Duo Ventures

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Nursery: Custom IKEA Hemnes Dresser

 Anyone who has researched changing tables or dressers for a nursery has inevitably come across the IKEA Hemnes 8-drawer Dresser.  We decided to jump on the Hemnes bandwagon too...here's why:

-it's not too modern or traditional and fits a wide range of tastes & decor
-it's made of solid pine instead of particle board
-it's the perfect size to double as a changing table
-it will transition & grow with your child
-at $229, it's reasonably priced for the storage & quality you get
-you can easily customize it by changing out the drawer pulls

The only thing we had to decide on was the color of the dresser- more specifically, we had to choose between the "white" & the "white stain" options.  The "white" dresser is more of your typical IKEA white - which is not really a true white & has more of a sheen to it.  The "white stain" option is more of a true white color & has a flat finish.  It is slightly transparent, in that you can see some of the wood grain through the finish, but it's hardly noticeable.

In our opinion, the white stain looked more high end & natural.  The transparency of the stain didn't bother us either, as we liked the more rustic look of it.  It really comes down to your personal preference, but we decided to go with the white stain.

As with any IKEA furniture, it can be a bit daunting at the beginning.  Our advice is to lay everything out in an organized fashion, making sure you have the correct number of pieces as you go (including the hardware & fasteners).  The dresser comes in 3 separate boxes:

With the two of us, it took about 2 hours to assemble.  There were a couple of steps that had us scratching our heads, but we eventually figured it out.  It's better to take your time & do it correctly, so you don't have to go back & re-do anything.

We didn't install the drawers knobs, since we planned on customizing the dresser with different pulls from Hobby Lobby.  We narrowed it down to two options - stars & pulls (the original knobs that came with the dresser are on the far left):

Nader preferred the stars & Mel preferred the pulls, but in the end we went with the more whimsical star pulls.  We waited until they were 50% off & bought 12 new pulls:

To spray paint them, Mel punched some holes in a piece of cardboard & screwed on the pulls.  We went with some spray paint that we had in the garage -Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze:

After two coats, they were all finished!

FYI: We had to cut down the screws that came with the star pulls with a small hack saw since they were long & stuck out too far inside the drawer.

We also purchased a couple sets of the SKUBB drawer organizers from IKEA:

Another nice detail is the ticking stripe pattern on the drawer bottom - you can see it through the SKUBB organizers:

We are really happy with our custom nursery dresser & love that it will transition with Sami!

Mel & Nader


  1. I know this is an old post but thank you for your review! I went back and forth between the white and white stain option. I'm ordering online and was worried the white would be the typical "ikea off-white". I'm so glad to hear positive things about the white stain version. I'm changing my shopping cart now! Thank you!!

  2. No problem! So glad that it helped! I think you'll really like the white stain - we have an EXPEDIT/KALLAX bookcase in the regular IKEA white sheen finish, & we definitely prefer the white stain. Thanks for reading :)

  3. Is the dresser too tall to be a changing table? I'm about 5'5. What are your thoughts. Is it difficult because it is taller than typical changing tables? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Allison! Personally, it works perfect for me as a changing table & I am about 5'7". I looked up four other random changing table dimensions - they ranged in height from 36.25"-37.75" tall.

      The IKEA HEMNES dresser is 37.375" high, so it seems to fit right within that range! You could always check out one of the dressers in-store if you have an IKEA close by, but I think it would work great for you! Hope that helps & let me know if you have any other questions! :)