Anne Interiors Interior Designer Glasgow UK

Hack IKEA for Awesome Affordable Custom Joinery (10 Reasons Why You Should)

IKEA custom joinery

Table of Contents

Hej! Having worked as an interior designer for IKEA, I highly recommend considering it for custom joinery requirements for your home.

Throughout my employment with the “big blue box”, I had numerous trainings and hundreds of rooms designed. From which I gained a full understanding of the width and depth of the IKEA range. 

Amongst the privileges of being an in-house designer is the accessibility of studying every part and mechanism of an IKEA product. I was able to manipulate it accordingly for a specific design build therefore discovering the endless possibilities of its furniture and storage systems.

My favourite departments are the most technical ones— the kitchen and bedroom departments. I enjoyed exploring combinations and pushing the limit of a product’s functions to the point of exploiting them.

However, there is only so much I can do in-store. As an in-house designer I am not allowed to “hack” IKEA furniture in the full sense of the word. I am only expected to use a furniture for its intended function (or multi-functionality) without altering its form to avoid loss of structural integrity.

But now that I’m free from its reigns, I can further discuss the unlimited potential of IKEA and share with you the reasons why you should highly consider it for custom joinery systems requirements for your home. Provided that you have or you are a well-skilled joiner there is no limit to what you can create bespokely using basic IKEA furniture.

Credits: All unlinked images are from IKEA

There is a reason why IKEA has become the most hacked brand of all time and I am here to list ten of the reasons why so:

  1. Simplicity

IKEA’s simple form is akin to an artist’s blank canvas. You can add your personal touch of creativity to it with trims and mouldings, paints or wallpapers, caning, beading, reeding, etc. Name it, you can apply it! With an average skill and the proper set of tools, of course!

  1. Clean finish

Whether it’s their laminated, veneered or foiled particleboard, or stained, painted or clear-lacquered solid wood furniture range, IKEA offers a smooth finished look— ready for you to apply your coat of primer and own choice of paint or stain.

Or leave it as it is, clean and simple, ready to decorate and easy to clean with just a wipe of dry or damp cloth. Ease of maintenance also means it is child-friendly!

  1. Easily adaptable

Ever wished you have more slots/ intervals for the pegs of your kitchen cupboards and bookcases because you need an extra inch to fit that vase or casserole? IKEA has more than enough allotment for that to make every shelf customisable to your height requirement.

And now they even provide cover caps for their kitchen range to hide the holes that you don’t need particularly making glass door cabinets and open shelving more presentable.

variera-cover-cap-black and white
  1. Interior Organisers to match

For every IKEA storage system there is a bespoke interior organiser and small storage to exactly fit and match it. The dimensions of which are thoughtfully considered down to the last centimetre making sure that every bit of drawer and shelf space is fully maximised.

Below are just a few examples: I’m toying with the idea of creating a PDF reference guide or matrix of IKEA storage boxes and organisers per room or storage system. Let me know in your comments if this would be worthwhile.

  1. Fits any style

To an ordinary customer it may seem that IKEA is primarily modern and Scandinavian in style. But if you observe more closely, you will find a product that has the slightest hint of curve in the back or arms, extra moulding detail and panelling, slightly turned or chamfered legs, a dainty botanical pattern— all to cater to the traditional enthusiasts. IKEA doesn’t leave it to chance to cover all customer tastes and preferences.

  1. Up-to-date hardware and accessories

From push-to-open, soft-closing hinge, drawers and sliding doors, to integrated smart lighting with options for full remote control and dimmers, IKEA makes sure that if you choose to create a bespoke combination, there is a convenient high-performing hardware and accessories to meet the demand.

  1. Easy DIY

Yes, there will always be people who would complain how difficult it is to follow instructions but the fact remains that IKEA has the most understandable and accurate illustrations for DIY assembly instructions.

And if you happen to be among the unlucky ones with a missing part or screw, IKEA Customer Service in-store have a full haberdashery of nuts and bolts and everything in between you can pick from for free.

I know, I know, you probably can’t be arsed to drive for miles just for a couple of screws! To be fair it doesn’t happen often. Actually, from personal experience (without tempting fate) I have NEVER encountered a missing piece. On the contrary, there’s always an extra of something in the packages I’ve opened.

