This stained IKEA IVAR makes a striking first impression in a dark entryway

The elevated IVAR demands attention in the first room of the home – for all the right reasons

IKEA IVAR in a narrow navy entryway
(Image credit: Pamela Séchaud)

IKEA knows how to make an impression in every room of the home, but none more so than the entryway. If you're looking to curate a focal point in the first room of your home, their IVAR unit has made it possible – and the result is refreshingly simple. 

No matter the size of your entryway, this IKEA hack will make all right first impressions on your guests, but how is it possible? With a little bit of dye, and a lot of love for the Scandinavian chain. 

The epitome of IKEA IVAR hacks comes from Pamela Séchaud (@thegempicker (opens in new tab)) who stained her unit to create a bespoke aesthetic that elevated her Geneva apartment instantly. Here's how the designer (opens in new tab) transformed the minimalist icon into an unrivaled statement piece. 

How to recreate this IKEA IVAR entryway hack

IKEA IVAR in a narrow navy entryway

(Image credit: Pamela Séchaud)

'When you first see [the IKEA IVAR (opens in new tab)] in the showroom, it doesn’t look like much. It’s hard to believe that the result can be as stunning as what you see on Pinterest. But since it’s made out of raw solid pine and in a pretty basic shape, it’s an easy piece to paint or to stain yourself,' Pamela says.

The designer isn't wrong – the process is achievable in all types of entryways – and beyond. Her secret is a wood stain, that ensures the unit is unrecognizable from its flatpack roots. 'Staining the IKEA Ivar cabinet also gives it a kind of timeless feel,' she shares.

Perhaps most crucially, you should complete the staining process before assembling your IVAR, so be careful not to build your pack until the color transformation process is complete. 

IKEA IVAR in a narrow navy entryway

(Image credit: Pamela Séchaud)

After choosing the hue that is right for your space, Pamela explains that you should sand the unit before applying the first coat of stain. 'I’ve used a synthetic bristle brush but you can also use a piece of cloth or foam pad. It will depend on the type of stain you choose,' she adds.

Once the first coat dries, you should reapply a second coat of stain to achieve a deeper, more impactful tone. Then, once the stain has dried for a second time, it is time to assemble the unit.

IKEA IVAR in a narrow navy entryway

(Image credit: Pamela Séchaud)

No hallway idea is complete with apt accessories, and this is certainly the case with Pamela's makeover.  The designer added a print by Hôtel Magique (opens in new tab), along with a curation of plants and a lampshade. She also crowned her unit with a circular mirror, to accentuate the narrow space further. 

It's to reassemble your stained IVAR at the next opportunity. 

Megan Slack
News Writer

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.