AdviceInterior design

Money Saving IKEA Hacks

Browsing the interior design magazines and the property sections of the Sunday newspapers can be a great way to find looks for your home. But you can more or less guarantee that the bespoke table, wardrobe or shelving unit in the glamorously-styled photos that you really love is the most expensive item in the shoot. So you go back to pondering a trip to the retail park or browsing the Ikea catalogue with something of a heavy heart.

Ikea hacks
Image source: IKEA fans

But some homeowners are finding a way to turn that trip to the flatpack warehouse into a thing of both joy and inspiration, as they conspire to create designer furniture from mass-produced bargains. Branded ‘Ikea hackers’, after the brand of flatpack furniture most likely to be customised, these forward thinking DIY enthusiasts share their Ikea hacks on websites and social networking sites, showing just how you can make something that costs £80 look like it came in at £800.

They may use the kind of terminology commonly utilised by computer hackers, but most of the Ikea hacks have easy to follow instructions on how to turn a £30 bookshelf into something stunning and even how to convert bunk beds to a four-poster. Simple Ikea hacks begin with painting or spray-painting flatpack staples in pastel shades or bright colours, whereas more complex projects can involve the fusing of two different products. The results can be simply practical or stunning, but the satisfaction of getting something custom-made on a shoestring budget is what keeps most enthusiasts experimenting.

DIY Ikea hacks
Image source: IKEA Hackers

When you start to think differently about simple items then you will be surprised as to how versatile they can be. Some Ikea hackers make convincing antiques from their finds, whereas others totally repurpose the furniture, turning shelving into seating, desks or bed bases. Ambitious advocates of flat pack modification have even used shelving to create internal walls and increase the number of rooms they have, creating a conversion for hundreds of pounds where it could have cost thousands.

Ikea hacking
Image source: Oh yes blog

Of course, such large scale projects do require the necessary DIY skills or the aid of an imaginative tradesman, but if you start off with easy projects then you may find yourself with a hankering to head for Ikea, even on a busy bank holiday Monday. Other-halves or friends may need to be bribed with hot dogs or meatballs at first, but they will soon be joining you once they see the results that can be attained with some lacquered chipboard and a little imagination.

Need some help with an ambitious Ikea hack? Post a job on Rated People in our Carpenter / Joiner category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradesmen.


Iain Aitch

Iain is a London-based writer who works as a journalist for a number of newspapers and magazines. He has also written two books, one of which is a hilarious lexicon about Britishness – Iain is a Brit through and through!

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