These Are the Best IKEA TARVA Nightstand Hacks I’ve Ever Seen

published Aug 13, 2022
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Best design hacks using the tarva nightstand from ikea
Credit: Photo: ikea; Design: Apartment Therapy

No one loves an IKEA hack as much as Apartment Therapy readers and writers, and few IKEA pieces are more popular for DIYing these days than the TARVA nightstands. Unlike many of IKEA’s other furniture offerings — which are often made of MDF — the TARVA collection is crafted from unfinished pine. That solid, varnish- and stain-free wooden construction means TARVA nightstands, much like their close cousins, TARVA dressers, are practically blank canvases begging for makeovers, and they retail for less than $80 each at that.

Even if you aren’t an experienced DIYer, TARVA nightstands make great beginners’ projects, and many TARVA hacks can easily be executed with just a few simple tools and supplies. Even better, you don’t have to get involved with any messy furniture stripping to get started. Need some visual inspiration? These eight IKEA TARVA nightstand hacks are hands-down the best I’ve ever seen, and you’re bound to find something that speaks to you here, particularly if you like a high-end look but are on a budget.

A moody side table

This TARVA nightstand got a serious upgrade with just a few simple materials. Blogger Carrie Waller from Dream Green DIY transformed her TARVA using paint, square dowels, wood stain, and some wood glue for a budget-friendly DIY many can get behind. You could change up the dark finish if you want something lighter, but I love how the black finish grounds Waller’s finished piece and contrasts with the lighter finishes around it.

A mid-mod bedside storage solution

This hack is making all of my mid-century modern dreams come true! Blogger Karisa G. from Petite Modern Life used some white paint, wood stain, new hardware, and a miter saw to transform an IKEA TARVA nightstand into this fantastic MCM-inspired piece for just $45! I love how the trimmed legs instantly elevate the look of the finished piece. You could also just replace the legs with something new altogether, if you want an even more bespoke look.

Bamboo beauty

For those without an arsenal of power tools to aid in their DIYs, this awesome TARVA hack is for you. Blogger Megan from Little Button Club utilized a bamboo placemat from the dollar store and some wood glue to get a stylish woven look here without the need for any serious tools. The icing on the cake? IKEA’s BEGRIPA handle, which makes opening the door easier and throws serious Sarah Sherman Samuel vibes for just $2.50. Instead of reaching for a drill, which could disrupt the placemat’s finish, Megan used double-sided Gorilla tape to install the handle. No tools necessary, indeed!

Farmhouse finish

Sometimes, eliminating the hardware on your nightstand altogether is the best way to go. A simple pull-cutout gives this gray-washed TARVA a clean and modern look and can be achieved with just a few simple tools and supplies including wood stain, polyurethane sealer, sand paper, and a jig saw.

Fluted front

You can’t go wrong with fluting, and I love the textured detail on this TARVA hack by Instagrammer Samantha from @myhousewokeuplikethis. Add some wood stain and new hardware to the equation, and this TARVA is nearly unrecognizable!

Double-duty and dreamy

Talk about thinking outside the box! Instagram user @autumntokijkla used the TARVA nightstand, a fresh coat of mint paint, and some leftover wood to create this adorable built-in kids desk in her kids’ playroom. Wondering if you could make something similar in adult sizes over here, you?

Black beauty

If you can’t already tell, I’m a big fan of fluting, and I love this dark and dramatic take on the classic material. Wooden dowels, black paint, and some new hardware are all that’s needed to achieve this modern, minimalist look.

Credit: Carly Fuller

Gorgeous grasscloth

Inspired by these $400 nightstands from Clutch Modern, Instagrammer Carly Fuller from @mycityapartment set out to make her own version using the TARVA nightstands. After staining the tables and removing the drawers, she built some doors and added cane webbing to the backs using a staple gun. You truly wouldn’t know these stylish side tables weren’t designer!