5 ways to use Ikea's bestselling shelves around your home

Ikea shelves can be used for so much more than holding a few books and ornaments. See our favourite uses – some practical, some fun

Ikea Shelves
(Image credit: Ikea)

Ikea shelves seem to creep into all kinds of settings. The home of course, but we see them holding menus in cafés, being used for display in shops and those with a really keen eye for Ikea products might have spotted them on the TV sets of our favourite cooking shows. 

Because Ikea could never make a product that had one sole purpose, it's why we love them – a simple shelf can be so much more than just a shelf. We have trawled Instagram to find five fab ways you can use an Ikea shelf as, well, anything but a shelf. As always, these ideas are budget-friendly and perfect for small rooms where floor space is precious. 

Keep on scrolling to see some of the amazing ideas if you are a sucker for an Ikea hack, there's plenty more where this came from in our dedicated feature. 

1. Add a shelf as a bedside table 

Ikea lack shelf

(Image credit: Ikea)

If the space beside your bed is diddy, using a floating shelf is a much better option than a bedside table. This Lack shelf is just 30cm wide, perfect for popping your book, glasses and obviously a bud vase with a lovely sprig in it, all the essentials. You could wall mount a light above and pop a nice basket underneath for added storage

2. Use your Ikea shelves to create a living wall 

Ikea picture ledges

(Image credit: Ikea)

If your house plant collection is getting a bit out of control and you are struggling to find the best way to display them, the answer is Ikea shelves. Plants look fab dangled off the edges and growing around frames and books, very cool but so easy to do. Here the plain, simple Malmback shelves have been used, just £5 too! Find more house plant display ideas in our guide.

3. DIY a desk with an Ikea shelf 

Think you don't have room for even the smallest of home offices? Think again. This gem of an Ikea hack can help you create a home office pretty much out of nowhere. All you need is an alcove, some shelving, and the tiniest bit of DIY knowledge. This one even has a door to hide away the clutter (or keep everyone else out). Love it. To create this look, head over to our guide to how to create an alcove office

4. Use ikea shelves to create a feature wall 

A fab, practical way to add a pop of colour and a ton of interest to your room – use Ikea shelves to create a funky feature. This look has been achieved using the iconic Eket cabinets which comes in so many different forms you can really get creative with the shape you want. They are really easy to paint too so you can match them to your scheme. 

5. Create a pet playground with Ikea shelves

Well, this is just so adorable we had to include it. Who needs to use shelves as storage when you can use them to bring joy to your kitties? It's a very stylish set up too, much prettier than those ugly scratch cat trees (yes that is what they are called). 

Okay, maybe you don't want to give up your whole wall for your cat to run all over, but we do like the idea of using the Knagglig box as a cute pet bed. 

  • Find more clever ways with storage on our hub page
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.