Ikea Hemnes Hack

I’m really excited to share today’s post with you guys! So I had this moment one night while I was in my living room where I realized that everything in there was dark. Black media unit, black coffee table, black end table, chocolate brown couch. Oh and have I ever mentioned that my living room is super tiny! I have been on a mission to makeover this space and the first thing that had to go was my tv unit. I always liked it but I was done with the black and it was way too big for my space.

I wanted something that was white and slim.  I did a lot of browsing online but found that many units were pretty deep and that’s not what I needed at all.  My search was leading me to bookcases that I thought I could turn over but then I came across this baby on a visit to Ikea.


It was exactly what I wanted. White, slim, and the perfect height and width.  There were two problems though…no back and the top 4 openings weren’t wide enough to fit my cable box.  But guess what guys, if there wasn’t a problem then this post would be called “I put a piece of Ikea furniture together” and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t care. So first let me show you what used to be there.

IMG_2217IMG_2218So dark! Ok so back to the hack. I followed the normal Ikea building instructions but kept in mind that I didn’t want to have the middle piece inserted in the top left side or the top right side.  In order to complete the build and move on to the next step those pieces had to be there so I just used some frog tape to hold them into place while I built the rest of it. When it was all done I easily removed them.

IMG_2802The next thing I had to do after it was built was put a backing on it so I went to Home Depot and had a piece of particle board cut to fit the back and I also had them make a hole for me to pull the wires through.  Once I got it home I painted it white to match the piece, using whatever white paint I had on hand. Next, I used some small nails to attach it to the back.

IMG_2969IMG_2971Once it was put back I started to style it a bit but I really wasn’t feeling it. I lived with it for a few days but I needed to do something to make it more me. I needed some assistance flipping that sucker down so when my posse came over to help deliver my new coffee table (more on that soon) I had them help me flip the unit back down and take the particle board off.  That’s when the real transformation took place.  I had a good amount of my spotted fabric left over from this project and I used spray adhesive to adhere it to the backing. (Bad iphone pics)

DSC_0019DSC_0033Once the sucker went back on I was totally in love!


But wait…I’m still not done…It’s get even better!! Here’s a little peek.


AHHH!! Lights!!

-1The bottom 4 cubbies each have a battery operated string of lights wrapped up and behind the objects. On the top I ran the string of lights all across and taped them up.  It makes me so happy!

I’m pretty excited about my first Ikea hack!

Ikea Hack



32 thoughts on “Ikea Hemnes Hack

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  4. What did you do with the holes that were left behind on the top shelves? I love the look and am thinking about copying your idea with the open top two shelves…but I don’t want to have the holes looking funny!

    • The cable box covers the hole on the left and I have that white box on the right that covers that hole! If you don’t have an item to place in top of it you can always put wood filler in it and a little white paint to cover and conceal it!

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  6. I found this post through Pinterest. Great idea!! I also fell in love with that piece of furniture but the upper cubbies didn’t fit my electronics either. Brilliant idea to tweak the furniture. If you have a moment please let me know how high the top self is. Now that I know I can get the right width, I need to make sure I have the right height too. Thanks!

  7. I love this! I’m going to do it as a weekend project. Question on the lights: do you have them wrapped up neatly behind the items or how do they look? Thanks!

  8. ok …. i’m kinda confused … i love your hack and we need this …. however, what do you mean when you said, *The bottom 4 cubbies each have a battery operated string of lights wrapped up and behind the objects. On the top I ran the string of lights all across and taped them up.* can you please be mor speicfic on how you did the lights … i love, love, love lights and this is perfect …. how did you tape them to the top? and, do you have pics of that ….. thanks so much …. darlene

    • Hi Darlene…so I don’t have a picture but I literally just taped the lights in a zigzag pattern on the roof of the top shelf (does that make sense?) I used painters tape to do that. As far as the wrapped lights behind the objects, the lights I ordered were a string of lights connected to a battery pack so I just wrapped the string around the battery pack turned them in and hid the battery pack behind whatever piece of decor I had in that cubby. I hope that helps!!

  9. hey i love your idea. i was wondering if there was a cheaper sofa table like yours, but cheaper. I am trying to look for a cheaper one with closed sides. All the ones that i have been coming across has open sides. I am a student, so cheaper is better =)

  10. I LOOOOVE this! I have been wanting to get the Hemnes for behind my sofa, and the front of it will face an open area of our house (kitchen, eating nook). This is so perfect! You’ve convinced me! Great job.

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