IKEA Side Table Hack: Such Great Heights

IKEA Hack: Hol Side Tables in a Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover via thinkingcloset.com

They will see us waving from such great heights.  “Come down now,” they’ll say.
But everything looks perfect from far away.  “Come down now,” but we’ll stay.
“Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service

This is the anthem of our IKEA HOL side tables.  Because if you looked closely at the “before” and “after” photos of our Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover and you thought it looked like our side tables grew legs…you were spot on!

The Origin Story

We actually bought our HOL side tables and storage table in our first year of marriage during our annual trip to the Cincinnati IKEA.  (Now, that we’re in Orlando and have an IKEA just a 20 minute drive away, we don’t quite know what to do with ourselves other than answer the call within to “Eat all the meatballs!”)

Hol Side Table via IKEA.com

Image source: IKEA.com

We were drawn to the HOL side tables because of the wealth of storage they offered and their resemblance to the gangplank on ships.  {Cough…yet again, further evidence that our nautical theme was right there all along…it just took us four more years to see it!}

And so what if they’re not really “intended” to be bedside tables and that my chapstick has dropped through the holes probably a hundred times?  The tables were the perfect height for our bedside when our mattress and box spring rested on the floor.

Master Bedroom Makeover: "Before" via thinkingcloset.com

The Plot Thickens

Yes, things were perfect until the moment we set up our newly-built bed frame and pallet headboard; Mark and I chuckled to see how much our new bed dwarfed our old side tables.  I think we convinced ourselves for one night we could make it work.  Then, when we practically fell out of bed fumbling to turn off our alarms the next morning, we went back to the drawing board.

Option A: invest in new side tables.

Option B: work with what we’ve got.

And I bet you know which one we chose!

Yep, Option B.  We both very much still loved our side tables.  They were just “vertically-challenged.”  So, we gave them a growth spurt with some new legs!  And now they’re jamming out to The Postal Service all the live-long day.

Here’s the hubby with his creative solution for adding legs to our HOL side tables.

Mark’s Konstruction Korner

So, the only materials we used for this project were 1″ x 2″ pine boards and drywall screws.  We wanted to raise the table 9″, so I cut 4 pieces that were 9″ and 4 pieces that were roughly 18″ inches.  The extra 9″ inch extensions are what make the legs strong.

I installed the longer pieces first, fastening them to the inside of the table structure, careful to leave nine inches sticking through the bottom.  In order to pull this off, I had to remove the top and one of the four sides of the cube.

IKEA Hack: Such Great Heights with HOL Side Tables via thinkingcloset.com

I also cut rectangular notches into the bottom panel where the 18″ legs would pass through.

IKEA Hack: Such Great Heights with HOL Side Tables via thinkingcloset.com

Then, I took the 9″ pieces and joined them to the 18″ pieces in a “T” pattern as shown.  We decided which part of the table we wanted facing forward and made the T so that from the front, it looked clean and solid.

IKEA Hack: Such Great Heights with HOL Side Tables via thinkingcloset.com

IKEA Hack: Such Great Heights with HOL Side Tables via thinkingcloset.com

Once the legs are in place, sand everything–legs and cube–so that it appears as one piece.

Pointer: When fastening with screws, the board that you pass through first should be pre-drilled, slightly larger than the diameter of the screw.  This prevents splitting and brings the boards together snugly.  And don’t call me Snugly.

(Thanks, Mark!  You’re a funny one, yes you are.)

Finishing Touches

Back in Ohio, we had already lightly whitewashed the cubes on a whim, but in order to help the legs better blend into the cube portion, we used some of the gray-wash we had mixed up for our FJELL wardrobe hack to paint the legs and outer trim of the cubes.  And then, I went over it all using the same dry-brushing technique from before using white paint.

Gray wash to paint our IKEA wardrobe and side tables via thinkingcloset.com

The After

And I give you our new and improved HOL side tables!

IKEA Hacked HOL Side Tables, part of a Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover via thinkingcloset.com

IKEA HOL Side Table Hack...part of a Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover via thinkingcloset.com

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover...accent pieces via thinkingcloset.com

IKEA Hack: Hol Side Tables in a Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover via thinkingcloset.com

Now I have a basket to hold the items that used to fall through the holes.

