IKEA IVAR Hacks to Elevate Your Home Storage

The IVAR range of furniture has more hacking potential than almost any other range at IKEA. Most of its components were designed with customization in mind. The IVAR range is untreated solid pine, with no finish or paint. It’s just the right canvas for you to paint and finish as you wish. 


Tip: I recommend sanding down the IKEA IVAR units before applying any wood stain, as the untreated surfaces tend to be rough. As pine is highly absorbent, applying a wood conditioner before staining is also a good idea to ensure an even finish.


Here at IKEA Hackers, we love the IKEA IVAR range for its versatility. It’s a storage solution that can be customized easily and is fully modular, allowing each item in the range to be combined with the rest of the range to create unique storage units and solutions. It looks timeless and just as good as when IKEA launched it 50 years ago.


The two most prominent features of the IVAR range are customizable shelving units and innovative small form-factor tables. 


1. IVAR Modular Storage Units


IVar with cane doors


The main items in the IVAR range are the shelves, storage cabinets, and side posts to hold these modules up. To complete the look, you can also add pretty rattan or felt doors to the open shelves. 


After seeing so many IVAR hacks with legs added (which TBH, made a huge difference), IKEA introduced an underframe that can be easily fitted below the 2-door cabinet or sliding door cabinet. The addition of the legs elevates the look and gives it a Scandi-farmhouse vibe. 


There are also custom accessories, including bottle racks, hooks, drawers, and a storage box on wheels.


Besides the pine collection, there are also steel cabinets in various sizes. These can also hang off the IVAR side posts.  


2. IVAR Fold Down Tables


ivar fold down table


The small form-factor tables in the IVAR range are very practical, especially when space is tight. The gateleg table is designed to be hung from the side posts and folded down flat when not in use. It blends beautifully with the rest of the IVAR range.


Add this table below the cabinet with sliding doors and you have an ideal small folding dinner table for a dorm room or apartment, with space to store cutlery and crockery above it. 


It could also be used as a drawing or craft table with built-in storage. 


IKEA IVAR Hacks we love


IVAR is the ideal range of furniture from IKEA to hack. There are as many hacks as you can imagine for this range; all you need is a little creativity. 


ivar painted blue


If you’re a beginner DIYer, the IVAR cabinet is a fantastic place to start. Pick up a can of paint, some knobs or handles of your choice, 4 chic furniture legs eg. hairpin legs, or tapered wood legs. A few hours later, you’ll have yourself a bold statement piece, absolutely unrecognizable from the initial IKEA plain cabinet.  


A fantastic hack example for the IVAR range is to build the perfect kid’s wardrobe. Simply combine an IKEA IVAR cabinet and a custom DIY base. Make the base to fit a few cute storage bins to serve as drawers. Paint the wardrobe to match the room’s colors and décor, and you have a quick and easy yet highly effective small wardrobe that is ideal for kid’s clothes. 


Another good IVAR hack is this amazing hidden desk. The hack is a lot more involved but still doable by anyone with a bit of DIY skills. You’ll need to build an IVAR storage cabinet, with a lowered top panel, and a bottom panel with a cut-out for your legs. Place a sliding shelf into the unit at the height you would use as a desk and slide an office chair beneath it. Close the doors and you have a perfect hidden desk for a small space. See the full tutorial here.


The Problem with the IVAR


ivar gap


An issue I (and many others have) discovered with the IVAR range is the gap between the cabinet doors. Many have spent hours tweaking the hinges to narrow the gap and given up in frustration. If that’s you, here’s a post on how to close the IVAR gap for good.     


That aside, the IVAR is one of the best IKEA ranges. As Lennart Ekmark, the one who discovered it said, “I’m convinced. Everyone needs an IVAR. All homes, in all times.” 


These hacks, and others, are easy to do with the IKEA IVAR range. The results are extraordinary, and perfectly customized to suit your purpose.