Alright, let’s get real: there’s something undeniably satisfying about landing an IKEA piece that’s easy on the wallet. I mean, who doesn’t love stylish furniture that doesn’t empty your savings? Especially when you’ve got kids around who may or may not treat your furniture like they’re performing in Wrestlemania. But here’s the kicker–with a splash of creativity, you can elevate these budget buys into looking downright luxe.

I’ve lost count of the number of IKEA trips I’ve made over the years (yes, I’m in my 40s and still, here we are), and here’s my golden nugget of wisdom: When you stumble upon that perfect piece, think outside the flat-pack box. These minimalist designs are just itching for your unique touch. And trust me, when you give that LACK table or RAST dresser a makeover, you’d be hard-pressed to remember its humble origins. I’m no Martha Stewart (much to my mother’s disappointment), but I have to admit–the internet has inspired me.

So, whether you’re all about adding some brass handles, painting with a pop of color, or applying some peel-and-stick wallpaper, there’s a hack for you. And hey, in this age of sustainable choices, repurposing and refreshing your furniture is the eco-friendly way to go. It’s not just about spending smart but also living smart. And when your DIY project sees its last day, you can always pass it on or upcycle it into something new.

Looking for some inspo? Here are four of our favorite life-with-kids friendly IKEA hacks that DIY decor enthusiasts have come up with over the years:

Rast Dresser Makeover

This $60 powerhouse Rast Dresser can be transformed into practically any decor style you can dream up. With some paint, new knobs, and perhaps a bit of stenciling, woodwork, or even peel and stick wallpaper, the simple wooden dresser can be transformed into a high-end-looking piece. Some of our favorites include a mid-century glow up, a West Elm dupe, and a minimalist transformation that costs less than $50 bucks. Not all that crafty? No worries. There’s even ready-made overlays designed specifically for the Rast!

Skadis Pegboard Organizer

Originally meant for organizing tools or office supplies, many have used the Skadis pegboard in kitchens, bathrooms, or craft rooms for additional storage. But we just adore the way it organizes a play space. As Montessori principles have taught us, the easier things are to access, the easier it is for kids to get engaged and even clean up after themselves. (It’s also a favorite among savvy plant lovers who use it to create a living wall!)

Lätt Table and Chairs Makeover

The affordable Lätt children’s table and chair set is practically a playroom staple. The 3-piece set costs just under $50 dollars which given how much use it gets translates to literal pennies. Of course you don’t have to do anything to it at all–considering your own tiny Picasso’s may end up having their way with it– but if you’re all about the DIY you could paint, cushion, or paper it for a custom look that can match any kid’s room theme.

Duktig Play Kitchen

At its core, the DUKTIG play kitchen is a simple, minimalist design, much like most IKEA products. It comes with a basic wooden finish, a little sink, stove, oven, and even a microwave section. And while it’s already adorable as is, its plain design is what makes it so tantalizingly hackable. A colorful paint job and fixture upgrade can change the look completely, or add some wooden dowels to the facade. The possibilities are endless!

With a little creativity, a few supplies and a bit of time any IKEA product can be transformed to fit a specific need or aesthetic. Happy transforming!