How to Make IKEA Furniture Look Expensive

IKEA furniture is known for its affordability and practicality, but with a little creativity and some simple techniques, you can transform it into high-end pieces that will elevate the look of your home. In this article, we will explore various ways to make your IKEA furniture look expensive, from understanding the basics of IKEA furniture to DIY hacks and real-life case studies. Let’s dive in and discover how you can give your IKEA furniture a luxurious makeover.

Understanding the Basics of IKEA Furniture

Before we delve into the techniques of making your IKEA furniture look expensive, it’s important to understand what sets IKEA furniture apart. IKEA furniture is known for its Scandinavian design, which focuses on simplicity, functionality, and minimalism. The use of clean lines, light colors, and natural materials are key elements in IKEA’s design philosophy.

Despite its affordable price point, IKEA furniture is also known for its durability and quality, with many pieces designed to withstand everyday use. This combination of affordability, functionality, and durability makes IKEA furniture an excellent base for creating high-end looks.

What Makes IKEA Furniture Look Expensive and Unique

One of the unique aspects of IKEA furniture is its innovative assembly system. IKEA uses flat-pack packaging, which allows for easy transportation and reduces the cost of shipping. This also means that assembling IKEA furniture is a DIY project, which not only adds to its affordability but also provides an opportunity for customization.

Additionally, IKEA offers a wide range of furniture styles to suit different tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer modern, traditional, or eclectic designs, you’re likely to find a piece that fits your aesthetic within IKEA’s vast catalog.

When it comes to the materials used in IKEA furniture, sustainability is a key consideration. IKEA is committed to sourcing materials responsibly and minimizing its environmental impact. Many of their products are made from renewable or recycled materials, ensuring that your furniture not only looks good but also aligns with your values.

The Pros and Cons of IKEA Furniture

While IKEA furniture offers several advantages, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons before embarking on the journey of transforming your furniture.


  • Affordability: IKEA furniture is known for its budget-friendly prices, making it accessible to a wide range of consumers.
  • Customizability: IKEA furniture provides a blank canvas for creativity and allows for personalization. With a little imagination and some DIY skills, you can transform your IKEA furniture into unique pieces that reflect your style.
  • Quality: Despite its low cost, IKEA furniture is often of good quality and can withstand everyday use. From sturdy bed frames to durable sofas, IKEA furniture is designed to last.
  • Functionality: IKEA furniture is designed with functionality in mind. Whether it’s a storage solution for a small space or a multi-purpose piece that serves different needs, IKEA furniture offers practical solutions for modern living.


  • Mass Production: Due to its popularity, IKEA furniture is mass-produced, meaning you may find similar pieces in other homes. If you’re looking for something truly unique, you may need to put in some extra effort to customize your IKEA furniture and make it stand out.
  • Assembly Required: While some may enjoy the process, others may find assembling IKEA furniture time-consuming or challenging. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions and take your time to ensure that your furniture is properly assembled.
  • Limited Customization Options: While IKEA furniture provides an opportunity for customization, there are some limitations. You may need to get creative with paint, upholstery, or additional accessories to truly make your furniture one-of-a-kind.

By understanding the basics of IKEA furniture and considering its unique features, you can make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing and transforming your furniture. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can create a stylish and personalized space using IKEA as your starting point.

Choosing the Right IKEA Pieces

When it comes to making your IKEA furniture look expensive, selecting the right pieces is key. By choosing high-potential items, you can lay the foundation for a luxurious transformation.

One way to identify high-potential items is to look for pieces with simple, clean lines. These types of furniture can easily be transformed into high-end statement pieces. Think about how a sleek, minimalistic design can exude elegance and sophistication in any space.

Another aspect to consider is the construction of the furniture. Pieces with solid wood frames or sturdy construction can provide a more substantial and expensive feel. These materials not only enhance the durability of the furniture but also add a touch of luxury.

When selecting furniture, consider the purpose it will serve in your space. Items that are more visible and play a central role, such as sofas, dining tables, or storage units, are great candidates for transformation. These pieces will have a significant impact on the overall aesthetic of the room, so investing in their customization can elevate the entire space.

Tips for Shopping at IKEA

When shopping at IKEA, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to make the most of your experience and ensure you choose the right pieces for your vision.

First, it’s essential to research and plan your visit in advance. Browse IKEA’s website and note down the items you’re interested in. This will help you stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed in the store. Additionally, you can check if the items you want are available in-store or if you need to order them online.

Once you arrive at the store, take the time to visit the showroom. Seeing the furniture in person will give you a better sense of its scale and quality. You can envision how different pieces may complement each other and consider potential combinations for a cohesive look. Take note of the various room setups and get inspired by the different design possibilities.

While exploring the showroom, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from IKEA’s knowledgeable staff. They can provide recommendations and give insights into the design and functionality of various pieces. Their expertise can help you make informed decisions and ensure that the furniture you choose aligns with your vision.

Another helpful tip is to take advantage of any available samples or fabric swatches. This allows you to see and feel the materials firsthand, ensuring that you’re making the right choices. You can assess the texture, color, and overall quality of the fabrics, helping you create a cohesive and visually appealing space.

By incorporating these tips into your shopping experience, you can make the most of your visit to IKEA and choose the right pieces to transform your space into a luxurious haven.

Techniques to Upgrade IKEA furniture look expensive.

Now that you have chosen the right IKEA pieces, let’s explore some techniques to upgrade them and give them an expensive look.

