This IKEA IVAR makeover has turned a simple unit into a playful cocktail cabinet

The transformed furnishing fills the living space with the vibrant aesthetic of a fashionable Soho hangout

IKEA IVAR drinks cabinet hack with blue and pink features
(Image credit: Paul Estall / Percy and Albert Interiors)

Nothing says the roaring 2020s quite like the most glamorous furnishing of them all – a drinks cabinet. In all its lighthearted glory, however, these cabinets aren’t always dressed for the occasion. 

So, while it’s certainly no secret that we’re admirers of IKEA’s iconic furnishings, we’re even bigger fans of IKEA hacks that elevate minimalist pieces into a focal point that would impress Jay Gatsby himself. This IKEA IVAR transformation is our latest lust-worthy listing.

After picking up a neutral-toned pine IVAR, designer Paul Estall of Percy and Albert Interiors created a  stylish drinks bar – complete with pink and teal hues and gold pigment details. The result is unrecognizable from the original cabinet – and it’s now the house party accessory we never knew we needed.

The makeover process


Pine IVAR from IKEA

(Image credit: IKEA)

To recreate this cabinet, Paul (@percy_and_albert) first stresses the importance of priming all parts of the flatpack before assembling the unit. The priming prevents stains from emerging through the painted finish. When the primer dried, he gently sanded and dusted the units before their second (and final) coat.

IKEA IVAR before hack

(Image credit: Paul Estall / Percy and Albert Interiors)

After priming, Paul worked out the best position for the shelf and used wood filler to fill the holes he wouldn’t use. He then coloured in the sections in Fusion Mineral Paint’s Renfrew Blue and CUREiously Pink and designed the gold pattern with Posh Chalk Metallics, Byzantine Gold. Once dried, Paul gave them a light sanding to ensure the paint remained sleek. 

Paul added a top coat to seal the color and give the IVAR a glossy shine. After drying, he assembled the IVAR – minus the door – which he later applied after applying a masking tape gold chevron detail.  


(Image credit: Paul Estall / Percy and Albert Interiors)

He then added a further topcoat before filling the cabinet with liquor. We’ll be mirroring Paul’s modern living room ideas by pairing this cabinet with an overflowing houseplant and crowing the furnishing with a mystical mushroom lamp – to create the ultimate stylish setting. 


(Image credit: Paul Estall / Percy and Albert Interiors)

If you’re (understandably) inspired to create a cocktail cabinet, Paul’s blog walks you through a similar IVAR hack that explores the key stages of the process. He also made a reel for the hack here, so we can effortlessly mirror the look in our modern homes. Happy partying. 

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

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 whilst 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.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.