IKEA Tarva hacks – 9 beautiful, bespoke storage solutions to DIY

Take inspiration from these design-focused IKEA Tarva hacks for affordable, customized storage...

Ikea Tarva hacks black fluted nightstand
(Image credit: @jennasuedesign)

IKEA Tarva hacks take a plain-looking pine chest of drawers and give it a designer glow-up for a high-end look on a low budget. Instagram is full of inspirational IKEA hacks, from interior influencers to top-end designers, and stylish Tarva overhauls are no exception.

The IKEA Tarva comes in three-drawer, five-drawer, and six-drawer options, meaning you can create unique pieces with an upscale aesthetic to add a bespoke vigor to any room. IKEA even encourages you to add your own style stamp, writing: 'It’s beautiful as it is or you can stain, paint or wax it the way you like to create a personally designed chest of drawers.' So we've pulled together all our favorite looks to get you inspired to get upcycling your flat pack bargains...

Stylish IKEA Tarva hacks to try this weekend

From cute nursery dressers to statement nightstands, discover these high-style IKEA Tarva hacks for a stylish affordable addition to your interiors...

1. Opt for on-trend terracotta and fluting

Ikea Tarva hack fluted terracotta dresser

(Image credit: @heartsandhomeco)

Unless you've been living under that proverbial rock of late, you will have noticed that fluting is a huge interior design trend for 2022. We love how this IKEA Tarva hack combines that vertical paneling with a trendy terracotta hue, too.

Emma of @heartsandhomeco (opens in new tab), explains: 'I started with an unfinished IKEA Tarva dresser and dowels from the dollar store. 

'I cut all of the dowels to fit the drawer fronts and glued them on using gorilla glue. Once I got all the dowels glued on I gave everything a quick sanding and then it was ready for paint. I did one coat of primer and then two coats of Bed and Breakfast paint by Benjamin Moore.'

2. Go geometric for a funky take on a plain IKEA Tarva

Ikea tarva hack grey and white geometric drawers

(Image credit: @erinspain)

This six-drawer IKEA Tarva hack sees the basic pine unit transformed into a cool geometric-enhanced statement piece, which works beautifully set against a white wall. The textural surface adds visual intrigue to the look, and the colors are ideal for a Scandi design scheme.

'For this project, I swapped out the legs with mid-century modern style ones, painted the entire dresser gray, added overlays to the drawer fronts, and added new hardware,' says Erin, of @erinspainblog (opens in new tab)

'In order to add the new hardware, I patched over the existing hardware holes before painting, and notched out a thin little slot at the top of each drawer with my router so I could add these brass finger pulls.'

3. Paint it white for a bright, fresh makeover

Ikea Tarva hacks white dresser with half moon handles for nursery

(Image credit: @building_our_grove)

Got a little one or a bundle on the way? This IKEA Tarva hack definitely falls into the chic and affordable nursery ideas category.

'I started by filling the holes from where the original handles were with wood filler and then did a light sand of the drawers,' says Ashleigh, of @building_our_grove (opens in new tab). 'I did three coats of Dulux wash and wear in Vivid White paint to get an even coverage. 

'I used a small paintbrush for the more intricate parts, such as the edge of the drawers and edge near the legs, otherwise I used a small roller for the larger parts.

I then finished it off with the half moon handles called Begripa from IKEA.'

Paired with a vintage-style rug, trailing plants, warm wood, and rattan accessories, this is a space both parents and baby will be happy in.

4. Use paintable wallpaper for a truly unique statement dresser

Ikea Tarva hacks green printed drawers with brass handles

(Image credit: @champagne.chaos)

The beautiful thing about Instagram is the ability to get design-driven inspiration at the tip of your fingers. 

Annie @champagne.chaos (opens in new tab) did just that for her clever IKEA Tarva hack that makes one of the more standout IKEA dresser hacks we've seen.

She says: 'I saw Drew @lonefoxhome use paintable wallpaper on his IKEA Tarva dresser and loved the look! 

'Since we had two IKEA Tarva dressers in our bedroom, I used this same wallpaper to transform the space. I applied the wallpaper with mod podge. I then trimmed out each drawer face with pine stop trim. 

