IKEA shoe cabinet hacks: 13 stylish ways to transform your storage

Want to improve your shoe storage in style? These IKEA shoe cabinet hacks are just the thing to inspire you

Three examples of IKEA shoe cabinet hacks transforming hallways
(Image credit: Natalie Park @parkplaceabode | Hana @hanashappyhome | Raden Ayu @radenayu)

Looking for inspirational shoe storage ideas? Explore these 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 or the brilliant IKEA Best 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: 13 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. But don't let this put you off buying or make you feel like the only option is to increase your budget because a savvy IKEA hack has the potential to be fabulous.

Take a look at some inspirational IKEA shoe cabinet hacks as excellent examples...

1. Create a statement piece of fluted furniture

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

(Image credit: Hana @hanashappyhome)

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. 

Sharing her transformation on her blog of Hana's Happy Home, she shows how 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. Add a rustic shelf for maximum styling opportunity

IKEA shoe cabinet hack painted black in a beige hallway

(Image credit: Shade Egun @_homeofshade)

Shade Egun is a DIY and home renovation expert who regularly impresses and inspires her Instagram followers with home improvements. One such project was this funky IKEA shoe cabinet hack. Shade describes this hack as one of her “favourite upcycles to date,” and it’s easy to see why. 

This piece of flatpack furniture looks super high-end and rustic with the addition of the natural wooden shelf and monochrome paint job. Shade used Frenchic 'Lazy Range' paint in the shade ‘Loof’ for the black detailing and Rustoleum in the shade ‘Hessian’ for the doors. 

Shade explains that she “lime-waxed a shelf to add on top” before styling the finished article with a selection of beautiful objects. A brilliant job and an easy way to add accessories for scent-scaping a hallway for a fragrant first impression.

3. Complete a slick makeover with gold accents

Warm neutral painted cabinet with gold half-moon handles

(Image credit: Raden Ayu @radenayu)

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 colour 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.

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

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

(Image credit: Sarah Hearts @sarahhearts)

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

We recommend:

Wayfair Ironwork Geometric Roll Wallpaper

Wayfair Ironwork Geometric Roll Wallpaper

Transform a plain cabinet with the help of this on-trend geometric peel-and-stick wallpaper design. The captivating pattern is just the thing to welcome a touch of elegance to any 'average' shoe cabinet.

5. Swap out the hardware for a bespoke finish

White IKEA shoe cabinet hack with new handles

(Image credit: TaLaya @ourbrickhousestyle)

TaLaya aka @ourbrickhousestyle runs a popular Instagram account where she shares an insight into her life. One of the projects she shared with followers was this stunning IKEA shoe cabinet hack. 

We asked TaLaya what inspired her to create this beautiful upcycle, and she had this to say, “We live in a 1500 square foot home where storage is limited so we have to be creative. This shoe cabinet has been a staple in our home for years because of the amount of storage it provides.” 

To recreate this IKEA shoe cabinet hack you’ll need to follow these steps, “I removed the legs so we could mount it on the wall in our entryway and changed out the knobs for a more modern look and now it blends in perfectly with our decor.” These simple changes have made a big impact and breathed new life into this IKEA flatpack. 

We recommend:

Anthropologie Cleo Knob

Anthropologie Cleo Knob

Add the perfect finishing touch to a plain cabinet with the help of these intriguing handles a semi-precious stone fitted in gold-tone casing for a luxe look.

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

Built in shelves storing shoes

(Image credit: Claire @orderinthehouse)

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.

7. Make a feature wall out of a collection

Wall of floating shelves displaying trainers

(Image credit: Georgia @the_oakwood6)

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. 

8. Apply designer paint for a luxe look

IKEA shoe cabinet hack in farrow and ball paint

(Image credit: Claire Mason @chedworthonthefarm)

Claire Mason is an expert at adding character to her newbuild home and her fabulous IKEA shoe cabinet hack is no exception. The super stylish interior styling enthusiast shares inspirational images of her beautiful home on her Instagram @chedworthonthefarm and has this advice for would-be IKEA hackers. 

“The Hemnes shoe cabinet from IKEA is a staple in so many homes. It’s got great bones, it’s practical and already quite sleek. I used Farrow and Ball’s Mouses Back to give it a little more personality and changed the handles to antique brass.” 

Reflecting on why the hack works so well, Claire shared, “It works perfectly in our hallway. The colour is beautiful and the storage fits our family’s needs whilst giving, what was previously quite a bland space, a focal point.” The super stylish paint job has transformed this basic furniture and it now looks seriously luxe.

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

Cream drawer unit in interior hallway

(Image credit: Natalie Park @parkplaceabode)

Many home furnishings benefit from a lick of neutral-coloured 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 colour of your choice. Don't forget to drill holes through the bathmat layer to attach your choice of hardware to complete the makeover. 

10. Upgrade an IKEA shoe cabinet with paint

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

(Image credit: Theresa Gromski @theresagromski)

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 remodelled shoe cabinet – showing the potential of decorating with dark colours.

11. Add reeded texture with half-dowel rods

Blue-green reeded ikea shoe cabinet hack

(Image credit: Laura Handler @handlerhouse_)

Laura Handler is the creative DIYer responsible for our next hack. Laura is an interiors whizz, specialising in photography and styling. Laura shares glimpses into her beautiful home and lots of styling inspiration on her Instagram @handler_house

When we caught up with Laura this is what she had to say about her IKEA shoe cabinet hack, “It was a very easy upcycle. I got the old blue and white IKEA version from Facebook Marketplace. Simply stuck on the half dowels with No More Nails, primed and painted it. Added the handles, and voila!” 

Nervous DIYers will no doubt find this insight encouraging as it once again goes to show that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to create a cool hack to elevate your home interiors. 

12. Use glass cabinets for a design-led display

Glass cabinets in dressing room storing shoes

(Image credit: Ashley Kei @ashley__kei)

This IKEA shoe cabinet hack 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 colours to fit your space,” she said. 

13. Utilise hanging compartments for maximum storage

Green shoe closet with hanging storage compartments

(Image credit: Claire Douglas @clairedouglasstyling)

The IKEA shoe cabinet hacks we’ve looked at so far have been primarily focused on hacking the cabinet, much like an IKEA closet hack. 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 favourite 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.  

Our 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 colour: 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 colour 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?
Claire Douglas

Claire is a DIY and home interior writer specializing in budget room transformations, creative DIY projects, and resourceful home styling. Claire runs the popular home interiors blog ClaireDouglasStyling and shares all her DIY tips, tricks, and behind-the-scenes styling insights on her Instagram and Tiktok accounts. When she's not writing, Claire enjoys foraging for flowers and foliage and experimenting with interesting materials and decorating techniques to incorporate into future interior schemes; micro cement and postal tubes were a recent unusual but triumphant pairing. In her spare time, Claire enjoys creating floral installations for her home...the more bonkers the better!