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DIY Inspiration - Upgrading IKEA Bathroom Designs

Article Topics:

  1. What's Wrong with IKEA Bathroom Designs?

  2. Why Upgrade IKEA Bathrooms

  3. Customising Your IKEA Bathroom Cabinetry

  4. Bathroom Cabinetry Upgrade Inspiration

  5. Fitting Bathroom Knobs and Handles

Luxury bathroom - bamboo furniture - large marble bath - robed female figure sitting on the edge of the bath


Your bathroom is a versatile and unique room in your home. It can be a family space, where the kids learn to brush their teeth and enjoy fun bath times. It's a space where we can take a pause, relax in the bath or shower. It's often a place of quiet contemplation. It can be an intimately shared space too.

Tiny bathroom with happy family

This is why your bathroom should be a comfortable and inviting place, whether a small bathroom en suite, a large family bathroom, or a tiny bathroom in a flat or apartment. It should be an expression of your style and creativity, whether that’s the bathroom as a whole or just in simple, unique personalised details.

Large bathroom space - white tiled - walnut cabinetry - simple furniture

Bathroom renovations are relatively expensive, which is fine if you want to spend a lot of money and time creating a unique bathroom design. But for most of us, that's not ideal, and is why an off-the-peg or modular solution is usually a preferred option. A popular choice for this type of bathroom is to pay a visit to IKEA.

Modern en suite bathroom - white with green tiling - bathrooms

Image Credit: IKEA

In this article we'll explore how you can personalise your IKEA bathroom, offering ideas for upgrading bathroom cupboard and drawer knobs and handles.

Let's begin by answering perhaps the obvious question.

What's Wrong with IKEA Bathrooms?

In a word, nothing. Nothing at all. IKEA offers stylish, contemporary bathrooms that represent great value for money. But the choice is somewhat limited, and perhaps a little generically modern, especially with cabinetry hardware such as handles and knobs.

IKEA webpage screen shot showing bathroom knobs and handles

Image Credit: IKEA

There's little scope for personalising IKEA bathroom cabinetry, given the modular nature of their designs. You could add a lick of paint, but that's about all. And the choice of cupboard and drawer knobs and handles at IKEA offers function and a modern look, but doesn't really inspire.

Small bathroom - grey drawer storage - pink walls - white wall cabinets

Image Credit: IKEA

This is an area where you can personalise your lovely IKEA bathroom with more sophisticated, unexpected or idiosyncratic hardware.

Why Upgrade IKEA Bathrooms?

Here are a few reasons why you should consider customising your IKEA bathroom, whether it's a new bathroom or you want to add a personal and creative touch to your existing bathroom cabinetry.

Image of a family bathroom - half real, half line drawing

Upgrading is a Straightforward DIY Job

A basic grasp of DIY is enough to get the job done. You don't need any specialised skills to upgrade your bathroom cabinet hardware. There's obviously no plumbing, grouting or electrical work involved.

Traditional white bathroom - tiles floor - wall lamps and accessories

Simple tools and materials, such as a drill, screwdriver, tape measure, pencil and filler are all you'll need. If you’ve never been a DIYer this could be a great place to begin, especially with the high benefit-to-effort ratio you get with fitting upgraded knobs and handles.

Modern white bathroom - large wall mirror

Get Creative

Upgrading your IKEA bathroom cabinet door handles and drawer knobs is more than just a functional improvement. It's an opportunity to make a statement, to help infuse your personal style into your bathroom space. A vast choice of designs enables you to create a more personalised bathroom style

Traditional bathroom with roll top bath and lime greem tiling

Save Money

Upgrading knobs and handles is a cost-effective way to personalise your IKEA bathroom. By tackling the project yourself, you not only save on labour expenses, but also gain a sense of achievement and ownership of the transformation.

And something a simple and relatively inexpensive as upgrading cabinet hardware can give your bathroom a new lease of life.

Large modern bathroom - no wall cabinets - with furniture items and open shelving

Customising Your IKEA Bathroom Cabinetry

Upgrading knobs and handles can create a sense of different bathroom styles: a traditional feel, modern look or a more contemporary fusion of styles. Higher-end handles and knobs can make a big difference to the look of your IKEA bathroom.

All white bathroom space- slate grey cabinetry - modern/Victorian style

Experiment with different cabinet and drawer handle and knob styles and finishes to find the perfect combination for your bathroom space — a cohesive look or an eclectic mix, a modern, traditional or bespoke vibe, the choice is yours.

Modern or Classic?