'BEHR Marquis Cypress Vine Green paint was the perfect color to top it off. For the pulls, I cut down copper pipes and used 'rub n buff' to make them gold. They looped nicely into the leather pulls I had in place. That was it.'

5. Choose a design-led look with matte black for a modern nightstand

Ikea Tarva hack black fluted nightstand by Jenna Sue Design

(Image credit: @jennasuedesign)

Black bedroom ideas are the fastest route to a contemporary, design-forward feel. Furniture need a freshen up? Painting it black is a stylish fail-safe option.

Jenna, of @jennasuedesign (opens in new tab), comments: 'For this IKEA Tarva hack, I used fluted molding strips and cut them down into pieces matching the drawer height (30 in total). 

'I carefully lined them up on the drawer, glued and clamped each piece in place overnight. 

'Once dry, I caulked the seams between each piece. The dresser was sanded and painted using black chalk paint and sealed with a satin varnish. Gold hardware was added and the dresser feet removed to convert it to a nightstand.'

See exactly how this IKEA Tarva hack was done here (opens in new tab).

6. Think pink for a pretty kids' room IKEA Tarva hack 

IKEA Tarva hacks pink and gold dresser for children's room

(Image credit: www.arinsolangeathome.com)

Girls' bedroom ideas don't get much prettier than this IKEA Tarva hack, where pink and gold make the perfect bedfellows.

Talking about the look she created, Arin, of www.arinsolangeathome.com (opens in new tab), says: 'So when we found out we were having a girl I didn’t have many ideas on her room, BUT I did know that I wanted white walls and a pink dresser. 

'I bought the Siri legs from Pretty Pegs (opens in new tab) for a Nordic look, used Minwax Polycrylic in Glidden Subtle Peach, and Probrico brass pulls from Amazon (opens in new tab).'

The result is a soft, sophisticated look that will please any parent as they swing baby to sleep in that cool hanging chair. The beaded wooden chandelier is also a stylish addition.

7. Create a sleek dresser for a gender neutral nursery

IKEA Tarva hacks gender neutral nursery dresser

(Image credit: Sarah Sherman Samuel)

Sarah Sherman Samuel is the master of designer IKEA hacks, and this gender-neutral nursery idea is just one of her brilliant makeovers.

The six-drawer IKEA Tarva was sanded and primed, with pre-drilled nail holes filled into make way for the new brass drawer pulls.

It was painted in Farrow & Ball's Theresa's Green for a soft, whimsical look perfect for a nursery. And the legs were cut to give a more elevated finish.

Sarah explains: 'I kept the length the same but cut the legs at an angle to create a more elegant profile. It is just one small detail, but it doesn’t cost a thing to do, and it changes the look of the dresser dramatically.'

8. Work the biophilic trend with a deep green nightstand

IKEA Tarva hacks green nightstand by eight mulberry

(Image credit: @eightmulberry)

Transform a small three-drawer IKEA Tarva into a chic, fluted nightstand with wood dowels, new hardware and a slick of paint - we love this rich back-to-nature green, which is not only a stylish modern bedroom idea but also works to bring the calming effects of the outside in.

Keight, of @eightmulberry (opens in new tab), says: 'I took my daughter’s three-drawer, $99 IKEA Tarva dresser, added rows of 6” Dollar Tree dowels with wood glue and then trimmed each drawer with 2” thin wood trim. 

'The finished piece then got a full coat of Hunt Club Green spray paint and new brass drawer pulls.'

9. Punch up the look with a pop of metallics

Ikea dresser hack using Tarva by Sarah Sherman Samuel

(Image credit: Sarah Sherman Samuel)

Sarah Sherman Samuel (opens in new tab) worked her magic again with this IKEA Tarva hack, which saw her take a five-drawer Tarva from ultra-plain to super-pretty with some white paint and a metallic trim.

'In order to keep the dresser from taking up too much visual space, I painted the bulk of it white,' explains Sarah. 'I also cut about 2″ off of each leg (I wasn’t loving the proportions) and then painted the base pieces with a metallic gold spray paint. 

'After that I just swapped out the wooden knobs for these brass ones (opens in new tab) (in the antique brass finish).'

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.