Chip and Joanna Share Their brilliant Recommendations to Upgrade Your IKEA Furniture and It Looks Amazing


Wandering around the aisles of IKEA, or scrolling through their website is a lot of fun. Each piece of furniture is stylish and budget-friendly. Thanks to Chip and Joanna from The Fixer Upper show, people realized that IKEA furniture can be used in a lot of different ways. Keep reading to get some ideas from the experts.

The Bookshelf Baby Table

The Malm line of furniture is known for being sturdy and stackable. The bookshelves come in a natural wood color, which can be painted any shade you want. This enterprising parent decided they wanted a non-traditional baby change table.

The Malm bookshelf and dresser with an added platform for the baby fit together perfectly. As an added bonus, this probably saved the new parents a few dollars by using what they had in their home.

The Updated Ivar Cupboard

This cabinet looks like it was bought from one of those expensive design studios in Scandinavia. However, it was actually created out of a simple white Ivar cabinet from IKEA. The DIY duo who made this piece decided to cut ovals out of the doors, and a rectangle out of the bottom portion.

They then added legs to the cabinet, and some wicker basket weave to cover the new holes. This gave it an updated mid-century modern look without breaking the bank. Sometimes you need to envision how a piece of furniture could look, rather than what it is right now.

The Table Garden

We have all seen terrariums, but have you ever seen a built-in table garden? This crafty person looked at their IKEA Lack table and tried to imagine how it could be made better. The answer was simple — add a garden.

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They carefully cut out a rectangular hole in the center of the table, and built-in a small planter box to hold succulents. Now, the table is a green one, and their plants are sprucing up the room.

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The Rustic Bed

Rustic bed frames that look like they belong in a farmhouse are very in fashion at the moment. Bed Frames made of solid wood can be quite expensive though. The Malm bed frame can easily be turned into a rustic one with a slick of paint, and some additional wooden panels.

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This DIY-er added some slats of wood and painted them white while leaving some of the original wood colors peeking out. Now, the bed looks more rustic, whereas before it was quite modern.

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The Feeding Station

Storing pet food and treats needs to be done well, otherwise, sneaky little paws might find their way into the bags. This person wanted a stylish cat feeding station, which also worked as a storage one.

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The Kallax shelving unit was configured into one by removing one of the panels on the lower level. The cats can easily jump into the shelf and grab a quick snack without getting under the feet of their owner now.

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The Dual Desk

With so many people working from home these days, it makes sense that most people would want to have a nice home office. This couple decided that they wanted to work next to each other, but still have their own desk space.

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The solution was simple — an IKEA countertop. The long countertop is the perfect length for a dual desk, and with the addition of some metal legs, it is also very cost-effective.

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A New Kitchen Island

The Kallax line of drawers can be used to create a lot of different pieces of furniture. One use that we haven’t seen before, is as a kitchen island. This dresser was flipped on its side, and had four wheels nailed into the bottom of it.

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From there, all the person needed to do was add a wooden countertop, and voila. It is a great kitchen island that can be moved around as needed.

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An Impressive Minibar

Shelving units from IKEA can be used in a lot of different ways. One enterprising person decided they wanted to fashion themselves their very own minibar. They wanted it to have a slightly utilitarian vibe, with a few wooden accents. After browsing through IKEA, they realized that the Fjallbo Cabinets would make the perfect long bar for their apartment.

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They didn’t even need to update the cabinets to achieve this look. All they did was slide two together, add some top-shelf alcohol, a few bar essentials like a martini making kit, and some homemade bitters. This bar looks like it’s worth thousands of dollars, rather than a couple of hundred.

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Just Add Wood

Another crafty person decided to turn an old desk into a bar cart. They looked at their Vittsjo Laptop desk and realized that some well-placed planks of wood would take this desk to the next level. The glass top had to go, and a large plank of wood was placed on top of the desk, and in the bottom of it to create additional shelving.

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A few glass holders were then placed underneath the new bar top. Now, the desk is the perfect self-contained bar cart. It just needs some wheels to be added to the bottom of the legs.

