So one thing that drives us bananas when we are looking for a recipe or how-tos, is having to scan through half the article before hunting down the goods. In an effort to keep it simple and straight forward, I'm starting with the how-to and if you want to read the why, it will be at the end. Additionally, anything that is underlined is a link to the product. Sound good?

Ikea Hack: Besta Semi Handmade Bench

1. Ikea Besta Storage Combination with soft closing Drawers

This is the base of the bench. We chose drawers rather than doors because of how low the final product was going to be. We didn't want to have to kneel down every time we needed to take something out or put something in.  Additionally, we chose the soft closing, rather than push open, drawers because we wanted Elle (kiddos) to easily be able to open and close the drawer. For our project, we purchase 4 double cabinets and one single cabinet (602.458.44 double frame / 702.458.48 single frame / 002.916.74 door front / 803.515.17 drawer frame / 403.487.15 soft closing hardware - note: we did note purchase the legs for this project because we built a 4" toe kick base). This was all our closest Ikea (Stoughton,MA) had in stock at the time. We purchased the Bestas during the Ikea January sale and were able to save a bit more in the end. Lastly, because our floors are a bit uneven and we wanted the final bench height to be level with the top of the day bed mattress, we raised the entire storage combination 4 ish  inches (2x4) and created a platform for the Bestas to sit on. This is what now looks like a toe kick.

2. Sherwin Williams Inkwell 

We chose the Besta cabinets in white as we assumed we were going to paint them. With that said, the Lappkiven faces do have a plastic-like coating and painting is a little tricky. We removed the faces and drawers for ease and chose to foam roll the paint on  rather than spray (mostly because of ventilation in our home); however, spraying the drawers & trim is an option. I would suggest more than two coats on your finished product because, in my opinion, it seems more durable. I painted five coats on these faces / trim / bed and allowed the coats to dry a full day in between. Lastly, I allowed the finial coat to cure a week. We did not do this with our kitchen cabinets (due to time) and I have already repainted everything once. If you have the time, let your paint cure, it's worth it.

3. School House Electric Empire Knob - Small - Satin Brass

We tried a few different hardware options for the drawers and finally settled on the Empire Knob since size, projection, and similarity to the other hardware in our kitchen was a priority. We wanted something that would blend well and sit close enough to the drawer so, when we or our guests sat on the bench, no one would bump their legs on a knob. Additionally, we have nine drawers in a row and wanted something that wouldn't look overwhelming all lined up. When installing knobs, consider making a jig (template). This allows for you to measure once and drill for multiples rather than having to measure each time you drill a new hole.

4. John Boos Maple Counter Top

Our splurge on this project was the maple butcher block countertop. We choose the butcher block to mimic what we currently have in the pantry. We also wanted something what was durable and sensible for seating. The catch here: Wes' dad owns a wholesale countertop company; therefore, we were able to purchase this piece at a price that worked for our budget. This may not work for everyone so consider laminated sealed plywood or even, an Ikea top. We did install this counter ourselves. It came in two pieces with a waterfall effect on the end (this was additional because we wanted to hide the Besta end and the evidence that we raised the cabinets). This required a small amount of cutting and sanding. Additionally, before we could set the top on the Bestas, we needed to treat all sides of the block with an oil (top/bottom/sides) so the wood would not warp over time plus, glue and lock the pieces together (with a bracket that was included in the purchase). Now the top simply rests on the cabinets solidly (due to the weight) and can be removed if needed

5. Twin Bed - Day Bed

The play by play with instructions for the floating day bed is a Wes creation (which could take a while to pass along); therefore, I found this How-To on creating a floating bed at Life Buzz. This article essentially maps out what we did when creating our bed. Check it out if you're interested

The bed itself is a twin mattress (suspended on plywood with a two trim pieces to hold it in place). We chose to use a twin mattress because it was generic. Those of you who have upholstered items before know how pricy it can be. I wanted something I could easily wash and change if needed. Additionally, this gives us one extra spot to sleep guests when we have a full house. The linen sheet was purchased for the sake of making the bed more like a couch; however, any twin sheet will do. I suggest adding a mattress cover and pad to the bed for extra cushion and, to keep the fitted sheet more taut.

6. Pillows:

The pillows are a mix of many different companies. Check out LUVTEXTILES  and Tshaj on etsy. Also try searching Hmong / Mud cloth / or Batik pillows, you can find some pretty beautiful things.

7. Flush-mount Light CB2 Bell White Flush mount

The lighting is really a user preference. This fixture does not put out a ton of light; however, it is a very attractive and affordable option that works for us. Our kitchen is well illuminated so the dim quality hasn't posed a problem.

When purchasing a house with so many projects, we knew we would have to tackle our goals in phases. Phase one was making the house livable, addressing issues that needed to be excited for practical reasons: heat / power / plumbing / structure. Phase two was the luxury phase: taking on projects that we didn't necessarily need, but we wanted ie. a bigger kitchen / laundry room / second bathroom. Now, we are moving into phase three, the "hey, that wasn't a great idea" phase, figuring out all the choices that we have made that may be wrong, impractical or useless and making them better.

We started off the year, and our journey into phase three, with this project: The Kitchen Day Bed | Bench. To be honest, putting a daybed in your kitchen is probably not the best idea and, most likely, will be changed in a few years; however, at this time in our life, it's perfect.


At first glance, you would think the best solution to this space would be a breakfast nook; however, with the proximity of the porch and basement doors, and the width of the space, we couldn't figure out a way to make an eating area work. We noodled on the idea for a while and, with my habit for rearranging, we were able to rule in / rule out a few ideas.


At first, we had a beautiful chair in this corner but, it was the corner of isolation. No one wanted to sit in that chair because it was so weirdly separated from the rest of the kitchen and, when you finally were forced to sit in it, you felt like you were in a time out! Then, christmas rolled around. We needed to make space for a tree. Out of convenience, we stuck a love seat in this corner of the kitchen. We soon found ourselves spending a good amount of time using this little love seat. Mornings and nights we cozied up but, the size of the couch was not cutting it. One person was always kicked off to make room for another and, even with proper nestling tactics, we could not comfortably sprawl out.


This is when we got the idea for the built in. We wanted to create a piece of furniture where all three of us (and Hartley) could sit comfortably, starfish style, that was soft, simple, and affordable. Additionally, we wanted to make it part of solving our second problem: storage. After a little measuring and Pinterest hunting, we came up with the idea for this day bed and bench. 

By using ikea, 2x4's, paint, a chic countertop and a $100 mattress, we were able to transform this space and make it into something we love, and use!

© 2018 by thismainehouse

Our House

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