Poul Cadovius-style shelving at a fraction of the cost: Ikea’s new Svalnas modular shelving

All-new: Ikea’s modular Svalnas Scandinavian-modern style shelving. This is sure to be a big hit: It’s very much in the style of famed Poul Cadovius Royal System / Cado modular shelving — but at a fraction of the cost.

The Idea Svalnas shelves and standards are bamboo; the Cados still made today in Denmark have veneer on the MDF shelves, and solid walnut or oak standards. The Svalnas brackets are powder-coated steel, which sounds good to me. I’m not gonna try to assess quality differences.

One of my dream jobs: Professional Ikea Hacker. I got on Ikea Hackers once with this project. *so proud*. 


  1. Chelsea says:

    I just wish it came in white or a medium wood grain color. Dislike the bamboo bc it looks cheaper to me.

  2. Katie says:

    The difference between IKEA and most furniture stores is that at IKEA, cost is usually a decent guide to quality. The trick is that we’re used to design being factored into the price. At IKEA, the idea is that everyone should be able to afford attractive, functional pieces. So if you only have $20 to spend on a table, you can buy one at IKEA, if you have $2,000 to spend on a table and chairs for your dining room, IKEA has that as well. Both tables will be functional, and attractive, the difference is that your grandchildren won’t be fighting over the $20 table in 50 years.

    And yes, this means that some people will buy cheap furniture and toss it out instead of selling it, donating it or moving it. But it also means that someone who has limited means can afford something decent, and won’t be charged more than it is worth.

  3. Rachael says:

    I am a long-time American IKEA customer for 30 years. I have found that as someone has previously mentioned, their quality varies quite a bit. I only buy pieces that are of a very high standard, and you can do that at IKEA if you shop with a critical eye for quality. On my most recent trip there a couple weeks ago, I was delighted to find EXTREMELY high quality MADE IN ITALY storage bins so I bought several of them and will buy several more soon. I still have gorgeous glass kitchen storage containers that were made in Spain and bought at IKEA about 30 years. I use them constantly and they have stood the test of decades. I have been dismayed at the number of items made in Asia in the last several years, but you can still find things made in Europe or North America if you take the time to find them.

  4. Jeanne says:

    Love these! Speaking of IKEA hacks, I’m in the middle of hacking a turquoise KARIT bedspread that I’ve had for a number of years, into a box bedspread, with piping/cording trim and binding the edges with a contrasting fabric (black & grey). I’m using a Singer Sewing booklet from 1960 entitled “How to make a Bedspread.” A fun retirement project!

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