14 Gorgeous Ways to Hack IKEA's Ivar Unit

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IKEA's Ivar line is one of the most hackable, perhaps because it's one of the most basic: The most popular Ivar item is a simple pine cabinet. No hardware. No embellishments. Which means it's basically a blank canvas upon which your design dreams can be painted. At $70 each, you can stock up on a bunch to create a full-on storage unit that people will truly think is designer. Check out these amazing hacks:


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1. Turn the Ivar into a a cane beauty.

(Follow along with our very own DIY to turn the Ivar into a cane-fronted storage winner.)

2. Try different wood stains to create a chevron motif.

3. Try attaching dowels to the fronts for a very design-forward look.

4. A coat of periwinkle paint is simple, but can make the Ivar seem like a high-end piece.

5. Add midcentury-inspired peg legs and cabana stripes for a surprising twist.

6. If you have the Ivar cabinet configuration, you can still use cane, but try oval overlays to make the design a bit more dynamic.

7. Try floating the Ivar and creating a hatch motif for the cabinet doors.

8. For an easy nursery DIY, try painting just half of a configuration of Ivar cabinets.

9. Fool all your friends by floating the Ivar, adding textured paneling and a contrasting top — looks totally custom!

10. Another take on cane paneling — this time with half-moon cutouts.

11. A dark stain on a more complex Ivar shelving unit feels totally farmhouse chic.

12. Add a roof-like top to the Ivar for a whimsical playroom storage piece.

13. Make your home look professionally designed by painting your Ivar unit in a trendy color then matching the color to the wall.

14. For something more artsy, try painting abstract shapes on the Ivar — it will look like you hired an illustrator to do a custom job!


Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at leonora@hunker.com.