IKEA hacks - 46 best furniture updates to help renovate your decor

IKEA hacks mean you can update everything from Billy bookcases to Rast drawers, the easy way to take your furniture from lacklustre to look-at-me

IKEA BILLY bookcase hack
An IKEA hack sees this Billy transformed into a characterful display case
(Image credit: Liz / @prettyprospectcottage)

Whether you want to be more sustainable, or you've got a renovation budget you need to stick to, the best IKEA hacks are an affordable and simple way to give a room fresh appeal without breaking the bank.

Not only are these easy DIY projects easy on your bank account, they also ensure your home boasts a chic style with a cool injection of personality that's unique to you. After all, nobody wants to have exactly the same furniture as all of the neighbors.

'IKEA hacks are standard procedure here at Livingetc,' says our editor Pip Rich. 'We love seeing the creativity that is layered on top of IKEA's off-the-shelf products, and how much personality and flair can be added. Based on what we are sharing here, the only limit seems to be how much time and creativity you have.'

Ikea hacks

1. Turn an IKEA PAX into a sophisticated dressing room

IKEA PAX hack in country style home

(Image credit: Jenna Sue Design Co / @jennasuedesign)

The project comes from Jenna Sue of Jenna Sue Design Co, who has transformed her conventional closet into a fashionable boudoir that is only fitting for a French country cottage-style home. 

'If you only take away one thing from this project, let it be this trick. Build your cabinets up to the ceiling, use crown molding and make your ceiling a focal point,' Jenna explains. 'You will be amazed at the difference it makes.'

Jenna painted the PAX in Benjamin Moore's Advance in Onyx  (satin) before painting the surrounding walls in Sherwin Williams's Alabaster (flat) and the trim in Accessible Beige (semi-gloss). 

After completing the installation and painting, Jenna further individualized the units by using unique trim pieces from Ekena Millwork. 'Hardware choice is also important, as it’s the 'jewelry' that dresses up the space,' Jenna says. She chose to dress the space with brass accents that create a contrast against the unit's rich dark hues. 

Perhaps most notably, Jenna also added a vanity desk, which she built from a 4′ butcher block slab, before staining it with the whitewash technique. She then sought further help from the Scandi-powerhouse – investing in their KOMPLEMENT drawer for the space underneath the desk. 

Jenna adds that her small bedroom secret will accentuate the size of your space – especially if you install the molding up to the ceiling as seen below. The designer notes that your eyes follow the units upwards, thus making the 9’4″ ceilings 'feel a foot taller.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack: 

PAX wardrobe
paint brush

2. Use kitchen cabinets in an entryway

IKEA hallway hack

(Image credit: Sophia Hardy / @sophia.at.home)

Sophia Hardy (@sophia.at.home), used IKEA kitchen cupboards to create chic coat and shoe storage in her entryway. 

'We knew we wanted built-in storage in our entryway, so when the time came to renovate, we had a few quotes from local carpenters for some cabinets to be built - these were way out of budget,’ Sophia explained.

The designer sketched out what she wanted the storage to look like – most primarily; she wanted four doors to accommodate the four people in her home. She also wanted additional shoe storage and planned to maximize the historic high ceilings by building up by three meters.

‘We’ve always looked IKEA and had the idea of using kitchen cabinets as built-in storage,’ she says.

Sophia used 12 wall cabinets in total – before setting up the lower four to create a ledge. She then chose shaker-style doors with low, close hinges and ordered the minimalist golden handles separately. The designer also added timber on either side of the cabinets to ensure they remain in place.

What you'll need for this Ikea hack: 

IKEA kitchen cabinets

3. Display your objets proudly on an IKEA BILLY

IKEA BILLY bookcase hack

(Image credit: Liz / @prettyprospectcottage)

This clever idea comes courtesy of Liz (@prettyprospectcottage), who used BILLY bookcases to create a built-in alcove that stands as an exhibition space in her living room. 

Using two slim BILLY bookcases, Liz created a raised platform at skirting board height from CLS timber (screwed securely into the back wall) and a piece of MDF. This was for the units to stand upon. ‘I [then] put the bookcases on top and fixed them to the wall with small blocks of CLS timber and metal brackets,’ she adds. 

To emphasize the ‘built-in’ style, Liz then made a frame surround for the units using molding that matched the paneling details elsewhere in the room. ‘I added a piece of skirting board along the front bottom edge and had a strip of timber cut to fit the gap in the middle,’ she explains. 

‘[Then] I used wood filler to fill all of the shelf adjuster holes and any other gaps and sanded the whole of the bookcases.’  

Once the units were in place and prepared for painting, Liz finished with a coat of matt varnish. 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack: 

IKEA BILLY bookcases
CLS timber
Sanding block
Paint brush
Matt varnish

4. Create symmetrical display cases out of HAVSTA cabinets 


(Image credit: Claire Douglas / @instahome_uk)

Designer Claire Douglas renovated her living room by customizing the HAVSTA cabinet. 'I wanted the larger section in the middle of the unit, so I decided to move the central, structural shelf. This was easy to do and just required a couple of new drill holes,' Claire explains. 

She built and attached her frame to attached the MDF panel to add both units to the wall. The designer then added an MDF panel to cover the gap between the top of the units and the ceiling – to emphasize the bespoke aesthetic. 

