IKEA shoe cabinet hacks: 9 stylish ways to transform your storage

 Three examples of IKEA shoe cabinet hacks transforming hallways
Three examples of IKEA shoe cabinet hacks transforming hallways

Looking for inspirational shoe storage ideas? We present to you the latest IKEA shoe cabinet hacks to prove that stylish storage can be highly functional and affordable, even when it's bespoke.

An IKEA hack is the term for taking a piece of IKEA furniture and improving it in some way, like the many amazing Billy bookcase hacks. These improvements could be functional or aesthetic, or in the case of the best IKEA shoe cabinet hacks – both!

When it comes to home organization ideas and storage, a robust shoe storage system can be a bit of an afterthought. But, as anyone who has walked through their front door and tripped over a pile of abandoned shoes will tell you - every home needs one.

If your shoe storage is somewhat lacking, don’t panic, we’ve got all the inspiration you need in this comprehensive guide to money-saving hacks.

IKEA shoe cabinet hacks: 9 ways to transform basic furniture

The trick to any successful shoe storage idea is ensuring that shoes remain accessible yet organized and IKEA’s flat-pack furniture ranges tick both of these boxes. However, from an interior design perspective, they lack a little 'je ne sais quoi'. Their handles and drawer pulls even the shapes and structures can feel a little generic-looking.

Whilst some shoppers might be put off by these qualities or feel the only option is to increase their budget, an IKEA hacker has other ideas; instead, spotting potential and the opportunity to use their creative vision.

Let's take a look at some inspirational IKEA shoe cabinet hacks...

1. Create a statement piece of fluted furniture

Dark wood fluted freestanding unit with drawers to show a stylish IKEA Shoe storage hack
Dark wood fluted freestanding unit with drawers to show a stylish IKEA Shoe storage hack

DIY and home design expert Hana transformed her IKEA Hemnes shoe cabinet into this stunning piece that wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end furniture boutique.

She cleverly used pole wrap and wood stain to give the impression of solid wood and wrapped it around newly-extended, curved sides to completely change the shape of the furniture, we love a cheap wooden furniture hack to upgrade a living space – making a living room look more expensive on a budget.

Done correctly, IKEA shoe cabinet hacks can add value to the starter piece and this stylish project epitomizes this. You could opt for another shade of wood stain to customize the end results to suit your home’s interior style and place accessories on top of the cabinet to personalize the piece further.

2. Complete a slick makeover with gold accents

Warm neutral painted cabinet with gold half-moon handles
Warm neutral painted cabinet with gold half-moon handles

DIY and home styling content creator Raden Ayu @radenayu transformed two IKEA Bissa shoe cabinets by following a tried and trusted process from our IKEA shoe cabinet hacks playbook. First, paint to update the color to a more luxe-looking shade, second, add statement hardware to complete the makeover and finally, style to suit your home.

The results speak for themselves - Raden’s DIY makeover was a huge success, especially as she had had the shoe organization units for a while and they had started to look past their best. Therefore, this clever upcycle not only saved money and created a stylish piece of practical furniture for Raden’s hallway but gets points from a sustainable living standpoint too, as it saved adding to the landfill issues associated with ‘fast homeware’.

Incidentally changing hardware for a more on-trend finish is one of the easiest ways to make a kitchen look more expensive without rethinking the entire kitchen cabinet color.

3. Upgrade a basic cabinet with peel-and-stick wallpaper

White freestanding shoe storage cabinet with pink and white patterned peel and stick wallpaper
White freestanding shoe storage cabinet with pink and white patterned peel and stick wallpaper

North-Carolina-based blogger Sarah Hearts is an experienced crafter and maker, so she had no hesitations about transforming her standard IKEA shoe cabinet into this bespoke-looking beauty. The good news for those hoping to create their own version of this project is that it is remarkably simple to complete yet highly effective.

Sarah used a playful pink and white patterned peel-and-stick wallpaper, but you could select an alternative design if more suited to your style making it one of the more versatile IKEA shoe cabinet hacks.

Sarah completed the look with some gold edge pulls, a smart move, and a great way to make a home look more expensive on a budget, and located the unit by the entrance to her home, ensuring it’s perfectly placed for those who need it.

Sarah styled her upgraded shoe cabinet with attractive pegboard shelving and plants to reflect the pattern theme of the on-trend wallpaper.

4. Use floor-to-ceiling space for maximum effect

Built in shelves storing shoes
Built in shelves storing shoes

This beautifully organized shoe closet belongs to Claire, who, with business partner Lisa, runs @orderinthehouse, a professional organizing company so she had lots of small closet organization ideas.

Claire transformed a previously redundant space into a wall of built-in shoe-storing beauty using full-height IKEA Pax carcasses, which serendipitously transpired to be the perfect height without any alterations or additions needed.

If you aren’t so lucky with the dimensions of your space, you can easily rectify this with a bit of DIY. If your space is too large, you can quickly build a platform to seat the units on and fill in gaps to the walls or ceiling or install extension units to add extra height.

Claire’s chosen Pax units are the shallow-depth option which she explains are “not great for hanging up clothes, but are perfect for displaying shoes and accessories.” Not only is this project a great use of space, but the neatly displayed compartments are also a treat for the eye.

5. Make a feature wall out of sneakers

Wall of floating shelves displaying trainers
Wall of floating shelves displaying trainers

This next project, a stunning feature wall of shoe storage, is definitely one for sneaker fans. Comprised of several wall-mounted floating shelves from the IKEA Lack range, this display method ensures your footwear is the star of the show.