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The Catio

Anyone who owns an indoor cat knows how important catios are. Catios are designed to be enclosed patios for our furry friends. A catio will allow your cat to enjoy the great outdoors, without being exposed to any of the dangers. Hejne shelves are great for garages and pantries. They offer just enough room to store your tools and food staples.

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This resourceful person added some chicken wire and attached their Hejne shelves to their home. This turned the shelving units into the perfect catio for their feline friend. Now, their cat can slip out through the window and enjoy some afternoon sun.

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A Magical Loft Bed

Children love a good loft bed, but one that looks like a treehouse is even cooler. This IKEA loft bed was given the treehouse look by nailing some wooden panels to the outside of it.

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The steps were made with Trofast shelves, which are designed to store children’s toys. This is a very innovative design, because not only is it a lot of fun for the kid, but it also offers a ton of storage options.

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Hidden Kitty Litter Box

Pets brighten our days, and a cat companion is one of the best pets to have. They’re easy to look after, and all you really need to do is feed them and clean out their litter boxes. This person decided they wanted to hide their kitty litter box from guests with this ingenious design.

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The Friends bench and storage unit is perfect for this. All you need to do is cut out a hole for the cat flap, and pull the litter box shelf out when it is time to clean it.

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A Special Key Holder

Sometimes all it takes are some magnets and some Bekvam spice racks from IKEA to brighten up your front entryway. This person knew that they didn’t want to use their spice racks for something as conventional as storing spices.

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Instead, they hung them up by their front door, added some tiny potted plants, and attached some magnets underneath the shelves. Now, when they walk in the front door, they can ‘attach’ their keys to the magnets.

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A Special Toy Display Case

A lot of gamers like to collect toys and figurines of their favorite game characters. The girlfriend of this gamer wanted to do something extra special for her boyfriend and his toys.

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She bought two Lustigt shelves, painted on a design from the Mario Kart games, and added a black light to her shelving design. When her boyfriend saw it, he couldn’t believe it. It looked like an exact replica of one of the Mario games itself.

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The Cat Bunk Bed

IKEA has a lot of great toys and accessories. One of their most popular ones is the Duktig Doll Bed. It’s designed to be used for dolls, but it can also be used for pets. This person didn’t have any kids with toys, but they did have two furry cats.

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They added some soft blankets to the bunk bed, and showed it to their cats. One cat absolutely loved it, and as you can see, spends all of her time sleeping on it.

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The Fairy Castle

Children around the world love a bed that has been turned into something out of a fairy tale. This little girl’s parents decided to give her a fairy castle bed. This beautiful bed was made with an IKEA Kura bed frame.

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The parents added some fake stone, and some wooden fixtures to make it look like a castle. There is even a playroom underneath the bed, which she can access through the tower.

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The Wall Cat Tree

Cats love to climb up high and peer down at their humans. This cat owner knew that their cats needed an innovative cat tree for their cats to climb around on. IKEA’s Frosta wooden stools, when cut in half, actually work to make the perfect wall cat tree.

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Each stool seat acts as a stepping stone for the cats, and they can easily climb up and around the living room. This has to be one of the coolest cat trees we’ve ever seen!

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The Mid-Century Sideboard

Dining rooms and living rooms look instantly chic when a beautiful sideboard is added to the room. As the mid-century style is all the rage right now, this DIY-er decided to turn their IKEA Hack sideboard into a piece with some character.

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They used gold furniture tape to create a geometric interlocking pattern, which really made this piece standout. The best part about this IKEA hack, is that the tape doesn’t cost more than $10.

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A Bookshelf Sideboard

When you look at a vertical bookshelf it can be hard to imagine it as something else. This person clearly has a creative mind, because they looked at the IKEA Kallax bookshelf and thought it would make a great sideboard. We have to admit that they were right!

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The addition of some metal legs and a couple of cabinet doors has made this bookshelf turned sideboard a hundred times more stylish. The accessories also add to the charm.

