This IKEA IVAR hack has turned a minimalist cabinet into a retro focal point

Think 1970, with a sweet Scandinavian twist

IKEA IVAR hack with a retro aesthetic
(Image credit: Hayley Stuart / @iamhayleystuart)

The 70’s called, it wants its statement piece back. And, it seems the person who can deliver the retro goods is Hayley Stuart, an interior designer – and the individual behind our latest IKEA hack fling. 

While this IKEA IVAR hack is unrecognizable, Hayley (@iamhayleystuart (opens in new tab)) revealed that the design process was refreshingly simple. The only things you need are the cabinet in question, and some retro-style wallpaper – for that all-important 70s aesthetic, naturally. 

So, how can you mirror this IVAR’s groovy style in your home? Here, Hayley reveals the process behind her statement piece. 

IKEA IVAR hack – before 

IKEA IVAR unit

(Image credit: IKEA)

Though it is hard to believe, this bold cabinet started life as an untouched IKEA IVAR (opens in new tab) unit – complete with the wooden pine tones that the Swedish powerhouse is associated with. However, while this minimalist style is hard to fault, Hayley was looking for something that would stand as a talking point during a bedroom renovation. 

As one of the last stages in the makeover, Hayley paid homage to a time gone by – and one of the biggest interior design trends of the moment – with one simple trick: wallpaper. 

The designer used wallpaper from Lust Home (opens in new tab), which she applied using wallpaper paste. ‘I used some wallpaper from Lust to give [these] IKEA cupboards a much-needed glow-up,’ Hayey shared when she revealed the makeover. ‘I am in love with the retro vibes I get from this wallpaper.’

IKEA IVAR hack – after 

IKEA IVAR hack with a retro aesthetic

(Image credit: Hayley Stuart / @iamhayleystuart)

After the wallpaper dried, Hayley was left with a boutique design piece that differentiates from all other IVAR units. She paired the cupboard with baskets for a stylish alternative to storage, underneath a piece that will struggle to go out of style. 

And, with only an IKEA cabinet, wallpaper, and paste to thank – we’re rushing to bring this simple – but nonetheless stylish – piece into our own homes. 

But don't just take our word for it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this makeover has made waves on Instagram – with design enthusiasts already rushing to recreate the cabinet in their homes. We'll race you to IKEA's checkout. 

IKEA IVAR hack with a retro aesthetic

(Image credit: Hayley Stuart / @iamhayleystuart)

Are all modern bedroom ideas rooted in the past? Hayley’s IVAR hack would certainly suggest so. Happy papering, one and all.

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.