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Transforming And Elevating The Storage Cube

Storage Cubes

Have you noticed that storage cubes are EVERYWHERE lately? You can find them at IKEA, Target, Walmart, and you might even have one or two in your own house. There’s a reason we love them – they’re so versatile! It’s one piece of furniture that can serve a million purposes, whether it’s next to the desk in your office, or a bookshelf, or even a side table.

And the fun doesn’t stop there! I’ve been discovering more and more clever ways to transform storage cubes into custom furniture to fit your needs.

Storage Cubes

Britta writes…..

I’ve had this 2×2 storage cube from IKEA for a couple of years now, and it has always served as both a stand for our record player, and a place to store our record collection. However, we recently got a new, slightly bigger record player, and we were no longer able to fit both the player and our audio receiver on top, like we had been.

A few days ago I had a sudden flash of inspiration – what if I took one of the dividers out of the top row of the storage cube? Then we could put the record player on top, the receiver in the new expanded area, and then our records in the bottom cubes. I also thought I’d spruce it up a bit with some paint, and install some legs!

Transforming and Elevating Storage Cubes

I started by unscrewing the top of the storage cube, and pulling out the divider that I didn’t want anymore. However, there were a few dowels at the connection point that I realized were holding the bottom divider in place as well. So rather than pull those out and risk the whole thing falling apart, I cut them instead. I used a rubber mallet to sink the dowels in as far as they would go, then I used a knife to cut the dowels so they were level with the surface of the shelf. I sanded them a little to make sure they were smooth and as inconspicuous as possible, then I put the top back on and screwed it down.

Next came the paint. I chose a quart of BEHR Marquee paint in a light gray color called Tin Foil. After putting on a quick coat of my favorite Zinnser primer (the same one I raved about in my post about updating laminate furniture), I used a roller brush to apply the paint to my storage cube. Just for the record, the BEHR Marquee paint covered the primer so well, I didn’t even need a second coat, just a couple of touch ups here and there!

Transforming and Elevating Storage Cubes

I knew I wanted the legs to be a different, bright color, so I also purchased a small, 8 ounce sample of the BEHR Marquee paint in a bright green called Rockwall Vine. I love that most home improvement stores now offer small paint samples, because they’re perfect for smaller projects like this! The only drawback of samples is they generally only come in one finish, so if you are looking for a glossier look, you’ll probably have to commit to at least a quart of paint.

The most surprising part of this process, for me, was how easy it was to install the legs onto my storage cube! I bought four 6-inch furniture legs at Home Depot, as well as four sets of the plates they attach to. All I had to do was position the plates on the 4 corners of the bottom of my storage cube, use my power drill to screw the plates down, then screw the legs I had painted into each of the plates. The whole process took me maybe ten minutes!

Storage Cubes

I am so happy with how my storage cube transformation turned out. It has totally brightened up that corner of our living room, and it looks so much more put together now that the audio receiver fits into it comfortable, rather than being perched precariously on one of the speakers. My only regret is that I didn’t do it a long time ago! :-)

Britta’s project is only the tip of the iceberg.

There are so many great project ideas out there for transforming storage cubes! Here are a few of my favorites, which will hopefully inspire you and your own creations!

Storage Cubes

Nightstand

This one isn’t so much a transformation as it is just a clever way to use a storage cube. I never would have thought to use one as a night stand, but I am loving how it looks in this room. There’s room to store jewelry, books, slippers, and all the other things that tend to pile up near the bed.

Storage Cubes

Laundry Room Storage

Kim from Six2Eleven used a storage cube to create more storage in her laundry room, as well as a tabletop surface for folding clothes. So smart!

Storage Cubes

Moveable Craft Table

Family Handyman used three 2×2 storage cubes to create an incredible rolling craft table. Not only does it have a big work surface, but you can also keep your crafting supplies right where you need them!

Storage Cubes

Easy Dollhouse

Storage cubes aren’t just for adults! Land of Nod shared a genius idea for using a simple storage cube as a dollhouse for your little ones. Simply back each cube with a different fabric or paper, and the cubes are ready to be filled with all the dollhouse essentials.