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A Classy Side Table

Marble is definitely in fashion right now, but the price tag hasn’t gotten any cheaper. There are a lot of different ways to create a ‘marble’ look without shelling out the big bucks. One of these ways is to use marble stick-on paper.

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This paper has a marble pattern on it, but it only costs about $20 to purchase. You stick it onto the tabletop you want, like this Vittsjö one from IKEA, and then you have a ‘marble’ table of your own.

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Vintage Storage Shelves

Antiques are lovely to have in your home. Each piece tells a story of a bygone era, but that also means that they are expensive.If you are crafty, it’s pretty easy to turn one of the IKEA card file units into an antique looking one.

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You need to use a dark wood stain, and then brush some of it off to look like natural wear and tear. Then, simply add some gold name card holders and the card shelves will look like they belong in an old library.

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A Stylish Laundry Room

Most people don’t spend a lot of time making their laundry rooms look stylish, but this person decided they wanted to. They used Karlby wooden countertops as the frame for their washer and dryer.

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To tie the whole design of the room together, they then added some IKEA Voxtorp cupboards in a slate color. The addition of the stainless steel sink makes the whole room pop. We never thought that kitchen basic could make a laundry room look so classy!

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The Built-In Library

Whenever you watch a movie or TV show that is set in an old manor or palace, you will notice that they always have a magnificent library. Usually, the room is lined from floor to ceiling with built-in bookshelves which make it look even fancier.

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This person wanted their home to have a library with built-in shelves but did not want to pay thousands of dollars. They purchased around 20 IKEA shelving units and installed them all throughout their hallway for that old school charm.

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A Cushioned Window Seat

Window seats are lovely spaces to sit down and read a book in, but most windows don’t have built-in window seats. This person decided that they wanted the perfect reading nook and knew exactly how to do it.

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Their old IKEA Kallax bookshelf when turned horizontally made the perfect window seat. The upholstered a seat and added some storage baskets for their books to make it more modern. A stranger would have no idea this used to be a bookshelf.

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The Faux Marble Table

Marble is one of the most expensive table top materials out there. It has to be cut from a quarry and then sanded. The best marble comes out of Italy. This person really wanted a marble top kitchen table but wasn’t willing to pay over $500 dollars for one.

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Instead, they used table epoxy and paint on an IKEA Docksta table to create some very realistic looking fake marble. This trick saved her over $300.

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A Floating Shelf

Yes, floating shelves themselves are not expensive, but why pay for something new when you can repurpose something old! This person looked at one of their old wooden IKEA magazine holders and knew how to turn it into a cute floating shelf.

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They stained the wood to a darker color, and then simply nailed the magazine holder horizontally to the wall. Now, not only does it have a top shelf, but it also has a bottom shelf to store trinkets in.

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The Industrial Wall Sconce

Minimalism and simplicity characterize the style aesthetic that most people want these days. IKEA has inexpensive wooden brackets that are used to hold up bookshelves. These brackets can be painted, and strung with an industrial light bulb to create a modern wall sconce.

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This is both easy to do, as long as you have the proper wiring, and a great cheap way to change up the wall sconces in your living room or bedroom.

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A Unique Bathroom Wall Organizer

Most people have some bathroom cabinets to store their linens, and toiletries in. However, the slatted bed frame that comes with most IKEA beds can be repurposed as a wall hanger. If you nail the slatted frame to the wall, and add some metal hooks it becomes a very unique storage unit.

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The slats are the perfect design to hang towels on as well. If you want to make this even cooler, you can also add some hanging plants and create a green wall.

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The Shoe Shelf

Bookshelves can be used for a lot of different things. IKEA makes long narrow shelves that are usually designed to hold a few key books, some trinkets, and a plant or two. This person realized that they actually have a much better use.

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Each shelf is the perfect length of a shoe, which makes them a great shoe shelf. As their sneaker collection is pretty impressive, it is a nice way to display them all.

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The Step Stool Kitchen

While IKEA does make play kitchens for kids, their wooden step stools can actually double as one. You need to be pretty crafty to pull this off, but with a coat of paint, a few well positioned knobs, and some hooks this step stool can be a kitchen.

