From Spotlight: An Instagram-Worthy Home

The Best IKEA Hacks for Built-In Storage (Stolen From Instagram)

IKEA built-in entryway storage
Image: @tommapetersen

You know it’s a good investment. You just need a way to do it with less money and time.

When dreaming about built-in storage, you're probably thinking costly custom or a DIY project that'll take you foreeeeever.

Enter Ikea.

Despite the pervasive Swedish retailer's reputation for, shall we say, semi-permanent furnishings, you can easily hack Ikea stuff so it looks like it was always there. Here are five super clever Ikea hacks we found on Instagram:

#1 Ikea Closet Hack

Ah, the charm of pre-war architecture — and the agony of closet-less rooms. Besides being a day-to-day pain, they can hurt resale value because most buyers expect built-in closets.

Hack away that pain with some Ikea Pax Wardrobes ($159 each).

When secured together and to the wall, then jazzed up with trim and hardware, no one would ever believe you hex-keyed them together.

Tip: Hit Ikea on a weekday, when sales are slower, and an associate might have extra time to help measure and plan.

#2 Kitchen Island From Ikea Bookcases

Ooo. A stunning, custom-built kitchen island. Wipe your drool, look closely, and you might make out Ikea's famed Billy bookcases ($29-$39) under all that fancy beadboard.

The trim and butcher-block countertop add gravitas to the lightweight shelving.

For longevity's sake, consider solid wood versus wood-covered particleboard so you can refinish it when needed.

#3 Window Seat

If you're adding built-in storage, why not build yourself a seat, too? Some painted MDF turns Ikea's Kallax shelving ($46) into a dreamy built-in window seat.

While Kallax is among Ikea's most flexible storage systems (want baskets in those squares? A box? More, smaller shelves?), it only comes in one length.

So before committing to this Ikea hack, make sure your window bay is 58 inches or less — and not so much wider that MDF can't fill in the gaps.

#4 Entertainment Center

This hack brings the versatility and simplicity of Ikea kitchen cabinets into the living room. And a little quartzite countertop and MDF make these cabinets look like they were born in that cove.

Tip: There's just one Ikea cabinet box: Sektion ($111). But it comes in a bajillion options. Dive into the website as well as your local store before settling on the first door and hardware pairing that fits your space.

#5 Efficient Entryway Storage

Mount a bunch of Ikea Trones ($39.99) in a row, top them off with a slim shelf, and you can leave your days of tripping over shoes (and leashes and mail and hats) in the past.

While this built-in trick works especially well in foyers, any slim spot desperate for storage will get a functionality boost from this hack.

Related: 7 Genius Entryway Hacks to Get You Out the Door Faster

A headshot of Anne Miller

Anne Miller

Anne Miller lives in New York and covers real estate, lifestyle, and health topics for such publications as Slate.com, "The Wall Street Journal," Smithsonian Magazine online, NextAvenue.org, and "The Washington Post."