10 Totally Ingenious, Ridiculously Stylish IKEA Hacks

Thursday, August 15, 2013

There comes a point in every blogger’s career where they must take their turn featuring an array of IKEA hacks that have impressed them to the point of feeling compelled to share. For me, that time is now.

The imagination it requires to see beyond the Swedish-cookie cutter product that emerges from a box of a thousand stray parts is something I truly admire (side note: I won’t even attempt to extrapolate on the matter of IKEA in general, when it has already been done so expertly and so hilariously in this piece entitled IKEA, My Nightmare). See, I think these hacker folks have it right; IKEA for them is akin to say, The Home Depot, not Crate & Barrel. It isn’t the end of the line, but the beginning– a place where one procures the materials needed for eventual construction and design.

Speaking of which, let’s get into this:

1. In what is perhaps the chicest hack to date, Nancy Marcus takes an appalling bland Rast Dresser and whips it up into some delectable black and gold confection (you know, if furniture were edible).

2. Kristine of The Painted Hive transforms the depressingly dull MOPPE drawers into a set of card files so convincingly antiqued that you’ll swear they’re at least a 100 years old, instead of what they actually are: IKEA. I don’t even think I need to say more there.

3. The team at Style Me Pretty Living spruces up a LACK table into what appears to be a custom (read: mucho $$) gilded bedside table.

4. Caitlin Wilson (via Little Green Notebook) proves that all that stands between you, a Harry Chair, and a Brunschwig and Fils ‘Les Touches’ snow leopard patterned seat-of-chic is a Sharpie marker. The miracle of modern days I tell you.

5. Krys Melo of Melodrama has the good sense to take an EXPEDIT, turn it on its side, add to that some plywood, foam and fabric, and render some stupidly stylish banquette seating. 

6. Lucy of Mornings on Main rescues a TARVA 6-Drawer Dresser from a life of boredom by slapping on a fresh coat of paint, adding some vibrant knobs and calling it a kitchen storage chest.

7. Emily of The Sweet Beast hits home once again that undeniable fact: sometimes all it needs is a bit of paint. Her choice, Behr’s Juicy Passionfruit, transforms an otherwise bland birch sideboard (similar: NORDEN) into an utterly charming entryway table. 

8. Kristin of The Hunted Interior gives a Forhoja cart a whole lot of flavor by way of wine crate drawer fronts and a sunny yellow hue.

9. Style Me Pretty takes the VITTSJO Laptop table to school, teaches it a curriculum based around the color turquoise and the mobility of wheels, and graduates it a bar cart.  

10. The folks at Livet Hemma (via Decor8) illustrate the glorious effect of the (would we say it’s overdone at this point?) ombre trend on the TARVA dresser.


When it comes to IKEA hacks, I believe these ten prove it’s best to kept that oft-repeated quote in mind: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. And if you really screw it up, you won’t be out for too much, as IKEA is graciously cheap in price.”

Which is your favorite? What have you hacked? Tell me everything!

39 thoughts on “10 Totally Ingenious, Ridiculously Stylish IKEA Hacks

  1. Tatiana

    Love!!! you have to also check the beautiful “etageres” they make out of the vittsjo shelves!!! Awesome!! Check them out in pinterest!!

    1. livesimplybyannie Post author

      The cart *may* be my favorite of the bunch, just because I never would have looked at it and thought, “this laptop table has bar cart written all over it!” ? Imaginations!

    1. livesimplybyannie Post author

      Isn’t seeing all these projects so inspiring?? Get to it, and come back and share pics if you do!

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  7. vonna

    my favorite project is the kitchen storage chest…. I love it!
    one time I took an old roll top bread box and added vintage legs to make a roll top mini desk.

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  12. Kathy. F

    Love these ideas! I have a Malm dresser with no handles. 🙁 Wasn’t thinking about the days my arthritis hits my hands. Can I add knobs or handles? Any other suggestions?

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  17. Raj

    Love these ideas! I have a Malm dresser with no handles. Wasn’t thinking about the days my arthritis hits my hands. Can I add knobs or handles? Any other suggestions?

  18. Lynn

    The circles with text in them (on each set of pics) are awful. The font is terrible, and the text seems to be just placed all over the place. It’s just really a pain to read, and looks really bad next to all the other beautiful things on the site. I felt like you would want to know. I’m not trying to be hateful, but I am being honest. Thank you for the links to other sites. Very handy.

    1. Annie Post author

      Can’t say I disagree with you Lynn. This post was written four years ago. Thankfully, my self-taught graphic design skills have improved greatly since then.

  19. alyysa home

    Love these ideas! I have a Malm dresser with no handles. Wasn’t thinking about the days my arthritis hits my hands. Can I add knobs or handles? Any other suggestions?


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