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 (opens in new tab), 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

IKEA IVAR unit

Pine IVAR from IKEA

(Image credit: IKEA)

To recreate this cabinet, Paul (@percy_and_albert (opens in new tab)) 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 (opens in new tab) Renfrew Blue and CUREiously Pink and designed the gold pattern with Posh Chalk Metallics, Byzantine Gold (opens in new tab). 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.  

IKEA IVAR

(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. 

IKEA IVAR after

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

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

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.