17 Genius IKEA Hacks That Will Change Your Apartment Forever

Everyone longs for the day when they can finally quit making those masochistic trips to IKEA and afford something a little, well, less in-everyone-else's-apartment. Until then, though, you might as well make the most of your unpronounceable Scandinavian particle board furniture.

To help make it look like you paid a lot more for some of those mundane pieces, we've rounded up 17 budget-friendly and downright genius IKEA hacks to transform your place. 

1. Bar cart

Price: Under $100
Materials needed: VITTSJÖ laptop table, 4 caster wheels, 1/4-inch 3x4-foot acrylic plastic sheet, paint
How it's done: Assemble the laptop table as normal (sans glass top) and paint the frame and particle board shelf in colors of your choice. Flip upside down once dry, place acrylic sheet atop leg posts and screw wheels into them such that the sheet creates a shelf. [More...]

2. Accordion sconces

Price: Under $30
Materials needed:IKEA FRÄCK wall mirror, RANARP clamp light, piece of wood, 2 screws, paint 
How it's done: Remove the mirror from its base (they're usually packaged separately), clamp the light where the mirror would be, then affix the other end to the piece of wood and mount. [More...]

3. Faux credenza

Price: Under $800
Materials needed:8 APPLÅD doors, 4 SEKTION cabinets, 8 INTEGRAL hinges, 2 SEKTION suspension rails, stained wood planks
How it's done: To accomplish this designer-caliber built-in you'll need to remove the cabinet's built-in doors and replace them with the white APPLÅDs. Once the whole thing's mounted you'll need to attach the stained wood planks to the top and sides to pull off that expensive-looking, mid-century modern vibe. [More...]

4. Mid-century modern cabinet

Price: $150
Materials needed:1 BESTÅ shelf unit, 4 sheets fiberboard, 4 SULTAN metal legs, faux wood grain contact paper, 2 BESTÅ sliding rails
How it's done: Assemble the shelf units, but rather than place middle shelves, install the aluminum rails along the top and bottom of that space. Neatly stick contact paper onto the fiberboard sheets and slide them in to serve as doors, then add two legs to the bottom of each set and you're in business. [More...]

5. Floating shelves

Price: $75
Materials needed:10 EKBY TÖRE brackets, 6 EKBY TRYGGVE boards, paint (optional)
How it's done: Clamp each board with two painted or non-painted brackets, positioning them such that each level is secure and the whole rig is balanced even when not supported by a wall. [More...]

6. The BILLY bookcase library

Price: $3,600
Materials needed: 60 BILLY bookcases
How it's done: This particular hack transformed the entire hallway of a French country home, but you can obviously adjust the number of BILLYs needed to suit your available wall space. Once they're all assembled, it's as simple as securing them each to the back wall and one another with screws. Step two: amass enormous book collection. [More...]

7. Window herb gardens

Price: $27
Materials needed:ORE shower curtain rod, 4 FINTORP flatware caddies, 5-pack of GRUNDTAL S-hooks 
How it's done: Find a window with good sunlight, plant some herbs in each caddy, and thread the caddies onto the shower curtain rod and mount into the window sill. [More...]

8. iMac/laptop desk

Price: $70
Materials needed: 1 LACK shelf, 1 EKBY ALEX/VALTER combo, stool (optional)
How it's done: Unfortunately, the IKEA gods decided to discontinue the exact pieces featured in the photo above, but you can recreate this smart setup using the two wall-mounting shelf units listed above. Attach the sliding drawers below and the static shelf above to create the ultimate tiny-apartment workstation (complete with cable slide-out cable stashes) without compromising any precious floor space. [More...]

9. Small kitchen island

Price: Under $140
Materials needed:2 LACK side tables, 1 2x2-foot butcher block, adhesive foam squares
How it's done: Attach foam squares to the bottom of one LACK table and stack it atop the other so it sticks double decker-style. Then, stick the butcher block to the top using the same adhesive squares. The pressure from the block and the table will eventually cement the whole thing together, and voila! Extra counter space. [More...]

10. Mid-century KALLAX credenza

Price: Around $100
Materials needed:1 KALLAX shelving unit, sheet of plywood, dark wood stain, 4 small short wooden table legs
How it's done: Cut the plywood to fit along the edges of the KALLAX and inside three of its shelves, stain them and the table legs, and let dry. Once dry, glue them to the places you measured to fit, and secure the legs to the bottom. [More...]

11. Laundry bin nightstands

Price: Under $40
Materials needed:1 GRUNDTAL laundry hamper, 1 1x1.5-foot scrap of stained wood, wood glue
How it's done: Assemble the metal frame of the laundry bin, douse the edges in wood glue, and secure the wood on top. Place a stack of heavy books or a dumbbell on top and let dry. [More...]

12. Transformable coffee table

Price: $60
Materials needed:8 KNUFF magazine files, 1 FROSTA stool (or a rotating artist's stool)
How it's done: Glue the backs of 4 of the magazine racks to one another as shown above, then mount it to the stool as if it were the seat. From there, you can arrange the remaining 4 files inside the ones glued together on-demand depending how you're using it. [More...]

13. Mid-century record cabinet

Price: Under $100
Materials needed:1 BESTÅ shelf unit, long slab of dark scrap hardwood, 4 hairpin legs, wood glue
How it's done: Assemble the shelf as you would normally, leaving the right side's middle shelf out. From there, mount it horizontally on the set of hairpin legs, and glue the slab of scrap wood to the top. You'd easily pay $2,000 for something just like this from Herman Miller. [More...]

14. Standing desk

Price: $130
Materials needed:1 LACK TV unit, 1 GALANT A-frame desk, washers and bolts
How it's done: This potentially life-saving setup combines the legs from the GALANT desk with the huge surface and storage capacity of the LACK. If you feel like going full-dork you could even slip a treadmill underneath. [More...]

15. Tufted mid-century modern sofas

Price: Under $300
Materials needed:1 KARLSTAD corner sofa, 84 fabric-covered buttons, tufting needle, twine
How it's done: You'll want to watch this video to really understand how it works, but we promise it's not that hard and can be finished in about an hour. Good luck finding a $300 tufted sofa (that isn't soaked in bodily fluids) for sale anywhere. [More...]

16. Upside-down reading lights

Price: $75
Materials needed:2 FORSÅ lamps, 1 LACK wall shelf
How it's done: Once you've removed the metal weights from the base of the lamps, attach them to the underside of the LACK, then install the LACK as normal to the wall and boom, you're in business. [More...]

17. Library with built-in stereo

Price: Under $300 (not including stereo receiver or speakers)
Materials needed:4 BILLY bookcases, speaker wire, wooden planks, screws, paint, speakers & stereo receiver
How it's done: Once the bookcases are assembled, arrange them up against your empty wall leaving enough room in between to fish the speaker wire from the receiver up to speakers on top. When the speakers are wired, affix the painted wooden planks in between the bookcase edges and along the top so the speakers are hidden. Last step: let the music rip. [More...]

Bonus: Slipper remote caddy

Price: $10
Materials needed: 2 TOGA placemats, 3 slippers, thread & needle
How it's done: Place the slippers off the side of one edge, then secure them by sewing through the grates in the mat. Hang each off the edge of the sofa's arms and never lose the damn remote ever again. [More...]

Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. He once spent six hours straight in an IKEA and has never been the same since.