The IKEA furniture hack with high-end results

At left, a $5000 Jonathan Adler desk. On the right, the Stylkea hack, coming in at $438.85.
At left, a $5000 Jonathan Adler desk. On the right, the Stylkea hack, coming in at $438.85. Photo: Jonathan Adler/Stylkea/Ikea

Many of us are all too familiar with home decorating on a beer budget with that champagne taste haunting us at every turn. 

A clever Gold Coast mum has come up with a genius product that turns perfectly ordinary IKEA furniture into high-end cabinetry reminiscent of designer pieces by Jonathan Adler. Stylkea is the brainchild of Kylie Hughes, making peel-and-stick decals for Ikea's Malm, Besta and Kallax ranges and starting at just $9.95.

The image above left shows a sumptuous interior by Jonathan Adler featuring the iconic Turner Executive Desk which retails for AUD$5000.

The two images on the right show the Stylkea hack. Buy an Ikea Hemnes desk for $399 and decorate with Styl-panel #1115, the entire project costing just $438.85.

For copywriter Kylie and her husband, the business came about from necessity. While renovating, the couple were constantly trying to work out how to make their home luxurious on a strict budget. Not content to have their home dominated by an obvious Ikea look, Kylie set out to transform discount pieces into showstoppers.

"After 18 months of planning and prepping and juggling mum-hood and a day job," Stylkea was officially born in July and it's just starting to take off.

The glam sideboard below cost $331.80 and the instructions to make it are on the Stylkea blog.


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If a softer, more natural look is preferred, the fretwork decals come in paintable white so the look can be tailored with custom colour. These drawers are from Ikea's Malm range.

Photo: Stylkea

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​For drawer handle suggestions, Stylkea has done all the hard work, sourcing co-ordinating accessories - see the blog for more details.
Stylkea may have launched to the 'sound of crickets,' but now people are sitting up and taking notice of the fledgling business.
"It's affirming and fun (and a little bit scary) when other people start getting excited about it too," says Kylie.