  1. Guaranteed

Most of their top of the range furniture offer between 5 to 25-year guarantees.

  1. Sustainability

It may be counterintuitive that a brand that is in the business of mass production is also a promoter of sustainability. Rest assured that when you buy from IKEA you are buying from a brand who practices what they preach.

  1. Affordability

Need I say more? IKEA price is hands down the most competitive in the world of home furnishings. With IKEA, cheap in monetary value doesn’t necessarily mean cheap in quality.  Sure, their lowest price offering may not be the most durable but I am talking about their top-of-the-range products. These are the ones that are most competitive both in price and quality compared to other furniture brands, not to mention have a much longer product guarantee and warranty (again, compared to other popular brands!).

This among the ten reasons I have enumerated to you is the most compelling reason why IKEA makes the best option for creating that bespoke furniture and storage for your home. This immediately cuts the price significantly off your budget for bespoke furniture.

All you (or a joiner) need to do is assemble and add your bespoke touches (built-in trims, mouldings, paint, etc.) whilst having that peace of mind that it is guaranteed to last up to 25 years. Or you may decide to refresh or reconfigure sooner which makes the decision a lot easier because you know that you didn’t spend the earth to get the bespoke joinery of your dreams.

Moreover, savings on storage (note, still a bespoke storage nonetheless!) allow you to splurge on other big-ticket items for your home— the ones that you most often “touch and feel” like sofas, mattresses and top appliances— or on items that will truly add character and value to your space like original paintings and artworks.

Essentially, any cheap product can be made to look posh or upscale by a creative individual.

Now that we have the reasons why IKEA lends itself as the best choice for custom joinery, let’s look at the different areas of the home and specific IKEA product range that may suit your bespoke joinery plans.

IKEA Product Range for Custom Joinery

Kitchen

METOD

So much has improved in IKEA kitchens since the dawn of the Metod system. Its carcasses lend itself best for custom joinery as it comes in different sizes of top quality which fits most other brand appliances as well. So you are not bound to IKEA appliances only. 

Have a look at these two different takes on IKEA kitchen cabinetry for example:

The owner achieved a handcrafted vibe by cleverly refining IKEA cabinetry. He made it look bespoke by encasing the system in a wooden bulkhead which echos the full stave oak countertops. 

A fellow blogger’s kitchen is truly an IKEA hack. She made use of only IKEA carcasses whilst doors and drawers were created by her builder’s joiner and worktops bought from a separate company. 

Every part of the METOD kitchen is highly customisable and comes in different price points, including the choice of complementing interior accessories. 

My favourite of which are those made of bamboo from the Uppdatera and Variera range. They immediately elevate the look of drawer interiors. Although their plastic counterparts are much easier to maintain.

uppdatera and variera interior organisers-bamboo

 

ENHET

I’d say this is IKEA’s mid-price range in the kitchen department. This is perfect for those who are into the modern Scandinavian and industrial styles and not keen on investing on power tools to DIY a kitchen assembly. Enhet is designed to be fitted without special tools. Wedge dowels ‘click’ parts into place instead with the use of your bare hands (I just hope that it’s as smooth and easy as it looks on the videos).

Because of its style, Enhet is a budget-friendly and stylish storage option for your garage, pantry, utility & laundry room and even bathrooms.

They also have the most functional and cutest accessories, just look at this swivel shelf! 

enhet-swivel-shelf-anthracite

I also love how lighting can be cleanly integrated into the shelving units.

skydrag-led-wrktp-ward-lghtng-strp-w-sensor-dimmable-anthracite

 

KNOXHULT and SUNNERSTA

No doubt the lowest price of the kitchen range.

Knoxhult is like the “LEGO” of IKEA kitchens—they are pre-combined sets of cabinets, doors, drawers, shelves, worktops, and a sink and watertrap ready to assemble—just add your choice of tap and appliances. Ideal for those who can’t be bothered planning out their own kitchen combinations.

pre-combined knoxhult-kitchen

Meanwhile, Sunnersta is a cute mini-kitchen, it’s almost like a play kitchen with all the cute and functional accessories to match! Perfect for small spaces and small budgets, I’d say it is ideal for workshops or hobby rooms too!

