5 Ways to Customize Ikea Furniture

Everybody Loves IKEA

Its no secret that everyone loves Ikea furniture. The Swedish retailer is one of the most successful in the world. I'm willing to bet that you have at least one item from Ikea in your home right now; and so does your neighbor, and your best friend... Which is why the cult of Ikea has spawned the Cult of the Great Ikea Hacks, or Ikea furniture that's been customized so that its no longer recognizable as such.

IKEA hack: the process of taking something familiar and changing or modifying it in a fundamental way so that its no longer recognizable as the original object.

Ikea's furniture has clean lines and basic good design that lends itself beautifully to being hacked. Some customizations are quite simple and ingenious, while others require the use of power tools. Examples abound and people are always coming up with new ways to customize their easily accessible and relatively cheap Ikea furniture. Below are my 5 favorite hacks of the moment.

IKEA Hack #1: O'erlays

On my blog PrettyHaus.com, I had the chance to interview Cheryle Rhuda and Danika Herrick about their business which takes hacking to a new level of easy-breezy. They've devised light weight panels of fretwork made to fit on various pieces of Ikea's hard furnishings like Rast and Malm, just to name a couple. You only need to stick them on where you want them and then secure with a brad or two. But frankly, I could talk about them until Ikea puts it's first store on the moon, but pictures speak a lot louder. Their website is www.myoverlays.com

Ikea MALM dresser with O'erlays
Ikea MALM dresser with O'erlays
Another MALM Hack
Another MALM Hack
An Ikea RAST dresser all dressed up in O'erlays.
An Ikea RAST dresser all dressed up in O'erlays.

IKEA Hack #2: Pretty Pegs

This is another forehead smacking, brilliant idea. Pretty Pegs, a company based in Sweden, has designed a line of beautiful legs that fit IKEA furniture. They will instantly add some pizazz and change the look of the sofa or chair just enough to make it your own. Their website is www.prettypegs.se

IKEA Hack #3: Bemz

One way to disguise your Ikea furniture is to clad it in some unexpected fabric. Bemz offers a huge range of slipcovers to literally hide the sofa, chair or bed underneath. They can be pricy but certainly cheaper than buying a new sofa. They have 180 fabrics to choose from for old and new models of Ikea sofas, chairs and even beds. www.bemz.com

IKEA Hack #4: Mykea

Mykea is another weapon in the arsenal of camouflaging Ikea furniture. It sells artist designed stickers in custom sizes made specifically to fit Ikea furniture. Some of their designs are pretty ingenious. www.thisismykea.com

IKEA Hack #5: Your Imagination

The first four Ikea hacks are all quick and easy ways to personalize you big box furniture and while these are fun, nothing will really individualize your furniture like putting your own personal touch on it. Yes, this will take more time and, no way around it, more imagination. But what you end up with will be completely you and well worth it. I would shop second hand for the base since you're going to change it anyway. Ebay and craigslist are two great places to pick up cheap, used Ikea furniture. The hacks can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. Here are a few of my favorite Ikea hacks from the world wide web.

Malm hack from greeenyourdecor.com
Malm hack from greeenyourdecor.com
Hack of LACK side table from simplynamoured.blogspot.com
Hack of LACK side table from simplynamoured.blogspot.com
Brilliiant Bri from timmythewienerdog.com has a hack attack a week.  This picture shows two: the turquoise RAST dresser and a MALM desk.
Brilliiant Bri from timmythewienerdog.com has a hack attack a week. This picture shows two: the turquoise RAST dresser and a MALM desk.
close up of RAST dresser hack
close up of RAST dresser hack
This hack is absolutely amazing.  Bri was inspired by an item on 1stdibs and made her malachite dream come true with EXPEDITE shelves.
This hack is absolutely amazing. Bri was inspired by an item on 1stdibs and made her malachite dream come true with EXPEDITE shelves.

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Comments 6 comments

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

It's funny that you wrote this, because I just came across this term last night while researching ways to make some "new" furniture out of the stuff I already have around the house. It really is amazing that people have actually made businesses out of changing up IKEA furniture. It's a real tribute to IKEA's great design.


LetitiaFT profile image

LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

What fantastic ideas! I'm bookmarking this instant!


edelhaus profile image

edelhaus 4 years ago from Munich, Germany Author

Hi Prarieprincess and LetitiaFT, thanks for stopping by and commenting :-) Yes, Ikea's great designs inspire great design. Its really pretty amazing.


Global-Chica profile image

Global-Chica 4 years ago from New York, NY

Wow, edelhaus, I absolutely love the idea of customizing Ikea furniture! I really want to try this and I'm definitely referencing your hub in the future. Thanks for sharing :)


edelhaus profile image

edelhaus 4 years ago from Munich, Germany Author

Hi global chica, glad to help.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 17 months ago from Oklahoma

Wonderful tips for customizing prefab furniture.

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