I’ve been an IKEA fan from the beginning. Or, I should say, my beginning. Whereas most of my buddies here in Minnesota have only been exposed to the magic of flat pack boxes and Swedish meatballs for the past decade or so, I’m originally from New York and have been enjoying the blinding neon yellow and blue retailer for three decades now. In fact, if you head over to my parents’ home on Long Island, there are some IKEA pieces there that are nearly as old as I am. Seeing where IKEA is now that I’m an adult is quite exciting: I love that they continue to get better and better at balancing design and affordability, and that they very openly embrace the community of DIY “IKEA hackers” that have grown up around their brand. What otherwise can be a rather generic or stark piece can transform into a breathtakingly upscale or innovative showstopper.
This gorgeous changing table hack by Dana McLure involves little more than staining, masking off a pattern and painting it on, and then sealing it. Stick a changing pad on top and voila! An adorable piece for your nursery, with a modern meets rustic vibe.
Photography by Bob Martus
I love the idea of ombre dressers in children’s rooms—and nurseries in particular—because they’re a great way to add color in a way that still seems age appropriate as the child grows. Accent with some trendy hardware for a piece that really pops.
Love all that glitters but have more of a vintage vibe going on in your house? This project will give you the best of both worlds. Spray painted Ekby shelf brackets are paired with old barn wood for a stunning, sophisticated look. I want these to be my daughter’s bookshelves, stat.
Keep their desks and nightstands clear from clutter with this adorable DIYed small storage unit using a raw wood organizer from Ikea. I love the drawer pattern as-is, but you could easily tape off a different pattern to fit the rest of your decor.
I’ve been noticing campaign style furniture making an appearance in more and more nurseries lately! This cute Ikea hack will get you the look at a fraction of the price of buying the real thing, which can (usually) get pretty expensive.
Can you believe this adorable table is made from Frosta stool seats? Each painted seat becomes a separate table surface that can be repositioned or stacked on top of each other. This is adorable for a nursery or small child’s room!
Droooooool. This dresser doubles as a changing table, and whenever #2 comes around, I will be doing this Ikea hack STAT. I have a weak spot for European bar pulls, but add the gorgeous color and the mid-century inspired tapered legs, and you’ve got my dream furniture.
When the little ones are still a bit too, well, little, stools are going to be their best friends. Why not jazz up an Ikea Bekvam stool with a little paint and removable wallpaper for an endlessly customizable option?
Sometimes, it’s the little details that make the most impact. This simple color blocked frame upgrade makes these frames pop and gives them tons of personality.
Using faux wood grain contact paper, this Ikea Besta shelf unit becomes a mid-century modern inspired marvel that looks great and is a breeze to make.
This little reading nook is perfection! Using two Besta units and two Alex units to create the structure, this build is perfect to add storage to a sunny spot while still allowing you to enjoy the light.
If your kiddo’s room needs a little more space for small storage but the room plan is getting tight, this Ikea hack is for you! A Lack wall shelf and Ikea table legs combine to make a cute narrow console table that children of all ages can reach up onto with ease.
Using this Ikea tray from the PS 2014 collection, Elsa made a gorgeous hanging mirror that looks incredibly upscale. With its leather strap and raw wood surface, I love this idea for rustic or gender-neutral nurseries. It also is a great idea for older children’s rooms!
My kid-of-the-eighties side is really loving the bright neon of this Ikea hack. Using Pretty Pegs, an O’verlay kit, paint, and some fancy new hardware, this is the perfect way to give your child’s room some serious pop.
Need a side table to place next to your child’s bed? I have the upgrade project for you! This particular table is no longer manufactured by Ikea, but this could be applied to any style side table. All you need is a some tape to mask off your design and some spray paint!
Real talk: Nice rockers for your nursery are expensive. This Ikea hack will get you a gorgeous one at a fraction of the cost, and looks simply lovely.
Ikea Hackers community member Markus made this gorgeous changing table out of a Hemnes dresser. I love the white and wood look, don’t you?