Sunnersta mini kitchen

Of all the kitchen range, I believe Enhet and Sunnersta are the best option for rental properties for their ease of assembly and disassembly.

Extra tip: You may also use the Metod and Enhet range for your bathroom furniture requirements as they come in 37 and 42cm depths respectively. Enhet actually comes in its own bathroom series.

Living room

BESTA

This is my favourite range, my go-to for media storage system- very sleek and highly customisable! Although it has the highest price point in the livingroom range, the simplest option in white is still very much affordable. I especially love their latest door finishes namely, Hedeviken and Bjorkoviken – distinguishly Scandinavian and very on trend wood finishes.

besta-storage-combination-with-doors-white-hedeviken-stubbarp-oak-veneer
besta-storage-combination-with-doors-white-bjorkoviken-birch-veneer

And isn’t this such an interesting and creative way of customizing the simplest of BESTA units?

 

KALLAX (formerly LACK) and EKET

For the lovers of symmetry, this cube shelving units are perfect for you! Cheaper of the two, Kallax is more straightforward and comes with more accessory options. However, Eket is more versatile as each ‘cube’ is a unit on its own with loads of colour options so it can be more playfully configured.

Arguably the best KALLAX hack is when it is used for ultimate storage and display. It becomes a custom joinery system by stacking them from floor to ceiling and used as an impactful room divider as in this case.

And isn’t this the most playful and charming EKET hack?

 

BILLY and HEMNES

Ideal for home library and display solutions. Billy is more modern while Hemnes leans towards the traditional.

Although Billy is more highly customisable with different door options and depths, it doesn’t come with drawers. Either choose a drawer furniture from another IKEA range or design your own and seek a joiner to construct.

However, Billy’s simplicity is a blank canvas that can swing both ways – modern to traditional – with the right choice of cladding and mouldings from your local hardware, it could easily look bespoke! 

 

See what I mean? A simple Billy turns traditionally bespoke with the help of a few clever trims and mouldings. 

Don’t be scared. Fill the full width and height of your wall with custom joinery made of Hemnes units.

There are more storage and shelving range in the living room department, however I’ll leave it at these five as they lend the most variety for custom solutions.

Bedroom Wardrobe

Oh, the thrill and satisfaction of having your own fully-functional built-in wardrobe! Extra points for a walk-in! Imagine how much calmer and ready to sleep you’d be in your own bedroom knowing that every inch of your wardrobe is planned out to sort all of your stuff away from sight?

CLOSED STORAGE:

PAX

Definitely the best IKEA wardrobe system! It has also improved so much over the years by way of the variety of organizers to complement the interiors of its shelves and drawers – pull-out trays for shoes, jewelleries, watches, sunglasses, trouser hangers, ties; matching box sets to store your underwear, scarves, etc. Even clothes rail can be a pull-out type!

Interior shelves and drawers also come in different materials to meet varied budgets and style – solid wood, glass front/ top or wire baskets.

Pax frames vary in width and depth making it suitable to different room sizes. Door choices come hinged or sliding with soft-closing mechanisms.

Not limited to bedrooms, Pax may be used in the hallways too as a boot room or any other secondary storage requirements.

Another clever hack from Design 69 is  this customised wardrobe that embraces the natural slope of the ceilings by using Pax interiors, some MDF, mouldings and a different type of hinge. Impressive DIY for it involves alteration of size and shape of the Pax frame and interiors to fit a very awkward space!

 

PLATSA and SMASTAD (formerly STUVA)

This is the more affordable wardrobe system with varying sizes (in width, depth and height) making it highly customisable as well. Smastad actually complements the Platsa system. Colourful Smastad doors can be used on Platsa 60cm-width frames.

Smastad is really a Children’s IKEA range, let’s just say it’s like the Pax system for kids. But of course, as an interior designer or any creative person, you may use any range in any room you require. The only limit is your imagination.

OPEN STORAGE:

 If you’re a neat freak and the type who sort your clothes by colors and the like, then you can afford a stylish open storage system.

ELVARLI

A stunning high-quality system with solid drawers and an option for wood (bamboo) shelves. This could really look great in a Scandinavian or traditional style room. It also serves as an effective room divider and bookcase or shelving system. 

