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This is an IKEA hack of a 3-in-1 balcony shed functioning as a privacy screen, planting station and garden storage.

List of items for our balcony shed:

  • 1 IVAR cabinet (we used the 20″ deep)
  • 2 IVAR side units (the same depth as the cabinet, the height depends on your balcony height)
  • 1 OBSERVATOR cross brace
  • nylon thread
  • planters, soil and climbing plants

Last spring we moved in an apartment that has a glass balcony. Nice for light and views but not so much for privacy.

To isolate the view from the neighbours we needed a screen; at the same time I wanted a storage space to hide away the clutter that would otherwise been visible from the street. IVAR to the rescue!

The idea is to use an IVAR cabinet as garden storage, while the the posts of the side units are used to thread a mesh for climbing plants.


1. First, assemble the IVAR, cabinet at the bottom. Leave the upper part without any shelves. Use a cross behind the cabinet for stability. (In the picture below the growing plants are still small.)

The amazing IVAR balcony shed / garden storage

2. Use a sturdy nylon thread to create a mesh at the upper rear side of the unit. I fixed the thread at one side with a simple knot, then I zig-zagged going up and down the upper part of the posts. Fix the end with another solid knot.

Use some force while tightening the thread as it also serves to bring the two posts together to keep them parallel (these tend to splay as there are no upper shelves) .

The amazing IVAR balcony shed / garden storage

3. Select your planters and fill them with soil. I have set a big one on the floor beside the cabinet with enough soil to have the climbing plants grow tall.

The amazing IVAR balcony shed / garden storage

4. Plant fast-growing climbing plants according to climate and sunshine. In my case I used jasmine and hop in the big planter. On the cabinet I set a small planter with already grown Rocktrumpets. You will have to “help” the climbing plants at the beginning by fixing them at the bottom of the thread mesh.

5. Customize the interior of the cabinet according to your needs. I used two shelves for storage and added hooks for the gardening tools.

The amazing IVAR balcony shed / garden storage

I also added some hooks on the side of the posts to keep scissors out of reach of the kids.

The amazing IVAR balcony shed / garden storage

And voilà!


We had the shed and garden storage for a few months now and I am very happy with it. We did not paint it nor waterproof it as we liked the idea of raw wood. If you want a more durable option you can easily treat the cabinet with oil, sealant or paint before step 1. I imagine this hack would be perfect with the new metallic cabinet as well.

I use the top of the cabinet as working space to pot the plants. The shed has also become the favourite observation deck for our cat 🙂 She spends hours hidden in the leaves spying birds.

The amazing IVAR balcony shed / garden storage

Here is how our garden storage will look with the nylon threads. (Photo is a proposed path of the nylon threads)

The amazing IVAR balcony shed / garden storage

~ by Francesca, Lausanne, Switzerland