I think will make a big difference in how “finished” this looks.
Secondly, the spacing of the moldings on one of the doors is a bit different than the others, for reasons I can’t explain, so I feel like the molding isn’t all evenly spaced. If you can find molding that is wider than the single pieces I used (like the one recommended in the blog post linked above), I’d recommend those because it means fewer cuts and thus fewer mistakes.
I also originally wanted to make this in white & pine, but this specific Kallax was out of stock for weeks in my local IKEA. I decided to make it in black instead, which actually works better for the design of our living room, but it did make a bit more difficult to figure out the best legs/hardware to finish the project. I think I made it work though!
My media console is doing the job for now, and I’m likely being hard on myself with my criticisms, but I’m proud of myself for creating it and showing it anyway! All in all, it cost me around $180 in materials (I already had the stain from my laundry makeover) and $20 for my day pass to access the woodshop where I did the cutting. So $200 for a $1500 lookalike isn’t too bad! Now I’ve got to decide whether I want to paint the inside of the side alcoves an almost black to make them seem more intentional… decisions, decisions!