She then added lights by attaching the frames of the units with screws and a piece of wood to the ceiling to ensure they were sturdy. 

'I'd pre-measured where I wanted the picture lights to go. I then marked out the template for the backplate of the light and made the hole that would be required to bring the wires through from behind,' Claire says. 

Once Claire had completed the main structure, she added more MDF strips around the edges of the unit. 'This gave the appearance of thicker wood on the unit and allowed me to balance out the width difference between the top and bottom units,' she says. The designer had also filled the predrilled holes to conceal its flatpack roots. 

As with every great IKEA furniture hack, Claire decided to change the HAVSTA's handles. In this case, she used some half-moon-shaped handles that elevated her unit further. 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack: 

HAVSTA cabinets
Picture lights
MDF strips

5. Make a cool apothecary cabinet with this IKEA MOPPE hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @patirobins)

The unassuming mini MOPPE drawers are perfect IKEA hack fodder. Get creative like @patirobins and make a trendy vintage-style apothecary cabinet with four mini moppe drawers. 

Pati says:  'I trimmed the top row as I wanted the cabinet to look more rectangle , then glued the 4 cabinets using adhesive, framed it with wood, and then attached four hairpin legs . I also turned the drawers other way around so I was able to attach my own drawer pulls - giving it a library look. You could wax or stain it for a more retro feel.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack: 

MOPPE drawers
drawer pulls
wax or stain

6. Go for gold with this glamorous IKEA HEMNES bedside table hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: Leoma Harper Interior Stylist @styletheclutter)

Inject a splash of glamour to your sleep sanctuary with this chic IKEA Hemnes bedside table hack by Leoma Harper, Interior Stylist of @styletheclutter.

Leoma explains: 'During the first lockdown I was on an upcycle mission... These IKEA HEMNES bedside tables ended up being victim to this and now have a completely new look.

'The new aesthetic was created using primer, followed by two coats of the lovely Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash, some gold leafing on the drawer, and finished off with a new handle from Anthropologie. I love how a new piece of furniture has evolved through this spontaneous paint over.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

HEMNES bedside tables
Gold Leaf

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @the_house_acc)

7. Be pretty and practical with this IKEA RUDSTA storage hack 

Robyn over @the_house_acc got creative with a RUDSTA cabinet with this easy IKEA hack that adds texture and on-trend fluting to the piece. 

'No painting, no messing, it took about 45 minutes and anyone can do it,' says Robyn. She used glass film from @glassfilmseurope to create the look.

Her top tip? 'I’ve used this glass film product quite a lot now and I find it so much easier to lay the film on wet, mark your cutting line with a pen, lift off and then carefully cut with scissors.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

RUDSTA cabinet
Glass film

8. Fashion a stylish WFH space with this IKEA INGO desk hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @mrs_macs_home)

Who'd have thought an IKEA desk hack could create such a stylish home office space? The £45 Ingo table has been transformed into a sleek desk perfect for a modern house by Ruth @mrs_macs_home.

She says: 'The INGO is actually a small dining table but also makes a great size desk. It’s also so easy to makeover as it’s made in untreated solid pine, so it's perfect for painting/staining etc.

'I painted the lower base and legs in Farrow & Ball Modern Eggshell in Railings and then lime waxed the top with Liberon liming wax.' 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

Ingo table

5. Make a built-in shelving unit with this clever IKEA BILLY bookcase hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @mrs_macs_home)

Ruth of @mrs_macs_home is something of a whizz when it comes to IKEA hacks, and we love this clever BILLY bookcase update. 

'We first removed the skirting board so the units could go flush against the wall,' says Ruth. 'We had to raise the bookcases to accommodate the height of the skirting so attached adjustable kitchen plinth feet to each unit.

'Once all the units were in position and correct height , we glued and screwed the units together and anchored to wall. Then simply refitted the skirting board to finish.'

Just add books, glassware, oversized bottles, logs, rattan baskets and objet d'art for a super-chic modern rustic finish.

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

BILLY bookcase
Plinth feet

10.  Use an IKEA RAST drawers hack for an elevated nightstand

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @amdolcevita)

An IKEA RAST chest of drawers hack is so appealing as the plain pine unit is crying out for a lick of paint.

We love how Michelle of @amdolcevita transformed them into a cool, contemporary nightstand. She said: 'I'd been searching for stylish nightstands for our cottage master bedroom, but decided to take it upon myself to hack the ever-popular IKEA Rast drawers. I am so in love with them. The paint colour is Benjamin Moore's Pigeon Grey, and the brass pin pulls are from Martha Steward via Home Depot.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

RAST chest of drawers
Drawer handles

11. Get a new media unit with a cool IKEA BESTA TV stand hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @baytakalthoum)

Take your IKEA BESTA TV stand to another level with a hip hack involving on-point cane.

Kalthoum of @baytkalthoum, describes how she turned her BESTA into a show piece, saying: 'For this IKEA hack, I kept the BESTA doors and had them cut in a geometrical way. I had to cover the sides that were cut with lipping for a seamless look.

'I then glued cane on the doors' back and added knobs on the front that I found in Zara Home.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

BESTA TV stand
Door handles

12. Design a hotel-smart bedroom with an IKEA HEMNES chest of drawers hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @mrs_macs_home)

Queen of covetable Ikea hacks @mrs_macs_home hit a home style run again with the IKEA HEMNES hack, transforming the drawers into a design-led bedroom piece. And, while it offers a high-end finish, it's super-simple and affordable.

