Published on February 2, 2019

I’ve had a tempestuous relationship with my eight-drawer Hemnes dresser. Approaching 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 a dresser 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 cycle 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.

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.

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courtesy of IKEA

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? 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.

Just a touch of marble refines even the most basic piece of furniture.

Simple gold-toned knobs add a high-end feel to virtually any finish imaginable.

The crystal accent on this knob has a refined, old-meets-new appeal.

A punch of Yves Klein Blue would look great on simple white piece.

When affixed to an all-black dresser, these modern knobs look especially striking.

More IKEA hacks:

Designers Share Their All-Time Favorite Ikea Hacks

8 Space-Saving Ikea Hacks That’ll Make Your Bathroom Look 10x Bigger

15 Inspired Ways Ikea Is Used Across the Globe