I can't hate Ikea. As someone who has moved frequently, this Swedish DIY mega-store has saved me more times than I can count—whenever I needed instant storage or an economical piece of furniture to fit the new space. But despite being a devotee, I never developed the knack for the Ikea hack. Perhaps that's why I get so excited when I meet someone who has.
Ever since Katrin Scharl and I met online and bonded over our mutual enthusiasm for old houses and warm shades of gray, I have enjoyed following the DIY trials and triumphs of her spacious home in the German countryside. Some of Katrin's projects are quite ambitious (like refinishing the floors herself). Others, like this simple Ikea hack, leave you thinking, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?"
Above: Katrin's newly painted Ikea shelves complement her recently renovated kitchen.
Above (upper R) With saw in hand, Katrin's husband customized one side of Ikea's Besta shelves ($150) to fit the corner of their newly renovated kitchen. But still, the unpainted shelves did feel like an integral part of the design scheme (upper L). By painting the shelves' interiors with Farrow and Ball Down Pipe (left over from her library renovation), Katrin created a strong accent piece that feels more unified with the rest of the room.
Above: From ho-hum to wow: the finished shelves receive a final bit of order from Ikea's Branäs baskets; $12.99.
N.B. Want more design on a dime? Explore all our favorite Ikea products and projects.