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30 Chic IKEA Hacks 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 30 IKEA hacks to try for yourself or inspire your own original design.

01 of 30

Tarva 5-Drawer Chest

Sarah Sherman Samuel

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 Tarva 5-Drawer Chest
IKEA Tarva 5-Drawer Chest $149.00
02 of 30

Bestå Burs Desk

Happy Mundane

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 Bestå Burs Desk
IKEA Bestå Burs Desk $199.00
03 of 30

Billy Bookcase

Built-In Billy Bookcase
The Makerista

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.

IKEA Billy Bookcase
IKEA Billy Bookcase $40.00
04 of 30

Tarva 3-Drawer Chest

Rolling Desk
In My Own Style

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.

IKEA Tarva 3-Drawer Chest
IKEA Tarva 3-Drawer Chest $99.00
05 of 30

Stockholm Mirror

Belted MIrror
Sarah Widman

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.

IKEA Stockholm Mirror
IKEA Stockholm Mirror $129.00
06 of 30

Linnmon/Adils Table

Marble Desk
Life at Home

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!

IKEA Linnmon/Adils Table $25.00
07 of 30

Aina Fabric

Striped Textile Pots
Life at Home

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.

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

IKEA Aina Fabric
IKEA Aina Fabric $9.00
08 of 30

Malm Bed Frame

Reclaimed Wood Stikwood Headboard
Sugar and Cloth

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.

IKEA Malm Bed Frame
IKEA Malm Bed Frame $199.00
09 of 30

Tarva 6-Drawer Chest

Nursery Dresser
Sarah Sherman Samuel

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.

IKEA Tarva 6-Drawer Chest
IKEA Tarva 6-Drawer Chest $179.00
10 of 30

Sektion Base Cabinet

Kitchen Cabinets
Sarah Sherman Samuels

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.

IKEA Sektion Base Cabinet
IKEA Sektion Base Cabinet $58.00
11 of 30

Bestå Shelf Unit

Floating Credenza
Sugar and Cloth

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.

IKEA Bestå Shelf Unit
IKEA Bestå Shelf Unit $145.00
12 of 30

Kallax Shelf Unit

Mid-Century Modern Shelf
The Surznick Common Room

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.

IKEA Kallaxx Shelf Unit
IKEA Kallaxx Shelf Unit $35.00
13 of 30

Lack Coffee Table

Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table
Triple Max Tons

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.

IKEA Lack Coffee Table
IKEA Lack Coffee Table $50.00
14 of 30

Ingo Table

Ikea hack of 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. This simple hack is perfect for a minimalist home, but the addition of marble can also fit in well with traditional or glam spaces. Paint the legs for an even more custom feel.

Ikea Ingo pine table
IKEA Ingo pine table $79.00
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Billy Bookcase

IKEA Billy Bookcase hack

Alice Grace Interiors

This hack from Alice Grace Interiors actually uses five Billy Bookcases! Attach them to your walls, upgrade them with a chic paint color, then add a timber frame around them with MDF doors, paneling, brass pulls, and molding.

IKEA Billy Bookcase $49.00
16 of 30

Finningen Rail

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

 Cup of Joe

Create a coat rack for the entryway with Ikea's versatile Finningen bar like A Cup of Jo did. It can create an industrial vibe for your home. Just add some baskets beneath and you've got a perfect entry/mudroom set-up.

IKEA Finningen Black Rail $17.00
17 of 30

Borby Lantern

Ikea lantern turned terrarium

Thou Swell

Follow Thou Swell's lead and turn Ikea's lantern into an Instagram-ready terrarium. This hack is simple and cost-effective. It's also perfect for those living in apartments without an outdoor garden to tend to.

Ikea Borby lantern
IKEA Borby lantern $15.00
18 of 30

Ekby Alex Shelf

Ikea Ekby Alex shelf reimagined as modern vanity with tapered legs

New Blooming 

Add tapered legs to reimagine the Ekby Alex Shelf as a modern vanity, like A New Bloom did. All you need is a chic mirror above it to create a glam vibe. This hack could also work as a desk!

