Stylish IKEA shelving hacks can be a godsend when you realize that bespoke shelving solutions can often turn into a rather expensive endeavor. Shelves are a simple way to create a curated space, keeping rooms tidy while also elevating an interior by becoming a perch to display beautiful objet and antiques.
By creating a chic IKEA hack, you can craft anything from fashionable floating shelves to wall-to-wall statement solutions for any room.
We've rounded up a host of best IKEA shelving hacks below that perfectly blend form and function - all at a palatable price.
IKEA shelving hacks for curated displays and storage
1. Create a stunning Scandi-style nook with Billy bookcases
You would never think this chic space was crafted with a clever IKEA Billy bookcase hack.
'We bought two Ikea Billy closets as base for our DIY project,' says Greet @styleandusgar (opens in new tab). 'First, we painted and sanded both Billy bookcases beige and filled all the holes. We then sanded again – this is an important step.
'Then we measured the shelves in the closet and used the shelves twice, to make the same thickness. Then we bought extra wood to put on both sides of the Billy, that way we made the Billy towards the ceiling. We also painted that wood beige, and attached all the wood with mounting kit on both sides.
'Finally, close the top with wood, sand it, paint it beige and seal with acrylic sealant. We then used wood filler to ensure a smooth finish.'
Stack with beautiful ceramics and pair with earthy linens and rattan furniture for a Scandi-style shelving idea.
2. Fashion custom 'built-in' shelving for the living room
You don't have to spend a fortune to get a bespoke built-in shelving unit for your living room. A clever IKEA shelving hack will do the trick.
Over @by_sache (opens in new tab)s, custom shelves were created with IKEA Besta cabinets and shelves, as well as Gersby shelves.
Gather all the IKEA items. Then follow these steps:
1. Leave the top plate off the Gersby bookcase.
2. Build the plinth and attach it to the wall or floor.
3. Screw the cabinets together. Then mount the cabinets to the plinth and to the wall.
4. Turn the Gersby shelves upside down and screw them together (feel free to lower the screws so that they become invisible later). Then mount them to the wall with brackets over the top shelves.
5. Fit moldings and baseboards with mounting glue.
6. Fill all holes and screws, sand the entire rack, and prime it.
7. If necessary, grout the shelf for a more built-in look.
8. Sand again lightly and paint the shelf 1-2 times in the desired color.
3. Make chic floating shelves to display beautiful vignettes
Need somewhere chic to showcase all your pretty ceramic pieces, vases and vignettes? Holly of @hollymabs (opens in new tab) has an affordable bathroom shelving solution that doesn't compromise on style – an IKEA Lack hack.
She says: 'For this IKEA shelving hack, we lightly sanded then primed the IKEA Lack shelves in their original state, using a small foam roller for the smoothest finish.
'We used the same paint color as our walls to create more of a seamless look.
'The floating shelves are the perfect neutral base to switch up styling pieces and change the vibe of our living room for each season. Definitely one of our favorite upcycles to date!'
4. Craft slimline shelving for a small-space hallway
Small-space living definitely doesn't have to be devoid of style as these IKEA small home hacks prove, and this slimline shelving unit is another great idea for a petite pad.
'Design ideas for small-spaces is a never-ending subject,' says @studio85homedr. 'We used a little trick in this small entryway that makes a big first impression.
'The problem that we tried to solve was the pile of shoes. The entryway is very small, so regular built-in storage with a door makes the situation even worse. Let's face it, kids never put their shoes inside the closet, they just leave them in the middle of the entryway, and when you are trying to open the door to get your coat out, well, you are stuck with shoveling that pile of shoes around.
'We decided to make a hanging closet, to allow space for shoes underneath on a tile floor, in a way they would not block the doors from opening. We also then included handy open shelving on the side.
'We took the IKEA PAX wardrobe with doors as our base. We modified the height, so when installed it we had around 12" clearance from the floor to the bottom of the cabinet (cut around 8" from gables, doors, and back if you have 8' ceiling), then assembled them with screws.
'For the open shelving, we used a PAX base, left the door off, and bought wood panels from the local hardware store and customized them to fit.'
