7 IKEA TARVA Nightstand Hacks we’re in love with

Just a browse on the Pinterest shows the IKEA TARVA nightstand doesn’t get as many hacks as its larger counterpart, the TARVA dresser.

To us, this cute bedside table is an oft overlooked gem and can be transformed in so many ways.

The TARVA nightstand is as IKEA as can be. It has simple lines and sturdy structure. Designed with a drawer and an open shelf for easy storage of your bedtime essentials.

IKEA TARVA nightstand in pine and one drawer
Photo: IKEA.com

Size wise it’s dainty but still large enough for a table lamp and a glass of water.

It is made of untreated pine wood. Which means it will readily take on oil, wax, lacquer, paint or stain.

And to sum it all, it retails for $39.99. A hard price to beat.

Ready to give this little beauty a try?

Join us on this round-up of IKEA TARVA nightstand hacks

#1 Paint and stain

Leah from Thrifted Nest used painters tape, stain and paint to give the nightstand a total new look. I love the whimsy mustard triangle on the sides — such an unexpected pop of colour. And the gold drawer pull completes the look.

#2 Engraved and recessed drawer

Over at Reddit, user supertempo recessed the drawer into the frame, which gave the nightstand a different look. First, he trimmed the drawer front and then move the tracks back. His advice? “Assemble the nightstand first then mark your changes, then disassemble and make your changes.” Wise words.

IKEA TARVA nightstand stained dark walnut with engraved chevron drawer front
Photo: supertempo/ reddit

The most important thing is to be precise about moving the tracks back because there’s a risk of moving them back too far or moving them slightly higher/lower. Not easy, and calls for accuracy.

As for the chevron, he used a handsaw against a straight-edge to score approx. about 1/16″ deep lines on the drawer front. When stained, the lines naturally darkened.

I also like the bum-like bottom and angled legs. Such a lovely touch.

#3 Wood dowels

Wood dowels seem to be the new DIY darling. And for good reason as they transform plain pine surfaces into this.

black bedside table with square wood dowel drawer front
Photo: Carrie Waller/ Hunker

Carrie first painted the TARVA nightstand a deep, dark shade. Then, using a miter saw she cut a bunch of square wood dowels to match the height of the drawer front. Stained them too. Then stuck them on to the drawer piece with wood glue.

#4 Trim the leg

The best way to up the glam factor is to trim the square legs. A small change but huge impact. Like so.

mid century modern bedside table with angled walnut legs and white frame and drawer
Karisa of Petite Modern Life/ Remodeholic

You do need a miter saw to do this. Always measure twice, cut once. After that you can stain the legs and paint the top like how Karisa did it.

#5 Faux apothecary style

For a rustic vibe, this will fit in well.

4 small faux drawers apothecary style with vintage handle pulls

Photo: Kaylie/ Youtube

For the “drawers”, divide the drawer front into 4 and score along those lines. Colour in the scored lines with a marker to give the impression that they are separated. Then stain all the pieces and add the handles. Done!

#6 Drawer to door

Don’t like the drawer and open shelf? How about we close it up with a door?

Carly made a door frame and stapled cane webbing behind it. Then, attached it to the nightstand with hinges.

The only issue with removing the drawer is it’ll leave an opening at the bottom. It’s not a huge problem, just get another piece of wood board cut to size to cover up the hole. And you’ll have yourself a very on trend bedside table.

#7 CNC milled drawer front

In one word, this CNC milled replacement drawer front from The Board Collection — fantastic. At first glance I thought it was a sticker but nope, it is the real deal.

White drawer with CNC milled drawer front with lines and curves and gold pull
Photo: TheBoardCollection/ Etsy

You simple remove the existing TARVA drawer front and replace it with this super cool version, using the hardware that came with your nightstand.

Only drawback? A panel cost more than the nightstand! But with all that work that goes into custom designing and milling each individual front, it may be worth it.

If you want a beautiful done-for-you IKEA hack, this is it.

How have you hacked it?

Share your IKEA TARVA nightstand hacks with us. Here’s how to submit your hack to IKEA hackers.