Storage Cubes

Changing Table

John at Young House Love shared how he spruced up a storage cube bookshelf by wrapping it in stained wood, which I think looks gorgeous! They use it as a changing table in their nursery, perfect for storing diapers, wipes, and more.

Storage Cubes

Mid-Century Modern Sideboard

If you have a specific style in mind, storage cubes can help out there, too. IKEA Hackers shared a great transformation, turning a plain storage cube shelf into a beautiful and functional sideboard, with tons of mid-century modern style.

Storage Cubes

Play Store

So You Think You Can Craft creates the perfect little play area in her basement. A fabric canopy made out of PVC pipe built over storage cubes, provide lots of shelving for this adorable play store. Endless hours of imaginative fun!

Storage Cubes

DIY Bar

Add legs to standard storage cube (you could even add some wine glass hooks) and you have a DIY Bar. Great way to display pretty stemware by The Every Girl.

Storage Cubes

Playroom Storage

Storage cubes topped with a custom cushion makes for beautiful playroom storage found on Etsy.

How do you use storage cubes in your home?

Storage Cubes


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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • How do we NOT use storage cubes? LOL! As the TV cabinet—we have larger book cases to the side of two four unit cubes with the flat screen on top; looks very custom. We used four wire fabric lined baskets on the bottom cubes for toys etc. The upper ones hold the DTV box and stereo etc. Use a 6 cube one for storage of the stuff I sell on ebay—covered sturdy cardboard boxes with painters tarp cloth for coordinated bins. Kids have them in their rooms for toys and clothing. Kitchen area has a 4 plex for our large parrot cage and their food jars etc and other storage. Always looking for more and better ways to use these! Right now looking for the right size to use in our LR for kid shoes etc since we have no hallway or entry.

  • Since I tend to move a lot, I use my cube as a dresser. ..I don’t need high end stuff…besides…the drawers come in handy when transporting from room to room.

  • I’m stealing some of these ideas. :-) Actually, I could kiss you. I bought a 2X3 to use as an end table; however it ended up being too short. I’ve been trying to figure out how to raise it up about 4 to 6 inches. Your legs are the answer. I’ll be visiting Home Depot this weekend.

    Thank you!

  • Love these ideas! I have a long wall with a cutout in my living room, so I made a book case out of a 3×2 with a 2×2 on each side. Right now it’s plain brown, but I may paint it since you inspired me. I especially like the dollhouse.
    I’ve been enjoying your site for a few years now, Jillee. For me it’s the perfect blend of information, inspiration, reality, and humor. Thanks for continuing to do what you do!!

  • I have an 8-cube one in my office that came from Walmart. It has a fun wood finish on it which sounds TOTALLY cheesy but I love it! It adds just enough warmth to my room to break up some of the light colors. Plus it came from Walmart which is really the only thing close to me so I can add baskets (I used wire ones) or bins as needed. It fits binders perfectly too, which is my main need.

    Love the laundry one, I might try to adapt that for my son’s desk he’s been asking for. :)

  • For painting the legs, I use the small sample paint from Home Depot, it is flat finish so I put a coat of water base, satin or semi gloss polyurethane. I always have some on hand, it only takes a little and dried quickly.

  • Love these ideas. We’ve used one in the basement of our house . When my nieces come over they have certain toys they love to play with. It’s a great storage spot. I can definitely think of other areas in our house to use these cubes after seeing these great ideas.

  • I’m using 2 of those IKEA cubes as my night stands in my rental apartment… I also have one in my office at home where I keep decorative items and some magazine holders with files neatly tucked away. Love them!

  • All great ideas! We used one in my sons room as a dresser because it was an attic type room with the slanted ceilings & even the low dressers wouldn’t fit against the flat part of the wall so I got a 6 cube, turned it on its side & put a cube “basket” w handle pulls in each square & it worked perfectly as a dresser

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