We’re no strangers to the transformative power of a carefully planned décor hack, but when we were glancing through our extensive archives, it became clear that one furniture powerhouse reigns supreme. And while it’s no surprise that IKEA dominates the list of clever furniture hacks, there’s another affordable décor brand to rival it: Target. Brimming with home basics and first-apartment buys, the discount realtor is the ultimate go-to for simple shelves, dressers, and coffee tables waiting to be customized.
Not sure where to start? We channeled our creativity and spoke to DIY expert Mandi Gubler, host of Fearless DIY on The Design Network and founder of the blog Vintage Revivals, to find out the best way to update classic and affordable Target décor from simple to stunning. Choose your level of difficulty and select a base Target item to create a statement, one-of-a-kind piece of furniture you'll want to show off for years to come. IKEA, meet your match.
The Hack: Adorning your walls with a floating shelf and some carefully styled products is an easy way to add character to a space, but basic paperboard shelves can leave you feeling a little uninspired. If you want your shelf to rival the gorgeous items on it, consider wrapping them in copper sheets. Mandi Gubler created this hack by crafting her shelves from scratch, but if you’re time-poor, a premade shelf from Target will give you a similar finished look.
Wearing thick gloves, carefully wrap each shelf with a copper sheet and secure it with a staple gun. Finally, measure a trim piece to attach at the front of each shelf and hide any messy joints, and hammer it into place with copper nails.
The Hack: Looking for a statement pendant light but can’t seem to find the right shade? This two-step hack allows you to transform a decorative bowl into a gorgeous light with just a drill. First, turn the bowl upside down so the rim sits flat on a bench. Mark the center of the bowl and use a hole saw to drill through it. Then thread the pendant light fixture through the hole and follow the kit instructions to make sure the elements are firmly in place. Screw in an Edison bulb, and hang the pendant light over a dining table or reading chair for an ambient glow.
The Hack: It doesn’t get simpler than this. “Using dip bowls as planters is one of my favorite hacks!” says Gubler, who adorned her copper shelves with succulents in ceramic dishes. If you are concerned about drainage, sprinkle some pebbles in the bottom of each dish before transferring each succulent into a pot or, if you’re short on time, use the bowls as a cover. “They are the exact same size as the containers that succulents come in so you don’t have to replant them at all,” she explains.
The Hack: Inspired by one of our favorite first-apartment hacks, this DIY idea elevates a simple cube-like unit with just a handful of brass hardware. Turn the unit on its side, and use a drill to fix a brass wheel to each corner on the underside. Then, flip it over so the unit is standing on the new wheels and mark where you’d like the bar cart handles to be. Drill a hole through the wood and insert a brass washer, and then use a screw to secure the handle from underneath. Finally, style the cart with a pitcher, tray, and other bar essentials.
The Hack: Consider yourself a DIY pro? This complex project is for you. Designed by Gubler, this hack transforms a Threshold Acacia Wood Utensil Holder into a stunning modern light. It’s a multi-step process involving copper pipes, light-adapter pieces, light sockets, and more, but we promise the finished product is worth it.
The Hack: This one-step project is a fast and simple way to update a side table that’s starting to look dated. Simply measure the surface of the table and cut a sheet of faux-marble contact paper to fit, leaving a small amount of extra paper to fold over the edge. Use a rubber scraper to cover the surface and push bubbles out from underneath. That’s it. It might not rival a Carrara masterpiece, but this easy hack is perfect to update dorm or first-apartment décor without making a major investment.