3 Amazing IKEA hacks that you won’t believe were ever flat-packed!

If you want to get a high-end look for your furniture but are on a flat-pack budget, don’t despair. It CAN be done! I’ve been lucky enough to chat with to interior designer Melanie Lissack, who blogs about her own home and DIY projects at MelanieLissackInteriors.com, and today I’m sharing three of her amazing IKEA transformations to inspire you…

If you want to create a unique interior but don’t want to splash the cash on expensive furniture and accessories, you can still achieve the same look with just a little time, some paint and a dollop of imagination. I learnt this while chatting with clever designer Melanie Lissack, who shared the details of some of her best upcycling projects with me.

I had the pleasure of writing about Melanie’s gorgeous Georgian home for Reclaim magazine at the start of this year – check out the digital download of Issue 46 if you’re interested in reading more about her home renovation project. During our conversations I realised just how creative she had been when planning her interior and how she had achieved such a quality finish on a budget.


The first project that caught my eye was her bright mint-green drinks cabinet in the living room. This little Anthropologie-style unit started life as an IKEA Ivar cupboard. Can you believe it?

With a bit of paint, glue and MDF, she turned a basic flat-pack into something really special. The full step-by-step guide to make this classy drinks cabinet can be found on Melanie’s blog. Even though I’ve already created my own home bar using an old writing desk, I think I’d rather upgrade to something like this! Isn’t it just fabulous?!


One of the things I love to see in a period property is when bookcases and cabinets are built into the alcoves. It’s what makes me desperately want to own a Georgian home as I can imagine that I will spend all my time sitting in an armchair beside my built-in library, reading a novel. So when Melanie told me that her bookcases were from IKEA I couldn’t believe it. This is actually something I can do in my own home!

The shelving is actually two Billy bookcases that Melanie used as a base. She then added paint, wallpaper and wood mouldings to get the built-in look for less. Check out Melanie’s guide to install these Billy bookcases on Melanie’s blog and get the period look for yourself.


If you’re trying to create a home office space at home but don’t want to spend all your the budget for your new business start-up on furniture, it’s time to head to IKEA again. When Melanie needed storage for her home office, she simply revamped these cheap Vittjso shelves with primer and spray paint to get the look she wanted.

The original black finish didn’t fit in with the style of her interior, but the size (and price!) were perfect. Melanie completely transformed the shelves, along with the rest of her spare room, to create a home office. Have a read of Melanie’s blog post all about her home office mini makeover here.

I was delighted to be able to write about Melanie’s stunning period home for the first Reclaim magazine of 2020 and I am so grateful that she allowed me to share these photos with you today. There are countless more interior DIY projects, budget upcycles and ‘before’ + ‘after’ photos of Melanie’s transformations on her blog so be sure to head over to MelanieLissackInteriors.com to have a read and oggle at her beautiful home.


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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