 

BOAXEL and JONAXEL

They’re the lowest price option for the open wardobe solution but still comes with a variety of sizes and accessories for clothes and shoes. However, drawers come in the form of wire baskets.

There is no stopping you from enclosing these systems by building a frame around it and installing hinged or sliding doors, of course.

Boaxel wardrobe
Jonaxel wardrobe

 

Speaking of, Pax, Platsa and Smastad may be used without their doors either (especially if you’re dealing with awkward spaces like sloped ceilings or irregular corners). Best to just use their frames and interior accessories and design to fill in those awkward gaps by employing a fine joiner and build custom doors as well. (pic)

Tip:  Elvarli and Boaxel should be great options for display systems in retail shops – clothing or decors. Both offer a great finish and highly adjustable shelving to suit varying heights of consumer items.l

Bathroom

GODMORGON

Has and always been the top IKEA bathroom range. Its price remains very competitive among others in the market considering both design and quality. Godmorgon comes in matching vanity units, tall and wall cabinets, as well as mirror cabinets. Everything you need and more in a bathroom!

IKEA has added more sizes, colours and open cabinets making it even more appealing for customization. Godmorgon doors range from modern to traditional styles, matt to high-gloss. It even has its own complementing interior accessories and cabinet lighting (which may even function as a stand-alone narrow shelf to hold some of your small bathroom essentials).

All units may either be wall-mounted (including the tall units) or stand on legs.

What I love most is the solid birch slat detail on its drawer sides and back.

This particular hack is a great solution when you want an extra wide double vanity with loads of storage.

 

ENHET

As mentioned previously, Enhet has its own bathroom series. It offers the same flexibility as its kitchen counterpart, only it is at 42cm depth. But even better, all its tall, base and wall cabinet frames come in grey colour too!

ENHET bathroom grey frame

Work/ Home office

GALANT

I’ve never personally purchased a Galant myself as it has always been out of my budget but I have always used it to plan for all our office spaces in IKEA including our affiliate’s offices. It’s one durable and very professional-looking range!

Over the years, Galant has improved the modularity of its products. Their storage combinations especially the filing cabinets in every possible size option are a must for any hard-core office. What I love about their storage system is that the back has the same finish as the rest of its sides so they may serve as stand-alone room dividers as well.

GALANT SYSTEM

TROTTEN

A more affordable range and can seamlessly blend with Galant. It even comes with more parts and accessories – a variety of noticeboards, trolleys and different types of drawers to name a few. So, you may combine both ranges in a room further increasing the customization potential of both product series.

More informal in style, it evokes an element of fun in your work space, making it also an ideal choice for home offices. While it is relatively affordable, it still comes with a 10-year guarantee.

IDASEN

I’d say this is the traditional version of Galant. Like Galant, it is the top of the line range with quality materials and finishes. However, its colour options give off a more cosy and artsy vibe.

IDASEN office system

BEKANT

Galant series used to have a desk range but now it had migrated to this series, Bekant, along with a new range of storage units on a more industrial style. It is all robust and obviously also combines well with the Galant and Trotten series.

Bekant office system
BEKANT SITSTAND DESK

My favourite of all office furniture is the ‘sit/stand’ desk. I remember seeing them for the first time at work when I flew to IKEA Sweden in 2012 for the design and planning of our new stores in the Middle East.

I found it very ingenious and it sets a dynamic energy at work. At that time, it was only produced to be used by IKEA co-workers and not yet sold in IKEA stores. We’ve always wished we had one of those in our office back in Dubai.

Fortunately, now everyone can reap and enjoy the benefits of this highly ergonomic desk. It comes in different price points and styles too, and no matter which one, IKEA offers a 10-year guarantee with it.

This easily makes it the most affordable and best quality sit/stand desk in the market today. I promised myself that our second home office downstairs will have one of these desks!

Secondary Storage

Secondary storage requirements may be for your garage, pantry, utility/ laundry room, workshop/ hobby room, boot room, or even a really budget-conscious home office.

IVAR

Definitely the top of my list for secondary storage. If you notice this is also the most hacked product amongst the IKEA systems primarily for its solid wood construction in natural finish lending itself perfect for any creative finish you can think of.