6. Get an ultra-chic 'built-in' bookcase
IKEA shelving hacks can offer fantastic 'built-in' looks at a fraction of the price. This gorgeous grey custom living room shelving idea is a beautiful example of how you can take it from basic to bespoke.
'This built-in IKEA Billy bookcase project gave me an affordable way to create a custom-cabinetry feel for our home library,' says Mandi Johnson.
'I built the additional structure around the shelves, and my dad had the nail-biting task of applying crown molding to the top.'
The whole thing was painted in Benjamin Moore’s Oil Cloth in a satin finish, the same hue as the walls, which created a truly elevated feel.
See exactly how the hack was created at abeautifulmess.com (opens in new tab).
7. Enjoy beautiful shelving in a relaxing reading corner
When it comes to shelving transformations, the not-so-humble Billy bookcase can do no wrong. Maria-Laura, of @marialauradl (opens in new tab), created this refined reading nook for a tranquil space to relax.
She says: 'I used the tallest version of the IKEA Billy bookcase (the small version in the left corner and the double version on the right).
'I painted the inside of the cabinet in Albany Newspaper Grey, the same color as the lower part of the wall in the living room.
'Next, I put doors on the lower half for extra storage and added white marble doorknobs for a stylish finish. Then I filled it with all things pretty!'
8. Match your IKEA shelves to your laundry room decor
When considering laundry room storage ideas, you quickly realize shelves are key to a curated space.
They make the perfect spot for your washing tablets and other necessities (decanted into smart labeled containers, of course), as well as being ideal for 'prettying up' the space with plants or vases.
The IKEA Tornviken shelves are particularly handy as they come with a hanging rail underneath, which could be put to good use in a laundry room for brushes or a peg bag.
Trina @lifeasmrsbuilder (opens in new tab) says: 'I really liked the idea of wall shelves in the utility to declutter the counter but to also pull the room together.
'I had considered getting them made but it would be pricey. When I came across the Tornviken wall shelves in IKEA I just fell in love.... They were €40 and the same color as my cabinets! A no-brainer.
'They came with steel rails so I sprayed them gold to match the brass handles in the room.'
See? IKEA shelving hacks can be as simple as a bit of spray paint.
9. Go wall-to-wall for statement shelving
Shelving might seem like one of the less important interior decisions but its significance as a backdrop for decorative objects and their impact in a room is huge.
Proof of how much it can shape a space is seen in Ruth @mrs_macs_home (opens in new tab) above, where the IKEA Billy bookcase shelving hack covers the entire wall, and is home to everything from oversized glass bottles and baskets to log storage and vintage book displays.
Ruth says: 'We first removed the skirting board so the units could go flush against the wall.
'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.'
10. Elevate your living room with a dreamy IKEA shelving hack
How chic is this creamy, dreamy space? From the DIY coffee table (yes, really), to the stunning IKEA shelving hack, it's a swoon-worthy spot for some major living room ideas inspiration.
Matlan @matlanthihlum (opens in new tab) created the shelving hack with the IKEA Billy bookcase series. She cleverly ensured visual interest by alternating shelf heights and sizes to accommodate different sizes of display objects. She then guaranteed a high-end aesthetic by finishing the shelves in the same hue as the walls.
'We painted them in the same color as the walls in the living room, Washed Linen from Jotun, for a chic and refined finish.'
11. Incorporate an IKEA shelving hack into a sleek mudroom
IKEA shelving hacks don't have to be standalone pieces, they can be part of an entire storage solution – as this innovative IKEA mudroom hack shows.
'For this DIY we purchased a second-hand IKEA Kallax shelf unit and a second-hand IKEA Hemnes shelf,' says Hélo of @chateau.leg0 (opens in new tab).
'We painted them both using matt white paint. The Hemnes shelf is attached to our wall for the top part of the mudroom and we added some baskets for storage.
'We added some 'legs' to the Kallax shelf, which we covered with some plywood also painted in matt white paint, and then we added a light oak wood board to finish the bench of the mudroom.
'We glued some plywood to our wall to make the moldings and painted it in matt white and then we used Svartsjön Ikea pegs to hang our coats.'
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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