Ikea Hack: IVAR

Have you seen these IVAR units at Ikea?  They've got a lot going for them, namely that they're solid, unfinished wood.  The hubby and I've been looking for a buffet for extra storage in our kitchen for a while, but we've been unable to find something thin enough for our small kitchen.  Hubby really wanted a project, but not too much of a project, which is while we thought an ikea hack might just work.  In our old house we did a similar hack where we turned an old piece of furniture into an island, and it was a project that we both really enjoyed.  It turned out pretty well...in fact, the people that bought our old house asked to buy it with the house!

For this project we liked how sturdy the IVAR units were, but thought it needed some changes.  It seemed easy.  Add two pieces of wood (one for the top and one for the bottom), add some legs, some trim for the doors to add a little interest.  Easy peasy right? 

You can probably guess where this is going.  What's easy peasy with a toddler and a preschooler running around?  We bought the wrong about of wood for trimming the cabinets.  We spent hours trying to get the doors to align properly (turns out we had a bad hinge-Ikea replaced it.) I accidently painted our kitchen floors(fixed with a little elbow grease).  I also somehow deleted most of the in progress pictures from my camara, so I don't have that much to show you....

This project was a comedy of errors, with both of us wanting to chuck the project at one time or another.  In fact, it would have been tossed if it weren't for the hubby or I seeing promise in the project when the other didn't. 

well, in the end, it didn't turn out soooo bad....  and I think it will work for now.  It's not a heirloom piece of furniture, but there is something to be said for being able to unpack boxes which have been sitting in our garage for the past 2.5 years.  Enough talking though.  Here are some pictures...

Here are the doors all trimmed up.


We painted everything first, and then painted again once we assembled.

And tada! 

I'd be happy to answer any questions people have, since I know that most of the pictures of the in-between steps are missing.  I hope though that it makes you see IVAR in a new light!
I have one more ikea hack to show you too, hopefully next week!


  1. Great project! This is similar to what I'm doing in my basement only mine is a great deal taller and wall to wall cupboards. I'm most curious about how the doors were attached to the frame.... what did you use for the doors? My doors need to be 7.5 ft tall and will extend around almost 3/4 of my basement. I just love Ivar because it's real wood!

    1. We just used the IVAR cabinet doors and the hinges that came with the cabinets. I just added some trim on top of the doors to make it look a little nicer. Could you just use two IVAR doors instead of one big one? Or maybe a local carpenter could help you?

  2. "it didn't turn out soooo bad...."? I think it looks fantastic!
    In fact, I wish I'd seen this a couple of months ago when I was also looking for a buffet!! Definitely will keep it in mind for the future. Love the colour you chose too - great shade of red :)

  3. Love it! Will use it to make a buffet for my daughter's apt

  4. Do you have the shopping list of everything else you needed to make the piece (other than the ikea units)?. I'm trying to figure out the dimensions of the trim and the wood piece you have at the top and bottom

    1. Hi Lucy, I'm doing this after the fact, so hopefully this list is correct. Double check my math.

      For the top and bottom: 12 inches x 65 inches long boards, 5/8 inch thick (need 2, 1 for the top and one for the bottom)
      For each of the doors I used 2.5 inch wide boards, approximately 3/8 inch thick. Two pieces which are about 15.25 inches long and two which are 27.25 inches long. This means that you need approximately 85 linear inches of trim for EACH door.
      For each of the end pieces I used (2) 11 inch pieces of the same 3/8 inch thick 2.5 inch wide boards that I used for the doors. So you will need (4) 11 inches pieces for each side, or 44 inches total.

      All together that means you will need approx. 384 linear inches of the "trim" for the doors and the ends. The two large pieces for the top and the bottom, as well as 6 screw in wood "feet" for the bottom.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Hi Jill. What kind of paint/stain/primer did you use for this? I really like the way the grain shines through.

    1. I just used regular latex paint, but I didn't prime it so that the grain would show through. Hope that helps!



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