Upgrading your IKEA furniture doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With a few simple techniques, you can transform your pieces into unique and stylish additions to your home. In this guide, we will delve into various methods to upgrade your furniture, from painting and finishing to adding hardware and details, and even upholstery and fabric changes.

Painting and Finishing

One of the simplest and most effective ways to transform your IKEA furniture is by painting and finishing it. Choose high-quality paint in a color that complements your desired aesthetic. Light, neutral shades such as white, gray, or beige can create an elegant and timeless look, while bold and dark colors can add drama and sophistication.

Before painting, make sure to prepare the surface by sanding it down and applying a primer. This will ensure that the paint adheres properly and lasts longer. Once the surface is ready, apply multiple coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. For a smooth and professional finish, consider using a paint sprayer instead of a brush.

In addition to painting, consider adding decorative finishes such as distressing, glazing, or gilding. These techniques can create a vintage or antique appearance, adding character to your furniture. Distressing involves sanding down certain areas to create a worn and weathered look, while glazing adds depth and richness to the paint color. Gilding, on the other hand, involves applying a thin layer of gold or silver leaf to add a touch of luxury.

Adding Hardware and Details

Upgrading the hardware and adding intricate details can instantly elevate the look of your IKEA furniture. Replace standard knobs and pulls with unique and luxurious options, such as brass, crystal, or marble. These small additions can make a big impact and give your furniture a high-end feel.

When choosing new hardware, consider the overall style and theme of your furniture. For a modern and sleek look, opt for minimalist and streamlined designs. On the other hand, if you prefer a more vintage or eclectic style, consider ornate and decorative hardware options.

Furthermore, consider embellishing your furniture with decorative elements such as appliques, trimmings, or studs. These details can add texture and visual interest to an otherwise simple piece. Appliques, which are decorative motifs made of wood or resin, can be easily attached to furniture surfaces to create a unique and customized look. Trimmings, such as fringe or braided cords, can be added to the edges of cushions or upholstery for a touch of elegance. Lastly, studs or nailhead trim can be strategically placed along the edges of furniture to create a sophisticated and refined appearance.

Upholstery and Fabric Changes

If your IKEA furniture has upholstery, consider changing the fabric to achieve a more upscale look. Opt for high-quality fabrics such as velvet, linen, or leather for a luxurious feel. Before starting the upholstery process, make sure to remove the existing fabric and inspect the padding and springs. Replace any worn-out or damaged components to ensure the longevity of your furniture.

When selecting a fabric, consider the color, pattern, and texture that will best complement your overall design scheme. Neutral colors and subtle patterns can create a timeless and sophisticated look, while bold colors and intricate patterns can make a statement and add personality to your furniture.

Additionally, consider adding tufting or channeling to create depth and dimension. Tufting involves pulling the fabric and securing it with buttons or stitches to create a tufted or buttoned appearance. This technique adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any piece. Channeling, on the other hand, involves creating parallel lines or grooves in the upholstery to create a tailored and structured look.

For items without upholstery, consider adding removable cushion covers or accessorizing with decorative pillows and throws. These touches can make your furniture look cozy and inviting, without breaking the bank. Opt for fabrics that are easy to clean and maintain, especially if you have children or pets.

With these techniques, you can transform your IKEA furniture into one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect your personal style and taste. Whether you prefer a modern and minimalistic look or a more eclectic and bohemian vibe, there are endless possibilities to upgrade and customize your furniture. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your supplies, and let your creativity shine!

DIY IKEA Furniture Look Expensive Hacks

If you’re feeling particularly crafty, there are countless DIY hacks that can transform your IKEA furniture into high-end pieces.

Creating a Faux Built-In Appearance

One way to give your IKEA furniture a custom and expensive look is by creating a faux built-in appearance. For example, by using IKEA’s popular Billy bookcase, you can design a built-in bookcase by adding molding and trim around the edges. Paint the bookcase and the trim to match your desired aesthetic, and voila – you have a high-end built-in look without the hefty price tag.

Combining Pieces for a Custom Look

Another way to achieve a luxury look is by combining multiple IKEA pieces to create a customized and unique furniture arrangement. For example, combining different units from the IKEA Malm collection can create a sophisticated and seamless bedroom suite.

Consider rearranging and repurposing IKEA’s modular storage systems to create a customized solution that fits your space perfectly. By combining different pieces, you can achieve a high-end look that feels tailored to your needs.

Case Studies of Transformed IKEA Furniture Look Expensive

Now that we have explored various techniques and DIY hacks, let’s look at real-life examples of transformed IKEA furniture.

From Basic to Chic: A IKEA Furniture Look Expensive Malm Dresser Makeover

The Malm dresser is a classic IKEA piece that is known for its clean lines and functional design. By painting the dresser in a rich navy blue color and replacing the hardware with brass knobs, the Malm dresser is transformed into a chic and luxurious statement piece in any bedroom.

A Billy Bookcase with a High-End Twist

The Billy bookcase is another staple in IKEA’s catalog, loved for its versatility and affordability. By creating the illusion of a built-in bookcase with moldings and adding glass doors, the Billy bookcase can be elevated to a high-end piece that showcases your most prized possessions.

In conclusion, with a little creativity and some simple techniques, you can easily make your IKEA furniture look expensive and luxurious. From understanding the basics of IKEA furniture to choosing the right pieces and implementing various upgrade techniques, the possibilities are endless. Whether you opt for a DIY hack or follow a case study, you can transform your IKEA furniture into high-end statement pieces that will impress anyone who enters your home.

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