IKEA Hack: Hol Side Tables in a Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover via thinkingcloset.com

And it was easy as pie to zip tie an extension cord to the sides of the tables to plug in our cell phone chargers and table lamps.

IKEA Hack: Hol Side Tables in a Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover via thinkingcloset.com

And if you put two IKEA Grönö lamps inside your side tables, they cast the most beautiful shadows come nighttime.

Night Light!  Grönö Table Lamp inside a Hol Side Table via thinkingcloset.com

Night Lights!  Grönö Table Lamps inside Hol Side Tables via thinkingcloset.com

Sweet dreams!

P.S. Sadly, it appears the HOL side tables are no longer sold in the USA; however, they ship from Europe.

Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover Series

And if you’re just tuning in, be sure to check out the other posts in this series!

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{Linking up here.}


Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    You guys did a great job! I never would’ve known that you purchased them without the legs. Using zip ties to hold the extension cord to the table is brilliant! I might drill holes in my bedside tables just so I can do that same. 😉

  2. says

    Lauren these are freakin’ awesome, especially lit up at night and I can’t get enough photos of your amazing bedroom! I’d love it if you shared this over at The Makers link party going on at my blog.

    Have a great week!

  3. says

    Oooooh, I LOVE the way the lights shine through.. so pretty! I bet you can’t wait to snuggle into bed each night with that gorgeous atmosphere… and maybe some other things, too! *wink* haha I’ll stop now before I start blushing!

  4. says

    GENIUS! What a fabulous idea! Of course, fabulous ideas are always pouring from you. I really love how you are re-purposing or rather redefining what you already have. Also, I really love the paint job! :)

  5. says

    Haha! We totally go to Ikea just to EAT ALL THE MEATBALLS! We’ve made trips where that is our primary goal. I really love what you have done with your master bedroom. We need to find our style. I feel like our apartment is so decor challenged. Since we are moving and I’m hoping to work on this. And those pictures! They look like they should be in a magazine! You are quite the photographer yourself these days. 😀

  6. says

    1.) I love that Iron & Wine song! 2.) Ikea Cincinnati! Wish we’d known each other then because I totally would’ve asked to meet up for a meatball-binge-slash-shopping-excursion. 3) Use watcha got!! 4.) Zip ties!? Genius. We all need latticed nightstands so we can zip tie our cords to them! and lastly 5.) Put lights inside?! Beautiful.
    Amaze-balls. All day long.

  7. says

    “Eat all the meatballs!” YES! I’m with several of the commenters about the “ooh ahh effect” of the lights inside! I never knew you guys did that….it makes the night magical; way better than a night light! And I love your solution for all the cords that inevitably end up surrounding bedside tables in an ugly encampment. Lastly, the nuance of the 2 different shades (gray and white) brings the tables up to a whole other level (literally). Great job Lauren and Mark. I’m glad you went with “Option B.”

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Yay! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the kind words, Ashley. So happy to have “met” you and discovered your awesome blog. (Reason #402 why I love linky parties.)

  8. says

    OMG – how fabulous!!!
    Love your entire room but those little end tables may be my favorite – and that they light up at night? LOVE !!!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Ha ha. I can hear your enthusiasm pulsing through my computer screen. Thanks for the fanfare, Suzan! Yeah, the night lights inside our side tables were a genius idea on my hubby’s part! (He’s always thinking outside the box…or rather, inside the box for this one! Lol.)

    • says

      Does that mean I can add IKEA Hack Genius the old resume? Because I kinda sorta wanna. 😉

      Thanks for the fanfare, sweet Thalita! It was really fun finally getting to share all these projects with blogland. Just after I had gotten over my own giddiness over it all, I got a second wave coming to me reading all these super encouraging comments…especially yours!

  9. Marmie says

    Another wonderful TEAM LANKER effort! I agree, the inside lighting creates a magical atmosphere at night. IKEA might just have to start selling this again on American soil once they see the impact of your hack job.


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