Ruth says: 'I gave our old HEMNES drawers a makeover with paint and a change of handles.

'I used Zinsser ALLCOAT which is a paint and primer in one, and I applied with a mini foam roller to give a smooth finish.

'I found this pack of 12 brass cup handles on Amazon for just over £20 to complete the makeover.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

Hemnes drawers
Mini roller

13. Pimp your IKEA STENSTORP kitchen island with this contemporary hack

Take one IKEA STENSTORP kitchen trolley, add some cool tiles and a pop of brass, et voila! An ultra-chic IKEA kitchen island hack.

Autumn of @autumnhacheydesign tiled the Ikea island with super-simple hex tiles from the local hardware store and finished with dark grout. Then she added a towel rod from @anthropologie to one of the sides. We love.

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

STENSTORP kitchen trolley
Towel rod

14. Overhaul your office with this IKEA Hack for Alex drawers

grey cabinets and wooden built in top for a home office

(Image credit: @jyll_mackie)

We'd be really motivated to start work if our home office looked this. Instagrammer @jyll_mackie cleverly turned some IKEA ALEX drawers into a feed-worthy IKEA desk hack.

So how did she do this IKEA hack? Jyll says: 'I used two ALEX desk drawers as my base. I love the functionality of these drawers, especially with the drop file folder drawer but I’m not a big fan of the look. 

'I used a 2’x4’ piece of 1/4” hardboard and cut it down to cover each drawer. I cut strips of the same hardboard to create the “shaker” style front. I used construction adhesive and clamps to fasten these to the ALEX drawer fronts.

'I primed and painted the whole desk. Once dried I added hardware. I built my own desk top out of birch plywood but you could use the desktops from IKEA. The cost of hacking the actual drawers was less than $20 (hardboard + adhesive).' 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

ALEX drawers

15. Transform an IKEA BILLY bookcase into a fabulous dressing table area

monochrome dressing table in a white bedroom

(Image credit: @the_house_acc)

Feel like a film star every time you get ready with this ingenious IKEA Billy bookcase hack by Robyn @the_house_acc.

She used two BILLY Bookcases and two IKEA OXBERG glass doors to create the ultimate Ikea hack, forming these dresser units. Robyn used Frenchic Paint's Black Jack for the doors before adding reeded adhesive film by @glassfilmseurope to create the on-trend fluted glass effect.  We're a little starry-eyed over this one. See exactly how she did the hack in her Stories highlights.

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

2 x BILLY bookcases
Adhesive film

12. Elevate an IKEA PAX wardrobe with character-rich additions

white millwork in a bedroom with a green daybed

(Image credit: @readmorehouse)

What do you do when the IKEA PAX wardrobe isn't quite grand enough for your bedroom? Elevate it with a an upscale IKEA hack, of course.

Clever duo Kevin and Sarah of @readmorehouse did just that. They explained: 'When faced with a no-closet master bedroom in our late-1800s Victorian Italianate home, we hacked the IKEA PAX system to create a character-filled, built-in wardrobe system that looks like it was always here. 

'We added crown moulding, baseboard, and wall trim to match the original profiles in the room, seamlessly blending the wardrobes into the architecture. Finally, oversized 18" brass pulls add a touch of modern Victorian luxury.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

PAX wardrobe
Crown moulding
Wall trim
Brass handles

13. Create a divine dressing room with an IKEA cabinet frame

grey cupboard and a grey day bed in a large room

(Image credit: Superfront)

The concept of a dressing room is somewhat of a luxury, but a dressing room with a chic standing wardrobe is something from a higher design realm indeed. Superfront, a company who specializes in the ultimate upcycling of IKEA furniture with their designer door fronts, cabinetry, and hardware, have absolutely nailed this dressing room concept. It’s an IKEA cabinet frame (which by the way you have to purchase separately) with everything else - brass legs and all - supplied by Superfront. 

‘For a sophisticated and modern take on a dressing room look no further than Superfront’s Parallel collection in cloudy grey. Available in a multiple of sizes to fit a new or existing Ikea unit, Parallel looks great paired with some Pharmacy handles and Slender Low legs in brass for a chic design scheme The simple linear pattern will match a multitude of interior styles and help you create the dressing room of your dreams,’ says Monica Born, co-founder and CEO of Superfront. 

In the words of her majesty (that’s Madonna) we’re just ever so slightly ‘hung up’ on this dressing room wardrobe design. Visit superfront.com to make your perfect wardrobe design a reality. 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

IKEA wardrobe
Superfront kit

18. Create your own urban jungle, with this IKEA lantern hack  

Fancy turning your fingers green and dabbling with a bit of indoor gardening? Now you can, and all thanks to this, one of the more clever IKEA hacks. Take a £7 IKEA BORRBY lantern (or any IKEA lantern, for that matter) and transform it into a little indoor jungle for your home. It makes for a rather modern little greenhouse garden - a contemporary take, if you like. If your gardening doesn’t go well you can simply turn it back into a candle lantern, because c’est la vie! as they say. 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

