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10 IKEA hacks: Get high-end looks at a low cost

Bloggers worldwide are turning IKEA's simple furniture into amazing custom pieces. Check out these 10 hacks and find out how to create the looks yourself.Ritva curtainsInterior designer Naomi Stein used IKEA's Ritva curtains to dress up a bay window in her home. Stein managed to create her own custom window treatments by adding fuchsia Greek key trim to the simple white panels. To create the l
Ikea hacks
Acute Designs, For Chic Sake, Hi

Bloggers worldwide are turning IKEA's simple furniture into amazing custom pieces. Check out these 10 hacks and find out how to create the looks yourself.

Ritva curtains

Picasa / Today

Interior designer Naomi Stein used IKEA's Ritva curtains to dress up a bay window in her home. Stein managed to create her own custom window treatments by adding fuchsia Greek key trim to the simple white panels. To create the look, she cut the trim into curtain length sections, making sure to include an extra 2” to fold over the edges before sewing them onto each panel. For more on how to recreate these curtains, go to Stein’s blog, "Design Manifest".

Rast chest

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A huge fan of campaign furniture, blogger Louisa DiLeone decided to make her own with IKEA's popular Rast chest, a three-drawer dresser for $34.99. Using high gloss paint in a pinkish plum, campaign-style drawer pulls and brass flat corners, DiLeone created a gorgeous knockoff for a fraction of the price of an original. For more on how to make it, go to DiLeone’s blog, "For Chic Sake."

Akurum cabinets

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By mounting two IKEA Akurum kitchen cabinets to an awkward wall in her home, blogger Molly Madfis created what she likes to call a “fauxdenza.” Before attaching the cabinets, Molly set them up on books and boxes to figure out the perfect height and attached a custom walnut slab on top. She suggests mounting the shelves first and then measuring for the wood since IKEA's measurements can sometimes be off. For more on how to make it, go to Madfis’ blog, "Almost Makes Perfect."

Vittsjo shelving unit

Vittsjo shelving unitToday

To add a dose of glam to Ikea’s Vittsjö shelving unit, interior designer Jana Bek painted it gold. She had to paint hers by hand since she lives in a tiny New York City studio apartment and doesn’t have a yard. But if you have outdoor space, spray painting is the better way to go. Be sure to clean the piece before painting. Since the Vittsjö is metal, Bek did one broad base coast to cover the surface and then a second one to cover the entire piece. For a super luxe look, use an acrylic gold paint for the base coats and this Krylon gold leaf for a textured finish. When spray painting, she likes to use Krylon’s metallic paint in bright gold

For more on how to make it, go to Bek’s website, Bek Design.

Antilop highchair

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To make her daughter’s Antilop high chair more stylish, blogger Bethany DeVoretransformed the legs with a few coats of metallic gold spray paint. For a pop of color, she added a homemade decal to the back of the chair with her daughter’s initials. 

For more on how to make it, go to DeVore’s blog, Dwellings by DeVore.

Jokkmokk table

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In just a few easy steps, blogger Gina Morrison gave Ikea’s traditional Jokkmokk dining room table a major dose of style. To update the table, Morrison removed the legs and trim by taking out a few screws. Next, she used a sander before staining the wood with Rust-Oleum’s wood stain in sunbleached. Her last step was to screw in hairpin legs she bought for $50 on Ebay. The entire project took less than an hour not including drying time in between two coats of stain. 

For more on how to make it, go to Morrison’s blog, Acute Designs.

Malm nightstand

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After blogger Sierra Gullan decided to use Ikea’s Malm chests as nightstands in her new apartment, she painted them black and placed white O’verlays on each drawer. Since the Malm dressers have a laminate finish, they can be tricky to paint. 

Sierra’s hack wasn’t easy but with these tips, you can recreate her look: 

1. Prime the dressers. They’re made from laminate and priming will ensure they hold the paint. 

2. Invest in a “smooth” roller brush. The quality is so important. You’ve already saved money by buying at Ikea, so spend a few extra dollars on a decent brush. It will make all the difference with the finish.

3. Be patient and wait for each coat of paint to dry.

4. Use liquid nails for O’verlays.

5. Add a sealant for an extra-chic high gloss finish. 

For more on how to make it, go to Gullan's blog, Posh Meets Pavement.

Billy bookcases

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To create a custom entertainment stand, blogger Amelia Warren attached threeBilly bookcases together using screws and painted the back black. Since most paints won't adhere to laminate, she used Zinsser's oil-based, odorless primer. Next, she attached decorative molding with finishing nails—she recommends pre-drilling your holes to avoid splitting—caulked the seams, then finished it with a coat of Martha Stewart's Talc, a near-perfect match to the Ikea white.

For more on how to make it, go to Amelia's blog, House Pretty.

Klubbo coffee table

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Blogger Christine Dovey says this hack on Ikea’s Klubbo coffee table was so simple since all she needed was gold leaf, some gilding size and two brushes. First, she sanded the base lightly and applied the sizing medium. After waiting a few minutes, she applied the gold leaf piece by piece, using a dry brush to help it adhere. Once all the leaf was on, she used the dry brush to buff everything up to a shine.

Patrik swivel chair

Aron_Bruhn / Today

Blogger Ashley Muir Bruhn swore she wasn’t going to buy an Ikea office chair. She planned to scour the web in search of a vintage Eames or something similar, but before long she was drawn to the Patrik Swivel Chair’s modern simplicity and unbeatable price ($199). With a few coats of Rustoleum’s metallic spray paint in brass, she instantly made the Patrik more chic. Ashley says to work in a well-ventilated area, apply at least two coats, keep your spray moving, and prepare for overspray. In fact, she worked inside of a large cardboard box, taking the top and one side down. Then she sprayed, waited for the base to dry and assembled her new chair. 

For more on how to make it, go to Bruhn’s blog, Hither & Thither.

A version of this article originally appeared on iVillage.