Who doesn’t love IKEA? This Swedish import has made stylish living both affordable and easy. But many IKEA shoppers aren’t satisfied with accepting standard IKEA designs and furnishings. With a combination of creativity and an easy to moderate level of do-it-yourself skills, many popular IKEA items can be hacked into amazing, functional objects that look way more expensive than the actual cost.
A Privacy Screen Fashioned from Rektangel Vases
Lofts provide wonderful, open floor plans that feel airy and spacious. Privacy? Not so much. But setting cheap Rektangel vases on their sides provides an enclave for a bathroom that allows natural light to shine through while providing privacy for bathing and other personal functions. Using two different sizes of vases provides visual interest.
A Library Enclave Created with Billy Shelves
Built-in bookshelves represent a dream for many book lovers. But the expense can be a major deterrent. Inexpensive Billy shelves installed along bare walls give the look of built-in bookshelves for a fraction of the price. Add a comfy chair and a good reading light and you have an enclave worthy of any private library.
A Storage Bed Made with Faktum Cabinets
Platform beds serve double duty, providing firm sleeping spaces and much-needed storage space. But the price can be out of reach for many would-be purchasers. But gather six tall Faktum storage cabinets, three shorter cabinets and plywood for structure and voila! A platform bed with built-in storage for a fraction of the cost.
Wall-Mounted Storage Unit Crafted from Trofast Toy Bins
“This place has way too much storage space,” said no apartment or condo dweller, ever. As it turns out, IKEA’s sturdy Trofast toy bins are ideal for creating modular wall mounted storage units. Just nail as many toy bins to the wall as you need in whatever pattern you like. Store papers, vinyl record albums or books (laid on their sides), keeping everything organized and off the floor.
Kitchen Island Made from Hemnes Dresser
Designer kitchens often feature fabulous center islands. But kitchen islands often come with fabulous price tags. Creating your own kitchen island from a Hemnes dresser takes a bit of know-how, but the results rival those of any designer. Substitute wainscoting panels for the back and sides and a wooden coffee tabletop with the look of a butcher block, and you’re good to go. Add casters to the legs to make the island mobile.
Dining Benches from Lack Shelves
IKEA Lack shelves are sleek and stylish, but not always practical for actual shelves. But turned on their sides, they make awesome dining benches. Add legs to raise the bench to the proper height and chair pads for comfort. Each bench should support three adults weighing up to about 180 pounds with no problems.
Day Bed and Storage Bench from Lack Shelves
A somewhat different hack using Lack shelving units allows you to create a comfy day bed with handy storage space underneath. This day bed can provide extra seating in a family room, child’s room or an entryway. Simply add legs to bring the shelving unit up to a comfortable seating height, a seating pad and throw pillows. You’re done!
Side Table from Lampig Cutting Board
End tables are a must in the living room and in the bedroom, but they can be boring. Craft a cool looking end table with an industrial feel with a Lampig cutting board turned cutting side down and adhered to a fireplace wood holder with an acrylic caulking gun. Once the table has dried and cured, it should support the weight of a lamp, books and lightweight decorative items without difficulty.
Groland Kitchen Cart Transformed Into Bathroom Vanity
Antique looking vanities and vessel sinks are all the rage – but you may get sticker shock from the price of installing one. A few cuts with a saw shortens the legs of a Groland kitchen cart to an appropriate height for a vessel sink. Another set of cuts creates an opening for the sink and its plumbing.
Rast Nightstand Converted into Wall Bike Rack
If you love biking but have no available floor space to store your wheels, do not despair. This inexpensive hack requires minimal skills and effort. A Rast nightstand turned onto its back and nailed to the wall provides the ideal means to keep your bike off the floor but easily accessible without lending a garage-type atmosphere to your living space.
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Audrey Henderson is a Chicagoland-based writer and researcher. She holds advanced degrees in sociology and law from Northwestern University. Her writing specialties are sustainable development in the built environment, policy related to arts and popular culture, socially and ecologically responsible travel, civic tech and personal finance.