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    7 Ikea Hacks Professional Interior Designers Swear By

    Getty Images/Artyom Geodakyan

    You can’t beat Ikea for a homeware haul—the products it offers are inexpensive and stylish. What’s more, they’re simple enough that you can customize them to suit your personal decor style—and disguise the fact that they’re churned out from a factory in mass quantities.

    Ikea hacks have even become their own cottage industry, with blogs dedicated to clever ways to modify Ikea products to make them, well, less Ikea. Hacking could involve repurposing, reassembling, upgrading, updating, personalizing, or even creating something totally new to breathe new life into any room of your house, from your bedroom to the laundry room.

    But it’s not just amateur DIYers who are using their skills to overhaul Ikea goods. Professional designers are also not afraid to put a customized—and highly polished—spin on the Ikea products they incorporate into their own homes, as well as the homes of their clients.

    We’d swear the following seven projects using Ikea products were custom-made—and cost a fortune.

    1. Built-in millwork

    To take your Ikea storage unit or bookcase (like the perennial favorite Billy) to another level, create your own built-in millwork.

    “Typically, built-in millwork elevates the overall aesthetic of any space, but it can be a costly expense,” says Eneia White, owner of Eneia White Interiors, in New York City. Her solution? Just mount Billy ($59, Ikea) to the wall.

    “Then select a base and crown molding profile from your neighborhood hardware store such as Home Depot,” she explains. “Apply the molding to the base, top, and sides of your unit, and miter-cut corners where your molding connects if possible. You can also run a sconce above the unit, and run it through your crown molding. Voila! A high-end look on a shoestring budget.”

    2. New knobs and pulls

    A simple way of instantly taking any Ikea cabinet from meh to magnificent is to change the knobs or pulls. It’s a tried-and-true move from DIY dabblers, but pro designers also put this to use in their work.

    Sarah Cousins, a New York City–based designer, says she always does this with Ikea pieces. She also recommends drilling in holes for new ones if necessary.

    “I love shopping LuxHoldups for modern glam pieces and Anthropologie for something more eclectic,” she says.

    3. Unexpected paint or wallpaper

    Playing with color on furniture pieces gives you the opportunity to create something unexpected.

    Beth Diana Smith, owner and principal designer at Beth Diana Smith Interior Design, in New Jersey, suggests painting your Ikea item something fun, like Sherwin-Williams’ Argyle (a daring medium-dark green), or using wallpaper to create pattern or texture.

    A lot of people are turned off by the thought of working with wallpaper, but a peel-and-stick option like Tasmanian Beach ($168, Anthropologie) is quick and easy, says Smith. She suggests trying this on the Malm chest ($39.99, Ikea) and wallpapering only the drawer fronts.

    4. Custom doors

    Some companies even specialize in products that will give your Ikea base pieces a glow-up.

    “Right now, my favorite Ikea hack is using the base cabinetry and sending the plans along to Semihandmade, a company that makes custom-looking cabinet doors that fit Ikea furniture,” says Raquel Garcia of Raquel Garcia Design, in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. “I use Sarah Sherman Samuel’s edited colors, from pink to gray, and beautiful half-moon brass hardware to make the doors look custom. It’s genius! This can be used for anything from kitchen cabinets to bathroom vanities to achieve a custom look without the hefty price tag.”

    5. Reupholstered seating

    Most Ikea sofas, armchairs, footstools, and headboards can be customized easily with slipcovers.

    Sherri Monte of Elegant Simplicity in Seattle recommends Bemz for high-quality fabrics at various budgets—and they’re machine-washable!

    “From velvets to linens and slipcovers made from recycled materials, Bemz has a ton to offer your Ikea living or bedroom hack,” says Monte. Bemz also makes replacement legs to fit dozens of Ikea products.

    While you’re in the mood to reupholster, think about using the Ikea Koldby cowhide rug ($169) to revive an old bench or ottoman.

    “The natural-hair hide will instantly give a high-end look and feel to any basic footstool,” says Amanda M. Amato-Scotto, CEO and principal designer at AMA Designs & Interiors, in New Jersey. “Every hide has unique characteristics and markings, making it truly original. As it’s a form of leather, it’s very durable and will last a long time with proper care.”

    6. Minimal wall sconce

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    You can make a stylish wall sconce for just a few bucks if you buy an Ikea Ekby Valter bracket ($5).

    “The bracket is typically used to support shelves but you can mount it to the wall and wrap a pendant light socket cable cord around it,” says Amato-Scotto. “To finish it off, spray-paint the bracket in any color for contrast or match it to the wall so it blends in.”

    7. Something for the kids

    Tons of Ikea products can be adapted to make child-friendly homeware that makes life a little easier for the whole family.

    Monte likes to create a three-sided “toddler learning tower” from the Bekvam stool by attaching a three-sided frame to the top; this helps ensure kids don’t fall off the stool when they’re standing on it.

    “Kids can safely work at the kitchen counters, brush their teeth, or fold the laundry with you,” she says. “Because you’re assembling the stool and then building sides and a front, you can really customize the look and feel. With a little effort, you’ve made a stylish learning tower that’s safe for your kiddos.”

    The post 7 Ikea Hacks Professional Interior Designers Swear By appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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