Incredible Hacks using the Ikea Ivar Cabinet

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Inside: Ideas for creative ways to use the Ikea Ivar cabinet in your home; from painting to staining, hanging it on the wall and using it in almost every room of the house.

I’m deep into planning our new basement studio space. Even though I know there are so many steps between where we are now and the point when I get to actually bring furniture and shelving in, I still like to sort through my ideas. It helps me get really clear on what I want the studio to look like. 

At this point, we have started doing the heavy lifting. We hired a contractor to help us level and insulate the floor in 1/3 of the space. The next steps will be more construction related as well, with the brick wall being demolished to open up all the rooms into one big room. If you can imagine the space as an L-shape with each portion of the L being a 9’x9′ room. We are going to pull down almost all the walls to make it one big space. 

Obviously, you know by now that I’m a massive fan of Ikea and Ikea hacks. One challenge we are having with the studio is its proximity to the ocean. It sounds strange, but we are so close to the water, that the added moisture in the air warps IKEA MDF furniture faster than lickety split. It took three weeks for my brand new Pax shelving to warp to the point of being unusable! 

I don’t want to make the same mistake in the studio. So I’m researching customizable storage options that use either solid wood or metal…and that are affordable. 

Enter the Ikea Ivar. The hilarious thing is my desk in high school was an Ivar unit! I think my parents still use it for garage storage at their house. This is a classic Ikea design and it’s so flipping durable. I think it will fit the bill in at least a couple areas of my new studio. 

Things I love about the Ikea Ivar

It’s really easy to customize

Do I even have to say that? Basically everything from Ikea is 100% customizable. Add onto that the fact that you can hack almost anything they make and it’s a perfect storm. In recent years, they’ve added a few metal inserts to the Ivar line, making it even easier to make your own. 

In the 90s, Ikea sold a separate table with interchangeable legs that fit into the Ivar system. It seems they are now pushing this piano hinge hiding desk – which I LOVE. I am hoping this will be the solution for me and my mitre saw challenge. I want to be able to have the mitre saw accessible in my studio, but hideaway when not in use. I’m not convinced the dimensions will work out yet – stand by for more answers on that soon. 

It’s wood and metal

As I mentioned, I’m hunting for a no-warping solution for at least the studio portion of my space. So far, in the main area of the house, MDF that is a bit further inside where it’s less humid isn’t as prone to warping, so that might be the case in this new studio space. Having said that, I’m absolutely committed to finding affordable wood and/or metal solutions that won’t warp. 

Ivar systems are solid oak (with that typical Ikea glazing…which I loathe… but anyway), and the brackets and braces are galvanized and rust proof. Further, the new inserts are also powder coated steel, which means they also will not warp or rust in the moist air. 

It’s very VERY affordable

At this point, I’ve owned just about every Ikea storage system they’ve ever produced. From Billy bookcases, to Expedit turned Kallax to Pax. I still haven’t found a place for a Besta, but I do have a bunch of Hemnes. Yes. I speak fluent Ikea. 

As far as affordability goes Ivar is at the top of the heap. I’m not sure where else you can get nearly 10′ of almost floor to ceiling storage for less than $1000. 

Sizes and Dimensions of Ivar

I am still trying to work out how deep I want my shelving unit to be, but regardless Ivar has lots of options for increasing depths. I don’t want my shelves to be too deep because I find that can pose organization and functional challenges when storing things like tools and hardware. Plus, I want to maximize floor space as much as possible. 

Ikea Ivar come in two basic depths, one around 12″ and another around 15″. And the rail system that forms the basis of the Ivar system has two heights with one that is close to 8′ high. 

Before I head out to buy ours (which will be a while), I thought I’d round up some of the insanely gorgeous Ikea Ivar Cabinet Hacks I’ve seen in my searching. For some reason, most of the hacks are European. I wonder if Ivar is more popular over there?


Incredible Hacks using the Ikea Ivar Cabinet

Amazing hacks using the Ikea Ivar Cabinet!

Bright Blue Ikea Ivar Hack

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Emily Henderson painted a standard Ivar Cabinet bright blue for one of her studio makeovers. It is gorgeous! The colour is absolutely perfect.

Floral Decoupage Ikea Ivar Hack

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I can't even handle how gorgeous this is! It's so inspiring to think you can take a plain Ikea Cabinet and turn it into something classic and stylish like this. The Chinoiserie effect is breathtaking!

Floor to Ceiling Ikea Ivar Cabinets

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This is much more what I have in mind for at least one of the walls in my new studio. I love how this looks totally custom, but it's the Ikea Ivar! Imagine how much storage space is behind those doors?!

Ikea Ivar Sideboard Buffet

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This project is simple and likely a great beginner Ikea hack too. Goes to show how versatile solid wood Ikea Cabinets can be

Modern hygge Ikea Ivar Bar Cabinet

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Likely not for my house, but this Ikea Hacker used amazing metallic stripes to boost the style of this basic Ivar. Pay attention to the cute black and gold feet!

IKEA Ivar Media Center Hack

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Need something to look like media built-ins? The Ivar is a great alternative to the traditional Billy or even the Pax. The difference here is it's solid wood and much easier to customize with paint. This is a great look for a family room.

Painted Ikea Ivar Sideboard

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This Ikea hack is beyond creative! I'm also slightly obsessed with the framed art work above it. This has a very boho eclectic feel and I'm digging it.

Faux Textured Ikea Ivar Hack

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You had me at texture. Updating the basic Ikea Ivar doors with this fabulous, neutral, caning is an incredible update. I can't love this anymore than I do. In fact, I feel like this is a great look for our beachy vibe in our house!

Ikea Ivar Cabinets in the Playroom

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So this is just plain adorable! I love the grey colour and the cloud motifs. Wouldn't it be fun to stack Ivars and have the bottom be 'kid friendly' and the top be for the adults? This is giving me so many ideas!

Bold Red Ikea Ivar Cabinet Hack

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I can't even believe this one used to be an Ivar. It literally doesn't even look like the same cabinet! Awesome mod hardware, stunning bold colour and the addition of panel moulding really bring this piece to a whole new level. Oh - and let's not forget the gorgeous modern legs.

Space Saving Kitchen Cabinet with Ikea Ivar

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Tight on space? This is a 'skinny' solution for those small urban kitchens. I love how this blogger took the Ivar and made it look even more simple. The addition of the matching shelves above is spot on.

Basically the cutest Ikea Ivar Hack ever

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Just let's stop here. I'm dead. This is so flipping cute for a kids' room, I can't even. The website isn't in English, but these pictures speak a thousands words.

Still want more Ikea hacks and Inspiration? Check out these other posts on my blog

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