18 Chic-to-Death IKEA Hacks You Have to Try For A Unique Home

Sarah Sherman Samuel

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, expensive-looking décor. Whether it's IKEA shelving, cabinets, or desks, you can transform the functional pieces into furniture so chic no one will think you bought it at IKEA. All it takes is a little know-how and an eye for design. Here are 18 IKEA hacks to try for yourself or inspire your own original design.

The IKEA Product: Tarva 5-Drawer Chest

IKEA Tarva 5-Drawer Chest
IKEA Tarva 5-Drawer Chest $149

The IKEA Hacks: Tarva 5-Drawer Chest

Designer Sarah Sherman Samuel used a few simple design hacks to turn a standard wooden dresser from IKEA into a clean, fresh-looking piece of furniture. You can use white paint, brass knobs, and metallic gold spray paint to replicate this contemporary look.

IKEA hacks on a dresser
Sarah Sherman Samuel

Or, opt for a stain and switch out the hardware like Cherished Bliss.

DIY stained Tarva IKEA dresser
Cherished Bliss 

The IKEA Product: Bestå Burs Desk

IKEA Bestå Burs Desk
IKEA Bestå Burs Desk $199

The IKEA Hacks: Bestå Burs 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.

IKEA Desk hack
Happy Mundane

Add a touch of luxe to an IKEA desk with gold spray paint.

A touch of gold spray paint gives an Ikea desk a gilded touch
Comfy Dwelling 

The IKEA Product: Billy Bookcase

IKEA Billy Bookcase
IKEA Billy Bookcase $40

The IKEA Hacks: Billy Bookcase

Custom built-ins don't come cheap, so we love The Makerista's genius idea to put three of IKEA's popular Billy bookcases together. A solid baseboard and crown molding were added, so it blends perfectly with the period style of this home. Memorize this IKEA shelving hack for an easy upgrade.

Built-In Billy Bookcase
The Makerista

You could also add a sliding door to the Billy bookcase to keep clutter out of sight.

Ikea Billy bookcase sliding door hack
ICH Designs

The IKEA Product: Tarva 3-Drawer Chest

IKEA Tarva 3-Drawer Chest
IKEA Tarva 3-Drawer Chest $99

The Hacks: Tarva 3-Drawer Chest

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.

Rolling Desk
In My Own Style

Use an overlay, a new paint color, swivel wheels, and bold knobs to makeover the Tarva 3-drawer chest into a beverage or dessert cart.

Tarva dresser turned bar cart Ikea hack
 City Farmhouse

Completely revamp an IKEA dresser into a luxe piece fit for the master bedroom using this IKEA hack from DIY pro, Erin Spain. Use a fresh coat of paint, new handles, and legs to get the look. We love the deep navy color, upgraded legs, and brass hardware of the finished product.

IKEA Nightstand
Erin Spain

The IKEA Product: Stockholm Mirror

IKEA Stockholm Mirror
IKEA Stockholm Mirror $129

The IKEA Hack: Stockholm Mirror

By attaching some affordable leather belts from H&M to a round mirror from IKEA, Swedish designer Sarah Widman created an insanely stylish accent piece.

Belted MIrror
Sarah Widman

The IKEA Product: Linnmon/Lerberg Table

IKEA Linnmon/Lerberg Table
IKEA Linnmon/Lerberg Table $60

The IKEA Hacks: Linnmon/Lerberg Table

One clever DIY-er gave a simple IKEA trestle desk a luxe makeover by simply covering the top with marble-printed contact paper. Fooled us!

Marble Desk
Life at Home

A stack of books and green paint give the Linnmon / Lerberg desk an unexpected look.

A stack of books double as a table leg

The IKEA Product: Aina Fabric

IKEA Aina Fabric
IKEA Aina Fabric $9

The IKEA Hacks: Aina Fabric

Wash and tumble the Aina fabric and use it as a blanket over the bed, or as a throw blanket over the couch.

Ikea Aina fabric as a blanket
Scandinavian Love Song

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.

Striped Textile Pots
Life at Home

Add a pop of color wherever you need one by putting out a plant in a colorful pot.

The IKEA Product: Malm Bed Frame

IKEA Malm Bed Frame
IKEA Malm Bed Frame $199

The IKEA Hacks: Malm Bed Frame

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 little woodworking involved. It does require a rotary saw to get the length right, but that's nothing you can't handle.

Reclaimed Wood Stikwood Headboard
Sugar and Cloth

For a warmer aesthetic, one DIY-er used grey wood vinyl planks to create a rustic look.

Grey vinyl planks dress up a Malm bed frame
 Hesters Handmade Home

The IKEA Product: Tarva 6-Drawer Chest

IKEA Tarva 6-Drawer Chest
IKEA Tarva 6-Drawer Chest $179

The IKEA Hacks: Tarva 6-Drawer Chest

A coat of soft green paint and a set of brass bar pulls transform IKEA's wooden Tarva dresser from something plain into something photogenic. This adorable dresser looks far from a budget buy and fits right into the nursery décor of this space.