BORRBY lantern

19. Dream up a stylish black sideboard 

Decorated in French Chic Paint’s ‘Blackjack’ colour, we really dig this dark and moody transformation. Taking two IKEA HELVIG cabinets, adjoining them, and then decorating them in a thick and juicy layer of French Chic’s ‘Blackjack’, Instagram influencer and DIY fiend @lifeatsophs has made a very elegant sideboard for her living room. The woven rush detailing is a really nice finishing touch, as are the elegant midas legs! 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

2 x HELVIG cabinets
Paint brush

20. The infamous IKEA MOPPE even has its own hack 

Not all hacks have to be on a big or grande scale. The MOPPE, an IKEA storage range staple, is perfectly petite, however, that doesn’t mean it’s able to hide from the wonderful world of design hackers! @harzbuez has upcycled the mini chest of drawers - perfect accoutrement for a table top or as desk storage drawers - with a splash of wood stain and some vintage farmhouse-style handles. The result? It’s gone from pale and interesting to vintage farmhouse in minutes. 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

MOPPE chest of drawers
Wood stain
Paint brush

21. Inlay look detailing with lollipop sticks, on a MALM 

Lollipop sticks! It’s true. That’s how keen DIY’er @linsdrabwell has chosen to transform the look of her standard MALM drawers - six months of lollipop sticks, in fact. 

This unique Ikea hack was made by the coat of Unibond PVA which gave the lollipop sticks a protective sealant, helped to secure them AND added a really soft depth of colour.  Visit Lins’ Instagram for many more DIY tips and tricks, including a few IKEA pointers! 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

MALM drawers
Lollipop sticks
Unibond PVA

22. Green dining, with this IKEA FINTORP rail hack 

wooden dining table and benches with pots of herbs on the wall

(Image credit: @houseofharnasz)

This is SO clever. Marketed by IKEA as a rail for your kitchen, Emily Harnasz has keenly and cleverly adapted the FINTORP into a wall hanging display - for herbs! - in her dining room. 

"We recently installed a herb wall to our kitchen dining area as a way to add interest and texture to the space, as well as being a practical way to store our herbs," Emily says. "Although, as much as we loved the look of it, unfortunately not all of the herbs survived being inside so we decided to add in a mixture of faux and real plants to give the wall some much needed longevity and fullness. Now we have a luscious collection of greenery that both looks good and is much easier to maintain".

Simply grab yourself a few FINTORP rails and recreate this easy-access indoor herb garden in your own kitchen or dining area at home. A brilliantly inexpensive way of adding flavor to the dinner table! 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

Plant pots

23. FROSTA gets a handwoven finishing touch 

Have a little fun with the IKEA FROSTA stool, which comes in at a bargain £9, by adding your own hand crocheted hat! Now, this we love. Ok, it’s not groundbreaking designer chic, but it is super cool. It’s definitely more vagabond beach craft than granny chintz. The kind of wildcard find you bring back from a market stall in Greece, or see down the craft lanes of Old Town Pollenca. Not going away this year?  You can make it yourself, or you can buy them ‘off the shelf’ via the likes of Etsy marketplace. They fit right onto the FROSTA in just a few seconds. For inspiration you just need to take one quick look at Olga’s Instagram to realise that she is an absolute knitting fiend. Here, she’s turned a standard FROSTA stool into something really special. Fun for; kids rooms, flexible seating that can be dragged into play at dinner parties, outdoor garden soires when the sun is shining, and just sprucing up the kitchen table! And if anyone questions your daring style choice, just tell them that it’s boho chic sweetie! 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

FROSTA stool
Crochet needles

24. Hack BILLY the bookcase into a hallway nook for a unique storage and display option 

BILLY the bookcase is an IKEA superstar. You’ll find streams of IKEA hacks for BILLY, because it’s just that amenable. Here, Jen from @crack_the_shutters has turned the beloved BILLY design into a chic hallway storage and display cabinet. 

"Basically I'd been looking for a unit for our towels and linen for a while but was struggling to find something unique and the right size for the space we had - it has to be fairly shallow so normal linen cupboards didn't fit," Jen says. "I realised a Billy bookcase was the perfect depth so then it was just a matter of working out how to make it a bit more attractive. I love curves in decor so knew wanted to incorporate an arch and ribbing in it somewhere! This hack involved a Billy bookcase with Oxberg glass doors (£95), I then bought a piece of 6mm mdf for £17 and 9 pieces of ribbed mouldings (which I cut to size so got 18 pieces out of in total) for £50. The paint I already had left over - it’s Craig and Rose dried plaster and I bought 2 knurled brass T bar handles from Plank Hardware for £17 each. So total cost was £196. It was simply a case of cutting two arches in the mdf which I then glued to the glass on the top section of the doors. I cut the ribbed mouldings to size and then glued them to the bottom section, painted it all and added the handles! Amazing how a few changes can totally change the appearance of a piece of furniture for very little expense!" says Jen. 

Positioned right outside her bathroom, it’s the ideal size for towels and bathroom accoutrement, yet the top part of the display is perfect for displaying beautiful ceramics and vessels! Completed in a powder pink paint, and with a ribbing detail to the doors.

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

BILLY bookcase
Ribbed mouldings
Brass handles

25. Stripes for a young adults bedroom 

A simple painterly stripe hacks these IVAR cabinets into the coolest bedroom cabinet a ‘tween’ could wish for! Sandra Baker has transformed these IVAR units into - not a sleek and subtle cabinetry hack - but a stand-out stripey scene which, frankly, we’re cooing over! Teens are notoriously tricky to decorate for. It’s a very fine line to walk between childish decor versus a serious aesthetic. 

