20 IKEA Items That People Totally Transformed

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Sep. 6 2019, Updated 8:56 a.m. ET

IKEA is a magical land filled with possibility. If you've ever shopped there, you know that the minute you step in, an overwhelming desire to redo every room in your house washes over you. But much of the furniture IKEA has to offer is quite basic. Luckily, there are creative people out there who live to spruce up IKEA pieces and transform them their unfinished, simple shelves into chic custom-designed furniture that you can be proud to display. 

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Nesting tables

These two nesting tables from IKEA are made of black metal and glass, which is hardly everyone's style. This person used gold spray paint and faux marble to make them look like something out of a West Elm catalogue.

Mid-century dresser

The IKEA dresser on the left looks like something your mom buys for your clothes when you're 4 years old. The one on the right looks like it belongs to an adult. It's amazing what a little wood stain and four legs can do. 

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Bar cart

This sad little kitchen island is perfectly spruced up here as a bar cart. IKEA is great because it's cheap and easily made to look much more expensive than it actually was.

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Wooden dresser

These people didn't do much to this dresser other than stain it and change the drawer handles. It still looks like a completely different (and much more stylish) piece of furniture.

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Bed frame

I was honestly shocked by this transformation. The Malm bed frame is so simple, modern, and sleek looking, and this person added wooden boards to make it look like it belongs in a country home. Chip and Joanna Gaines would be proud.

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Garden table

I think just about everyone had one of these super cheap end tables from IKEA while they were in college. They were $10 and had a surface to put things on, and at the time, that was all you needed. I didn't even consider that it could be redesigned into something like this.

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Pedal board

IKEA sells individual shelves, which ended up being perfect for this person's pedal board! If you are a guitar player, you know that pedal boards can be expensive. This is one cheap way to build your own.

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Crib to bed

This baby crib easily transformed into a "big boy bed" for this person's son. By doing this, you're able to afford your kid a buffer wall in case they roll around in their sleep, and you don't have to buy a new bed for every stage of their life. It's a win-win.

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Cat toilet

This little cabinet with doors became the perfect hidden cat toilet for this person. They just added a mat and a cat door and put the litter box inside. Those doors make it easy to remove and clean the litter box, too. This is genius.

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Fancy cabinet

The plainer the IKEA product, the more impressed I am at the transformation. Someone looked at that plain wooden box with doors and knew exactly what they wanted to do with it. And they transformed it into one classy piece of furniture with some mid-century modern legs and handles and an attractive walnut stain.

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Office desk

This person took a simple white and blue office desk and made it actually cute. That seems like a difficult task! I envy people who can look at a piece like that and know exactly what to do to make it look good.

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Cat box drawer

Here, we have another perfect example of a hidden litter box. This little cabinet unit can double as a bench or you can even store more of your cat supplies on top. 

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Simple dresser

It's amazing what a few drawers and legs can do to transform a basic shelving unit into a vanity that I would actually want to sit at and use. Those basic shelves from IKEA are great because they are so customizable to your taste.

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This doesn't even look like the same piece of furniture. I'm such a fan of the wood on top. It was a brilliant addition that completely changed the look of the piece. Without it, it wouldn't be as impressive.

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Laptop desk turned bar cart

Again, the super simple addition of wood countertops completely changes the look of this piece. I have to give this person credit for seeing this advertised as a laptop desk and going, "No. You know what? This is a bar cart." It works perfectly. 

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Changing table

This person customized several different IKEA pieces and fit them together like a puzzle to build the ultimate changing table. Honestly, they should sell these. I bet parents everywhere would buy them.

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Mario shelves

Obviously, these shelves that come with mini ladders should be transformed into a glow-in-the-dark Mario-themed unit. Obviously! This is brilliant. I don't know what IKEA was thinking with this design, but they should switch it and market the Mario one because it's way better.

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Kid bed

This is the most insane transformation on the list by far. It's amazing. I wish I had a bed like this when I was a little kid. Heck, I wish I could crawl inside this and go to sleep now as an adult. Check this parent's Imgur post for photos of the whole building process. 

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Fun and floral dresser

We saw another customized design of this dresser earlier on. This just goes to show you how many different styles these basic IKEA products can accommodate. I love the funky wallpaper on the drawers. 

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Lighted bar

How cool does that lighted bar look? The IKEA Billy bookshelves come in all colors and sizes and heights, so it is super easy to use them to build exactly what you want. But installing lights really took this custom job to the next level.

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