Hackers even go as far as modifying its solid construction and cutting out holes from the doors and drawer fronts to adapt a different material such as hessian or caning which has become most popular as of late. A lot of hackers have used caning in their projects. So IKEA responded by adding caned doors into their Ivar range.

I am amongst the happy customers for caning is one of my current favourites and I intend to use the Ivar system in our next project – the guest bedroom downstairs, slash additional home office, slash art room! Watch this space! 😉

Ivar has really exhausted all the possibilities for trendy storage solutions to meet the tightest of budgets. And a lot of IKEA’s markethall product items look very stylish and natural with it.

Because some combinations can look stylishly Scandinavian, you can spot others using it in their living room and bedroom storage solutions.

Eat your heart out for these amazing Ivar hacks! 

BROR and OMAR

Secondary to Ivar (to my taste) are these two. Although they have ample parts to achieve certain combinations, they’re not as many and as flexible as Ivar.

Bror is evidently more expensive than Ivar though, but that’s more due to its elegantly black (or white) powder-coated steel frames making it most suitable for garages or any room requiring storage that works hard especially for keeping power tools.

IKEA custom joinery Bror for office

Whereas Omar’s daintier galvanized steel parts and shallower depths are ideal for small spaces like most pantries and boot rooms.

IKEA custom joinery Omar for pantry
IKEA custom joinery Omar for hallway

Freestanding Furniture

Now you may be wondering why am I including freestanding furniture to the list of items that may be customised for storage solutions? It’s for the simple reason that IKEA carry certain product ranges that blend with some of the storage systems enumerated above.

They either fold up or down, click-clack, slide in or out, in such a way that they tuck neatly within the storage system. In essence they become part of a whole. The aesthetics to look for are clean, straight and simple lines with solid neutral colours preferably colour-matching your chosen storage system.

Examples of which are the following:

  •  Folding and drop-leaf tables that fold to fit within the depth of the storage system could well integrate and benefit small space solutions:

Norden, Norberg, Bjursta, Idanas

 

 

  • Sideboards and consoles:

Besta Burs, Lixhult, Havsta, Idanas, Regissor, Ersnas

Custom joinery Freestanding furniture console
  •  Trolleys
Custom joinery with Freestanding furniture trolley
  • Sofa-beds and chair beds

They may not fall within the maximum depth of a common storage system for it to hide away completely but the storage system may be designed around it instead in order to make the entire wall of units and furniture a cohesive system altogether. Especially ideal for multi-functional guest bedrooms.

Brimnes, Hemnes, Flottebo, Vallentuna, Lycksele, Flekke, Holmsund, Nyhamn

  • Single or double beds, loft and bunk beds made of solid wood to create either a playful loft space for a child or a more mature multifunctional loft for a teenager or an adult.

Solid wood is imperative as you will most likely customise the height/ length of legs, reinforce with wooden posts and have to securely screw them onto your walls for additional support.

Stora, Smastad, Kura, Neiden, Tarva, Idanas, Utaker, Hemnes

There is a lack of  more bespoke examples on Google so I will create one for you to further expound on this idea. I plan to do either a separate blog or a case study to clearly illustrate in 3D drawings how these freestanding furniture can be seamlessly integrated into a wall of bespoke cabinet systems. Let me know in your comments if this would be of interest?

Lighting for your Custom Joinery System

Proper integrated LED lighting is essential for any custom cabinetry to successfully appear well-considered and high-end. If you look at fancy interior magazines, almost all luxury bespoke storage systems have integrated LED lights recessed into each shelf or cabinet frame.

Aside from elevating your bespoke joinery it offers convenience when you need to find specific clothes, dinnerware, food, cooking items, or highlight special books and decors making them more aesthetically pleasing.

IKEA integrated LED lighting
IKEA integrated LED lighting

IKEA’s integrated LED lighting may not be designed to be recessed into IKEA furniture but they are slick and discreet enough to look like it because they ARE designed to match the standard lengths of IKEA cabinet/ shelving units, thereby making the overall look well-integrated.