‘I needed some budget storage for my daughter’s bedroom, and the IKEA Ivar cabinets were the perfect size for the space,' Sandra says. 'I used two for this project. The natural wood finish of the cabinets didn’t particularly work with my decor, and I wanted to liven them up a bit. I had to work with what I had available to me, as I did this during the first lockdown in 2020 when nowhere was open! I always find stripes particularly pleasing and I had lots of paint left over from previous projects (I used Farrow & Ball Wimborne White and Cinder Rose eggshell) which cemented the decision. I added legs (which I bought from Amazon) to the cabinets to give them extra height, and then painted the cabinets in Wimborne White. Once it was dry, I marked out equally sized stripes using Frog Tape and painted every other one in pink. I peeled the tape off while the pink paint was still slightly wet, to give a clean line. The whole thing took an afternoon - a nice, easy project!’, says Sandra. 

This decorating trick, which Sandra has executed to perfection against a smooth green hue backdrop, shows that the standard IVAR is so malleable that it can also be perfect for a teenager's space. Grab some masking tape, take and afternoon, and voila! 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

IVAR cabinets
Frog tape

26. Keep it loose, for the SODERHAMN footstool 

Bemz Design specializes in producing sumptuous (dare we say, luxurious?) covers for IKEA furniture. You just need to take one look at this stunning ochre sofa cover, and neutral toned SODERHAMN footstool cover to see what all the fuss is about. Check the Bemz website for full details and specs, but you can pretty much cover most IKEA furniture with a Bemz loose fit cover up.

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

SODERHAMN footstool
Bemz cover


ikea hacks using a billy bookcase with arched tops painted dark grey

(Image credit: Elisha Kelly)

Who knew an IKEA BILLY bookcase hack could look so stylish? We love how Elisha of @ouraesthetic_abode has transformed the shelving unit into a modern display piece. 

Elisha says: ‘I started with two Ikea billy bookcases and then I framed around them using 2x4s. I then cut 1/4” birch plywood with an arch detail for each shelf and nailed this facing to the 2x4 frame. I used a shellac based primer first (BIN) and then Sherwin Williams Emerald paint in Urbane Bronze!’

Just add some books, plant pots and display items to create this super chic look. 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

2 x BILLY bookcase
Wood frames
Birch plywood


Ikea hack using FNISS waste bin covered in corded rope

(Image credit: Victoria Kader)

Who’d have thought a trash can could look so good? Tori of @va_va_room has given her trash can an upgrade with this ingenious hack. 

All you need for this hack is an IKEA FNISS waste bin, a hot glue gun with 15-20 glue sticks, a staple gun and 8mm x 20m of natural jute twine. 

Using the IKEA FNISS waste bin, Tori stapled the first piece of natural jute twine onto the bottom of the bin before using a hot glue gun to stick the rest in a circular fashion going all the way to the top of the bin. 

'It's such a simple little hack but looks so good,' says Tori. 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

FNISS waste bin
Hot glue gun
Staple gun
Jute twine


IKEA PAX wardrobe floor to ceiling painted peach in a bedroom

(Image credit: Charlotte Hugh)

Now this is clever. The hard work of Charlotte and Ben of @new.house.home has certainly paid off with this elegant built-in wardrobe. 

How did they do it, you ask? The couple brought together two IKEA PAX wardrobe frames with four GRIMO Doors and two BORGHAMN handles. Charlotte explains: ‘The first step was to build a plinth for each of the IKEA PAX wardrobes to stand on. The idea of this was to raise them up a bit, creating a more built in and elegant feel.’

‘We then used Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) around the edges and top of the wardrobe to box it in, using wooden battens hidden behind the MDF to hold it in place.’

‘After using more MDF to build the shelves in between the wardrobes, we corked and filled around the edges to make it look seamless with the walls.’

‘We then lightly sanded down the wardrobes, before priming them & the shelves. Finally, we painted the wardrobes and the entire room in Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster. We used Eggshell paint on the wardrobes and shelves to give it a slight shine, and then used Emulsion on the walls.’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

2 x PAX wardrobes
GRIMO doors
BORGHAMN handles
Wooden battens


Ikea hack using MYLLRA baby changing station

(Image credit: Lindsey Ferebee )

If getting the tool box out isn’t your thing, then look no further. Using the IKEA MYLLRA changing table, Lindsey of @bringmybooks has fashioned her own reading window nook without having to pick up a glue gun. 

Lindsey says: ‘We recently moved into the converted attic apartment of an 1880s Victorian home, and one of the coolest features are these dormer window nooks - but they are difficult to decorate! I knew I wanted a reading nook but we were having trouble finding a ready-made way to make one in such a unique space … enter the MYLLRA baby changing station from IKEA!’

‘We put it in one of the dormer windows, added a cushion we already had as well as pillows and throw blankets to create a cozy nook up top. For the pull out shelf I added some of my favourite hardcovers, and I can keep more throws and miscellaneous items in the drawers below! It’s been the perfect solution to our design dilemma.’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

MYLLRA changing table


Ikea hack using KURA bed

(Image credit: Christine Mullan)

Having trouble getting your kids to go to bed? Not anymore! Christine of @architect_v_engineer used this clever IKEA bed hack to create a cool den for her son. 

