IKEA nightstand hacks – 9 transformations to inspire a bespoke bedside table on a budget

A host of IKEA nightstand hacks to elevate your bedroom without breaking the bank...

Ikea nightstand hacks floating shelf on rope
(Image credit: IKEA)

A bedside table can be a thing of beauty as well as function, and IKEA nightstand hacks enable you to create a luxe look for less. When you're considering modern bedroom ideas there are a number of ways you can save on spending, and a chic IKEA hack is one of them.

Whether you're looking for a boho, Scandi, fluted, or even floating bedside table, we've rounded up a host of stylish IKEA nightstand hacks below.

IKEA nightstand hacks for a beautiful - and affordable - bedside table 

1. Revive an IKEA Hemnes bedside table with rattan

Ikea nightstand hacks hemnes bedside table

(Image credit: @mamofboys)

We love an IKEA Hemnes hack, and this 70s-inspired bedside table is no exception.

How to do it? Helen explains: 'Prepare the surface by cleaning thoroughly with sugar soap and lightly sand any flaking paint to ensure the paint has a ‘key’ to grip. 

'I used a chalk and mineral-based paint, which is self-priming, self-leveling, and self-sealing (by Frenchic). Use a good quality brush and roller to apply the paint, ensuring the first coat is dry before applying the second. First coat fear is real, don’t panic. 

The cane (from Canestore) needs to be soaked prior to application. Measure and cut to size before applying with strong contact adhesive. Clamp in place and allow to dry. Finally, I added knurled brass knobs (from Plank Hardware) to add a high-quality finish.'

2. Go green with an IKEA Malm bedside table hack

Ikea nightstand hacks with green IKEA Malm bedside table

(Image credit: @zoeoliviaev)

Learning how to paint IKEA furniture can be a very handy DIY tool to have up your sleeve. 

To create this IKEA nightstand hack, Zoe of @zoeoliviaev (opens in new tab), says:  'I used a mini foam roller and a 1" brush to apply Zinsser All Coat (color matched to Farrow and Ball Green Smoke (opens in new tab).)'

'It took between 3 and 4 coats everywhere to get a flawless finish. The paint is touch dry in an hour so it can easily be done all in one day.'

3. Turn a tired IKEA Tarva dresser into an on-trend fluted nightstand

Ikea Tarva hack black fluted nightstand by Jenna Sue Design

(Image credit: @jennasuedesign)

This IKEA nightstand hack is so impressive, it genuinely looks like a high-end piece -making it the ultimate designer IKEA hack inspiration.

Jenna, of Jenna Sue Design (opens in new tab), says: For this IKEA Tarva hack, I used fluted molding strips and cut them down into pieces matching the drawer height (30 in total).

'I carefully lined them up on the drawer, glued and clamped each piece in place overnight. Once dry, I caulked the seams between each piece. The dresser was sanded and painted using black chalk paint and sealed with a satin varnish. 

'Gold hardware was added and the dresser feet removed to convert it to a nightstand.'

4. Glam up an IKEA Metod with cool patterned fronts

Ikea nightstand hacks IKEA Metod Superfront

(Image credit: Superfront/Karl Anderson)

For a sleek, contemporary IKEA nightstand hack that's also stress and fuss-free, look to cool brand Superfront (opens in new tab), which supplies funky front panels for IKEA Metod storage bases.

We love this modern bedroom storage look, which has been created with the Harlequin front panels in Silent Greige and finished with Mini Circus handles in brass. Finish with a sculptural vase and lazy-luxe linen bedding for a truly inviting yet chic Scandinavian bedroom idea.

5. Dress up an IKEA Malm with wooden fluting

Ikea nightstand hacks with IKEA Malm @themonochromehome5

(Image credit: @themonochromehome5)

The IKEA Malm bedside table is a very basic piece that lends itself well to a little glamorizing.

Beth @themonochromehome5 (opens in new tab) says: 'To create this little boho do-up I simply used pine half dowel rods, No More Nails adhesive and a little saw all bought from B&Q; it was a three-ingredient fix. 

'I measured the width of the draw and then cut the pine half dowel rods to size with the saw, glued them on to the draw et voila! Done. 

'It really was the easiest and most budget-friendly glow-up I have done and I love the results.'

6. Give an IKEA chest of drawers an easy makeover 

Ikea nightstand hacks IKEA Malm grey paint makeover

(Image credit: @myquarryhome)

Don't like the shine on your IKEA Malm drawers? Sand it back and give it a coat of chalk paint for a cool matte paint finish, like the clever owners @myquarryhouse (opens in new tab).

They explained: 'We gave the drawers a light sand to start with and then used The One paint and primer in dark grey to save us having to prime separately. 

'It only took two coats and each coat covered really well. It leaves quite a chalky paint effect as we used the matte version but they also do a satin version. We bought some cheap rustic cup handles from eBay to finish things off nicely.'

7. Create a boho-style aesthetic with an IKEA Malm rattan nightstand hack

Ikea nightstand hack with IKEA Malm and rattan by @hepscotthousereno

(Image credit: @hepscotthousereno)

'I decided to jazz up my daughter’s plain white IKEA Malm bedside table for an affordable makeover,' says Patsy @hepscotthousereno (opens in new tab).

'To fit with the ‘boho’ style room, I chose a rattan effect, self-adhesive vinyl to cover the drawers. 

'I removed the drawers from the unit and measured around them to gauge the amount of vinyl needed, including some to wrap neatly over the edges. I then cut and applied it carefully. She loves the result, it was easy to do, fits in well with her style, and is really hardwearing.'

8. Transform an IKEA chopping board into a cool floating nightstand

Ikea nightstand hacks with floating chopping board and rope

(Image credit: IKEA)

Fancy something a little different? A floating nightstand is not only a brilliant space-saving IKEA small home hack, it's also a unique take on a bedside table... After all, who said a nightstand had to have legs?

You can create the look above with an IKEA Aptitlig chopping board, rope, and an IKEA Racka curtain rod combination.

IKEA says: 'Show off your DIY skills and drill holes in a solid wood chopping board, thread in rope and tie tightly. For an extra touch, make a hole a bit larger than a glass tube vase and secure it with rope. Hang it up at the height you want on a curtain rod above your bed.'

9. Channel a mid-century modern look with a dark wood IKEA malm makeover

Ikea nightstand hacks dark wood bedside table by Superfront

(Image credit: Superfront)

Take one IKEA Metod cabinet and add some stunning finishes by Superfront, and what have you got? An ultra-stylish customized IKEA nightstand hack.

The sleek look above was created with the brand's plain wood front and side panels in Umber Wood, and finished with Mini Circus handles in aluminum, and cool Big Balls feet.

A timeless yet on-trend look that gives a nod to mid-century modern styles and will elevate any space.

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.