5 of the best IKEA storage hacks from stylists and creatives to keep your home tidy and tasteful

These pretty yet practical IKEA storage hacks combine form and function to overhaul your home

Ikea storage hacks
(Image credit: IKEA)

IKEA storage hacks are a decorator's dream, transforming affordable but often very run-of-the-mill designs. Their basic form  of IKEA storage makes it easier to carry out a brilliant IKEA storage hack to create a one-of-a-kind piece that doesn't look like everybody else's.

Taking your IKEA storage cabinets from mass-produced furniture to something personalised and fabulous is not as hard as you may think. It can be as simple as a lick of paint and cool new handles and hardware.

If you want to take it further,  these IKEA hacks mean you can always change the drawer fronts, drawers and legs for a really bespoke piece. Get inspiration with five of the best IKEA storage hacks from stylists and creatives below.

1. Create a cool cupboard and media unit with IKEA Pax and Metod hacks

best Ikea storage hacks my tiny estate

(Image credit: @mytinyestate)

Clever duo Dean Poulton and Borja De Maqua, of @mytinyestate, are renovating a Georgian home in Warwickshire and have a beautiful, large house and a lot of outbuildings to update. They've cannily carried out a number of impressive IKEA storage hacks to create period-style pieces that suit the home.

These cupboards and the media unit are one fabulous example of a brilliant living room idea; the cupboard on the left was created with an IKEA Pax system, while the TV unit is the IKEA Metod.

Borja says: 'We made doors with MDF following the design of other wardrobes that we have on the estate. It does look a lot more bespoke here because once we added the architraves and the skirting board it seems like they are built-in and have always been here.'

2. Fashion a contemporary-cool sideboard from the IKEA Besta cabinets

Ikea storage hacks sarah sherman samuel

(Image credit: Sarah Sherman Samuel)

Interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel really went for this IKEA storage hack, and added custom open shelves, a wooden top and wooden legs to three IKEA Besta units to create a modern, super-stylish sideboard (or credenza).

Sarah says: 'While furniture hunting and shopping for the studio, I couldn’t quite find the right credenza to fit the space that didn’t come with an insane price tag so I looked to IKEA, per usual, and started doodling in my notebook to design a piece using their Besta cabinets as building blocks. I wanted there to be storage, be a certain length and height (tall enough to be a workbench height) and not look like straight out of the box IKEA.'


Ikea storage hacks

(Image credit: Sarah Sherman Samuel)

3. Make an IKEA Rast hack into a cool black accent piece

Ikea storage hacks

(Image credit: @harrietlucyhome)

Want to turn a 'blah' set of drawers into a trendy accent piece? This brilliant master bedroom idea from Harriet Codling, of @harrietlucyhome, upped her  storage game by updating the IKEA Rast drawers for a sleek, contemporary bedside table.

Harriet said: 'I assembled the units using the instructions as normal but I left the drawers fronts off. They had predrilled holes for the handles provided but I wanted to add new handles so I used wood filler to fill in the holes and sanded down once it was dry.

'I bought cheap metal handles from Wilko and sprayed them with Rustoleum spray paint in a brass finish. I marked up the drawer fronts where the new handles will be placed and drilled the holes.

I painted the unit and drawer fronts in Zinsser 123 primer (two coats) using a roller and sanding lightly in between coats. Then I painted the unit in a black satin furniture paint from Wilko, but I also love Frenchic paint in colour ‘Loof’, which I have used on other projects.

'Once dry, add on new handles and you’re done!'

4. Turn a wooden storage box into a floating nightstand

Ikea storage hacks

(Image credit: IKEA)

The beauty of the best IKEA storage hacks is that they can be as simple as you like. Think about how to use an item in a different way than which it was intended for. For example, this simple wooden box (above) has been turned on its side, painted a cool shade of black, wall-mounted and used as a floating night stand. 

5. Transform an IKEA Tarva into a gorgeous chest of drawers for a kid's room

Ikea storage hacks

(Image credit: Sarah Sherman Samuel)

The IKEA Tarva dresser is a rather plain-looking pine chest of drawers. Designer Sarah Sherman Samuel's top tip to elevate it is to cut the legs at an angle to give it a higher-end look. 

Sarah also spray-painted it a beautiful mint colour (Theresa's Green by Farrow & Ball) and added classy, long brass drawer pulls. 

The Ikea Kallax - how best to use this piece

The  Kallax is prime IKEA storage hack material. It's stylish, simple storage shelving that can do a lot. You can place it on the floor, mount it on a wall or turn it into a desk to transform your living area. Kallax shelves are available in different sizes and colours and are easy to personalise with a selection of doors, baskets, dividers and more.

Jules Yap, founder of ikeahackers.net, loves the Kallax and has some top tips on how best to use the piece. She says: 'The Kallax is awesome and stores a ton. However, IKEA storage boxes made for Kallax tend to be rather deep, like the Drona. Great for larger items but not ideal for smaller items such as stationery or stackable things like craft paper, etc. We may also leave the top part of the deep storage box empty or unfilled, which means wasted space.

'IKEA has drawer inserts which halve the size of the cube. But sometimes that's not enough. You can make custom Kallax shelves to divide the cube into smaller sections. Or buy them from Etsy. This allows for greater flexibility and you can make use of every inch of the cube. 

Ikea storage boxes - clever ideas to make the most of them

IKEA storage boxes are a must-have that can keep your home clutter-free and functional. Getting creative with your storage boxes means you can really make the most of them.

Using walls in the hallway is a great idea for maximising space; try piling up IKEA Trones shoe cabinets to keep any household items hidden and off the floor.

Use IKEA storage boxes to fill awkward spaces, too; add baskets or boxes in the under-stairs area, for example, to keep things neat.

In the living room, add insets and pull-out boxes to large storage units, like the Kallax, to keep things neat and add different textures for visual appeal.

You can also get creative with your IKEA storage boxes and carry out a little hack. We love how @snickargladjen used three Knagglig to create this super-cute storage trolley on wheels.

Ikea storage cabinets  - which are the best?

best Ikea storage hacks

(Image credit: Sarah Sherman Samuel)

The IKEA Besta storage cabinets are undoubtedly one of the most-hacked, and can be used to create anything from built-in storage for a stylish mudroom (see below by @homeathand), to a cool, customised sideboard, like Sarah Sherman Samuel's (above).

The Eket is another versatile IKEA storage cabinet that can be upcycled and customised. We love how @styletheclutter used it to create a desk with storage in her daughter's bedroom.

designer ikea hacks

(Image credit: @styletheclutter)

And another ultra-useful and versatile IKEA storage cabinet is the IKEA Ivar, which we've seen turned into contemporary kitchen pantry cupboards for a chic, modern home by @mrs_macs_home.

The Billy bookcase is also a storage favourite, and can easily be transformed to look like bespoke built-in shelving or, with a little rattan, elevated to a beautiful kitchen dresser.

BILLY bookcase hack

(Image credit: Kathryn Hawkes)

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.