An amazing IKEA hack sees a HEMNES go beachy, boho and beautiful as the coastal grandmother trend continues

Sage green paint and geometric details have turned this into the prettiest HEMNES unit we've ever seen

A customised IKEA HEMNES TV unit painted pale green with a geometric pattern
(Image credit: Ebony Basten / @ebonybasten)

Was there ever a more trusty TV unit than the iconic IKEA HEMNES? Its white, understated design is everything we love about the Swedish furniture powerhouse's designs, but some of us like to add a bit of originality into the mix. Luckily this IKEA hack has you covered. 

Gone are the uniform white drawers and white top panel of this simple piece of furniture. In its place is a beautiful soft blue-green hue and intriguing geometric detailing on the drawers, with just the right spattering of natural pine incorporated into the design. 

Who knew the HEMNES could look so pretty. Thanks to this IKEA HEMNES hack, it's been transformed into a statement display unit that now emanates a beachy, boho vibe, and it's all thanks to the work of furniture renovator, Ebony Basten. Here, she explains how she did it. 

A customised IKEA HEMNES TV unit painted pale green with a geometric pattern

(Image credit: Ebony Basten / @ebonybasten)

This IKEA unit was lucky Ebony found it. If she hadn't bought it the day she did, it would have ended its days and wound up at the junkyard. 'I found the broken HEMNES unit for $30 on market place,' she explains. 'It had no back, a split drawer and dodgy drawer runners.' 

Fortunately, her passion involves giving old pieces of furniture a new lease of life, so Ebony knows a thing or two about IKEA hacks. She had a vision to transform the defunct drawers into a beautiful unit for her own home. All it took was a few tools, and some furniture know-how. 

'First, I bought some 0.4 inch MDF and cut it to size to build a new back,' says Ebony. 'I then wood glued and clamped the drawer to fix the split, adding some more screws. Finally I adjusted the runners to help the drawers glide as smoothly as brand new!' 

Ebony sitting on top of the broken IKEA HEMNES unit she bought second hand

(Image credit: Ebony Basten / @ebonybasten)

Now that she had a working HEMNES unit, Ebony could focus on the fun part: the design. She decided to expose the pine below IKEA's staple acrylic lacquer finish, so she started by sanding the unit. 

Next, she followed up with a few licks of paint. 'I used Feast Watson Liming White (opens in new tab) timber stain to lighten the top of the unit, the drawer fronts, and the legs,' she explains. 'I then primed the piece using Dulux’s Precision Maximum Adhesion (opens in new tab) before painting in Fusion's Eucalyptus mineral paint (opens in new tab).' She didn't paint the surface of the unit to give the overall look a more natural feel. 

A customised IKEA HEMNES TV unit painted pale green with a geometric pattern

(Image credit: Ebony Basten / @ebonybasten)

Rather than opt for a simple all-over color elsewhere, Ebony decided to be playful with a geometric design on the drawers and similar details on the legs, resulting in a truly eye-catching piece of furniture. 'I framed the drawers up using cover strip and frog tape for crisp lines, adding a geometric pattern to the front of the drawers and legs of the unit,' she explains. 

If that design idea wasn't enough, Ebony even added hand-painted details to the drawers to make her IKEA HEMNES extra personal. 'I hand-painted a dot pattern to the sides,' she says. 

But the most thoughtful detail of is hidden from sight. Open opening the drawers, your eyes meet a beautiful black and white geometric pattern that marries the whole design together. 'I used wallpaper from Amazon to the interior drawer bases for a nice surprise when you opened them,' Ebony adds. 

Above view of a customised IKEA HEMNES unit with geometric wallpapered draws

(Image credit: Ebony Basten / @ebonybasten)

With her home's rustic feel and subtle color palette, we think this IKEA hack's design complements Ebony's style exquisitely. 'I’m a huge lover of personalised furniture, and coastal boho is what makes my soul happy and my creativity thrive,' she explains.

Not only is the finished result gorgeous, but there's a sentimental reward in it for Ebony too. 'I view the day I started to transform our home's characterless, run of the mill furniture into something that resonates with me as one of the best days of my life. It's what set me on the journey to discover my passion!'

If you're feeling inspired by Ebony's living room furniture idea, head to her Instagram (opens in new tab)where you can find a haven of coastal boho IKEA hacks. You'll be personalising all your own furniture in no time. 

Lilith Hudson
Junior writer

Lilith Hudson is the Junior Writer on Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news articles for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration that you need in your home. She discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. Lilith now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London (a degree where she could combine both) and has previously worked at the Saturday Times Magazine, ES Magazine, DJ Mag and The Simple Things Magazine.