Before and After: $130 Takes Two IKEA IVARs From Boring and Basic to Art Deco Glam
When blogger and DIYer Alana Gennara bought her two basic IKEA IVARs ($95 each), she got them with the intention of transforming them. “I never refinished or flipped any furniture before, so this was a scary and exciting undertaking for me,” she says. “I found myself with two cabinets and this vision I wanted to create!”
Her vision involved a starburst-like linear design on the doors. At first, she thought the pair would make good nightstands, but with legs added, she realized they’d be a bit too tall. She decided to use the cabinets as clothing storage in her bedroom instead.
“The vision of the starburst design still needed to be manifested, so I decided to move forward with the project anyway,” she says. “It actually all worked out because we needed a dresser in our bedroom to keep our 2-year-old son’s clothing in.”
Next, she added some poplar trim to the doors to give them a Shaker-style look. “I used my brad nailer and some wood glue, but you could totally get the job done with just some glue,” Alana says. “Then I added my starburst design within the trim.”
To get her same radiant look, Alana recommends using three different sizes of dowels (she chose 1/8-, 1/4-, and 5/16-inch dowels for variation). “I simply used an X-acto knife to cut the dowels and some wood glue to adhere them to the doors.”
The trickiest part of the project was the last part: adding the metallic legs, which attached from the side. “I’m not sure if it would have made a difference or not if they could have been put under the dresser and placed more strategically closer to the center, but the dresser started to cave in — ahhh!” Alana recalls. “I really loved the legs and didn’t want to change them, but I also needed to find a way to support the middle of the dresser with a leg that matched the ones I already had.”
She added a 2×4 piece of wood wrapped in gold metallic paper to add support and prevent bowing. “It was definitely a proud MacGyver moment of mine,” she says.
In total, her material costs (not including the dresser) were about $130. “This is a great beginner DIY,” Alana adds. “You don’t need any power tools, all the cuts can be made with a hand saw. That being said, a miter saw will make it easier, but it’s not necessary.”
She’s proud of the unique Art Deco-looking vibe she added to the cabinets. “I love how elegant and unique the piece is. It is like nothing I had ever seen before,” she says.
She also loves the added storage in her bedroom, but mostly she loves that she made a bespoke piece of furniture with her own two hands. “I brought something I had only imagined in my mind to life, and that was a really cool feeling,” she says.
Inspired? Submit your own project here.