‘We used an IKEA reversible KURA bed as the higher loft bed option. We pulled the bed out from the wall and added a plywood shelf behind it to allow for light and books.’

‘We then attached battens to create a secret den under the bed and took some of the battens up and over the top of the bed to create an angled canopy.’

‘As our son is only 5 we used IKEA TROFAST tiered storage to create stairs up to the bed. We added some carpet tiles for a bit of softness and made a simple balustrade to help him down.’

‘We tied everything together using chipboard with our old IKEA STUVA drawers and wardrobe.'

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

KURA bed
Plywood shelf
TROFAST storage
Carpet tiles
STUVA drawers


Ikea hack using IVAR cabinet

(Image credit: Phuong Ngo)

If you want to give your cabinet a snazzy makeover then look no further. This simple but effective hack will transform your IKEA IVAR cabinet. 

Lau over @living.bylau gave her IKEA IVAR cabinet an upgrade by adding some cool texture and a splash of pink, creating a classy finish. 

Lau glued wooden sticks onto the cabinet at a horizontal angle before coating it in Gamma’s Texel paint and adding furniture legs from Amazon. 

Just add some display pieces and ornaments to get a modern look. 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

IVAR cabinet
Wood sticks


dark HEMNES cabinet with a plant on top

(Image credit: Kelby Mayberry )

Fancy giving your shoe cabinet an uber contemporary upgrade? Now you can, all thanks to this super quick IKEA HEMNES hack fashioned by Kelby of @the.modberry.

Kelby says: ‘First we cut and pin nailed the lattice moulding onto the door faces for the trim. Then we cut the dowels to size and used the liquid nails to attach them to the doors. Once we attached everything, we sanded down the shoe cabinet with our orbital sander to roughen up the finish so the paint would stick.’

‘Then we put two coats of primer over everything and then painted over it with Black Onyx ColourPalace paint from Walmart and sealed it with two light coats of polycrylic. We then installed our new hardware onto the doors and put it into place!’ 

‘It was super easy and only took a couple of days!’ 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

HEMNES cabinet
Lattice moulding


METOD cabinet painted grey in a bathroom

(Image credit: Erik Åkerblom)

If you fancy giving your bathroom a makeover, now you can thanks to @eakerblom and @viccee, using their IKEA METOD cabinet hack. 

‘First we cut down on the depth by 3 or 4 inches so it would be the right fit for the bathroom. Then we added drawers using IKEA BODBYN fronts and cover panels. The piece between the cabinets and the countertop is not from IKEA, just added for a more built-in look.’

‘We then sanded down the cabinet before adding two coats of Jotun’s LADY Supreme Finish paint as we felt the grey gives a more harmonic feeling with the marble and brass.’  

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

METOD cabinet
BODBYN fronts and panel

35. Create a fashionable mirror wall with this easy LÖNSÅS IKEA hack

mirror wall above grey wooden panelling

(Image credit: @insideayashome)

Now this is a clever and stylish way to fill a large wall space. Nisbah of @insideayashome has fashioned her own panel mirror wall with this ingenious IKEA hack.

‘Using the LÖNSÅS mirrors in the size 21x30cms and the YLLEVAD mirrors in the same size, I took out the glazing and backing board from the frame, and inserted the mirrors,’ says Nisbah. 

‘Then I just marked the centre of the wall, and applied the mirrors using the mirror tape provided by IKEA.’

‘It was so easy and quick to do!’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

LONSAS mirrors
YLLEVAD mirrors

36. Give your cabinets a stylish update with the EKET IKEA hack

beige cabinets in a living room with a big round mirror

(Image credit: @twentyfivehome)

If you’re looking to spruce up you EKET cabinets, then Harriet and Luke over @twentyfivehome have the hack just for you. 

Harriet says: ‘We measured our living room alcoves and the IKEA EKET cabinets fit perfectly on each side of the chimney breast,’ says Harriet.  ‘After attaching them to the wall (2 units in one alcove and 3 in the other), we cut MDF panels to size to fit down either edge and along the bottom of the units. We also added an MDF top which we had edged with a router to give it a nicer finish.’ 

‘For the doors, we glued decorative beading and caulked the gaps to make them look seamless. Finally, we primed and painted everything to match the wall colour, apart from the top which we painted white.’ 

‘So pleased at how they turned out, especially as it saved us a huge amount of money!’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

EKET cabinets
MDF panels
Decorative beading

37. Build yourself a green paradise with this IKEA MILSBO hack

glass fronted cabinet used for a plant display

(Image credit: @planttheway)

What a creative way to add some natural greenery into your interior design. Julie of @planttheway has fashioned this clever hack to make a feature out of her MILSBO cabinet. 

‘Using the IKEA MILSBO cabinet as a greenhouse is perfect for people who love both plants and interior design,’ says Julie. ‘I love to use plants as decoration all over my house, but some plants just need that extra humidity and light.’ 

‘I have added weatherstrips around the doors and placed a cecotec oil diffuser to keep the humidity up. I have, since this picture, also added grow lights from IKEA since the cabinet is placed in a low light area of my living room. I have also used the IKEA SKÅDIS pegboard to utilize some of the vertical space.’ 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

MILSBO cabinet
Oil diffuser

38. Give your KALLAX shelving unit an upgrade with this super easy hack

black shelving in a grey bedroom

(Image credit: @sweetcrafts71)

There couldn’t be a quicker way to make your IKEA KALLAX shelving unit look super stylish. @sweetcrafts71 has a super easy hack which will give your shelving unit a makeover, she says: 'This was a super easy upcycle. I sanded the unit with 150 grit sandpaper. Gave it a good clean and allowed it to dry.’