Nursery Dresser
Sarah Sherman Samuel

A new paint job involving a stain and a coat of cheery green paint is anything but boring.

Ikea's Tarva 6-drawer dresser gets a makeover with a stain and green accent paint
Persia Lou

The IKEA Product: Sektion Cabinets

IKEA Sektion Base Cabinet
IKEA Sektion Base Cabinet $58

The IKEA Hacks: Sektion Cabinets

For those who want the look of custom cabinetry without the cost, Semihandmade doors are the answer. The company produces doors, panels, and drawer faces designed specifically to fit IKEA cabinets, and as you can see by these pretty sage cabinets, they look quite luxurious.

Kitchen Cabinets
Sarah Sherman Samuels

Metal pulls upgrade Ikea's Sektion base cabinets.

New pulls upgrade Ikea's Sektion base cabinets
 Architectural Digest
IKEA Sektion High Cabinet
IKEA Sektion High Cabinet $233

We would never have guessed that this sophisticated and contemporary window seat fit for storing shoes, coats, and kid's backpacks, is actually an IKEA refrigerator cabinet. Tim Hutchenson of NWhomeworks proves that it's incredible what some creative reuse IKEA shelving can produce with this masterful hack.

Window Seat
NW Homeworks

The IKEA Product: Bestå Shelf Unit

IKEA Bestå Shelf Unit
IKEA Bestå Shelf Unit $90

The IKEA Hacks: Bestå Shelf Unit

By hanging IKEA's Bestå shelf unit on the wall and topping it with a stained wood panel, you can create a floating credenza that looks way more costly than it actually is. Look to Ashley of Sugar & Cloth to master this IKEA shelving hack.

Floating Credenza
Sugar and Cloth

Top the Bestå shelving unit with a fitted, light-colored wooden plank for a modern media console.

Ikea Bestå unit in modern home

The IKEA Product: Granboda Nesting Table

IKEA Granboda Nesting Tables
IKEA Granboda Nesting Tables $60

The IKEA Hack: Granboda Nesting Table

A little contact paper and spray paint went a long way to transform one basic and modern IKEA side table into a nightstand with a luxe vibe. Use any marble, wood, or copper contact paper and your choice of spray paint to achieve a similar look.

Kristi Murphy

The Rissna nesting table is no longer available but you can still achieve a similar effect on these minimal Granboda tables.

The IKEA Product: Kallax Shelf Unit

IKEA Kallaxx Shelf Unit
IKEA Kallaxx Shelf Unit $35

The IKEA Hacks: Kallax Shelf 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.

Mid-Century Modern Shelf
The Surznick Common Room

Use the shelf as part of a home office with stylish file boxes and folders.

Kallax shelf is used in a home office
 Comfy Dwelling

The IKEA Product: Lack Coffee Table

IKEA Lack Coffee Table
IKEA Lack Coffee Table $50

The IKEA Hacks: Lack 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 IKEA coffee table. Since IKEA furniture is built to be assembled, all you have to do is remove the original legs and screw in your new set.

Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table
Triple Max Tons

Pick up some brass corners to instantly add flair to a Lack table.

Brass tables add flair to Ikea Lack table

The IKEA Product: Ingo Table

Ikea Ingo pine table
IKEA Ingo pine table $79

The IKEA Hacks: Ingo Table

Top the Ingo table with a marble slab and add casters for a functional and stylish work table, which is great for small spaces.

Ikea hack of Ingo table

Go midcentury aesthetic and stain your Ingo table for a well-worn look.

Ikea Ingo table gets upgrade with a stain for a midcentury look
 Digs Digs

The IKEA Product: Fintorp System

The Fintorp series is a collection of rods, hooks, and baskets typically found in Ikea's kitchen section. However, the possibilities for utilizing the system for your needs go beyond culinary practicalities.

Ikea's Fintorp kitchen rod
IKEA Fintorp Kitchen Series Black Rail $10

The IKEA Hacks: Fintorp System

Create a coat rack for the entryway with Ikea's versatile Fintorp bar and hook system.

Ikea's Fintorp system as a coat rack for the entryway
 Cup of Joe

The IKEA Product: Borby Lantern

Ikea Borby lantern
IKEA Borby lantern $15

The IKEA Hack: Borby Lantern

Follow Thou Swell's lead and turn Ikea's lantern into an Instagram-ready terrarium.

Ikea lantern turned terrarium
Thou Swell

The IKEA Product: Ekby Alex Shelf

Ikea Ekby Alex shelf
IKEA Ekby Alex shelf $50

The IKEA Hack: Ekby Alex Shelf

Add tapered legs to reimagine the Ekby Alex Shelf as a modern vanity.

Ikea Ekby Alex shelf reimagined as modern vanity with tapered legs
New Blooming 

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