Somewhere along the line, IKEA went from a brand associated with first apartment essentials to one known for its sleek and sensible offerings—that still come at a first apartment price point. While this could be due to IKEA's numerous chic collection drops in recent years, we have a sneaking suspicion that the humble IKEA hack also has something to do with the brand's perennial success.
IKEA hacks have become so popular—a quick Pinterest search will turn up a plethora of ideas—that there are even brands that solely create products meant to make ordinary IKEA pieces look more expensive and unique. If you have some old IKEA dresser drawers or nightstands lying around that could use a bit of sprucing up, turn your attention to Norse Interiors.
For the uninitiated, the brand creates products made to customize IKEA furniture in a sophisticated Scandinavian style. Think cabinet doors, panels, dresser drawer fronts, and accessories specifically made to adorn existing popular IKEA pieces.
Most recently, Norse Interiors debuted a new Malm collection designed in two sizes to fit over the IKEA Malm nightstand and the IKEA Malm dresser. The collection is available in four distinct designs and colorways, with pieces starting at $60.
Keep scrolling to learn more about this crazy easy IKEA hack and to snag a few tips on Scandinavian design from the CEO and Founder of Norse Interiors, Lotta Lundaas.
Utilizing the designs from Norse Interiors couldn't be easier, especially if you already own the IKEA products their designs are made to fit. You simply pick a design for your drawer front and then pick a color that suits your style. In the Malm collection, you'll find fronts with a painted finish that creates a durable surface that's easy to clean. The process of switching out the existing drawer fronts with the new ones can be done in just a few minutes. Simply move four screws and dowels to the new front, and you'll have an entirely new dresser drawer with far more personality than an ordinary IKEA piece.
"The customer is central for the transformation, as it’s their choices that make the IKEA furniture unique and personal," Lundaas explains. "The different patterns and colors of the drawer fronts allow you to make more than a thousand unique Malm dressers and nightstands."
In addition to the drawer fronts, Norse Interiors also offers knobs and pulls to continue the customization process. "If you add knobs and pulls and all the doors and panels we offer for the Besta cabinets, it adds up to several thousands of unique pieces," according to Lundaas. "We take advantage of IKEA’s core and modularity, and then we let the customers put together a design that expresses their individual style, by using durable, high-end components," she adds.
The Malm collection, in particular, was inspired by IKEA's best-selling dressers and nightstands. "Changing the drawer front is an easy way to give them an entirely new look," Lundaas notes. Because their goal is to offer customization solutions for every type of room, the Malm system felt like a natural choice due to its popularity, according to Lundaas.
As far as the aesthetics of the actual drawer fronts, Lundaas indicates that the designs are inspired by Scandinavian architecture. "We stayed true to the simple lines that characterize Scandinavian design," she explains.
The Malm collection features adaptations of two popular patterns from the brand's Besta cabinet collection, as well as two new ones dubbed Joan and Susan.
"Joan [Collection] is made up of a series of arches that repeat and overlap, while Susan was inspired by beautiful stained glass windows," Lundaas says.
When it comes to getting the Scandinavian look in your home, Lundaas has a few general tips. "Scandinavian design should look effortless, with sparse furniture and décor," she points out, suggesting that anyone looking to create this style in their home should start by decluttering their space. "The minimalistic approach also goes for the color palette, which is dominated by neutrals," Lundaas says.
Since it can get very dark for much of the year in Northern Europe, Lundaas notes that there's often a focus on lamps and lighting in Scandinavian homes. She advises adding a few cozy elements like candles to bring in a bit of extra light. Along with lighting, nature is an important part of this design style. "Bringing nature in, like wood, branches, and plants is another staple," she says. Lastly, functionality is key. "You often find smart storage solutions hidden away in a Scandinavian home," Lundaas says.