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Bookmarked, Hacked, Upgraded: DIY IKEA Projects We’re Saving for the Weekend

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Winter means spending a lot more time indoors, which means we have a chance to make our own “indoors” the space of our dreams. With some ideas from very creative bloggers and designers, that mission is easy with beloved Ikea pieces you already have.

IKEA furniture. We all have it. Billy shelves feel as ubiquitous and necessary as having a bed. We might be drawn to IKEA products precisely for their minimalism, but sometimes we want a bit more personality. Now, the spare design no longer has to feel like a limitation. A quick internet search will fill your browser with innovative concepts for turning your IKEA basics into statement pieces and storage solutions that are customized to suit your needs and tastes.

Suddenly, the simplest and most functional item can be the game-changer that makes your living room or kitchen look straight from a magazine spread. The possibilities can be surprising (in the best way) and prove that you don’t have to spend a million bucks for an elevated aesthetic. These are just some of our favorites, so consider your weekend plans made and your home design upgraded.

One of Your Favorite IKEA Storage Systems Turns 50
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One of Your Favorite IKEA Storage Systems Turns 50

A Statement Side Table

Photo by Via Style Me Pretty

A little bit of marble contact paper and copper leaf will take that boring side table into Instagram-fodder territory. The foundation is set with any IKEA table’s sleek shape, making an ideal blank canvas for creating the effect of luxe texture and shine—just follow Style Me Pretty’s lead.

The Built-In (Wink, Wink) Shelf Wall

Photo by Via designsixtynine

Things get a bit more involved on designsixtynine. Hacking your way to a wall of built-in shelves (from the Billy line) will probably take your whole weekend, depending on how handy you are, but it’s surprisingly straightforward and exponentially more affordable than, say, moving to another home that has such a dreamy wall. The results will boost the appeal of your entire living room while offering stylish, functional storage.

Handturned Arched Maple Book Ends

Handturned Arched Maple Book Ends

$190
Stacked Porcelain Planter

Stacked Porcelain Planter

From $70

Play Graphic Designer with an Ottoman

Photo by Via Rebecca Propes

A cushy ottoman is just the right size for adding a pop of print to your living room. It brightens things up without taking over. It’s also much easier (and cheaper) to find your must-have fabric than your must-have ottoman, so take these tips from Rebecca Propes and update your understated IKEA ottoman.

The Dream Desk

Photo by Via Addison Meadows Lane

Problem number one: You can’t find the perfect desk, one that’s big yet compact, chic yet organized and plentiful in storage. Problem number two: While sturdy and spacious, your IKEA Rast dresser is not the most inspiring piece of furniture in your home. Addison Meadows Lane has the solution to both problems. You’ll need to get a little crafty, but a desk fit for a boss is in the cards.

How to Serve Up Style

Photo by Via domino

Domino’s idea for turning this wheeled table into one chic bar cart is similar to the marble side table makeover, and just as easy. Thanks to how perfectly cocktail-appropriate the results are, though, it will look like you worked a lot harder—or made the ultimate accent furniture find. With some wallpaper and attention to detail, this bar cart will liven up any party.

Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits

Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits

$45
Hibi Tumblers (Set of 4)

Hibi Tumblers (Set of 4)

From $50

A Better Way to Do Mail Call

Photo by Via Instructables

Admit it: You have one of those tables where all mail goes to die. Everyone does. Instructables can help, with a few of these magazine files and any flat shelf. Stained and assembled, you’ll have a clever way to keep your mail sorted and out of sight.

Make Your Own Island (in the Kitchen)

Photo by Via Golden Boys & Me

Does any piece of furniture for the kitchen have bigger MVP status than the island? You can use it for storage, for a cooking and prep surface, and even for a dining space. With a refreshingly undaunting project from Golden Boys & Me, you can build one to the exact size you want using those good, old Billy bookshelves.

Instant Storage

Photo by Via Ich Designer

Speaking of kitchen storage, Ich Designer has an idea for an incredibly quick and easy solution. Cut down a slatted bed base to the size of your choosing and stock up on S-hooks, adding whatever other little buckets, bowls, or planters you wish. This project works just as well for any other room, too.

Your Bedroom, Elevated

Photo by Via Oh Yes Blog

This hack from Oh Yes has a lot going for it: it adds tons of storage space while remaining compact, it lends dimension to your bedroom, and if you have a studio, it separates the sleeping area from the living area. This is definitely an all-weekend project, but seriously boosts both the form and function of your bedroom just by using some wood slabs and kitchen cabinets.

Stonewashed Linen Bedding (Queen)

Stonewashed Linen Bedding (Queen)

From $78
Brass Knocker Alarm Clock

Brass Knocker Alarm Clock

$39

The “Where Did You Find That?!” Nightstand

Photo by Via Vintage Revivals

It’s a great feeling when someone notices how special a piece in your home is, dying to know what estate sale or hidden antique shop you found it. That’s not a feeling you’re going to get from IKEA's trusty Rast dresser—unless you spruce it up à la Vintage Revival. Follow tips on how to do the perfect sand and paint job, and then the hardware you choose really seals the deal.

Which of these IKEA hacks would you tackle? Tell us in the comments!

Tags: Home Hacks, Tips & Techniques