I think you’d be hard pressed to find a household nowadays which doesn’t contain at least one piece of Ikea furniture. Yet due to this widespread popularity and the limited options available, many of Ikea’s cheaper options have become very generic. You can combat this by customising your Ikea furniture and many people are now trying to give this usually modern, plain furniture a vintage style.
By using your own fittings such as door knobs and table legs which match your desired era, you can instantly transform your Ikea furniture into a vintage piece. A great example of this is the mid-century style coffee table pictured above which was previously featured in our IkeaHackers article. Below are some further examples of how with some basic materials, you can make your Ikea furniture look vintage.
Mid-Century Sliding Door Console Table from Lack Shelves
This long console table/TV stand by Canadian Adam Wu is one of my favourite vintage Ikea hacks and just goes to show how much a simple set of hairpin legs can transform a piece of furniture. These hairpin legs were found on eBay and along with the walnut stained sliding doors, create what could be a classic piece of mid-century Danish design.
Pegboard was used for the two walnut stained, sliding doors which both run on a channel that was integrated into the shell of the Lack shelf. Note that this Lack shelf as used in the original IkeaHack doesn’t seem to be available any longer although I’m sure a 5×1 Expedit frame could work just as well.
Rast Chest With Teak Stain, White Painted Drawers and Golden Knobs
I could only find this somewhat awkward picture of this vintage Ikea customisation so you’ll have to use your mind’s eye to imagine it from a side angle. Luisa Weiss made this lovely mid-century style piece from a standard Ikea Rast chest of drawers. Rast chests make for a great starting piece from which to create your own vintage furniture. This is because Rast chests cost just $35 (£20), yet are made of solid wood which is far better to work with than Ikea’s typical laminated chipboard. However if you are looking to paint chipboard Ikea furniture such as Malm or Expedit then read our guide on painting Ikea furniture.
Luisa finished the outer shell of the chest of drawers with a teak wood stain for a warm, luxurious wood colour and then sealed it with several coats of varnish. The drawer fronts were simply painted with multiple layers of off-white paint which gives the appearance of a high quality matt lacquer. The finishing touches came from the gold coloured door knobs she’s fitted to the drawer fronts which are often a great way to easily set the era of your vintage Ikea furniture piece.
30s Industrial Office Style Sideboard from Ikea Rast Chests
Nik Faulkner was after some vintage industrial office furniture for his flat but was put off by the prices being asked for when it came to original pieces. He decided to try and replicate the style of a 30s office filing cabinet with a couple of Rast chests and he certainly seems to have pulled it off.
He used 3 Ikea Rast chests for this vintage hack (the third being for spare parts) but wanted to try and make it appear like a single solid piece of furniture. He painted the solid wood panels in industrial grey gloss after thoroughly priming them and then affixed cup handles and label holders to the drawer fronts as well as legs to the underside of the unit. A final layer of edge-bent stainless steel was used for surface which is what really lends this piece its vintage 30s industrial office style.
Buy Original Vintage Ikea Furniture
Perhaps a bit of a cheat here but if you’re after something that looks vintage but with that classic Ikea style, then why not look for some authentic second hand vintage Ikea furniture? Ikea might have only become a major player in the english speaking world from the early 90s onwards but it’s worth bearing in mind that the first Ikea shop was actually opened way back in 1958, old enough to be considered vintage by most people’s standards! This blog post shows some of their brilliant early designs and I particularly like these Poul Henningsen style light shades.
There are some early Ikea furniture pieces to be found on eBay but they’re definitely scarce and hard to come by. This could be partly due to the throwaway nature of Ikea furniture and the lower quality compared to top designer furniture producers of the time such as Herman Miller.
Share this Post