Inside: Ikea metal shelving is a great product for any home with limited space. The review of this product will help you figure out if it’s the right one for your needs.
Reviewing my Metal Ikea Office Shelf – The Fjalkinge Shelf Unit with Four Drawers
My Ikea metal shelving review and comparing the Fjalkinge to other Ikea Metal Shelving units; an honest review of how I used this Ikea shelf in the home office.
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Why I chose the Fjalkinge metal shelf for my office storage
I run two companies out of my home office, so it gets busy and crazy and I have a lot of things to store. From files to binders, printer and tech equipment, deciding on office storage was challenging! I originally purchased the Ikea Fjalkinge metal shelving for our playroom (as we were between renovations) and it was great in there, but it is far superior as an office shelf.
You can see in the photo above that we had the two drawer unit. This left ample space for baskets on the bottom. I kept this same configuration when we moved it to my office across the hall. We put it in place of the two smaller bookcases. And it worked well for a time.
However, what I noticed almost immediately about the Fjalkinge is that it looks like a lot of storage, even with the drawers, but it’s not actually the greatest if you have lots of small office supplies (and who doesn’t these days?) It was my Zoom background for meetings with clients and I was constantly clearing it off to make it look presentable.
How I use the Ikea Fjalkinge in my office now
So when budget allowed, I moved the metal shelf out of Zoom view and replaced it with a wall of Havsta cabinets from Ikea. These work MUCH better for storing and hiding things like books and small office supplies. The shelves on the Havsta are a bit deeper than the Fjalkinge shelves as well – which is a bonus.
Now that my Fjalkinge is on the far wall of my office, I like it MUCH better. I purchased two additional drawer sets for it so that I could really optimize the hidden and accessible storage.
Honestly, I don’t think this shelf would be nearly as awesome without the drawers. I’ve seen it on Pinterest a bunch as just a plain metal office shelf, but in my opinion – there are better Ikea options out there if that is what you want.
What are the drawers like in the Fjalkinge shelving unit?
The strength and benefit of the Fjalkinge is definitely the drawers. A couple things to be aware of about these drawers – they appear quite simple, but they take forever to assemble!
The assembly is such that you need to do it in the exact order in the instructions or they won’t go into the unit. Note: I learned this when we purchased the extra two drawers three years after buying the original unit. It was a pain in the butt to re-install! Give yourself lots of time and patience.
I like the drawers in this configuration for a couple of reasons. I found with the open metal shelf at the base of the Fjalkinge, it got SO dusty!! And because it was white, I was constantly sweeping it.
With the drawers on the bottom, I won’t have that problem anymore.
How big are the drawers?
The drawers are a decent size and I was pleasantly surprised when I realized they will hold wrapping paper rolls! I had previously been using an old Ikea Billy Bookcase as a wrapping paper station – but we had to let that unit go when we did the renovation.
The Fjalkinge drawers are very long which is a plus, but they aren’t very deep. For example, you cannot stand up a box of Crayola markers in them. You’d have to lie the marker box flat. BUT if you put your markers in a mason jar or plastic container, they will stand up. You can get a sense of the depth of the drawers from that.
They slide really nicely and have a good soft close mechanism on them. I also really like how sleek the handles are. I know some other people have replaced the drawer front handles on the Fjalkinge units with after market handles, but I quite like the standard ones.
Note one additional thing about the drawers – the Fjalkinge shelving is metal and is powder-coated lightweight metal. But the drawers themselves are made from MDF – which is why I think the entire unit is relatively light weight.
What is the strongest Ikea shelving?
All things considered, I’d say this Fjalkinge unit is likely one of the strongest you will find with this type of sleek look. I did use it for heavy books at a time and it faired MUCH Better than the Billy Bookcases and even our Pax wardrobe that we use for overflow office and pantry storage. (The inner shelving on our Pax warped within months of purchasing it).
But if you are looking to store VERY heavy things or lots of books, I think you’d be better off considering the Ikea Omar shelving (and adding a solid wood shelf to the metal grates) or the completely solid wood Ivar shelving. I have written a full round up of Solid Wood Ikea furniture here.
I tend to like the look of the Ivar because, like the Fjalkinge and Havsta, it has closed storage options as well as open storage shelving. It is customisable and has a corner unit (which the other shelving units no not have). I briefly toyed with the idea of an Ivar in my office, but decided I didn’t want the unfinished wood look.
What are the cons of the Fjalkinge metal shelving?
The only con I can think of when it comes to this metal shelving is that it’s not 100% metal (the drawers are still MDF) and that you have to be somewhat meticulous about keeping it neat and tidy.
The shelves are far apart and there are no sides to this bookshelf, so you need to have heavy objects to brace any books or lightweight items on either side.
You also have to be aware that it attracts a lot of dust.
Can you paint the Fjalkinge metal shelving?
I don’t know how well the drawers would paint – but you could likely prime them and then use a mineral based paint and finish with a smooth varathane. The metal parts of the Fjalkinge can likely be spray painted because they are metal.