Image credit: @decor8
Once upon a time kitting your house out in IKEA equalled vanilla. After the excitement of its initial UK launch in 1987, it all became a bit samey, samey birch and beech boredom. Flatpack frustration and a minimalism that looked identical whoever's house it inhabited. I mean, they even have a coffee table called LACK. MDF misery lessened only by the promise of a dirty hot dog or meatballs and lingonberry sauce once you’d survived the queues akin to a New Year’s Day sale at…er, IKEA.
You’ve probably experienced this feeling, if like me, you’re a 70’s kid and went to university, or bought your first home and were on first name terms with Billy (the bookcase) and Expedit (replaced by the now slenderer Kallax). IKEA served a purpose. It was cost-effective, easy to collect and dowel-disaster notwithstanding, pretty easy to put together.
Fast forward to the age of Insta, a swathe of savvy mama’s and papa’s home-schooled in interior design, and a lust for Nordic style and you’ll find IKEA is very much à la mode. But this time around there’s something distinctly different about the functional furniture brand. There’s no better way to understand this than to run a cursory Google check. Go on. Do it now. As we say in our house, “give it to the Google”. Type IKEA hacks into your search bar and see what happens. Just make sure you come back to finish reading this post (typed on top of my Bekant desk).
Welcome back, 32,200,000 results later. There’s even a dedicated website devoted to all things IKEA hacks https://www.ikeahackers.net/category/hacks
Now I’m guessing that if you’re reading this there’s a high chance you have children or at least a passing interest in interior design for kids bedrooms. I’m also putting my money on the fact that you have neither the time, nor inclination, to wade through 54.7 million results. To this end, we’ve put together a selection of some of our favourite IKEA hacks for kids bedrooms to help provide some inspiration and ideas for your next project.
First up is the trusty IVAR pine cabinet. Part of the IKEA product portfolio for more than 50 years, in its virgin state, it’s a perfectly practical anodyne cupboard starting at a mere £45. However, with a lick of paint, clever stencilling or stickering with decals, it can be transformed into quite the work of art.Take this clean and serene room scheme for example. A horizontal panel of powdery, petroleum blue teams perfectly with the feature wall and is further complemented by the rattan basket sprayed or painted in the same hue. The contrast of the paint next to the pine gives way to a stylish Scandi look and has the secondary benefit of providing a coloured canvas to highlight any decorative items placed on top of the cupboard. We also love the smart colour zoning on the floating shelf. (image credit: @rohouseproud) A touch of the alpines gives way to a room for little adventurers. Stencils or precision masking tape application (and removal) plus a coat of your preferred colour can transform an ordinary pine cupboard into an imaginary mountain range. The matching treatment on the walls adds contrast to the untreated parts of the cabinet and the introduction of the elements in the styling is pure genius. (image credit: @ninaclave) IVAR’S feet planted firmly on the floor provides the foundations for the most wonderful of occasional seating come storage. The naked pine seems to assume an almost rosy glow from the blush paint panel to the walls and the healthy smattering of rattan and wood accessories vibe well with the raw state of the pine cupboards. Those steps are just calling out for little feet to clamber aboard and disrupt the peace of the ‘friends’ atop the snuggly blanket. (image credit: @jauraispumappelermarcel) We love this slightly more abstract incarnation of IVAR. There’s a mild touch of disruption as he straddles the two-tone wall, asserting his authority as the masterful cupboard with his top shelves perhaps out of reach of curious fingers! There’s no hack per se here. Just IVAR in all his glory framing a precision paint job beautifully.Neutral for newborns is so fitting and can be such a soothing introduction to the contrast of busy life outside the comfort of the womb. The hint of sage on the feature wall accentuates the alcove in this room, creating a cosy cocoon to house a cleverly crafted changing station. There’s something slightly magical about the way IVAR’S nude innocence mirrors that of the new baby, the only adaptation here the addition of the door handles.
This ‘floating’ hack gives IVAR entirely new purpose offering the dual purpose of storage and baby changing.
