Projects & Improvements

Budget Remodeling Ideas Hiding in the IKEA 2018 Catalog

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: IKEA)

We all know IKEA is a slam dunk for stylish and affordable furniture and accessories, and their annual catalog is pure eye candy for fans looking to buy and potentially hack their products. But here’s what I didn’t realize until very recently: their styled photos are also a treasure trove of fantastic remodeling ideas that are both design savvy and do-able within a small budget. Get inspired by what I found in the pages of their 2018 book, and then get busy.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Install a Micro Backsplash

You don’t need a full wall of tile behind a bathroom or kitchen sink to make it functional. A couple rows of especially beautiful tile will both protect the wall from splashing water, and add a serious style statement, for not a lot of money. The blue geometric tile here could look unfinished, but instead adds an interesting little bit of movement.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Combine Open & Closed Kitchen Storage

Open shelving is all the rage these days, but, for all its good looks and affordability, some people don’t want to get rid of their ability to stash stuff away out of sight. IKEA combines a little bit of both on this kitchen wall by installing one closed cabinet amongst all the shelves. It still feels airy and light, costs less than a full set of cabinets, and there’s still some space for secrets.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Unify Everything With Paint

In the image above, everything —and I mean everything — is painted the same flamingo pink. Trim, radiator, walls — you name it — which creates a cohesive (and in this case, super bold) experience where your eye doesn’t trip over any one thing. And paint is cheap.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Fake a Waterfall Edge

Expensive waterfall edge islands might look more seamless, but you can get the same idea with two wooden slabs. This project will make your kitchen look more finished and custom, and on a small budget.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Save Space with Sliding Doors

Barn doors are now an accepted — dare we say trendy — addition to the home, but don’t forget that they are also practical to boot. If your space is tight, try converting a regular door (either from IKEA’s wardrobe line, or one already in your house) with some inexpensive sliding track hardware that’s widely available these days.

Divide An Open Floor Plan

In the era of “the great room”, glass walls offer all the benefits of the wide open layout, without some of the drawbacks of noise and cooking smells. In higher end spaces, you usually see expensive steel-framed glass panels, but here it’s done with more affordable wood. They also have a curtain installed, in case you want even more privacy.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Shiplap is Also Scandinavian

Who knows if IKEA bowed to Joanna Gaines’ influence, or if JoJo borrowed the idea of shiplap from the Swedes? Either way, horizontal planks still are a great way to add inexpensive texture to walls. And they can read modern, rustic, or traditional, which makes faux shiplap a versatile and compelling project.

(Image credit: IKEA)

Use Temporary Plywood Panels

For a quick and expensive update, this apartment painted plywood panels (pink!) and just leaned against the wall. It’s a great way to define a space —especially for renters —and add some easy color. Drill holes to hang organizers, and don’t risk your security deposit by messing with the actual walls.