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Adding functionality, color, style, or even an element of surprise to a space, whether it be a simple remodel or much-needed refresh, can be easily achieved with designer-favorite IKEA hacks. While full-gut renovations can still be quite the difficult task, these insider tips are sure to simplify your next project whether you work with a contractor or go the DIY route. 


Custom Seating On a Budget

Design by Camila Cilento and Turn Key Design & Construction; Photography by Nick Glimenakis

Semihandmade Senior Sales Specialist Maria Herrera loves when customers get creative with cabinetry. “Some clients will use wall cabinets as shallow base cabinets if IKEA is out of shallow base cabinets, or if they want a taller cabinet (40” H) at bar height,” she says. 

“If they can get them, they will use wall fridge cabinets (20” H x 24” D) as bench seating, while others will cut base cabinets down five inches, so 25 inches high in total, for desks,” she says. 

The Make-or-Break Kitchen Fix

Design by Molly Torres Portnof; Photography courtesy of Betches

Designer Molly Torres Portnof of DATE Interiors believes the most impact can be achieved through the smallest details. Torres worked with the team at Betches, a New York-based media and entertainment company, for three years on their new headquarters. The chic black-and-white kitchen, which is the team’s go-to for post-work happy hours, was achieved with Semihandmade Supermatte Black Slab fronts and IKEA boxes. “When you do a dark, saturated color like a black, you have to have the contractor paint the edge of the IKEA cabinets black too,” she says. 

Built-In Perfection

Design and Photography by Jill Ellis

Semihandmade Showroom Supervisor Vienna Natividad’s favorite project is designer Jill Ellis’ Santa Barbara cabana, which features Semihandmade products in three spaces. Ellis went the DIY route with help from her carpenter father to customize IKEA boxes to create differing heights for her built-in desk, built-in bathroom vanity, and changing bench. “Having so many options from Semihaqndmade gave us a lot of flexibility to be creative,” she says. 

High-End Storage

Design by Nicole Richardson and Steven Grich; Photography by Jenna Peffley; Styled by Kate Leonard

Homeowner Nicole Richardson knew she wanted floor-to-ceiling cabinetry early on in her kitchen renovation process, but needed to stick to a budget. Through a semi-custom option with Semihandmade and IKEA, she was able to carve out an area for pet storage, as well as provide drawers her 6’7 husband could access without having to crouch down.

Another unique hack was mentioned by her contractor. Due to supply chain issues, IKEA was out of one cabinet Richardson needed to complete her kitchen. “I was at my wit’s end and on the verge of tears,” she says. “And he said, ‘Oh, that’s no big deal. Buy a cabinet with the same height and depth, but wider, and I’ll cut it down for you.’” 


The Clutter-Free Pantry

Design by AM Singer Design; Photography by Wendy Ball & Dara Albanese

Architect Anne-Marie Singer is no stranger to working with both Semihandmade and IKEA, and utilized the company’s products in a colorful brownstone renovation. While the cabinetry’s violet hue is a stand-out, it’s what’s inside the cabinets which truly impresses. Singer hacked a pantry with recessed doors, perfect for storing appliances using an IKEA Sektion High Cabinet Frame in 30” x 24” x 90”, algonisde pocket door hardware, and interior butcher block countertops.

An Entertainer’s Dream

Design and Photography by Heidi Noelle Designs

While mudrooms are often viewed as the optimal spot for shoes, coats, and backpacks. Designer Heide Noelle crafted an elegant, functional space, ideal for those who love to entertain outdoors. Semihandmade Supermatte Shaker fronts complement tall IKEA bases to store paper towels, outdoor accessories, and table settings. Plus, the designer went for Semihandmade glass-ready doors for a built-in dog kennel. 

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