A “Bland” IKEA Cart Gets a Colorful Transformation for $50 (It Adds So Much Storage!)

published Jun 6, 2024
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By now, it’s pretty much common knowledge — especially for Apartment Therapy readers — that part of the appeal of IKEA is the ease with which the affordable furniture can be revamped and repurposed through creative DIYs. (To prove it, here are 80 gorgeous IKEA hacks.)

Recently designer Yvonne Fisher (@yvonneellen) transformed a kitchen staple — an IKEA IKEA FÖRHÖJA — into a colorful kitchen accent.

“I wanted to transform this rather bland storage solution into a stylish and unique piece of furniture,” Yvonne says. “I really wanted to make it stand out in the kitchen.”

When it came to working on the project, visual pre-planning was an early but crucial part of Yvonne’s process. “As a designer, I love a mood board, so it was essential for me to plan out first what the vibe of my new storage was going to look like,” she says. “I love looking for inspo on Pinterest, shops I visit, and, of course, Instagram!”

Sample-sized paint got the job done.

Once Yvonne had an idea of how she wanted her DIY project to look, it was time to choose a color palette. Although she notes that selecting which colors to use was “the hardest part of the project,” having plenty of paint tester pots on hand helped her to figure out what she wanted the table to look like without wasting paint.

“A little paint goes a long way!” Yvonne says. “There really is no need to spend lots of money on big tins of paint when a tester pot will likely do the job on a small area.” In total, Yvonne’s project cost £40, or a little over $50 USD.

She ultimately went with Farrow & Ball’s Blue Ground for the table’s main turquoise color, Craig & Rose’s Ottilie for the dark green drawers, and Craig & Rose’s Troubadour for the table’s red wheels.

Spray-on primer helped prep the piece.

Although Yvonne notes that priming before painting can feel like an “annoying added step,” she points out that “it is so worth it for a flawless finish.”

This time around, though, she switched out ordinary primer for spray primer “to make this step less painful.” “It was so easy to coat the areas I wanted to paint, and it dried super quick!” Yvonne says.

In just a few steps, she was able to turn a budget-friendly IKEA staple into a stylish kitchen accent that she uses for plenty of occasions, from using it as an ice cream trolley to pulling it out for barbecues. “The piece is really versatile,” Yvonne says. “I’m so happy that I finally have a space for all my kitchenware and don’t have to worry about overflowing cupboards!”