Do you have Pottery Barn taste but a flea market budget? Kitchen renovations can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, but you can hack your way to Pinterest-worthy design in a weekend with a few IKEA basics and a little elbow grease. Here are 12 projects to get you started.
1. BILLY BOOKCASE ISLAND
Courtesy Golden Boys & Me
On her blog Golden Boys & Me, DIY genius Courtney Affrunti shares how she turned three IKEA Billy bookcases into a gorgeous kitchen island. She fastened the bookcases together using screws and topped them with a butcher block countertop. Add decorative siding (Affrunti used bead board), molding, or doors to give your new kitchen focal point some personal flavor.
2. KALLAX SHELF ISLAND
For their IKEA-hacked kitchen island, Minneapolis-based home reno duo JP Strate and Liz Spillman (The Rehab Life) used the Kallax shelf as their base. They then sanded and stained plywood to create a custom base, backboard, and countertop.
Buy from IKEA: Kallax Shelf ($65)
3. FAUX MARBLE COUNTERTOP
Prefer the look of marble to wood, but can’t afford Carrara? Stick some marble-patterned contact paper on your inexpensive IKEA shelf for an instant upgrade.
Buy from IKEA: Hyllis Shelf ($15)
4. UPGRADE YOUR JOKKMOKK TABLE
Courtesy Regina Morrison for Acute Designs
A sleek dining table with hairpin legs could cost you nearly $1000 from a trendy furniture store. On her blog Acute Designs, Regina Morrison shows how she made one for herself for under $300 by adding some hairpin legs she bought on Ebay (you can also find them on Etsy) to a $150 IKEA table.
Buy from IKEA: Jokkmokk Dining Set ($150)
5. RIMFORSA PLANTERS
Create a striking accent wall or in-kitchen herb garden by repurposing IKEA’s Rimforsa container holders as planters. The Rimforsa line includes two sizes of holders, a hanging rail, and glass containers. If you want to do some comparison shopping to save a few bucks, you could purchase discount glasses or cups separately to place in your holders.
6. VURUM WINE RACK HERB GARDEN
For another clever herb garden option, turn the $10 Vurum wine rack on its side, mount it on your wall, and add your own glass vases.
Buy from IKEA: Vurum Wine Rack ($10)
7. KALLAX SHELF BAR
The cubed Kallax shelf is a favorite of IKEA hackers for a reason—it’s just so versatile! The Kallax’s four cubbies make stylishly displaying your bottles, glasses, and barware simple. The Everygirl’s Alaina Kaczmarski transformed the simple unit into an expensive-looking bar by adding metallic legs (she used the Estelle legs from Pretty Pegs, but you could easily paint simple wooden legs found at any hardware store for a more budget-friendly option). Use wheels instead of legs and add a rail (like the Finrop) and your bar is now a cart.
Buy from IKEA: Kallax Shelf ($35)
8. CHILD’S LEARNING TOWER
Combine the Bekväm and Oddvar stools to help your tot safely reach the kitchen counter. The Oddvar doesn’t seem to be available in the U.S., but you can find directions and dimensions for adding your own plywood railing here.
9. DECORATIVE PAPER SCROLL
Wall-mount the Mala tabletop paper holder for the perfect place to leave family notes, make grocery lists, or let the kiddos scribble while you cook.
10. STACKED BOWLS
Keep your counters tidy with this space-saving storage unit created using three Rundlig bowls and the Hilver cone-shaped leg. When entertaining, fill each level with different chips or sweets for easy grazing and an eye-catching display.
11. LEKSVIK CUP RACK
Sometimes the best hacks come from finding unexpected uses (or places) for common items—no tools required! Move your Leksvik rack from the entryway to the kitchen and you have a great place for storing mugs, teacups, or pots and pans.
Buy from IKEA: Leksvik Rack ($13)
12. TOWEL RAIL POT LID HOLDER
Similarly, move a towel rail into your kitchen and you have a perfect place to store your pot and pan lids. Install the rail inside a cabinet or pantry door to keep them within reach but out of sight.
Buy from IKEA: Balungen Towel Rail ($15)