Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

February 20, 2014

How to Turn Three Ikea Besta Cabinets into a Floating Credenza

The lakehouse dining room nook is about seven feet wide, which is why we sold our incredibly wee four foot long teak cabinet from the townhouse dining room.  During the fall I casually kept my eye out for a larger mid-century credenza (either teak or walnut) but I had a serious Goldilocks problem on my hands: everything I found was too short, too long, too beat-up, too pricey, too far away.  Sigh.  One day we might make something for the spot (Handy Hubby's Dad is a woodworker, after all), but in the meantime I decided to find a quick & easy placeholder.

Wall Mount Ikea Besta

After much waffling, we opted for three wall mounted Ikea Besta units (the same kind we use for television storage in the living room), with glass front doors that have a white backing.  I splurged on the glass doors because they look a little beach-glassy to me (with the faintest grey-blue tinge).  They are similar, but not identical, to the glass backdrop behind the television, which is equally luminescent but more of a minty hue.  The new ceiling fan also has a similar glossiness, but it's much greyer.  Can you tell I'm kind of into anything with some glassy glow?  In case I get bored of the look, there are other options.  I can put a fun fabric behind the glass, or I could even paint the glass itself - painted glass turned out so beautifully with the amazing mirror Sarah made from an 80s glass chandelier.


Hanging them was simple because Ikea sells Besta suspension rail kits!

One problem: there is an outlet immediately behind the wall mounted Besta and the only other one is to the right.  This means the cord for the lamp on the left needs to run along the credenza.  Messy!  Not to worry, we're going to be building a wood top for the credenza, stained pale grey, to finish off the look and hide the Ikea-ness of it (most notably the seams between the three units).  At that time we'll drill some holes in the top and run the cords down into the unit, to access the outlet hiding behind.  I am unbelievably excited about the prospect of totally hidden lamp cords

Dealing with lamp cords
Dealing with lamp cords
How to hide lamp cords

I've known all along that Hubby's grandpa's painting, which hung in the townhouse dining room, would also look good here.  It's the perfect scale for the nook.  I topped the credenza with the milky, glossy lamps from the townhouse office and I love how they pair with the glass doors.

Robert Abbey Lamps

As a reminder, here's how the nook looked when we first toured the home (it had furniture in the listing photos, but was emptier for the house inspection):

Lake House Dining Room Before


And here's the nook now (good-bye taupe walls and oak trim):

Ikea Fauxdenza

UPDATE: We finished the floating credenza!  See how we made a plywood top by reading this post and also take a look at how we finished the piece using furniture grommets - I love those hidden lamp cords!
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32 comments

  1. Love, love all your improvements so far & really liking that cabinet in that nook! :)

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

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    1. Thanks! I can't wait to build a wood top for a more custom look. And, of course, unpack something artful for the top . . .

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  2. The white on white looks great. And I look forward to seeing the wood top.

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    1. I do love the white lamps there, but the blue Lottes are pretty darn cute. I'm trying so hard not to play it safe . . . maybe I'll photograph the blue ones in place once the kitchen is turquoise and we'll have a vote :)

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  3. I think it looks great! It looks so clean and fresh, the painting really comes alive.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the painting really does sing when it's paired with simple furnishings.

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  4. It's looking so good. You should run the wood top down the sides... the whole waterfall thing. That would look so good in that space!

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    1. That was my plan!!! But I worried it might be too everywhere.

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  5. I would never have thought of using wall mounted units here but it looks so fancy and light, much better than a heavy piece of furniture placed here. The glass doors are a nice touch too :)

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    1. I've seen other people do this, but typically with white melamine front doors and a darker stained top. I think the glassy white doors and grey stained wood top will be a nice combo and somewhat different. I've also seen Ikea kitchen cabinets used, which offer more options for sizing. People call them "fauxdenzas" - such a cute term.

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  6. Maybe you can make the lamps run on batteries? I've heard of this idea, then you can place them anywhere. If you lean some art up, the cords will be less visible and you can get one of those pieces that covers them on the wall and paint it to match. Just some ideas. Love your home and style :-)

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  7. As someone currently searching for a mid-century credenza, I can agree that it's a difficult task! Mike just found us a mid-century dresser though, and I think that will work (we need something downstairs for holding all our crafty/hobby items now that the press and table are out). I love the Besta solution! And I also love all the white happening here - the painting looks absolutely alive.

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    1. No votes for the lottes, then :)
      I thought I was being too safe but I'm more than happy to stay in my comfort zone. I love white!

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    2. Well, you can never have enough Lottes, right? ;)

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  8. I'm having trouble finding the exact besta units that you used... do you recall? Thanks in advance! Love your style!