Furthermore, using smart technology, ALL of IKEA’s lighting strips may be dimmed wirelessly using a separate Tradfri wireless dimmer, and some come with sensors so that they only light up when the door/ drawer is open. They emit a warm flattering glow thanks to a Kelvin range of 3000K and Colour Rendering Index of >80-90.

Moreover, the ones recommended for Bathrooms have a rating of IP44 making it splash-proof. As a reference, bathrooms and kitchens should have at least a rating of IP44 and IP20 respectively.

Personally, I prefer LED light strips with built-in diffuser because I hate seeing glare from the tiny LED bulbs and it’s my pet peeve when these reflect onto the walls. However, I may forgive those that are used for drawer interiors as they are relatively out of sight anyway.

For illustration purposes, I have compiled IKEA’s popular LED lighting strips into a matrix for ease of comparison. 

Note that I did not include spotlights and lighting strips that do not have built-in diffusers as I am aiming for a sleek and elegant, well-incorporated look.

IKEA integrated LED lighting Matrix

My IKEA Wishlist

Even a home furnishing giant cannot have it all. There are a few gaps in the market with some of IKEA’s popular range, namely:

Kitchen frames and doors

  • Light wood effect cabinet frames – I noticed that METOD has already added a dark wood effect option to its cabinet frames, why not a light oak as well (similar to Besta’s)? IKEA does realistic wood effects anyway so adding a light wood tone to the range keeps it on trend and even competitive with other kitchen suppliers who offer wood finishes.
  • “Pocket doors” – they are becoming more and more popular in storage systems particularly in the kitchen department where it is very practical. There’s a stroke of genius to a door that swings out and then slides in to disappear into the cabinet frame. It is space saving and a practical solution for larders, breakfast and wine cabinets. Or perfectly hide a messy station.

It would be ideal to have it in both single and double doors please. As well as maybe consider for the living room range to hide the TV?

Besta

besta wishlist

I’m relatively happy with the Besta range apart from one small detail to improve on. Can you move these exposed side screws from the outside in?

Nothing beats a lovely “dovetail” wood detailing but this drawer’s exterior would look so much better and the wood effect more realistic if IKEA makes that one minor alteration.

PAX

Whatever happened to the oak effect wardrobe frame options? It may be that they’re just all out of stock at the time I’m writing this blog but I surely hope IKEA hasn’t scrapped them off their range.

 

Bedroom 

Murphy bed please! This will be a total game-changer even if it is only the size of a single bed. Don’t you agree?

I hope somebody in IKEA R&D is reading this and would seriously consider addressing my wish lists. They are small additions and improvements that could spell the difference to a truly bespoke joinery system.

Now you may ask, how do we elevate a basic IKEA cabinetry and transform it into something that exudes luxury and style? Obviously, you may attempt an easy DIY hack by swapping out knobs and legs here and there or apply a lick of paint, wallpaper or a decorative effect sticker that you can get from Etsy.

 

IKEA Hack Companies for Custom Joinery

Did you know there are companies that capitalize on IKEA’s basic “shell” and actually specialize in hacking/ upgrading an IKEA furniture? The best of them can improve its quality and life span as well as making it look much more expensive and posher.

By buying the affordable basic elements (frames and interior fittings) from IKEA, you have an opportunity to put the quality where it is most visible – from handcrafted doors and cladding to premium wallpapers and durable architectural vinyl wraps in unique finishes, you can enhance your IKEA cabinets to the point of it being unrecognizable.

Most of these companies are understandably Scandinavian companies themselves but there are now local suppliers emerging here in the UK. Among the popular ones are the following:

Established in Oxfordshire in 2011 as a general joinery workshop, they started initially making high-quality joinery products such as bespoke doors and cabinetry for fitted interiors like kitchens and bedrooms. Today they have added a speciality in making bespoke cabinet doors for IKEA Metod and Pax specifically.

Made in Bristol, they specialize in providing custom door fronts for IKEA kitchens. All HUSK fronts are proudly designed and hand made in the UK whilst the company is very much about promoting sustainability. Among their list of materials for cabinet fronts are: Fenix, Oak V-Groove, MDF Primed, Birch Plywood, and Textured fronts (furniture-grade recycled wood, finished with a white oil).

It’s the Oak V-groove that caught my eye! Not many custom IKEA door makers have this design option.

