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DIY: West Elm Inspired Slatted Media Console

DIY Slatted Media Console - The Jeneralist

Through my adolescent years, my parents would often make jokes about my habits, stating that I portrayed masculine tendencies and enjoyed doing things “only boys would do”. Out of 4 girls, I was infamously known and referred to as the “Tomboy” among my sisters. I’m sure they did not see/understand the harm in their words at the time and the potential implications they could have in my life.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been very hands-on and really enjoyed putting things together … or breaking them apart ( read: destroying). In fact, it served as a mild form of therapy as I matured and got me through a lot of challenges. I’m not sure where and when it happened, but I unconsciously began repressing this side of me and began opting for activities that I thought would make me seem more feminine and marketable as a woman. As if women are single-faceted beings that lack dynamic range *side eye*.

Don’t worry, I’ve since tossed out this false, toxic and very damaging belief.

INSPIRATION

Women. I was inspired by women.

With the onset of the pandemic, many women have boldly and graciously taken up space in the DIY-realm, sharing some phenomenal projects through social media that they completed while in quarantine. Witnessing such wonderful displays of badass-ery ignited a flame in me that spoke directly to that part of me that had been so violently and unconsciously repressed for almost a decade.

Awestruck by the modern/mid-century design, I had been tracking the restock of West Elm’s sold-out Quinn Media Console (80″) for some time. However, with a budding toddler on our hands, I knew that securing a similar piece with a black/darker finish would be a more practical option for maintenance. Not to mention, it would be silly for me to invest in such a high-priced unit only to end up painting it black down the line.

I had also seen Kim from XO My Home on Instagram achieve a similar look successfully, so this was my ultimate inspiration to try my hand at this DIY too.

THE PROCESS

Although this DIY came out successful, I have to admit that this was not the initial look that I was going for. I initially wanted a unit with a fluted finish but found it challenging to secure the ideal size/dimensions of wood (half-rounds) locally that I needed to achieve my desired look. If this is something that is of interest to you, I would advise swapping out the 3/4” rectangular MDF trims below with appropriately sized half-rounds.

What you’ll need:

Supplies

1x IKEA KALLAX Shelf Unit
4x IKEA Insert with door
Brass Cabinet Pull (I picked pulls up in-store at Home Depot)
Brass Legs (I bought/used these ones from Amazon)
3/4″ or 1/2″ half rounded dowels (measure + cut to desired sizes)

Tools
Mitre Saw
Measuring Tape/Yard Stick
Sand Paper
Black Wood Paint ( I used Behr’s Limousine Leather – MQ5-5)
Wood Glue
Battery Operated Drill
Screwdriver
Painting Stir Stick (for spacing)

Instructions

  1. Assemble the Ikea Kallax Unit, using the instructions provided in the package.
  2. I used my Mitre saw to cut the trims to the height of the door. Make sure you have enough wood to cover all 4 doors based on your desired spacing.
  3. I used gorilla glue wood glue and clamps to secure the trims on the doors, then let them dry overnight. For spacing between the trims, I used a standard paint stir stick that came
  4. While the trims were drying, I installed the brass legs I purchased from Amazon.
    For the front legs, I suggest installing it about 1/2 – 1 inch away from the front of the console so the metal plates are hidden. I had to redo mine because the first time, I installed it
    right at the corner and the plate was very visible.
  5. Once the glue dried and the trims were secure, I painted the unit and all 4 doors a true black using Behr’s Premium Plus Interior Satin paint in Limousine Black.
    Note: The Ikea Kallax in black-brown is not a true black, so I opted to paint the entire unit to achieve a true black finish. Trust me, this makes a huge difference.
  6. Once the paint dried, I proceeded to measure, drill and screw on the brass pulls vertically (instead of horizontally like the West Elm console) on each door.
  7. Finally, I installed the doors (with the glued trims) to the Ikea Kallax using the instructions provided by Ikea as a guideline. I did adjust the location of the hinges so that the door would not stick out (remember, the door is now thicker because of the added trims)

Voila!

Cost Breakdown:

I will not factor the tools I purchased and used into the cost of this DIY since this was more of a personal investment (more projects to come!). There was a bit of a learning curve and this project. took much longer to complete since I worked on it in bits in between my daughter’s naps, wake times and daily life activities. However, if you’re able to dedicate a full day or two, you can get this completed.

All prices listed are in $CAD.

  1. Ikea Kallax x 1 = $79.99
  2. Ikea Kallax Insert x 4 = $40
  3. Trims = $75
  4. Gorilla Wood Glue = $7
  5. Brass Pulls x 4 = $27
  6. Brass legs x 4 = $45
  7. Black Premium Plus Interior Satin Paint x 1 = $45 (I used this for 2 projects & still have a significant amountt left for other things.)

Total cost if you had to get everything without power tools was around $275 CAD. The West Elm Quinn unit retails at over $2200 CAD.