Customizing an IKEA Hemnes China Cabinet

You know how much I love a good furniture makeover! Sometimes, it’s about a dramatic transformation, like this mid-century dresser, these stenciled nightstands, or my Thomasville faux bamboo bar cabinet. Other times, you just need a few changes to transform something from ordinary to extraordinary! That’s what I did with the IKEA Hemnes glass door cabinet.

First, a few words about IKEA furniture. It’s so appealing, with the cute names and endless variety. Plus, who else loves wandering through all the little rooms they have in the store?! But, you do have to be careful when buying from IKEA. Some items just aren’t built to last, and that ends up being a bummer for your wallet and the environment. On the other hand, there are some really great and enduring items, like the Hemnes line of bookcases. These are made from solid wood (pine) and stand the test of time and daily wear. We have several of these bookcases, including some I bought second-hand on craigslist, and they are nice and sturdy. I also really like that they sit flush side-by-side, so you can create a built-in look.

I have two Hemnes bookshelves on the other side of the living room, so it worked out perfectly to get the matching glass door cabinet to put next to the dining room to display my beloved tea cups and dishes. There are so many stories about this collection, but here’s a link to the sweet story of how it all started!

I was hoping to find one of these cabinets used, but after waiting around for a few months, I realized I was going to have to buy it new. It probably worked out, since this cabinet is quite a bit heavier than the bookshelves, so it would have been really hard to move. Steve went with me to IKEA to pick it up, and then I brought the pieces in one-by-one from the garage. It’s great little cabinet on its own, but I wanted to customize it with a Chinoserie twist, which turned out to be an easy and fun project!

The first thing I did was prepare the hardware, since I wanted to give the paint some time to dry. I arranged the drawer pulls on a piece of scrap cardboard and sprayed them with gold paint. I only did two coats, which left a small amount of the black showing through, to better match the antiqued look of the cabinet pulls I had for the doors. I then finished with a clear glossy spray to protect the paint and coordinate with the door pulls. The pretty pulls are from Etsy, and I bought them to make over this console table that was in the foyer of our old house. To be honest, I don’t know why I had them leftover. I think maybe they came in pairs, and I thought they were sold singly? I had six in the garage! Anyway, I think I ended up matching the hardware pretty well!

The other customization that I did was to add this cherry blossom wallpaper to the back of the upper section. I had it left over from the Thomasville bar cabinet project!

After almost three straight weeks of rain, it’s beautiful to see the sky… and the sunsets are coordinating with the living room colors, how thoughtful!

On the left are the plates my mom’s friend gave me, after my mom bought them for her. On the right is a fun bowl that one of my mother’s other closest friends gave me and Steve as a wedding gift!

Cups and dishes I have collected, as well as gifts from my dear friends Linda and Nicola:

Can’t wait to host my next tea party!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s