IKEA small home hacks – 10 chic ways to optimize space on a budget

These stylish IKEA small home hacks will make the most of your space without blowing the budget...

Ikea small home hacks Ikea metod cabinets by Superfront
(Image credit: Superfront/Karl Anderson)

While living in a bijou bolthole is often charming and cozy, IKEA small home hacks can help with the issues that can be trickier - like maximizing space and storage.

IKEA hacks offer the opportunity to optimize nooks that would otherwise be wasted space thanks to their versatility and affordability. From slimline sideboards and built-in cabinets to small but mighty bathroom vanity units, we've rounded up a curated edit of stylish IKEA small home hacks below. No room? No problem...

IKEA small home hacks to maximize space and style

1. Create a 'built-in' console for a small living room

ikea small home hacks built-in Ivar console

(Image credit: @marleniii_s)

Short on square footage in your living room? Not a huge DIY fan? This simple IKEA small home hack was made for you. Make the most of a narrow nook that would otherwise be dead space.

Marlene @marleniii_s completed this IKEA Ivar hack with a simple lick of paint in a greige finish – a color that's enjoying a comeback in the world of color trends thanks to its earthy, natural tone.

She says: 'I like IKEA furniture, but always try to personalize it. My cabinet is an Ivar that has been wall-hung and painted greige. I also only fitted one of the doors, which created a space for open shelving, where I can display books, plants or vases.'

2. Make a floating vanity unit for a bijou bathroom

Ikea small home hacks floating vanity unit by Semihandmade

(Image credit: Semihandmade/Photography: Rennai Hoefer; Design: Kristen Forgione)

IKEA hacks make innovative small bathroom storage ideas and this floating vanity unit is a pretty and practical option.

Interior designer Kristen Forgione took a simple IKEA Godmorgon and transformed it with stylish fronts from Semihandmade.

The company says: 'White is a go-to hue in bathrooms for a reason: It always looks clean and calming.' But in this Arizona home, the designer opted for a different neutral with Semihandmade’s Supermatte Slab cabinets in Desert Grey. 

'The warm undertone of the vanity fronts makes them a great pairing with the room’s peach wallpaper – proof you don’t have to choose between pattern and color in a smaller space.'

3. Hack some stylish slimline shoe storage

Ikea small home hacks Hemnes shoe storage cabinet

(Image credit: @_the_woodworkers_wife)

If you have a shoe overload in your house, you're certainly not alone. Creating a hallway storage solution for the problem will ensure they don't become a trip hazard as soon as you walk in the door.

Make like Tanya @_the_woodworkers_wife and carry out an IKEA Hemnes hack for some smart and stylish storage.

Tanya says: 'We have a shoe problem. All four of us have tons of shoes. Solution?! IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet. 

'I will say I’ve never been a massive fan of the Hemnes shoe storage cupboard as it is, but my husband convinced me we can spruce it up and customize it. 

'In order to do that for our space we needed two cabinets. We placed the two together, however on one of them we excluded the center post to ensure that it fit. This also gave it more of a uniform look rather than having a double width center post. 

'We then cut off the legs, painted the entire piece in a beautiful shade of green (Sherwin Williams color of the year Evergreen Fog), added hardboard pieces to the doors to give them a shaker style. 

'From there we cut the top piece to fit our space and joined them seamlessly. A quick knob change (new pieces from Amazon) and the piece was complete.'

Ikea small home hacks Hemnes shoe storage cabinet

(Image credit: @_the_woodworkers_wife)

She adds: 'At the top, we made our own version of shiplap and added some hooks.  I love what it’s done to the space and how it’s cleared up an unsavory corner. 

'We’re able to hang our bags and backpacks and I have another ledge to decorate.'

4. Fashion a double duty bedside table and reading nook

Ikea small home hacks bedside table reading nook by Semihandmade

(Image credit: Angela Rose)

Space-saving storage ideas are great for small homes, and making them multifunctional means they're even more versatile.

DIY designer Angela Rose transformed a tiny bedroom corner by turning a Besta cabinet into the ideal reading nook

It features Semihandmade’s Chris Loves Julia Cove doors, and is adorned with CB2 hardware. 

The bench seat offers the perfect place to store books and creams, as well as offering a spot to pop your morning cuppa. In the day, it doubles up as a cozy reading nook. Stylish and functional, we love.

5. Craft custom built-ins for a small home office

Ikea small home hacks home office built-in storage with Pax unit

(Image credit: @our_newbuildhome)

'We wanted to turn our smallest bedroom into a home office space but on a relatively small budget so, inspired by IKEA hacks I’d seen online, we decided to try our own (with very little carpentry experience)', says Alayna @our_newbuildhome.

