My Favourite IKEA Hacks and What We Own & Love

Ikea Hacks

Inside: My favourite IKEA Hacks, what we own and what we love from Ikea; including a Kallax/Ektorp hack, Hemnes series, Ektorp and Vimle sofas and more!

I feel like I’ve been writing about IKEA a lot lately. The truth of the matter is that IKEA Halifax opening is a big deal in our city. It’s going to create a large economic boom for the area in terms of jobs, and economic spinoffs for hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the area. So beyond meatballs and flat-pack furniture, it’s quite an exciting event for our region. So today, I’m sharing all of my favourite Ikea Hacks and some of the pieces that we own and love! 

Before digging in, you might want to check out my post about how to plan a successful trip to Ikea – there are some tricks to making your day enjoyable!

My Favourite Ikea STORAGE hacks

BILLY Bookcase HACK 

My love for Billys runs deep. I had a wall of them in my bedroom growing up. They are the quintessential ‘basic’ when it comes to adding useable storage to a space. Over the years, IKEA has updated the features, adding things like doors, new wood tones and a couple that are a bit deeper than the average 11 3/4 inch standard depth. Here, I turned my old Billy bookcase into a wrapping station in my studio!

KALLAX (or EXPEDIT) HACK – Wood clad a basic cube shelf

This might be one of the simplest hacks around and it creates such a lasting impact. This Expedit shelf (which was re-released a couple years ago with a couple of dimensional updates and a new name, KALLAX), is a work horse. They can be used as room dividers, benches, toy storage, vinyl record storage – you name it. In our case, we use it in LBs room as a change table! I wanted more warmth in the room, however. So with some stained pine boards cut to size, wood glue and a nail gun – we customized our EXPEDIT/KALLAX to suit our style. 

DIY Nursery Change Table

Bonus points because I did this entire project myself while quite pregnant! LOL (Other than lifting the piece… I didn’t do that part… but I did the rest!)


Update! I recently installed an entire linen cupboard system in our tiny upstairs hallway. It took me half a day to do, including the trip to Ikea! I used the Algot system that is two units wide. It has a hanging bar for my off-season clothing, space for a laundry hamper and tons of open wire drawers to keep bed linens, towels and cleaning products. This is one of my absolute favourite Ikea hacks for organizing a small space EVER.

ikea hack organizing line cupboard
Organize a Linen Cupboard

My Favourite Basic IKEA Hacks


Oh Ekby – how I love your incredibly reasonable price point, your dark black wood finish and the depth of the shelves you can hold. Please marry me. Or at least sit stunningly in my kitchen with some white washed boards on top of you. Okay? Thank you Ekby.

Seriously, these brackets are hard to beat. The smaller size costs TWO DOLLARS. I would be lying if I said I don’t have six of them in my studio cupboard right now – JUST IN CASE disaster strikes and I NEED TO HANG A SHELF. (My goodness…I am seriously a loser…haha)

The Kitchen

My Favourite IKEA sofas

EKTORP my EKTORP (and Hagalund, but you no longer exist)

I’ve written at least a couple of posts about why I chose to pull the trigger and get rid of our old grey microfibre couch in favour of a WHITE slipcovered couch from IKEA. So far, there are few times when I regret the choice. I do wash the slipcovers very often (and if you want my best tips – check this post out) and I think I could likely be convinced to get a new couch now…. BUT while we deal with a giant dog, two incorrigible cats and a baby? A slipcover is a totally serviceable option and the price point of a basic Ektorp is hard to beat. Our came in at just over $700. One day – I would like a ‘grown up couch’ though. Maybe soon. 

On the other side of the room, we have another slipcovered IKEA loveseat called the Hagalund. It has been discontinued – but we’ve had this one for nearly six years. I will admit the slipcover is a bit ‘squirfy’ but for all the reasons I mentioned above – we’ll hang on to it until we have a good reason to totally ditch the current living room design and start again. You can see more of this room in my recent $100 Room Challenge posts. 

Update! We recently updated our basement playroom and added in a navy blue Vimle sofa sectional with chaise. It is even more wonderful than the Ektorp if you really ask me. I love how deep it is, that it’s also easy to clean and I love the navy slip cover. I have a full review of our Vimle and you can also see how I styled it in our playroom reveal post.

My Favourite Ikea Lighting

RANARP – You Light up my Life (and my book)

I remember the year IKEA introduced the Ranarp line of lighting and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Until that point, it was nearly impossible to find a light that had a stylish covered cord, brass detailing and didn’t look like it belonged in the lobby of a Renaissance-style hotel. Ranarp quickly, IMHO, became a classic IKEA product and I expect many Haligonians will pick one or two or three up for their space. There is a ceiling pendant version, a desk lamp and wall sconces – like the ones we used in our guest room makeover last year. 


Why are medicine cabinets so dang expensive? Holy. I remember last year when we wanted to make a few cosmetic upgrades to our main bathroom thinking that all medicine cabinets were made of gold or cocaine or something because they were so pricey!! Then I found this Silveran cabinet from IKEA and I calmed down. We installed two of them, side by side, in our bathroom and they have been lifesavers since LB came along. I can keep all the dangerous and ‘no-no-no’ things out of her reach completely. Our vanity now only holds towels and baby bath stuff. So great.

Main Bathroom

Other than the above projects and products, we have Melby Chairs in the sunroom, two Hemnes china cabinets in the dining room, I just purchased the tallest PAX wardrobe for office storage and I have been using a NORDEN drop leaf table as my new desk and I’m LOVING IT.


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