A woman shops at IKEA.

IKEA is synonymous with Scandinavian design. Scandinavian design is known for minimalism — a design trend where less is more. Minimalist designs tend to focus on clean lines and simple color schemes. IKEA furniture is very affordable, making it a staple in many homes. This makes it enticing to buy items for a quick decor change. From upgrading furniture to using it in unexpected ways, here are 6 IKEA hacks to breathe life into your home.

1. Add to Side Tables

IKEA side tables have such a simple design that they can serve dual functions with a bit of creativity. Mount a bowl to the top of the table legs and fill it with flowers. Or remove the top of the table and hang it against a wall and decorate it to look like a piece of art or a message board. If the table top has a cut-out pattern, stuff the openings with plants to create a living garden wall. Side tables shaped like tea carts can make a great outdoor table, serving station, planting center, or plant rack.

2. Upgrade Furniture

A couch with thick legs.

IKEA furniture can be tweaked slightly to make it look like a high-end, one of a kind piece. Adding an overlay, marble contact paper, or some paint can give furniture a new look. Also consider adding thick or intricately designed legs to sofas and beds to make them look more expensive.

3. Use Bowls and Storage Containers as Decor Items

Homemade candles.

Try lining a wire fruit basket or strainer with peat moss to create a planter. Mount bowls to the wall or hang them from a rope or chains for additional planters. Remember to drill drainage holes as needed. You can also create a fountain by stacking bowls in a fun pattern. You can try using a rounded container for a light fixture cover or fill glass jars part way with Epsom salt or sand for a candle centerpiece.

4. Create an Outdoor Oasis

Throw rugs, throw pillows, a futon, and some crafty changes to tables will allow you to put together an outdoor room with savings over typical patio furniture. Shade in your pergola with some curtains. You can remove the top of a round table and use it as cart wheels, paint it as a sign to hang above the bar, or add cabinet handles and turn it into a serving tray. Use the table legs too. If they are bent like a shelf support, mount them to the wall to create a wall shelf or hang wind chimes or plants from them. Use the small pine boxes stacked together to make a unique and cozy coffee or side table. If you want to change up the look, grab the paint, surround furniture in rope, cover tables with decoupage, or add some chicken wire for a fun effect.

5. Repurpose Furniture

A bookcase being used as a headboard.

When scouring the furniture department, think about each piece to consider its usefulness. For example, you can turn a bookcase into a headboard and a headboard into a space for climbing vines. Create walls for your patio with sections of bed planking. Make a set of pet stairs by stacking crates and attaching them together. Use laundry sorters for a recycling station or for organizing kids’ toys.

6. Create Camping Gear

IKEA products can be transformed for camping too. Decorate the inside of your RV with battery-operated lights and by hanging Chinese lanterns. Cover the floor, counter, or wall with IKEA floor tiles. Replace canvas toy sorter bags with garbage bags for an instant garbage and recycling center. Use tables, bookshelves, racks, and frames from all kinds of products to organize the space inside the trailer or when packing the car.

These are just a few ideas to get your DIY juices flowing. A lot of IKEA furniture and decor items can serve dual purposes and be upgraded from a simple item into a high-end piece.