Can't Drill Into Your Walls? How IKEA's ELVARLI Open Shelving Unit Is A Game Changer

There are a few reasons you may not be able to drill into your walls. The most likely is that you're renting and a clause in your lease forbids it. Even if you own a home, however, there are reasons you may want to avoid drilling, such as having metal plates in your walls, having steel studs, or not wanting to drill through an exterior wall. Perhaps you don't want to drill because your walls are brick, or maybe you just aren't too keen about putting holes in your living area, even though you need extra storage or closet space. If any of these are true, you may want to consider a different solution. The ELVARLI unit, one of IKEA's closet systems, aims to solve these issues.

The ELVARLI unit is essentially a large open shelving structure that can be repurposed for the buyer's particular needs. Once assembled, the unit can be placed against a wall or in the middle of a room as a divider, so there's no need to mark up the wall with drill holes.

How to use the ELVARLI open shelving unit

IKEA's ELVARLI open shelving unit may be a helpful option for those who need to maximize storage space in their homes. The item's most simple base comes with two columns, each with four adjustable shelves, and can either stand against a wall or on its own. The base price for a 69-inch-wide unit is $465.

If you're looking to redesign your bedroom, the unit can also serve as a building piece. In a TikTok video, user @homesweetpink demonstrated how they adapted the ELVARLI system as a closet — without having to drill any holes in their walls. Since having "a bunch of drawers" was one of their priorities, they added these to their unit; ELVARLI drawers can be purchased for $50 each. They also opted for a clothing rail, which is available for $10, and added it to the top of their shelving system to let larger items hang. Similarly, TikTok user @bethanjensen used the ELVARI system to add organization to their built-in closet. They added five drawers and two clothing rails and used the open shelves for items like shoes, jeans, and sweaters.

Customization options for the ELVARLI unit

Those who have shared their ELVARLI shelving systems online frequently highlight the unit's customization options. Just one 20-inch-wide shelving unit, which costs $145, can act as an entryway solution for shoes or hats; alternatively, the 119-inch-wide four-unit option, which sells for $870, can be used as a display case for family photos or as a large bookshelf. For increased kitchen storage, the $35 ELVARLI shelf combined with ELVARLI drawers can create a storage space for coffee mugs, cutting boards, or other kitchen items. TikTok user @scolahouse even reinvented the unit as a retail store shelf, spray-painting it black to fit their shop's needs.

With added height-adjustable posts, the ELVARLI system also aims to optimize space by providing ceiling-high storage options in any room. IKEA's website features an ELVARLI planner, allowing prospective buyers to mix and match columns and shelves to see how they would fit in their space — and for how much.