I’ve had a tempestuous relationship with my eight-drawer Hemnes dresser. As I approached my third year of ownership, I started to grow tired of it, in spite of its perfectly inoffensive appearance. It’s just a white dresser; it’s not that bad.

Still, I found myself growing resentful of my dresser (admittedly, though, I do have a job that entails looking at a lot of beautiful dressers, so you can see how I might get caught up in it all). There were several times I considered shelling out double the price of the Hemnes for something that I convinced myself would be better and sturdier that I would surely love for longer. There was one instance when I nearly panic-purchased a vintage pink dresser on Instagram.

 

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This was a road I knew I shouldn’t go down, so I opted for a much simpler, more affordable alternative. I switched the plain black drawer pulls on my Hemnes for sleek, button-like brass ones from Target, and that has made all the difference.


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I bought my IKEA furniture as a recent grad, and as I move further and further away from my campus days, I’ve started to consider replacing the affordable buys for investment pieces I’ll keep for years to come. The thing I often forget, though, is that a home doesn’t need to be redesigned in a hurry. Just because I finally got a rug doesn’t mean I have to rush and get a new dresser, and just because I found a new bedspread I love doesn’t mean my room won’t be complete until I find the vintage rattan headboard of my dreams.

Decorating is an ongoing process: Tastes change and preferences shift. Given that my dresser is in perfectly good condition (I even learned that acetone nail polish was the key to removing the rust stains my metal tray had left on top), updating it was a better option for my wallet and the environment.

Could your dresser use a refresh? Luckily, IKEA dresser knobs are a pretty universal size, so any hardware should work. Consider some of these picks—just be mindful that this DIY can end up being a bit pricey depending on how many drawer pulls you’re replacing. For me, the total amounted to $50—a perfectly reasonable sum in my opinion, especially when compared to the price of a new piece of furniture. 

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Connor Square Knob Collection, Pottery Barn ($10)
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Geometric brass squares are an easy way to add modern flair to a dated piece—just be sure to avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals so they stay shiny and new.


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Carrara Marble Knobs, Superfront ($34)
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Emerald green Carrara marble handles? The height of luxury. No two pieces are exactly alike, which will only add to the custom feel your dresser will be enjoying with these tiny spheres.

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Osternas Leather Handles, Ikea ($11)
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You actually want these IKEA dresser knobs to get a little beat up: They patina over time, and will make your furniture look like you sourced it at some fancy vintage shop.

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Geo Knobs, Nest Studio ($75)
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Inspired by Miami modernism, this tomato red hardware is the perfect jumping-off point for some color-blocking. Paint your storage an equally vibrant hue for maximum impact.

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Brass with Leather Drawer Pulls, Etsy ($11+)
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Pick a colorful leather pull to instantly elevate an all-white piece. With 278 5-star reviews, this Etsy option comes with glowing recommendations.


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White Marble Notched Cylinder Knob, CB2 ($13)
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Just a touch of marble refines even the most basic piece of furniture (including the dresser you’ve had since college).

#3489-45mm CKP Brand T Knob
T Knob, CKP ($8)
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Simple gold-tone knobs add a high-end feel to virtually any finish imaginable.

Fairview Crystal Knob – Antique Brass
Fairview Crystal Knob, Schoolhouse ($18)
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The crystal accent on this knob has a refined, old-meets-new appeal.

Blue Crackle Glaze Ceramic Knob
Blue Crackle Glaze Knob, World Market ($3)
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A punch of Yves Klein Blue would look great on a simple white piece.


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ELROY CABINET KNOB
Elroy Cabinet Knob, Rejuvenation ($26)
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When affixed to an all-black dresser, these modern knobs look especially striking.

See more IKEA hacks: Designers Share Their All-Time Favorite IKEA Hacks 8 Space-Saving IKEA Hacks That’ll Make Your Bathroom Look 10 Times Bigger 15 Inspired Ways IKEA Is Used Across the Globe