IKEA Hacks: Sort Of (But Not Really)

19 Feb

I love IKEA. Maybe not so much the large crowds of people, but definitely everything else. And I love altering the items I buy there. Any of the furniture in natural wood is perfect for adding your own touches.

(Sidenote: I apologize for any terrible pictures [read: all of them] in this post. They were all taken on my iPhone.)

This weekend they had a giant President’s Day sale going on. Somehow we managed to miss them all. But we still got out under $200, which I think is a huge accomplishment considering how much we got.

A little bit of back story: our apartment is not large, and it does not have ample storage. When we first moved in, we had to add our own kitchen shelves. There were cabinets underneath the counters, but nothing above. So we added IKEA metal shelves that are good for storing glasses. (And whiskey.) We also added metal bars underneath and S hooks to hang things like mugs. (And steins.) I guess you know what kind of people we are now. We also already had a large wooden hutch with four shelves. That sits next to our desk and we keep Cole’s food and water below it. I have pictures of none of this. Clearly I’ve come prepared.

In the year and a half that we’ve been in this place, we’ve worked out a pretty good system for where things go. But I like kitchen stuff – gadgets and cookware and spatulas and cookbooks! I love them and I must have them all. And people know this about me. So I get things like slate cheese boards and GF cookbooks for gifts. And then I have no idea where to put them. You can no longer walk into the pantry because of the wine rack that I repainted and stored in there because there is literally no other place to put it.

So this weekend, we went to IKEA. And I think we’ve finally managed to solve some of our space woes.

First, we got this hutch:

This picture is atrocious. I apologize.

This picture is atrocious. I apologize.

Notice how wonderfully the Crock Pot fits on the bottom shelf.  Previously we just had the trash and recycling cans down there alone. This way they’re at least somewhat hidden in their shame. And the reason I call this an IKEA “hack” is because Todd had to trim down the shelves by about 6 inches to make it fit there. The other side of the fridge is where the wall ends and opens up to the pantry door, so there was no way we were moving that over. It’s already moved over far enough so that I can open the oven door. Yes, our apartment is laid out well, thanks for asking.

The next IKEA “hack” for you is this butcher block mini-island:

The giant glass candy bowl is a new addition as well!

The giant glass candy bowl and the basket for towels are new additions as well!

Again, not really a hack, but I can call it what I want because it’s my blog, right? I taped off the two posts under the slats, and painted the slats green. If you notice the IKEA stepping stool in the back, I used the same paint so it all matches. A lot of things in my kitchen are green as well. Like the tea pot (as you can see in the hutch picture) and the large porcelain canister I use to keep wooden utensils.

Finally, we got a couple of magazine holders. Todd suggested I could use one for cookbooks and my thought for the second was to use it for magazines in the bathroom. I got tired of having them sit on top of the toilet and having to move them every time I cleaned.

in the process

in the process

I got them in natural wood, of course, so I could paint them!

This one I will use for cookbooks:

paisley! (I put a bird on it)

paisley! (I put a bird on it)

And this one for magazines:



I used the same colors partially because I wanted them to tie together and also because most of my acrylic paint is so old it’s chunky. And that isn’t fun to paint with. But going out and purchasing a few bottles of $3 acrylic paint is just too much effort. And of course I used a clear coat in satin finish to seal these off, but I did that after pictures.

Not pictured:  a very nice, square shelving unit for the bedroom. This one was assembled and left as is because it has a nice finish on it and fit perfectly in the corner of our room!

Living in a tiny apartment has made us very creative with space. Do you have any awesome IKEA hacks that you’d love to share?


4 Responses to “IKEA Hacks: Sort Of (But Not Really)”

  1. xo Dee February 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Think my favorite may be the green on the butcher block, it looks surprisingly natural! And the book holders are really fun!! I’d say that was a successful shopping trip.

    • paigetopus February 20, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      thanks! I love little touches of color here and there and I think the natural wood brings out the bright green very well. successful trip, indeed 🙂 thanks for reading!!

  2. interiorsbykenz February 20, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    These looks great! I love your touches on your swag.

    • paigetopus February 20, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      thanks! bright green makes me oh-so-happy 🙂

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