Another UK-based company based in East Sussex specializing in custom door fronts for IKEA kitchens. Among their choices are: Wood fronts – Nordic birch ply, European Oak, and European Walnut;

Coloured fronts; and my favourite of all, Bamboo fronts! It comes in white, warm and dark finishes and bamboo kitchen worktops to match. Among their handle option is the handleless “push-to-open” for a truly minimal look.

They also offer panels and plinths and bespoke pieces. I was informed, after contracting them, that any other project that is not IKEA Metod is classed as a “bespoke” project (including IKEA Pax, Besta and Godmorgon). Great! It’s good to know that it can be done!

It was difficult to find an IKEA hack company that also specializes in the wardrobe range. I’m sure glad I chanced upon Unflatpack for they offer precisely that – IKEA wardrobe and Besta customisation services.

Moreover, their services include “angle cutting” (except for glass and mirror doors) for those tricky rooms and sloped ceilings, “infills and surrounds” to cover any extra/ leftover space for a seamless look, “width/ height/ depth cut downs” to make sure that your IKEA unit fits the exact space.

Unfortunately, they only serve customers in London, Greater London, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Hampshire, Reading, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Surrey and Bristol areas at the moment. Hopefully they grow to cater to at least the whole of UK in the near future.

London-based, Plykea is another IKEA hack company specialising in plywood fronts, panels and worktops for IKEA Kitchens as well as non-standard sized door or an odd shaped cover panel if that’s your requirement. All their plywood are 18mm birch, B/BB grade and FSC certified.

Their plywood have 3 options: Wood faced ply with a surface veneer of either birch, oak or walnut. Formica faced ply and Fenix faced ply which both offer a whole range of colours and finishes.

Although based in Stockholm and have no physical store or office in the UK, they do ship to UK for a fee. The main reason why I included them on this list is that they’re the only company which offers bespoke fronts for a whole lot of IKEA storage range including sideboards, chest of drawers, wardrobes, bathroom furniture, not just kitchens! They also have knobs and handles as well as furniture leg options and some luxurious mixer taps and sinks for the bathroom.

Based in Copenhagen, they deliver worldwide. I’ve included them on my list for those of you who might take pride in a kitchen designed by renowned architects and designers. It’s the closest you’ll get to an affordable and truly “designer” kitchen. And Reform is the only one so far that offers steel material for the cabinet fronts.

My favourite is their new collection, Reflect by Jean Nouvel. The monochrome fronts are made from sturdy, reflective steel imbued with vertical ridges.

They make covers for all IKEA sofas, armchairs, dining chairs, pillows, etc. I love that they have a variety of quality fabrics that are stain resistant, scratch resistant, virus protect, water repellent, allergy free and fire retardant that comes in a wide range of colours.

They don’t really position themselves as an IKEA hack company but they do offer quality commercial architectural wraps. It is the most cost effective way of changing the look of your interiors. They have hundreds of architectural film finishes to choose from in these categories: Wood, Colour, Metallic, Stone, Fabric and Leather.

As much as most wrapping companies claim that you may apply them on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, I personally wouldn’t recommend it unless you are only looking for a temporary solution (ideal for rental homes). Heat and moisture will eventually take its toll on the wraps over time.

So, it’s good to point out that Restore my Door also offers on-site spray coating services using the latest HVLP technology along with specially developed paints for a long-lasting protection.

Otherwise, wraps are great for the rest of your surfaces from furniture to walls.

If you have read this far, thank you so much! I’m glad I have sustained your interest and I hope I have provided you with valuable information and encouragement regarding IKEA’s potential for custom joinery.

Are you ready to design a highly functional custom wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling kitchen or storage system using basic IKEA furniture and fittings? I offer consultations if you only need ideas, advice or guidance for your DIY. 

But if you are overwhelmed or can’t be bothered doing it yourself, then allow me to be of service to you through e-Design or a Full Service Interior Design. Whether it is just the one wall of bespoke cabinet system you need or an entire room incorporating it, I am here to help.

Wherever you are in the world, you know I am just a click away, let’s get started discussing your requirements!

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Katerina
Katerina
2 years ago

To Anne I love your new website and your ideas you are fantastic! from Tootsie (your daughter)7 years old.