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You will need to add a few accessories, like some small pots, cups, and cutlery for the finished product. What’s great about this play kitchen is that it’s easy to make, and it’s the perfect height for toddlers.

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The Plastic Bag Holder

One of the most well-known IKEA kitchen accessories are the Valeria plastic bag holders. These tubular holders can be placed under the sink or by a door, to store plastic bags in. They have another great use though.

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Anyone who collects wrapping paper can hang these on the wall to store rolls of paper in. They are the perfect width and height for anyone who has a crafting room, and needs some extra wrapping paper storage.

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A Mirrored Nightstand

The simple cubes that can be used as seats or tables from IKEA can be repurposed into almost anything. After all, they are in the shape of building blocks. This person had a great idea when it came to making a new night stand.

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They used acrylic plexiglass and some double sided tape to create this mirrored night stand. Now, it looks like their bedroom could be in a modern hotel in Berlin or some other European destination.

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Drawing On The Wall

Kids love drawing on walls. We’re not sure why, maybe it is all that white space. If you have kids, or adults that like to draw on the wall then this is the IKEA hack for you.

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Install a Racka curtain rod, and a smaller bath towel rack below, add some butcher block paper and you have the perfect easel. Just make sure that the paper is thick enough, otherwise some marker might end up on the wall.

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Add Some Color

Rattan chairs are very much in fashion right now. Everyone wants that retro 70s vibe, and a rattan chair embodies much of that era. You do want your rattan chair to be unique though, and the IKEA Stockholm chair can be updated easily.

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Choose some of your favorite colored yarn, and wind it around the top of the chair to form different geometric shapes. Not only will this look cool, but you can also change the yarn colors to match the seasons.

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Spicy Book Holders

The IKEA Bekvam spice rack has a lot of uses other than holding spices. They are the perfect size to hold cosmetics bottles, but they are also excellent for books. Children’s boardbooks tend to come in unconventional sizes, and a few of these racks painted in pastel colors look beautiful in a child’s room.

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Another good feature, is that the high sides make it more difficult for children to pull all of their books out of them.

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DIY Statement Light

One of the funnest things to do is walk around the aisle in IKEA, and imagine how all of the odds and ends might look in your home. Most people don’t look at a gold salad bowl, and think “Hey, this would make a great lamp!.”

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This person had that idea though, and it could not have turned out better. These gold lamps made out of IKEA bowls are really beautiful, and they definitely add something extra to the room.

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Add Some Patterns

If there is one thing that IKEA is good for, that’s white canvas furniture. You can choose pretty much any piece, and it will come in white. This person wanted to let their artistic side shine through, and the white IKEA Tullsta was perfect for this.

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They hand painted some geometric shapes onto the chair, with waterproof paint. The result is this chair, that looks like it was purchased from a Scandinavian design house.

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Party Favors

While we have seen a lot of IKEA furniture turned into new or updated pieces of furniture, we have yet to see something for a party. This donut holder used to be the top of a Lack coffee table.

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The owner removed the tabletop, added on some wooden pegs, and painted it pink. Now it is the perfect donut holder for birthday parties. It can also be reused for other parties, and painted a new shade to match the theme.

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A Hideaway Desk

A lot of IKEA’s products can be used as desks, but sometimes you don’t always want a desk to be obvious. If you are looking for a DIY hack that has both storage, and a hidden desk area than this is the one for you.

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The Malm dresser was converted into a desk, by creating a drop-down door on the top one. It was also painted, and some new handles added to make the drawers look like old card filing cabinets.

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A Beautiful Bunk Bed

The IKEA Kura bed is designed to be a loft style bed for kids. The area underneath the bed can be used to store toys, or create a play area. This family decided that they wanted to turn the Kura into a whimsical bunk bed for their daughter to share with a friend during sleepovers.

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They completely painted the wooden frame, and added some patterned wallpaper to the protective wall to give it some more character.