‘I painted it using Frenchic paint in the colour Greyhound, and then added the bronze washi tape. I also added castors so that it could be easily moved to accommodate a pull out bed.’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

KALLAX shelving
Washi tape

39. Create a contemporary-style cabinet with this IVAR hack

rattan fronts on a black cabinet with gold legs and candles on top

(Image credit: @blu.j.designs)

If you fancy giving your cabinet a modern update, then look no further. Emily over @blu.j.designs has the perfect hack.

‘I was on the hunt for a buffet that was 12" deep by 66" long but everything I was finding was way over my budget. When I found the IVAR system I knew I found the perfect piece!’ says Emily.  

‘Using two IVAR Cabinets (400.337.63) and Doors (104.530.72), we painted them with Dixie Belle's Caviar Chalk Mineral Paint and Satin Clear Coat. The doors were 1/2" too wide, so we cut 1/2" off on each of the strike side of the doors. We screwed the bases together to create one piece, added HAOTH antique handles from Amazon, and 6 gold spray painted Waddel legs from LOWES.

‘It fits perfectly in our space and we have received countless compliments!’ 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

2 x IVAR cabinets
Spray paint

40. Fashion an ultra-modern cabinet with this IKEA BISSA hack

beige square cabinets with gold handles

(Image credit: @radenayu)

If you fancy giving your IKEA BISSA cabinet a sleek finish, Raden over at @radenayu has got the perfect hack. 

‘I used two old IKEA BISSA units for this hack and started by scraping off the laminate which was already peeling as well as filling any holes or dents using a wood filler,’ says Raden.

‘I then proceeded to prime the cabinets before painting them with macchiato color. I used 3 coats of paint and sanded them in between each coat. To elevate the whole look, I added a half circle gold hardware onto each door.’ 

‘Because IKEA BISSA is relatively bigger than the narrow IKEA HEMNES shoe cabinet, you can put stuff on top of it. You can just decor the cabinet as an entryway console or make it a home command center like I did.’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

BISSA cabinet

41. Give your chest of drawers a cool geometric look with this TARVA hack

chest of drawers with monochrome geometric pattern on the front

(Image credit: @steelbirchstudios)

If you’re looking to get creative with your chest of drawers, then Courtney over @steelbirchstudios has a quick and easy hack for you. 

Courtney says: ‘A bit of a spontaneous hack, I found this Lime Green IKEA TARVA Chest ditched on the side of the road. I’d been waiting for the opportunity to use my Linear Tile Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils - and it was the perfect candidate.’ 

‘I first sanded it down and applied primer. I went with a base of Raw Silk and stenciled the pattern using Coal Black (both by Fusion Mineral Paint). I kept the base natural, tapered the front legs just a touch and finished with small Brass Knobs. It’s a brilliant pattern that would work on almost anything.’ 

‘The design unfolds slowly as you turn the stencil in different directions. It’s really fun to use!’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

TARVA chest

42. Go for a sophisticated look with this IKEA MALM hack 

dark green cabinet in an entryway with a mirror on top

(Image credit: @lifeonwillowcreek)

Looking to give your chest of drawers a touch of glamour? Morgan over @lifeonwillowcreek has the perfect hack to give your MALM drawers the splash of colour they need. 

Morgan says: ‘I first prepped this piece by sanding it down and then added the fluted detailing by using 5/8 square wooden dowels. I attached them using a brad nailer. I then built the bottom frame/legs using a 2x2 piece of lumber and attached with screws.’ 

‘I then painted it in Fusion Mineral paint in the color "Bayberry". Lastly, I finished off with some beautiful and sleek hardware.I love how this piece went from basic to absolutely fabulous.’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

MALM drawers

43. Create your own custom pressing board with this clever BRIMNES hack

white chest of drawers with silver handles and fabric on top

(Image credit: @sewmuchjazz)

Now this is a great way to make your IKEA furniture multi-purpose. Jasmine of @sewmuchjazz has created her own custom pressing board with this easy IKEA BRIMNES hack.

Jasmine says: ‘I purchased 2 IKEA BRIMNES chest of 3 drawers.  In the drawers I store my sewing notions, pressing supplies and patterns.  For the top, I went to my local hardware store and bought a 2 x 4 piece of plywood cut down to size to start my custom ironing board.  I covered the board in bump cloth which helps insulate the heat and Ikea's SKUGGBRÄCKA fabric which is 100% cotton.’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

BRIMNES chest of drawers
Bump cloth

44. Transform your dresser with this stylish HEMNES hack

black chest of drawers with gold handles and a persian rug

(Image credit: @tarynfalconerdesignstudio)

Fancy giving your dresser an upgrade? Look no further. Taryn over @tarynfalconerdesignstudio has a super easy HEMNES hack which will transform your dresser from simple to stylish. 