'I really wanted to optimize storage throughout our home but, as this was a small space, we didn’t want to overwhelm the room. We opted for two slim-depth IKEA Pax wardrobes, which each measure 35mm deep by 1000mm wide and used MDF to create a small desk area backed with pine tongue and groove.  

'To give them the look of bespoke cabinetry we built a simple platform to sit the wardrobes on and trimmed with a skirting board plinth to give a ‘built-in’ look.'

She adds: 'We used a Zinsser primer to prepare all the surfaces before painting in Farrow & Ball Railings, which was color matched at B&Q, and finished with new gold and marble knobs. 

'In total, we spent under £250 and it’s given us a really versatile storage and work space.'

6. Hang boho-style hallway storage with a Besta hack

Ikea small home hacks rattan hallway storage Besta

(Image credit: rebeckas.hem)

Narrow hallways require slimline storage solutions, and this IKEA Besta hack is useful as well as adding a cool bohemian feel to the space.

The look was created by Rebecka @rebeckas.hem, who says: 'I used two pieces of IKEA Bestå (60x20x64), which I put up on the wall. 

'I sawed off the middle part of the Bestå door and then I put the rattan fabric flat in a water bath for a few minutes to be more manageable before stapling it to the door.'

7. Use the IKEA Ivar to create a Scandi-style tall dining room cabinet

Ikea small home hacks dining room storage Ivar

(Image credit: @homedaystudio)

It's no surprise IKEA Ivar hacks are so popular – the basic cabinet lends itself easily to so many makeover options, and this compact dining room storage unit is a chic example.

'I started with two shallow IKEA Ivar units to make this compact storage unit for my dining room,' says Lesley @homedaystudio. 'I cut half-round pine molding and attached it to the doors and sides with construction adhesive in a box pattern. 

'I primed and painted the exterior with a cabinet-grade satin finish paint in the same color as the walls. Once everything had cured, I assembled the units and mounted them to the wall. I added unlacquered brass ball knobs (from Rejuvenation) and legs (from Pretty Pegs) painted to match the unit.'

The end result is a super-stylish storage unit that makes the most of spare wall space and also allows room to display rustic baskets or vignettes on the top.

8. Construct a beautiful 'marble' breakfast bar with IKEA kitchen countertops

Ikea small home hacks breakfast bar in small kitchen by Semihandmade

(Image credit: Semihandmade/Mallory Fletchall)

This petite 210-square-foot kitchen got a seriously stylish - and affordable - makeover with some clever kitchen IKEA hacks - and a lot of elbow grease.

Mallory Fletchall, the creative behind Reserve Home, decided to tackle her unsightly kitchen but, because it's a rental, didn't want to spend a fortune.

The IKEA Metod base was given a glow up with Semihandmade Supermatte Slab cabinet fronts in Agave and IKEA marble-effect countertops, which both served as the foundation for the new design.

Ikea small home hacks mini breakfast bar in small kitchen

(Image credit: Semihandmade/Mallory Fletchall)

IKEA’s marble-effect laminate on the kitchen countertops worked out to be a fortuitous choice, and only cost $80. 

'Since this is a rental and not our forever home, we wanted to keep the costs low,' says Mallory.

She was even able to pair repurpose the leftover material onto a small breakfast bar on the opposite wall. 

'We installed a piece with some heavy-duty brackets from Home Depot,' she explains. 'It was a really easy DIY, and totally serendipitous that we ended up with the perfect amount of extra laminate.'

9. Give a small kitchen-diner much-needed storage with style

Ikea small home hacks Ikea metod cabinets by Superfront

(Image credit: Superfront/Karl Anderson)

If you're working with a kitchen diner and storage space is scarce, an IKEA hack is a bespoke solution that won't break the bank.

Superfront, which provides chic new door fronts, legs and handles for a number of IKEA bases, shows us above how to give some IKEA Metod cabinets a glow up for minimalist-style storage.

The IKEA base was given new fronts in the brand's Naked No Pattern finish, which is a clean-lined MDF door. This was paired with the loop leather and copper handles for a cool, contemporary vibe, and the Slender High and Slender Low industrial black legs. Choosing different leg heights adds visual interest, while the cabinet handles even work as a great spot for hanging tea towels.

10. Add a sleek and slim sideboard to any narrow space

Ikea small home hacks silm sideboard Besta unit by Superfront

(Image credit: Superfront)

This ultra-chic sideboard would work in any space that requires storage – without much square footage to space.

Whether it's a studio apartment or a narrow hallway, this IKEA small home hack is not only functional but also packs a big style statement for such a petite piece.

All you need to do? Invest in a 2cm deep IKEA Besta unit and add Illusion doors from Superfront in Infinity Blue. Finish with a pair of the brand's Slender High black legs for a modern industrial finish. Easy, peasy.

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.