You’ve seen the memes about having to seek mental health care or needing a Calgon bubble bath after building IKEA furniture, right? I’m the opposite of those memes. Almost nothing gives me greater satisfaction than building a piece of IKEA furniture, and it’s only one of the reasons I’m always on a search for IKEA hacks.
Other reasons include the infinite number of organization options available by hacking already organization-centric stuff, and the ability to make furniture pieces look like vintage heirloom pieces without having to spend custom furniture-type money.
Here are some of my favorite IKEA hacks
This gorgeous desk space was created with two IKEA Malm 3-drawer chests topped with an IKEA Kitchen Worktop. The blogger used the white acrylic worktop, which creates a gorgeous clean, white space, but I think it would look just as amazing, and add character, with a solid wood top. I love white pieces with a wood-finished top!
With the open concept floor plans that are so popular right now, it can be a challenge to create defined spaces. One way to create a cozy look in a large space is with a room divider like this one, built by stacking two IKEA Kallax units on top of each other. It’s a beautiful way to keep a space from looking too sterile, and it offers lots of storage.
This one is definitely a more advanced DIY hack, but if you’ve got a table saw, it’s so worth whipping that baby out. The base piece is an IKEA Kallax shelving unit, with homemade wooden doors that are just the dreamiest. The very best part of this piece is distressing the wood. I can’t tell you how cathartic it is to hammer around on a piece of wood, making as much a mess of it as possible. Cheap therapy! And the end result makes it look like a time-worn piece that you just happened upon at a high end estate sale.
Speaking of a custom, time-worn piece, this transformation of two IKEA Besta wall-mounted cabinets into such rustic, reclaimed wood deliciousness is just almost too much for my emotions. This is another more advanced DIY, but that’s the great thing about IKEA furniture: it’s affordable enough that you can buy the pieces to serve as a kind of base piece, and their clean lines serve as a sort of fresh canvas for you to make your own.
This is such a fun way to add character and functionality to a desk space or headboard: add sconce lighting. When I updated my tween boy’s bedroom a few years ago, I converted plug-in sconce lights so that they would work without having to run any electricity. The step-by-step tutorial can be found here. The same thing can be done with IKEA’s Grundbro lamps for a different, but equally adorable fresh farmhouse look.
My all-time favorite IKEA hack has always been the faux built-in bookcases. There’s no end to the different variations of these online, most of them using Billy bookcases as the foundation and then adding trim pieces. In my last home, we had a large multipurpose room upstairs and a giant wall was just the canvas I’d been needing to make my faux built-in dreams come true. But the Billy bookcases weren’t tall enough for the tall ceilings in that room.
I built mine with the PAX wardrobe units with Bergsbo doors as my main feature, then flanked them with a Billy bookcase on either end, put a Brusali in the middle, created a wood-finish tabletop that I overlaid on top of the Brusali, added moulding and trim pieces, painted the entire unit so the color and finish matched, and topped the whole thing off with a giant chalkboard that I made out of MDF board and framed with stained pine 1×4’s.
The full tutorial can be found here. It was my favorite thing I’ve ever created. The storage was divine and the customization options are endless for something like this.
Searching “IKEA hacks” will seriously take you down a monstrous rabbit hole, and it definitely warrants creating a designated Pinterest board, but you’ll have organization and home improvement ideas like those listed here, coming out the wazoo!