‘First, I gave it a light sanding and then painted it with 3 coats of Rich Black chalk paint,’ says Taryn. ‘I then painted it with 3 coats of water based polyurethane to give it a protective finish. Finally, I changed out the wood knobs that came with it for beautiful brushed gold knobs and pulls.’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

HEMNES chest of drawers

45. Be stylish and modern with this fluted effect IKEA hack

grey bedroom with white bedside table and plants

(Image credit: @our.home.at.29)

Kirsty over at @our.home.at.29 got creative with an IKEA EKET cabinet with this easy hack that adds a sophisticated and trendy flute effect.  

‘I was struggling to find a bedside cabinet that had enough storage and fit the space, and I really wanted something with a fluted effect,’ says Kirsty. `The only ones I could find that ticked all my boxes were out of budget, so I decided I would have a go at making my own using the IKEA Eket drawers.’ 

‘I used semi circle pine mouldings from B&Q and cut them to the right height before attaching them to the drawer fronts with No More Nails. I then attached the legs, which I bought from Britwood Ltd, and painted the whole unit in Dulux White Cotton.’  

‘I’m so happy with how they turned out!’

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

EKET cabinet
Pine mouldings
Paint brush

42. Give your sideboard cabinet a sleek makeover with this simple hack

dark grey cabinet with grey lamp on top

(Image credit: Public 311 Design/@elsiehome.co)

Lauren over @elsiehome.co transformed her IKEA STOCKHOLM sideboard with this quick and easy hack.

Lauren says: ‘The IKEA STOCKHOLM sideboard is made with a walnut veneer, so it was important to use a good primer. We used Kilz primer since the veneer couldn't be sanded and then painted with Benjamin Moore Caldwell Green paint. I chose to leave the legs unpainted to give the piece a bit more dimension.’ 

What you'll need for this Ikea hack:

STOCKHOLM sideboard

What does IKEA hack mean?

IKEA hack means decorating IKEA furniture using Do-It-Yourself skills. The idea is fairly simple: a person buys a piece of furniture from IKEA and the changes, alters or decorates it using DIY hacks.

Whether it's a simple paint job or reconstructing the furniture altogether, DIY hacks allow you to give your IKEA furniture a simple upgrade. 

How do I hack IKEA Hemnes?

There are lots of ways you can hack IKEA Hemnes. 

Whether you change out the dresser knobs and replace them with more interesting designs, paint over the original colour or elevate the look by changing the panels, there are many ways to give your IKEA Hemnes a makeover. 

For more ideas and inspiration, scroll up and view some of the IKEA Hemnes hacks that have been shared with us. 

Is IKEA cheaper than DIY?

IKEA tends to be cheaper than DIY as it's possible to make the item you want using affordable IKEA parts rather than spending more on raw materials to make shelves or desks, for example. 

It does depend on how much you spend on your materials, but since IKEA does simple household items so well, your best option might be to invest in IKEA items and use DIY hacks until you get the look you want. 

Can you sit on IKEA Eket?

As the IKEA Eket is a small cube-shaped cabinet and can hold around 15lbs per shelf, it's probably best that you don't sit on it and use it for storing or displaying items instead. 

From storing shoes to stationary, there are lots of clever IKEA Eket hacks that you can use to create fashionable storage units.

Can you sit on IKEA Kallax?

As with the IKEA Eket, it might be best if you don't sit on the Kallax due to the maximum load per shelf being 13kg.

Why not use the Kallax shelving unit for book storage instead? Or place ornaments to create a feature in your home. 

How much weight can IKEA Besta hold?

The IKEA Besta frame can hold a maximum weight of 20kg per surface. For smaller frames such as the  60×40×64cm, 120×40×64cm and 60×40×38cm, the maximum hold is 20kg if placed on the floor. 

It's a good idea to always check the IKEA buying guide if you want to place a weighty item on top of any of their products. 

Rory Alastair Robertson has a long-standing history working across the interiors industry. Raised in Morningside, Edinburgh, Rory grew up surrounded by classically grand Scottish Georgian and Victorian architecture. 

His first appreciation for interior decoration sparked when his mother hired scaffolding and decorated their three-storey Victorian staircase in Farrow & Ball Picture Gallery Red, by herself. She then painstakingly gold leafed the drawing room - by hand - over a base coat of Sudbury Yellow. This was the era of Jocasta Innes and Kenneth Turner, when paint techniques and maximalist style were the decorating raison d'être. 

With this inherited gene of creativity, Rory went on to study Interior Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, and later, Theatre Set Design and Architectural Illustration at The Rhode Island School of Design on America's East Coast.  

Rory's foray with the editorial world started a decade ago at Livingetc magazine, a title which he regularly contributes to today. Specialising with a deep-seated appreciation for historical homes and interiors, Rory often travels far and wide to be inspired by unique properties with a fascinating history. 

If he’s not uncovering an unusual National Trust property in the UK, then he’s seeking out a Neo-Classical clifftop villa in Capri or a Palazzo in Florence. 

Based in London’s Shoreditch, working as a Senior Interiors Editor and Consultant, Rory's portfolio of work is a creative melting pot of residential and commercial interior design projects and a plethora of editorial writing work. Rory is also Guest Interiors Lecturer at the prestigious KLC School of Interior Design in Chelsea, London. His most cosseted possession is a ramshackle Citroen Deux Chevaux, which he has reupholstered in Pierre Frey yellow and turquoise silk fabric. 

Discover more at roryrobertson.co.uk and @rory_stylist.