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Living room interiors, grey sofa, desk and chair, green armchair

30 Aug 2017

Posted in:  First Time Buyer

Dreaming about doing up a home of your very own? What many don’t realise when they buy their first home, is that there are some hidden costs in the first few months –and that they probably won’t be left with a large décor-fund.

Luckily, most people are in this position when it comes to their first house, so an entire industry has grown up around making your Irish home look great on a budget.

And these hacks involve IKEA – but there’s just too much to choose from. When a publication like the Wall Street Journal has to write an article about how to avoid the ‘IKEA meltdown’ you know you are in dangerous territory. That’s where we come in. We’ve chosen all the best little IKEA home-hacks, so you can make a beeline for the good stuff, so no more wandering around, musing over the 354 types of stool they have!

A Window herb garden


This one is pretty eejit-proof. It comes from a great architecture blog called JillM. All you need isfour pots (they are technically called cutlery pots but the pot’s not going to know the difference so why should you care?), four hooks and a shower rod.

You can spraypaint them all to get the same colour (or chrome finish) on them all. Then pop down to your local garden centre and pick up the herbs you use most and pop them in.

The IKEA items cost €19.50 in total, the spraypaint comes in at around €10 and the plants should come in around the same. So all in, it should cost you less than €40 including the herbs and shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. If you are looking for an easy way to dip your toe into the area of IKEA-hacking, then this is the one for you.

A tiny workstation

This is a pretty easy one too, though definitely a bit of a step up from the herb garden. It comes from the guys at Ikeahackers who are the original and best at this sort of thing. You’ll need a Lack shelf, an Ekby Alex drawer unit, and then whatever stool you fancy – though we really like theVasteron stool.

Basically, you attach the sliding drawer unit on the bottom and then have the static shelf on top of that. A handy bonus with this setup is that all the ugly cables can be stashed in the drawer unit themselves so you can keep them out of the way.

The total cost of the IKEA items come to €69, so as long as you have a drill – this could be done in less than an hour. And it’s perfect for those of us living in properties that are a bit tight on space. You don’t have to dedicate an entire room to a workspace – a quiet corner will do the job just as well!

The statement table


This one comes from BeMakeFul and it’s a way to turn a bland old table into a real wow piece. You only need one piece from IKEA – the Lindved side table which only costs €19. You’ll also needmasking tape and some gold spray paint.

Basically, all you do is lay the masking tape down on the table in the pattern you want. Then spray the table with at least three coats of spray paint (waiting 20 minutes between each one). Then after two hours or so, you can pull the tape off. But remember to do this extremely slowly so as not to rip any paint off!

All in all – this should take less than three hours – and cost around €35 all in. That’s not bad at all for such an original piece.

Are you in the market for your first home?

Find out how much you can afford to borrow with out mortgage calculator,  book a mortgage meeting to suit you with one of our mortgage experts, or get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer guide.
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The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.
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