Ikea Hacks Designers Swear By

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Last night, I spent a lot of time walking around Ikea looking for a great storage solution for a kitchen. I've always loved walking through their showroom, because they present such creative ways to use their budget friendly furniture. Like many designers, I love Ikea. Why?They simply cannot be beat for home essentials.

Their products are both inexpensive and stylish. Their simplistic and clean designs allow you to customize it so that it suits your personal design style and a lot of their items are generic enough to disguise the Ikea brand. With a re-focus on simplifying home designs, they're a great place for first time home buyers, renters or anyone that is looking for a great bargain.

The absolute best part of a majority of Ikea products is that their simplistic designs allow buyers the opportunity to hack the design for a truly customized piece. How do you hack an Ikea piece? Normally, it involves some combination of re-purposing, upgrading, personalizing and updating the product.

There are a lot of companies now focusing on bringing customized pieces for Ikea to the masses. Combine that with an endless amount of paint colors and wallpaper options, and the options for a truly you piece are limitless.

Read below to see my favorite tips for a high-end spin on Ikea pieces.

Custom Doors

Much like your kitchen cabinets, doors on furniture can be customized. Ikea's furniture is no exception to this, with many companies starting to offer more consumer-ready solutions for Ikea's products. Take Semihandmade for example- which sells custom fronts for many Ikea pieces. Simply take the door off of your existing Ikea media center, vanity or floating shelf and install the new door fronts. Too easy, right?

I've loved using their custom fronts in bathrooms to provide an incredibly high end design at the fraction of the cost.

The Built In Look

Everyone. Needs. More. Storage. But if you've priced out built-in storage or looked at alternative options, you understand how expensive a built in look becomes. Built-in millwork helps elevate the overall aesthetic of a home and provide a crisp and clean look to a room. You can hack the Billy Bookcase for an awesome look. Mount the bookcase to the wall, then select a base and crown molding profile from your local home improvement store. Make sure that you apply the molding to the base, top and side of the unit and miter corners when your molding connects.Want to further elevate the design? Adding in sconces above the trim or under-cabinet lighting will help illuminate the bookcase.

Re-upholster the Seating

Ikea offers really great options for seating. Add in their 10 year warranty- they can be a steal for clients. With companies like Bemz, you can now further customize these pieces with beautiful slipcovers and new legs. (And no, these are not your mother's slipcovers).They offer lush velvets, beautiful linens and more. You can also purchase a lot of durable fabrics by the yard (acrylic fabrics are great for preventing stains) and follow easy DIY tutorials.

(Yes- that's an Ikea sofa)

Knobs & Pulls

In recent years, Ikea has started to offer a variety of new knobs and pulls on their furniture. With sophisticated brass and leather pulls popping up in their current line, they are clearly working more towards consumer trends. However, like a lot of Swedish furniture, not all of their furniture includes knobs or pulls. An easy way to make a high-impact on less expensive furniture is to add new hardware. Check out places like Anthropologie or Rejuvenation for beautiful options.

Paint & Wallpaper

The easiest way to customize any piece of furniture is with paint. Whether you choose to go bold with the color or swap it out to something more neutral, paint is your best friend with customizing inexpensive furniture. Another option for customizing the design is to use wallpapers to add a texture or a fun pattern. Look for peel & stick wallpapers, since their installation is typically easier.

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