REKEA: storage + coffee table makes a better bench

After spending forever looking for the perfect sized bench/storage unit to fit the space next to our Tendo Mokko, we finally gave up and decided to just buy something “cheap” from Ikea. And as luck would have it, we actually found something we liked a lot. Here is how we hacked together some Ikea furniture to create something new that fits the space and has a little style.

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Parts Needed:

  • LACK coffee table (white)
  • MALM storage unit (orange)
  • small flat washers (12)
  • 3/4″ wood screws (8)
  • plumbers tape

Tools Needed:

  • electric drill
  • ruler
  • screw driver
  • hand drill (or just a small drill bit and some tape)
  • sharpie

Almost A Perfect Match

The MALM storage unit and LACK coffee table are almost a perfect match. The MALM is 85cm wide, and the space between the legs of the LACK is 84.4cm. So close, but what to do about the 6mm difference? Its just enough that I couldn’t just wedge it in. So here is how I solved the problem…

Widening The LACK Table

I first assembled the LACK coffee table following the ikea instructions.

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Then I assembled just the drawer of the MALM storage unit:

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This let me measure exactly how much space I needed to create. Each unit will likely be different by some small amount.

My unit was too narrow by 6mm, which isn’t too bad given the tolerances of how the pieces join. To fix this, I took the LACK table apart and widened the mounting holes in the legs so that I could slide them to the end of the table top (normally they are inset by a couple of mm).

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By adjusting each side just right, the legs can be widened enough so that they don’t stick out from the table top, but still leave enough room for the MALM storage unit.

Reconfiguring The MALM Storage Unit

The MALM storage unit has a lid that normally slides open, but I wanted it to be a pull out drawer, so I put the lid on the bottom and mounted the storage compartment on top. This was generally pretty easy. I mounted the slide rails to the storage lid as per the ikea instructions. And instead of mounting the rails to the top of the base, I mirrored the holes to the bottom of the cabinet.

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One adjustment I had to make, was to use flat washers to space the rails off of the wood by a few mm so that the cabinet would slide on the lid.

With the lid now on the bottom, and the cabinet on the top, I had to secure the MALM to the LACK so that they would stay together. I just used some plumbers tape and wood screws to attach the two together. Note: make sure to screw into the edges of the furniture so that you grip into the particle board and not the hollow center.

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With the straps in place, I covered them with felt pads so they wouldn’t scratch the floor. Then I turned the whole thing over and was done!

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Next step is to make a nice cushion for the top…

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