12 Incredible IKEA Hacks Everyone Will Be Trying in 2023

published Dec 22, 2022
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

We could talk about IKEA hacks all day, all month, all year… literally all the time. There’s always something new and creative that DIYers, designers, people on a budget, and Scandinavian design lovers are dreaming up, and more often than not, an affordable piece of unassuming furniture is transformed into a truly elegant piece. Whether it’s combining multiple IKEA pieces, swapping out doors and hardware, adding textural interest, or a few coats of paint, we’ve seen tons of impressive IKEA hacks this year, but here are 12 of our favorites we saw in house tours this year.

1. From Gray IKEA HAVSTA Cupboard to Bright Red TV Cabinet

Hannah Drakeford produced a highly original and creative TV cabinet for her Southeast London home with an IKEA HAVSTA unit, which she actually scored for £20 on eBay. Her process was as follows: She knocked out the middle panels of the doors and removed the cabinet base, primed and painted all elements using Vintro Valentine chalk paint, added new feet, replaced the door panels with painted garden canes and glued them into place, and finally added semi-circular handles.

2. From Freestanding IKEA Bookcase to Space-Saving Built-In

One of the most unique ways we’ve seen an IKEA piece used? Scott Kangas had his KALLAX unit built into the wall of his entryway of his Chicago apartment. “When the developer was rehabbing the space,” Scott says, “I asked him if he could build my existing IKEA bookcase right into the wall between my kitchen and bedroom, I drew him a diagram on a napkin and he agreed. It’s accessible from both sides and is deep enough for a double row of books, much needed by me. It’s also great for displaying my antique clock that I bought myself for my 21st birthday along with some of my matte white ceramic collection.”

3. From Skinny BILLY Bookcases to Dreamy Green Built-In Showstopper

After months of searching for a bookcase that fit the exact space of her Roosevelt Island apartment, Sarah Jackson decided to DIY it herself with five IKEA BILLY bookcases. “Simply put,” Sarah says, “it’s constructed with five of the classic BILLY bookcases, with custom doors, hardware, and trim to give it a more refined, elevated look. The bookcase serves as not only much needed functional storage in an NYC apartment, but also a great way to display little artifacts from our life story and marriage. It represents a celebration of us and our journey as a couple, ranging with sentimental objects from our engagement in Cuba, elopement in Vegas, European travels together, and more, all within an earth-toned color scheme.”

4. From IKEA BESTA Cabinets to Custom Credenza

If you’re having trouble finding the media credenza of your dreams, take a page out of Ben Cuevas’ book and hack some IKEA pieces together, seen here in his LA apartment. “I love a good upcycled IKEA hack,” Ben says, and the credenza is “two of IKEA’s BESTÅ cabinets, which I attached together and added walnut/brass mid-century tapered legs from PrettyPegs, and hand-made leather/brass drawer pulls from Rowzec, a German leather artisan on Etsy.”

Credit: Jason Rampe

5. From a Plain Gray IKEA Chair to Hand-painted Floral Lounge

This one is as simple as it gets. In lieu of her dream chair (the Knoll Womb Chair) Meagan Jain added some life to a plain IKEA armchair in this sweet reading nook in her Brooklyn apartment. “I like to get creative with what we have,” Meagan says. “We have this plain IKEA chair I bought from Facebook Marketplace that I painted daisies on and even though it wasn’t expensive, painting the daisies on it made it one of my favorite pieces.”

Credit: Andrew Bui

6. IKEA MOPPE Mini Storage Chests Turned Floating Nightstands

For a colorful (and storage-heavy) alternative to traditional nightstands, Haley Boyko painted two IKEA MOPPE mini storage chests a bright kelly green, then mounted them on either side of the bed to act as floating nightstands in her Long Beach, California, loft.

Credit: Janet Kwan

7. From Plain IKEA Mirror to Gold-Leaf Vintage Vibes

For an IKEA flip that anyone can do, Roanna Cochrane upgraded an IKEA NISSEDAL mirror that lives in the bedroom of her Toronto apartment. “I took a plain IKEA mirror and made it into a gold leaf, vintage-looking mirror,” Roanna says, and “it turns out that the worse you are at applying gold leaf evenly, the better! Who knew?! It looks so authentic and I feel so proud when I see it.”

Credit: Megan Zietz

8. From Plain Round Mirror to Custom Ball Mirror

For a more whimsical IKEA mirror DIY, Megan Zietz added little balls around the outside of a round mirror for a bit more flair in her Astoria, NYC, office.

Credit: Antrom Kury

9. From IKEA PAX Cabinets to Custom-Looking Cane Storage

Leave it to a couple of artists and woodworkers to totally transform one of IKEA’s most iconic pieces into a completely custom wardrobe unit. Aleksandra Zee and Antrom Kury needed extra storage in their Oakland, California, home, so they decided to take a PAX unit and give it a makeover to match the rest of their decor, and stand out as a piece of art itself. “Making over IKEA furniture is a game changer,” Aleksandra says, “for me, as a maker, if I can’t find it sold somewhere I make it. I love that my hubby is always game for my wild ideas!” 

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

10. From IKEA IVAR Cabinet to Custom Console

“Our living room is our family room,” says Momina of her Toronto, Canada home. “We spend all our time there with kids outside of work and school. So it was important to have their (painfully growing) collection of toys in sight but not really in sight.” So she decided to customize four IKEA IVAR cabinets into a TV console that actually hold all the kids’ toys. Using framing lumber, she built a base for the four cabinets to sit on so that the base and cabinets were secured and flush against the wall. Thinking ahead, she made sure to drill some holes on the insides of the cabinet sides so TV wires could be easily hidden later. Momina added half-round pine molding to form a border around the cabinet doors and painted the cabinet fronts a neutral beige-gray (Behr’s “Wheat Bread“), then finished off the DIY with grasscloth peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Credit: Jason Rampe

11. From Simple IKEA Dressers to Elevated Storage

“A little project that I’m fond of (and which actually inspired me to start an Instagram account),” says Josie of her Lower East Side apartment, “was the dresser stand. We have two black IKEA MALM dressers, which always looked a little like the kind of thing you would put in a kids room in a rental without a lot of thought. I felt like it needed some kind of legs. I love the project partially because it was so simple to construct, and partially because despite the simplicity of construction, it came out looking really beautiful, with the raw wood color working perfectly with the black and both physically and metaphorically elevating the dressers.”

12. A Custom Entertainment System

“I’m really proud of the entertainment center I built around my television,” says Grace Zhang about her Brooklyn apartment. “This was my first power-tool project, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull it off. I ended up researching a few IKEA hacks and was able to make it look fully custom.” To us, it looks like a 3-section BESTA unit with two doors, sitting on a custom frame.