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  • Writer's pictureLara

Recent ikea hacks / upcycles

It's been too long since my last blog post, time flies! One thing that's been keeping me busy is my interior design diploma. I'm now on assignment 11 of 12, so happy to be almost finished. I've loved learning again and have gained so much from it but will be great to have more time again for other creativities!

As it's been so long I thought I'd share not just one, but two furniture upcycles, hopefully you love ikea hacks as much as I do. Weirdly neither of them include gold leaf, but don't fear, I have got a fully golden one to share very soon. I'm going to add an additional tutorial to my gold leaf course all about it.

Shoe cupboard

First up, my second hand ikea shoe cupboard, it was £15 from Facebook marketplace, one of my fave hunting grounds. I knew I wanted to raise it off the floor and found the furniture feet on ebay for £6 each (oops I lied, I couldn't leave them chrome could I, they had to be gold leafed), they also helped solve our wonky floor issue as you only need them on the front corners. We screwed the unit to the wall at the top to make sure it can't tip forward.

I gave everything a very quick, light sand (def not a fan of prep!) and primed it with zinsser bullseye 123 primer.

The handles

I knew I wanted some big statement handles that didn't really look like handles, but more part of the overall design. It's actually quite hard to find thick large wooden circles that don't have holes for hanging. My first thought was to use round cake boards, we won't talk about that attempt / terrible idea though! I found the wooden circles from Made By Tree and they are 30cm x 12mm plywood. I ordered 3 and cut one in half.

In order to create the gap behind the handle I cut 4 small blocks of wood and screwed from the inside of the door, through the door, block of wood and into the handle. I painted the whole thing apart form the handle edges with Farrow & Ball Preference Red, such a gorgeous colour. It's so deep and rich and when the sun shines on it, it's so warm and beautiful. These shoe cupboards are so handy for narrow hallways like mine and it fits 3 or 4 pairs of shoes in each section, I'm still seeing shoes sitting next to it though!

CLICK HERE to watch the video on instagram

Scallop top cupboards

There's probably a much better name for them but this will have to do for now. Luckily the sizing options for the ikea Billy bookcase perfectly matched the space available. Due to lack of time available and knowing my carpenter brother could whip up my design for the doors in a few hours, I decided to get him involved. I don't usually get a look in but lucky for me he was waiting to move house so had ran out of work to do on his own house.

The perfect curve

I designed the doors to come to the floor and cover the bookcase plinth, I wanted them to be simple and look like a piece of built in furniture. I measured the highest point that I wanted the curve to go to, it was 20cm taller than the bookcase. To get the perfect curve I wrapped some string round a pencil and attached the string to the middle point of the top of the doors (which had already been cut to the correct width). The doors are 40cm wide so I attached the pencil at the middle (20cm) and holding the pencil tight at the other end of the string which was 20cm from the middle, I drew the curve / semi circle from one side to the other. My brother then used a jigsaw the cut the curve. We used soft close hinges and are planning to (but still haven't got round to it) attach some push button catches as I'm liking the simplicity and lack of any handles. The wood used is moisture resistant MDF, which I primed with the same primer above and the colour is Orange Aurora by Little Greene Paint Company. I've loved this colour for years but haven't found the right place for it, or maybe I was a bit scared! It's very bold, but definitely beautiful.

CLICK HERE to watch the video on instagram

If you have any questions please let me know, always happy to help. If any of this inspires or encourages you to take on a project, I'd love to hear about it. Happy creating!!

I'll be back with my golden project very soon,

Thanks so much for checking this out.

Take care,

Lara x

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