This project is a fantastic use of cork placemats to create a pin board for your kids. Whether they use it to organize their schedule, keep track of their homework for different subjects, or manage their chore chart, it’s a great add to their room.
I’ve always loved the industrial modern look for boys’ rooms. It’s always struck me as a great way to have a chic look while still staying more masculine. I love this DIY that marries two of my favorite home decor brands, Target and Ikea, for a fabulous cage light sconce. Using an Ekby Valter bracket as a decorative structure to support the Target Threshold pendant, this hack requires a little more work and skill since you’re dealing with electrical—but isn’t the final look worth it?
This lovely Ikea hack turns a Kallax into a built-in storage system by wall mounting it and adding closet bars. The open and airy look of this built-in hack is perfect for kids’ rooms because you can paint behind it or do any sort of wall treatment you’d like for a fun design detail.
Does your child need a space to do their homework? How about giving them a fabulous (and easy to DIY) desk? Using a coffee table top and spray painted hairpin legs, this mid-century inspired desk has a fresh, modern twist that your whole family will love.
I love the idea of combining furniture pieces to save space (I have a mid-century house; they’re not really known for having spacious bedrooms). This banquette would provide the perfect place for Aurora to read or Facetime with Grandma and Grandpa while also providing some much-needed storage.
The Ikea PS 2014 plant stand gets a warmer, hipper upgrade with this project that’s perfect for families looking to infuse a little greenery in their little ones’ rooms.
Surprisingly, no, this was not made from Ikea’s play kitchen! This awesome gender-neutral play kitchen was hacked from Malm nightstands. I wish my adult kitchen looked this great!
On the other end of the spectrum, this girlie kitchen featuring Rifle Paper Co. wrapping paper as a backsplash makes me seriously reconsider my own kitchen decor! Once we make the move, I’m seriously considering tackling this hack for Aurora.
Full disclosure: Brittany didn’t design this DIY as an Ikea hack, but when I came across it the other day, I immediately thought of the Trampa rug I had seen at the store just a few days earlier. Saving you time while still getting the same adorable results? Always a win in my book.
Any mid-century style Ikea hack gets a thumbs up in my book, and I love the use of vintage hardware to give the piece extra character.
Have an older child that loves an upscale look? Get a bit of glam in their room on a budget with a bit of faux marble contact paper on top of an Ikea desk.
This inspirational hack doesn’t come with instructions, but fortunately, this bit of adorable is only a paint job on Ikea’s PS 2012 Chest of Drawers. Sand that bad boy down, get painting, build it, and put in knobs of your choosing to make what might just be the most adorable children’s dresser ever.
I love incorporating greenery in spaces, but Aurora isn’t exactly old enough to remember to water plants on her own. That’s why I love this air plant open terrarium hack using a Ribba picture frame shelf. Not only is it low maintenance, but it’s super easy to make: install the shelf, add moss, and decorate with the air plants of your choice! Brilliant!
It’s no wonder poufs show up in kids’ rooms all over the internet these days: my kid loves hers. So much so that it’s become…un-poufed. With her favorite piece of decor flattened, this Ikea hack (using a Solsta Pallbo foot stool) is looking quite perfect to me.
Door knockers on a storage unit? If it looks as fabulous as this Hollywood Regency style Ikea hack, then yes, please! I think this sideboard would look stunning in a tween or teen room.
To me, kids’ rooms are all about color—especially when they’re young! When I saw this project, it seemed like the perfect way to add pop to a room. And, if you don’t particularly need a bench in your child’s room, the same process could be used to make a super adorable table.
Another great idea to conserve space and add storage, this hack uses Stolmen drawers as the base of a bed and places a mattress on it for a quick repurpose!
Kallax becomes your child’s dream come true with this awesome hack that turns a simple shelving unit into a play storefront.
Does your nursery or child’s room have a boho vibe? This is a great project to give small storage a personal touch on a budget.
eed to spruce up a Malm but you’re not super handy? I love this modern meets mid-century take that only involves a quick sand down, a paint job, and a few O’verlays.
