IKEA built-in hacks – 10 inspired ideas for stylish storage on a budget
These chic IKEA built-in hacks mean there's no need to call in the professionals for bespoke storage...
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Stylish IKEA built-in hacks offer the perfect opportunity to create storage solutions at a fraction of the cost of professional bespoke options.
If you're a keen DIYer, you can embrace an IKEA hack to craft elevated solutions that look ultra-luxe for less.
Whether you're looking for a practical wardrobe with wow-factor or a designer-worthy entertainment center, these clever ideas from Insta interior influencers are sure to inspire your next project.
IKEA built-in hacks for bespoke storage that won't break the bank
From the IKEA Besta to the IKEA Pax and the hackers' favorite IKEA Billy bookcase, discover our round up of super-smart IKEA built-in hacks below.
1. Build a seamlessly integrated closet with an IKEA Pax hack
The talented Emma @emmacourtneyhome (opens in new tab) has carried out two super-successful IKEA wardrobe hacks by using the versatile IKEA Pax system.
'With the first IKEA Pax hack, my goal was to create a wardrobe that looked seamless with the walls, almost hidden like it wasn’t there,' explains Emma.
'I raised the Pax up on a 2x4 wood base, and drywalled above and on the sides to make the wardrobe look like part of the wall,' she says. 'Then I added panel moulding to the doors and baseboard to match the rest of the room.
'I managed to match the paint color of the doors and only painted the panel moulding, and drywall, retaining the IKEA finish on the doors to avoid potential paint chipping.'
2. Create a modern country-style wardrobe
'For my second IKEA Pax hack, I wanted to make it look like a countryside wardrobe with airing holes in it,' explains Emma.
'The first step was raising it up on a 2x4 base. Then I added Shaker-style detail to the doors by having strips of hardboard cut at the hardware store and used glue and nails to secure it to the door.
'I added baseboard to match the room and wood filler pieces at the top to take the wardrobe to the ceiling for that built-in look.
'I used a good primer and painted the whole wardrobe, finally adding the air/vent holes and matches to complete the look.'
3. Go wall-to-wall with built-in shelving
IKEA Billy bookcase hacks are probably one of the most widely seen thanks to the system's versatile foundations. But it's hard to come across one quite as stylish as this.
Kaari @thesommerhome (opens in new tab) and her husband created this stylish look. She says: 'After moving in to our home, we wanted a wall of built-ins installed in our den.
'I got a bid from the cabinet shop and it was way out of our budget. So, I started Googling DIY options. I came across a few IKEA hack built-ins and decided that may be the perfect solution.'
The couple added in hardwired lighting and wood trims for the walls and ceiling for the built-in aesthetic.
Kaari adds: 'We caulked everything and painted everything except the doors, back of the bookshelves and the actual shelves. We painted it with Benjamin Moore Simply White, and we prepped with a Zinsser primer before painting.'
See exactly how the hack was carried out here (opens in new tab).
4. Fashion a chic built-in window nook
There's nothing quite as stylish or practical as a good window seat idea. And, with a clever IKEA hack, they don't have to set you back with high labor costs.
Jen, of @home.at.highfield (opens in new tab), created the cozy nook above to make more storage space while also keeping to a stylish aesthetic.
She says: 'I used an IKEA Pax wardrobe unit for the shelving with three of their shelves, and built the storage bench next to it, both of which are on a raised platform that I attached the skirting to.
'The whole thing cost under £170 and looks like a bespoke built in unit.'
5. Tailor a built-in wardrobe solution to a sloped ceiling
An IKEA hack is a fantastically affordable solution to an awkward space.
When Farwa of @thehousewiththepinkbed needed a built-in solution to her closet space, she took matters into her own hands.
She says: 'When we were quoted £4k for built-in wardrobes we decided to use the IKEA Pax system to build some ourselves and create a solution for a sloped ceiling alcove in our master bedroom.
'Having no prior DIY experience and using basic tools such as a jigsaw, we cut the doors down to size, 'built it in' using timber trims, added some new handles and a lick of paint and, three years later, they're still good as new! Total cost £750.'
6. Set up a stylish dining room display cabinet
The IKEA Billy bookcase hack comes into its own again in the talented hands of Stephanie @henrikjunehome (opens in new tab), who created a stylish display unit to store and showcase chic ceramics and tableware.
'I used two IKEA Billy bookcases and glass front Oxberg doors for the upper portion of our dining room built-in,' she comments.
'I built the bottom cabinet from scratch. I also built in some secret trim storage on both sides of the Billy bookcases to store wine and paper towels'. Genius.
7. Choose dark built-ins to add drama to your bedroom
Painting your IKEA built-in hack wardrobes the same color as the wall will elevate the aesthetic as well as make the space feel cozy yet bigger.
Ciara of @number_twentyseven (opens in new tab) crafted the design-led look above.
She says: 'We built a base underneath the wardrobes and then built a frame using batons on the sides by the chimney breast and sheets of MDF.
'We added pine kitchen coving to the tops then primed everything using Zinsser bin primer. To finish, we painted in normal matt paint and then sealed with a wax.'
Make like Ciara and add an oversized rattan pendant for a Scandi-boho look.
8. Craft a stylish built-in media unit with the IKEA Besta
Take 18 IKEA Besta units and pair with chic new door fronts from Semihandmade and what have you got? A super-stylish IKEA entertainment center hack at a fraction of the usual cost of bespoke built-ins.
Tyler and Kelsey Johnston of @mysimplysimple (opens in new tab) tackled the DIY project with aplomb, and created a floor-to-ceiling media unit for their basement.
Kelsey says: 'We spent around $3,000 on the project, whereas a custom solution would’ve probably cost $5,000 to $10,000 or more. We were trying to get as much storage as possible at an affordable price point.'
Semihandmade's Tahoe and Supermatte white slab doors give the unit a designer-inspired appeal. The brand says: 'Finished with trim, custom open shelving, and texture-rich wall paneling, the built-in is a design feature of the basement and looks much more expensive than it actually is.'
See exactly how is was created at Semihandmade (opens in new tab).
9. Showcase beautiful cabinets in the living room
Make the most of every inch of space with built-in alcove cabinets that won't break the bank.
Designer Heidi Parrish filled the empty space on either side of a tall stone fireplace with base IKEA Besta cabinets finished with Semihandmade DIY Shaker (opens in new tab) fronts in a gorgeous grey-green tone.
The open shelving above allows for the display of treasured vignettes, while the closed units allow for the hidden storage of unsightly essentials.
10. Fit paneled built-in wardrobes for a modern country look
'We knew we wanted something simple that could fill the space completely,' says Charlotte of @charlottebradbrook (opens in new tab)about her IKEA built-in hack.
'The IKEA Pax very luckily fit a small nook in our bedroom (as if it were made for the space!). Buying fitted bespoke wardrobes just wasn’t on the cards as it costs so much, alongside labor, which we ended up doing completely ourselves.'
She adds: 'IKEA’s great for beginner DIYers and you definitely shouldn’t be scared to give it a go yourselves. You can save thousands, and still have professional-looking wardrobes.'
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.
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