10 Ways to Customize Ikea Furniture

We didn't want to let Home Projects month slip by without covering the affordable and ever-popular IKEA hack. Whether you're a skilled DIYer with your own workshop at home or someone who'd rather shop than sew, here are 10 sources and projects — hopefully you'll find one that suits you.

  1. Slipcover It: Swedish company Bemz has a US site where they market removable, washable slipcovers for IKEA sofas, armchairs, and cushions. The 100% cotton prewashed covers include collections from Marimekko and Designer's Guild (shown).

  2. Stick a Decal on It: Based out of the Netherlands, Mykea is an online company that makes peel-and-stick decals for the most popular IKEA casegoods, shelves, and cabinets.
  3. Paint It: According to our Reader Intelligence Report, the key to making painted IKEA furniture look good is using plenty of primer!
  4. Stencil It: To really dress up an IKEA piece with paint, try a cool modern stencil, like the one Lena Corwin used to update her basic wooden dresser.
  5. Upholster It: We're not talking about your average upholstery job, but rather using fabric to update a bookcase or shelving unit. It's easy — click here for the low-down.
  6. Swap Table Tops and Legs: IKEA sells a bunch of different options for tabletops, counters, and legs that can be mixed and matched. The desks shown above were made from Lagan Countertops with Vika Inge Legs.
  7. Tuft It: Whit and Rachael Gardner of Our Mid Century upgraded their Karlstad Sofa by taking the cushions to a local upholsterer for button tufting. Total cost = $40.
  8. Cut It: Maxwell made his IKEA Frosta Stools into a two-tiered bedside table by cutting down the legs.
  9. Repurpose It: Taking IKEA furniture out of context gives it new life. For example, kitchen cabinets can easily be repurposed to make a floating storage credenza.
  10. Decoupage It: The magnetic map board shown above was made from a $15 metal IKEA Spontan Board decoupaged with vintage maps.


Photos: Bemz, Mykea, Design Sponge, Lena Corwin, The Nearest Future, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Our Mid Century, Sarah Coffey, Michael Jon Watt

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