Proving that storage space in your kids’ rooms does not necessarily require a brightly colored fabric bin, this gorgeous floating credenza is modern and functional.
You see drink coasters, I see awesome mini cork boards for the wall! The geometric color blocking is trendy, bright, and fun—perfect for a kid’s room!
Working on a room for an older kiddo? This Ikea hack is simple and sophisticated, and can easily match any existing furniture you have in the room. It also doesn’t involve a ton of work: Sarah trimmed the legs down for better furniture proportions, but you could easily skip that step and just go straight to the paint and the hardware upgrade.
Not feeling particularly crafty but want to add a handmade touch to your child’s room? A quick spray paint job is all you need for these adorable jars, which would make for great small storage in an older kid’s room.
In need of a boy-friendly or gender-neutral headboard? I adore this hack Ashley worked up! Using self-adhesive wood planks called Stikwood, the look is stylish, easy to execute, and, best of all, so flexible. Stikwood comes in a variety of styles, from reclaimed to distressed to clean and even stained finishes, so this project can work for any style room.
Using a combination of painted Ekby brackets and Ekby shelves, this hack is a fun way to add color to a room without going overboard.
The last time we went to Ikea, Aurora saw the bunk beds and immediately fell in love. We promised her that we would get her one when we moved sometime early next year, but I knew immediately I wanted to personalize it up a little bit. I love the way the upholstered detail softens up the bunk bed! It doesn’t require any crazy sewing skills either, so I bet I’ll be tackling this in a few months.
Okay, I cheated a little bit on this one. It’s not an Ikea hack; it’s a Target hack. Using a Target Circo wire bin, a 1″ thick wood round from Home Depot, some spray paint, and some industrial strength glue, you too can make this absolutely adorable side table. You can make it a true Ikea hack with a wire bin from Ikea, of course, but it’s so cute as-is, I wouldn’t want to change it!
Ikea Hackers community member Sindy Stevens made this great side unit from a Kallax bookshelf. Stained plywood was used inside of the cubby holes to give it some warmth, but I also can see something similar being achieved with wood contact paper if you’re less handy. Speaking of contact paper, how cute would this be lined with a colorful or patterned contact paper instead?
This side table might be better suited for an entryway, but the look is absolutely adorable and can easily be applied to a table, dresser, desk, or vanity in a kid’s room. The “reverse dipped” look is a fresh take on the trend, and the little bit of exposed wood at the bottom gives the piece extra warmth and texture.
I’m always inspired by rustic nurseries for boys that have elements that look industrial or reclaimed, and this project is the perfect example. All it requires is some staining and an install of Ikea shelf brackets, and you’re set!
Usually Ikea hacks start with a furniture base from their collection, but in this case, the hack is in the decoration! This fun and fancy herringbone pattern dresser uses deconstructed Skoghall decking (that’s right, wood tiles from their acacia flooring collection!) to create the pattern. If you’re looking for a gorgeous piece that can grow with your kids, this is it.
Have a little one who loves arts and crafts time? Keep their supplies organized and out of sight in this great craft workstation hack using three Kallax 2×2 shelving units.
If you’re working with a room with an irregular ceiling, the struggle is real. This great built-in hack by Ikea Hackers community member Thanos uses three different Ikea pieces to fit an odd space, but the end result is polished and makes what could be wasted space into a fully functional nursery storage area.
My husband Devon and I are in the process of finding a new home, and with it, I promised my daughter we could plan out her new big girl room together. Needless to say, I’ve been Pinteresting my heart out, trying to find the best IKEA hacks for kids rooms to incorporate into her new space. I’ve been looking for pieces that are upscale and modern—nothing too babyish, so that she can grow into her furniture. Along the way, I’ve found a ton of great ideas for all ages, from nurseries to teen and tween rooms. I’m excited to share fifty-one of my absolute favorite IKEA hacks that will have you running to your nearest store as soon as you possibly can.