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IKEA Pällbo with storage

Materials: Materials: SOLSTA PÄLLBO, mdf, scrap wood.

Description: In our small living room, we could use extra storage space. We also needed spare chairs, for the occasional extended family dinner, at our extendable table. Inspired by the Laphoeff 022 design, I hacked our existing three Pällbo’s to add storage and make them adjustable in height.

We now have extra storage and 3 instant extra table chairs, at little cost. I added felt on the bottom of the mdf boxes, so now they are easy to slide around.

IKEA Pällbo with storage

Here’s how I did it:
1. Cut off the “feet” of the Pällbo. Dissassemble Pällbo, and attach two wooden slats (of equal thickness as the vertical slats) horizontally (screws and glue), between the vertical slats, on two opposing insides of the Pällbo.
2. Make a rectangular box from mdf (or timber board).
3. Reassemble Pällbo.
4. Fill mdf box with stuff.
5. Slide Pällbo over box.

Depending on how you slide the Pällbo over the mdf box, it will slide almost all the way over to its original height, or (when rotated 90 degrees) the horizontal slats will stop it from doing so (and rest on top of the short edges of the mdf box), making it the height of a table chair.

Make sure the distance between the top of Pällbo (not counting the cushion) and the bottom of the horizontal slats is equal to the added height you want for the Pällbo in high position. I made the mdf boxes 30 cm high, so in ‘low’ position the Pällbo’s still have their original height, with the box sticking out just as much as the original feet.

The key is to make the mdf box rectangular, so that it fits the inside of the Pällbo from side to side in one direction, but only from slat tot slat in the other direction. This way, some room is left (the depth of one slat on each side) in one direction between the sides of the Pällbo and the mdf box. One problem is that the distance between the slats in the Pällbo is unequal (29 cm one way, 30 cm the other way).

I went the difficult route, and made the boxes 30×35 cm. This meant I had to remove a strip of 0,5 cm from the vertical slats (as you can see in the photo), which was a lot of work, even with a circular saw. This way I wanted to create some extra support in the high position, since you get a small nook in the vertical slats that also rests on the mdf box. I think sticking to the smallest length (29 cm) would have worked just as well, and saved a lot of work.

For an even easier build, using the Pränt box (27×35 cm, 27 cm high) would probably work just as well, even though it is a little lower. Then all it takes is adding the horizontal supports at the right height. Adding two extra horizontal slats of 3 cm would bring this up to the normal height of Pällbo again.

~ G.V.M., The Netherlands