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    1. Hi Victoria. My apologies, I answered this question in the post about the finished credenza (we added a top! See here: http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2014/07/diy-stained-plywood-floating-credenza.html), but I forgot to answer it here. I should really update both posts with the info. The cabinets themselves are very plain: we used what is called the Besta shelf unit/height extension unit. It's got three adjustable shelves and it's measurements are 60x40x64 cm. We wall mounted it and added the glass front doors (you can choose from a variety of doors - the plain melamine ones are what people normally use). We purchased three. These are the exact same cabinets we use in our living room, but the ones in the living room have different doors and one half has glass shelves. It's the doors that make all of the difference and there's lots of selection - in our local Ikea they were hanging with the Bestas. I hope this is helpful!

      And thanks for your kind compliment :)

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    2. Hi! I would love to do this but I'm having problems finding the exact doors. I see on Ikea's website glass doors with a white wood frame and doors with frosted or privacy glass in which only the border is fully blocked, no fully blocked glass doors. Could you please share which door exactly did you use. Your look is the one I want!!! Thank you and great job in your beautiful cabinet. This became the inspiration for my remodeling project and living room!

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    3. Sorry about that! I had all the links at one time but Ikea keeps changing the links and products. This was a few years ago now, so it's entirely possible that they do not have this door anymore. I do remember that there was a similar glass fronted kitchen door, so if you don't mind a differently proportioned credenza, you might want to consider kitchen cabinets as well. The best bet would be to go in-store with a screenshot of my credenza and ask the staff if Ikea still makes it - I can't find it online, either. If you're not in a city with an Ikea, try emailing a photo to customer service. Sorry I can't be of more help but Ikea has been terribly unhelpful by re-routing their links. I even pinned some Besta legs a few days ago and by the time I went to purchase them, the link was gone. So frustrating!

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    4. Thank you for your prompt reply. Will do that... I hope they still have this door. I also hope their customer service is as effective as you providing the information. Thank you!

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    5. Also, out of curiosity, can you recall the height you raised the cabinet from the floor? I would like to put my tv above wall mounted with a bracket hiding all the cables and need to establish the height of the TV. Do you think the TV at that height would look too high? My current tv is 55"w x 30" and I was planning to raise the cabinet 8" above the floor, top of the cabinet would be at about 33", bottom of TV at 38" and top of TV at 68". Felt quite convinced until a few seconds ago. All of the sudden I'm having second thoughts. Would you think the TV would look too high? I would love to have your opinion. I know you have good taste!
      Carla

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    6. Thanks Carla! I'm not at home but I wanted to approve your comment so you knew it went through. I'll check my measurements when I get home tonight. I'll let you know what height my TV is at, for reference.

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    7. Hi Carla, sorry for the wait! The credenza is mounted 9" from the floor. Our TV is also above a besta cabinet and, for reference, the bottom of the TV is 31" from the ground (it's a 46" TV, which has a width of 44"). It's a really nice height for the size of our living room. There are guides online for how high to mount a TV depending on the size of the screen and distance of the sofa. We Googled that before we mounted ours. Because your TV is bigger than mine, I don't see the height you have planned looking odd at all. You'd have room below for some plants or accessories, which I wish I had. But as for whether that would be a comfortable viewing height, I don't know - that would depend on where you're seated.

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    8. Thank you, Tanya! That info works for me... Let's see how it goes. BTW, I went to the lumber place today and was looking for wood. Is this piece you bought heavy? My cabinets will be mounted on drywall and metal studs 24"o.c. and I was wondering if to have the wood on top would make the credenza a bit heavy. Obviously my concern is because I don't want the cabinet to be sagging in 6 months.

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    9. It's pretty thin plywood so it's not very heavy at all. No sagging whatsoever. The cheap ikea doors, on the other hand, need adjustment once in awhile but these besta units still look brand new. My besta wall unit is even older and looks brand new, even though we moved it once already. Pick a thin plywood (they can cut it there) and you should be good! We bought the ikea wall mounting hardware and have no complaints.

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  9. Hi,

    What is the Item number on these cabinets?

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    1. Sorry! Ikea keeps changing their website and so my link keeps getting redirected to their main page. Everything in the Besta line seems different now. It's just a basic cabinet with glass doors. I believe it's this one: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/20245964/.
      Basically, you can use whichever depth/size works for your space best and customize with the door style you like.

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  10. Hi! Love your fauxdenza! I am doing something similar, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to attach the plastic mounting hardware to the frame (you know, that little plastic piece that goes in the corners so you can attach it to the suspension rail?). Did you have a problem? My frames don't seem to have any holes for the plastic piece, but maybe I'm just missing something obvious? Thank you for your help!

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    1. You are asking such a good question. It's terrible, but we were both scratching out heads trying to remember - it's so long ago! We did have to drill holes into the Besta for mounting. But the best thing would be to call up Ikea for support, because we might have done it the wrong way! We're installing another one soon and I will try to put together a post because I think the system stumps a lot of people.

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  11. How do you mount this to the wall. I love the entire look! Awesome job!

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    1. Thank you! Ikea sells the mounting hardware for these Besta units, which makes it easy.

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