What can I say? TROFAST is the saviour of parents the world over. The tamer of tyrannical toys with the ability to fool all that there is a sense of order akin to the Von Trapp family. For me TROFAST is the infantile version of colour coding my wardrobe and cataloguing my shoe collection. Who knew IKEA could bring such joy?This room set demonstrates the ease with which TROFAST creates impact. It represents a relatively cost-effective way to fill space while offering serious utility. The larger base units here at floor level have been hacked with this cute little ‘bridge’ to create a desk space and the slimline units have been elevated to create a shelf but also perhaps to keep art supplies and items requiring parental control out of reach.By painting the units the same delicate shade as the wall, they assume an unobtrusive demeanour while still retaining all the power of purpose they were designed for.Though destined for storage, it’s a savvy designer that uses TROFAST as a hybrid storage dresser. Though tempting to fill every hole with one of IKEA’s sturdy removable trays the occasional gap offers the perfect home to showcase favourite toys, trinkets and decorative objects. The triple layering here also creates three ready-made shelves, optimising the space in smaller rooms or perfect for those with lots of ‘stuff’. Raising TROFAST off the floor and customising with a corner shelf creates a welcoming study are or creative corner. A matching paint job in a pretty pastel aqua helps this creative setup blend seamlessly into the décor.
Ditch the coriander and cardamom. IKEA’S simple spice rack is destined for bigger things, the beholder of books and flights of fictional fantasy just one of them. (https://www.laybabylay.com/pastel-baby-room-ideas)A bevy of Bekväms has been used here to create an inexpensive set of bookshelves. It’s a great decorative touch and effective way to utilise space. A simple dash of paint on the front bar adds a defining detail.
Although these two examples below actually show the FLISAT wall storage option you can achieve exactly the same effect with the spice rack at a quarter of the cost. All you need is a sheet of cane and a hot glue or staple gun. You could even spray the cane a different colour if you fancy a bit of a contrast.To achieve the look above, visit this blog at Domino.com To achieve the look above, visit this blog at katenelle.com
Fitted wardrobes can be an expensive option and we don’t all have the luxury of the perfect space to accommodate a flat pack free-standing option.
In this smart hack, Holly of Decor8blog, shows us how her friend combined STUVA and BESTA to combat a couple of tricksy, immovable heating pipes. A little ingenuity, a touch of considered DIY and a matching set of leather pull handles create a wardrobe, storage and desk area with serious style credentials.
IKEA’S reversible KURA bed is a revelation in itself before you even begin to contemplate the myriad possibilities for customisation. It starts life as a low bed with a four poster feel and when turned over becomes a high-rise bunk with den space beneath.
Simple garlands and bunting can be combined with curtains or wallpaper applied to the white MDF panels for a modest makeover. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can extend without any of the headaches of grown-up planning permission. Here are a few to help inspire you - we're struggling to pic a favourite!EASY RAINBOW STOOL HACK
Rainbows have become a huge symbol of hope and solidarity in 2020 so this FLISAT stool hack feels very timely and is about as easy as it gets. We love an interior trick that yields such huge impact for such little effort. Check out the ‘how-to’ here by the mighty aggregators of all IKEA hacks.DUKTIG PLAY KITCHEN HACKS
An IKEA hack can be considered to have reached superstar status when it warrants an entire Etsy shop full of accessories. True story, honestly. https://www.etsy.com/uk/market/duktig
It’s quite staggering how many modifications you can make to a DUKTIG play kitchen, putting the likes of Magnet and Wren to shame.
From modified back splashes and bespoke handles to personalised vinyls and subway style tiling decals, the possibilities are endless. We agree with Rock My Style that the key to customising is painting the cupboard doors. There are some wonderful transformations in their collection of inspo here.MOMMO Design also showcases some fabulous examples of truly inspired design savvy. We love the boho vibe from Indi_and_bear and how can @GildedHearth create a kid’s DUKTIG kitchen that totally overshadows most grown-up kitchens? See the full list here.
...AND LAST, BUT BY NO MEANS LEAST
If you haven't already, check out Rachael's two blogs on how to hack the Ikea LIXHULT cabinet. She's created a blue and white scalloped version with free printable template included - and also a pink and green jungle inspired cabinet... both make perfect bedside tables or playroom storage. Take a peek by clicking the images below;