Ikea Ekby Alex shelf
IKEA Ekby Alex shelf $50.00
19 of 30

Malm Chest

Norse Interiors IKEA Hack
Courtesy of Norse Interiors

Norse Interiors is giving you a super simple way to upgrade your IKEA furniture—swapping drawer fronts. You can choose custom drawer fronts in a color and pattern that suits your style as well as customize your hardware. The result: a totally custom and unique piece of furniture with a ton of personality

IKEA Malm 3-Drawer Chest in Brown Stained Ash Veneer
IKEA Malm 3-Drawer Chest $79.00
20 of 30

Besta Storage Unit

Neutral modern living room with media console.

Courtesy of Sarah Sherman Samuel

Sarah Sherman Samuel created the modern console of our dreams with two IKEA Besta units. Beaded doors and wooden balls elevate the basic console to something totally wow-worthy. For around $650, you can replicate her process.

ikea hacks
IKEA Besta Storage Unit $335.00
21 of 30

Lisabo Desk

Ruth Eileen Photography for Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty turned a basic IKEA desk into a totally glam entry table. It's surprisingly simple, requiring some paint and gold-leafing. Top with a gold lamp to complement the legs.

IKEA Lisabo Desk $149.00
22 of 30

Pax Wardrobe


Philip Van Nostrand for Style Me Pretty

Can you believe this glammed-up piece is actually an IKEA wardrobe? Designers Braun + Adams painted the Pax Wardrobe a chic gray and added custom mirrored doors. Brass hardware completes the look.

IKEA Pax Wardrobe $695.00
23 of 30

Cylinder Vases

Kellie Van for Le Zoe Musings

DIY some gilded vases courtesy of Le Zoe Musings. All you need are some IKEA vases, gold spray paint, and double-sided tape. These vases would make lovely centerpieces for a wedding or party in addition to home décor.

IKEA Cylinder Vase, Set of 3 $15.00
24 of 30

Kura Bed


Frances Tulk-Hart for Domino

The IKEA Kura bed became a child's sanctuary for designer Molly Guy. The natural wood bed frame gets a warm and welcoming upgrade thanks to custom floral patterns, beaded pillows, and velvet décor. It's a boho dream even adults will love.

IKEA Kura Bed $179.00
25 of 30

Vittsjo Table

bar cart
Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty turned this IKEA cart into a Pinterest-worthy bar cart. Note that the cart comes without a platform base, so a sheet of acrylic has to be drilled into each leg. Finish it off with a bold paint color and add some rolling legs.

IKEA Vittsjo Table $40.00
26 of 30

Billy Bookcase

IKEA Billy Bookcase hack

Lara Bezzina

Lara Bezzina turned her Billy Bookcases into a scalloped dream that looks like a piece of built-in furniture. A bold, bright color completed the project. Th e result? Simple but completely statement-making.

IKEA Billy Bookcase $49.00
27 of 30

Kallax Shelving Unit


Jennifer Kathryn Photography for The Everygirl

IKEA's Kallax Shelving unit becomes a minimalistic chic nightstand in this hack by The Everygirl. This one doesn't even require any DIY—just some clever styling! Use it to store your favorite books, a vase of fresh blooms, and add a small reading lamp.

shelving unit
IKEA Kallax Shelving Unit $35.00
28 of 30

Proppmatt Chopping Board

cutting board
Livet Hemma

Take a cue from regular IKEA hacker Livet Hemma and turn an IKEA cutting board into a totally display-worthy kitchen piece. It couldn't easier, all you need are leather straps, rivets, and nailheads. Simply braid the leather, attach a nailhead, and affix the rivet.

IKEA Proppmatt Chopping Board $4.00
29 of 30

Billy Bookcase

The Sommer Home

The Sommer Home

Kaari Sommer of The Sommer Home created the built-in bookshelves of our dreams using some Billy Bookcases. Four bookcases plus some crown molding, hardware, and custom cabinet fronts bring her vision to life. Add some brass sconces for fun and function.

IKEA Billy Bookcase $49.00
30 of 30

Pax Wardrobe

A customized IKEA closet that's been painted blue

Erin Kestenbaum

Lifestyle blogger Erin Kestenbaum made this IKEA closet system look way more expensive than it actually is. She added recessed lighting, crown molding, custom drawer fronts, baseboards, and more. Everything was finished off with a luxe coat of paint and shiny hardware.

A large white wardrobe, which is currently for sale at IKEA
IKEA Pax Wardrobe $465.00