Georgia, who runs the popular Instagram account @the_oakwood6, is the designer behind this creative display. Georgia used clever interior styling techniques like the addition of flowers and plants and a patterned runner rug to soften the feel of the space.

The large sectional mirror on the end wall bounces light around the room and is a great way to make a small room look bigger, in this case, it also reflects the feature wall adding to the effect.

6. Makeover an IKEA Hemnes unit using a bamboo bath mat

Cream drawer unit in interior hallway
Cream drawer unit in interior hallway

Many home furnishings benefit from a lick of neutral-colored paint and the addition of some reeded or fluted texture; this hypothesis was proved categorically by Natalie Park @parkplaceabode with her stylish entry in this round-up of IKEA shoe cabinet hacks. This DIY project transforms a basic IKEA Hemnes four-compartment cabinet into a much more expensive-looking piece.

As a DIYer with a penchant for creative and money-saving hacks, I found this project particularly intriguing as the textured compartment fronts are upcycled bath mats - bamboo bath mats to be precise. Natalie’s ingenuity in sourcing materials for this project is admirable and paid off in spades, new trend alert!

To recreate this hack, after removing the material backing you'll need to cut the bamboo bath mats to size and glue to the compartment fronts. Once glued, paint the whole thing with a shellac-based primer (Natalie plumped for the ever-popular Zinsser BIN primer), caulk any gaps and paint with the final color of your choice. Don't forget to drill holes through the bathmat layer to attach your choice of hardware to complete the makeover.

7. Upgrade an IKEA shoe cabinet with paint

dark blue cabinet with rustic wood top and styled with various ornaments
dark blue cabinet with rustic wood top and styled with various ornaments

Award-winning illustrator and content creator Theresa Gromski is the creative talent behind the next selection in our ‘best-of’ IKEA shoe cabinet hacks and in true hack style, the IKEA unit no longer bears any resemblance to its previous life as a generic white shoe cabinet.

The particular model shown is no longer stocked by IKEA, but the transformation process could be applied to any of their current stock of shoe cabinets and would still work perfectly. Theresa primed and then painted the unit in Farrow and Ball’s popular blue-black shade ‘railings’, adding brass handles & rustic scaffold board to complete the transformation.

The results of Theresa’s cabinet DIY are so professional looking that you really wouldn’t guess the humble origins of this newly remodeled shoe cabinet.

8. Use glass cabinets for a design-led display

Glass cabinets in dressing room storing shoes
Glass cabinets in dressing room storing shoes

The first of our IKEA shoe cabinet hacks wins points for both style and practicality. Home interiors and lifestyle content creator Ashley Kei cleverly used IKEA’s Regissör display cabinet to store shoes in her beauty room, opting for glass-fronted doors and making a feature of her impressive shoe collection in the process.

Glass-fronted cabinets are one way to make a small room look bigger, as the space inside is visible. Neatly displaying items on the shelves is an excellent way to keep a room organized as you can see exactly what’s inside, saving time and mess rooting through boxes inside cabinets.

Speaking to Woman & Home, Ashley shared her thoughts on why this project worked so well for her, “This IKEA hack is a great way to display and store your shoes. The glass allows for them to be shown while also protecting them from dust. This was so affordable and comes in other colors to fit your space,” she said.

9. Use hanging compartments for maximum storage

Green shoe closet with hanging storage compartments
Green shoe closet with hanging storage compartments

The IKEA shoe cabinet hacks we’ve looked at so far have been primarily focused on hacking the cabinet. In contrast, this example (one of my own money-saving home improvement projects) uses IKEA hanging storage inside a closet for the best use of the storage space when organizing a wardrobe.

As a household, we used to struggle to squeeze our shoes, boots, coats, and hats into the designated closet space, so I looked to my favorite Swedish furniture store to help and managed to squeeze a little hack in.

I found the IKEA Skubb series extremely useful for this home organization project as it comes in various sizes and shapes to fit most closets. The 'hack' here is not to limit yourself to the shoe organizer options but instead to use a variety of products including the larger six-compartment storage designed for storing clothes in a wardrobe as we found a combination of products fills the available space best.

Previously we had been hanging our coats on a rail which left an awkward space beneath; by utilizing Skubb hanging compartments, we now fold the coats and store them vertically, meaning no wasted space and there’s even room in the bottom compartments for shoe storage. Sandals and pumps, lined up in Skubb boxes, are stored underneath the hanging storage and can be pulled in and out like drawers.

Top tips for sucessful IKEA shoe cabinet hacks

IKEA’s shoe storage cabinets are some of the smallest and shallowest of all their flatpacks, but as we've seen before with IKEA desk hacks, our experts are a tenacious bunch and weren’t going to let this hamper their creativity. Here are the takeaways from their projects to help you create your very own.

  • Change the color: A lick of paint can transform a plain white piece of furniture but don’t forget to prime it first, or you’ll have to deal with peeling paint. Let the latest interior paint color trends inspire your choice of tone.

  • Change the shape: If you’ve been dreaming of owning an expensive piece of shapely furniture, get creative and find ways to adapt the shape of a simpler IKEA piece, as we saw with Kallax hacks this could be done by adding side extenders, and longer legs or even by connecting multiple IKEA units together.

  • Add texture:  Textured surfaces add interest and as our examples have demonstrated, texture can come from unexpected sources, bamboo bath mat anyone?