We love IKEA for its affordable prices, modern design, and cutting-edge product releases. However, given that the Swedish mega-retailer prints more copies of its catalog than there are sales of the Bible each year (yes, really), it's only natural to worry that your new flat-packed furniture won’t look unique when millions of home decorators are buying the same thing.
Enter the IKEA hack. These simple upgrades instantly elevate your affordable finds into stylish and expensive-looking décor. All it takes is a little know-how and an eye for design to turn a standard piece of furniture into a truly unique part of your home. Here are 16 IKEA hacks to try for yourself or inspire your own original design.
A Brass-Knobbed Dresser
A Professional Desk
Upgrade any IKEA desk with this simple contact paper hack. When the all-white, glossy look feels tired, find some walnut contact paper to give your drawers the illusion of a wood finish. You'll be left with a more refined, dynamic design.
A Built-In Billy Bookcase
A Rolling Desk
Rather than simply refining the aesthetics of a regular IKEA dresser, take your DIY skills one step further and upgrade the function as well. Diane of In My Own Style managed to transform a dresser into a rolling desk with some swivel wheels, brakes, hinges, and a few panels of extra wood. The final product looks like a refurbished vintage file cabinet that's full of character.
A Round Belted Mirror
A Faux-Marble Desk
A Striped Textile Pot
One area of IKEA you've most likely overlooked is the fabric section. We love this hack that uses IKEA's textured raw cotton, Minna, to make textile pots. Sew the fabric into a simple shape and place it around basic planters, before painting with stripes of varying hues. This easy DIY can add a pop of color wherever you need one.
A Reclaimed Wood Stikwood Headboard
Any furniture hack that doesn't involve a drill is one we definitely want to know about. Blogger Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth used a little Stikwood adhesive and some wood panels to spruce up her IKEA Malm bed frame. The end result is a reclaimed wood look with very little woodworking involved. It does require a rotary saw to get the length right, but that’s nothing you can’t handle.
A Modern Nursery Dresser
A Fresh Set of Kitchen Cabinets
A Custom Nightstand
A Floating Credenza
A Wood Nightstand
A Refrigerator Cabinet Window Seat
A Mid-Century Modern Shelving Unit
Take a simple IKEA shelving unit and turn it into the midcentury modern storage item of your dreams. The DIY pros behind The Surznick Common Room used mounting plates and wooden taper legs to create this seriously upgraded vinyl record holder.
A Midcentury Modern Coffee Table
It's amazing what a set of tapered legs can do to a piece of furniture. Kirsten of Triple Max Tons used this simple IKEA hack to create a midcentury modern look out of a standard white, rectangular IKEA coffee table. Since IKEA furniture is built to be assembled, all you have to do is remove the original IKEA legs and screw in your new set.
Head to IKEA to begin your own DIY project and transform home décor staples into unique and tasteful design elements using these genius IKEA hacks.
This post was originally published on April 28, 2016, and has since been updated.