You can keep the IKEA look using different modern hardware. But switching up to a premium or more eye catching modern, traditional or vintage handle or knob design will give your bathroom cabinetry the wow factor.

T-bar bathroom cabinet handle in antique brass finish

T-bar handles for example can give your bathroom a very modern, or even industrial knurled look, with darker metallic finishes, including antique brass (pictured above), brushed nickel or black nickel.

Mixing it Up

Aged vintage handles share cracked ceramic and antique brass look

For a more eclectic look, why not mix things up? Combining more traditional or classic cabinet handles or knob designs with a modern IKEA bathroom can create an interesting juxtaposition between styles and periods. A good example are the aged ceramic handles pictured above. Cracked ceramic and an antique brass finish completing the vintage look.

Combining traditional, period or more decorative knobs and handles with the modern IKEA bathroom aesthetic can yield some really interesting and unexpected results.

Impressive vintage modern bathroom design - done with great care - roll top bath - lots of day light

And remember, you can also mix handles with knobs on your bathroom cabinetry, using handles on cupboard doors and knobs for drawers, or vice versa.

Bathroom Upgrade Inspiration

Classical bathroom handle design in antique pewter finish

For a really strong contrast choose handles and knobs that have a traditional look and finish. The above cabinet handle has a definite classical feel, with column-esque fluting and finial tips. The antique pewter finish adds a vintage, rustic look that can contrast well, adding a statement detail to a modern IKEA bathroom.

Modern bathroom cabinet flat bow handle - antique brass

The footed, flat bow handle pictured here (above) is a good example of modern meets traditional. The handles design is modern, in the modernist sense, but is finished in antique brass, for a more traditional feel.

Modern bathroom cabinet knob - round knurled - brushed nickel

Another great way to upgrade your IKEA bathroom is to accentuate the modern vibe. Choosing cabinet knobs and handles that have modernist look can complement an IKEA bathroom's modern cabinetry style. The above knurled knob in brushed nickel is a good example.

Art Deco-style bathroom cabinet knobs - round with geometric pattern inlays

Or perhaps for a softer, more idiosyncratic look, choose cabinet knobs that use different finishes, materials and textures. The cabinet knobs pictured above are a simple round design featuring geometric pattern inlays in black leather. Or a brass finish with bolder black honeycomb design. These knobs are reminiscent of the Art Deco style.

Baroque-style bathroom cabinet handle - decorative with high detail - antique brass

Another interesting juxtaposition is to combine your IKEA bathroom's modern look with more traditionally decorative cabinet handles and knobs. This baroque-inspired cabinet knob is very ornate and would make a really interesting detail in a modern bathroom.

Victorian white ceramic and pewter oval bathroom cabinet handle

A popular bathroom design is the classic Victorian style. You can give a modern bathroom a cool Victorian vibe by using era tiling and hardware. This pewter and ceramic drawer or cupboard door knob oozes Victorian appeal.

Glass bathroom cabinet knob

Or maybe you have a glitzy side to your personality. Add a touch of bling to a modern IKEA bathroom with geometric glass cabinet knobs. Again, a contrasting detail like this can add a hint of glamour to a minimalist bathroom design.

Bathroom accessories - four fun cabinet knobs - similar ideas for nature and animal designs - good for kids

Finally, cabinet knobs and handles can be fun. Choosing bright colours, natural shapes and themes will add and air of whimsy to a modern bathroom, unexpected and playful details that reflect your creativity.

Eclectic bathroom - blue and white mosaic tiling - large bath - arch window - lots of storage

Fitting Bathroom Knobs and Handles

When upgrading cabinet handles and knobs in your existing IKEA bathroom you might find that your new hardware screw holes don't line up with the old ones. In that case you should fill the existing holes and re-drill.

This is a little bit more complicated than just drilling new holes, so if you’re unsure, ask an experienced friend or family member to help, or enlist the services of a professional.

Small bathroom space - modern/traditional mix - white with black hardware collection

Final Thoughts

Upgrading your IKEA bathroom's cabinet hardware can really add something special to its look and feel, giving it a personal touch. Hopefully this article will have inspired you with lots of knob and handle ideas.

No matter what your taste, style or interior design preferences, there will be bathroom handles and knobs available that will appeal, whether it's similar ideas to existing IKEA bathroom hardware or a more stylised, premium or vintage look.

Discover a world of bathroom cabinet knobs and handles that will help you upgrade your modern IKEA bathroom with hardware that's more your style. Explore the full range at Hiatt Hardware. Or why not read the blog for more design and DIY inspiration?

Big bathroom - white cabinetry  and tiling - drawer and cupboard storage solutions