Get ready to entertain in style with this simple makeover. An easy facelift and some clever accents and you’ve got a drinks station that will grace dining room, family room, living room, library or den. It’s on wheels so take it wherever your thirst leads.

This Vintage Fir Modern Chest of Drawers from gave us a jumping off point for the design of our dresser-turned-bar-cart.

Colour check: Proof: Torkel Engstršm

As before, the affordable Tarva dresser from IKEA is the base of our makeover.


Brown Gray Mood Board

A rustic background provided by Thibaut’s Eastern Barnwood wallcovering sets the tone for our bar. Rich dark wood stain and gilded accents provide contrast.


Bar Cart Overall

Tone-on-tone pattern and dimension is created with notched drawer pulls (sand them!) and wood dowels attached to drawer fronts. The cart is given stature with black, gray, gold, and rich wood accents.

Here’s how you can do it:

Cut notches along center top edge of each drawer large enough to reach in with your hand; they will serve as your drawer pulls.

Stain drawer pieces and the ½-inch X 48-inch square poplar dowels (we needed about 32 for our project). Let dry.

Assemble the dresser but do not attach the feet that are supplied with the dresser.


Detail of dowels on front of dresser

Cut dowels to the length of the drawer height, cutting shorter pieces for beneath the notches.

Lay the dresser on its back. Using a square edge and/or yardstick, plot dowels vertically on the drawer fronts with even spacing between each piece. Use a framing square, yardstick, or spacer for even, straight lines. Adhere dowels with wood glue.

This kind of work allows you to have that Zen time you’ve been looking for. It’s  almost mindless.


Attach bar cart casters for mobility

When the wood glue is thoroughly dry, attach four casters to the base for free-wheeling cocktail service.


Bar cart towel bar handle

Attach an extra-long drawer pull along one side, as shown, to use as a cart handle and a handy place to hang a bar towel.


Bar top detail

Gilded and glass accents offer shimmer and shine atop the rich wood cart.


faux wood Wall treatment detail

Deeply embossed wallpaper mimics reclaimed barn wood and provides a rustic foil for gold-painted and silver frames.

This is one of our favorite looks.


Chair fabric detail

The suzani-pattern fabric in grays and browns updates a vintage midcentury dining chair and blends beautifully with the collection of rich neutral hues.

And there you have it. A rich, luxurious-looking posh-people bar made of an IKEA dresser. Who knew?!

Show us your IKEA hacks in the comments below.

Produced by Meredith Ladik
Photography by Chris Hennessey

Product Sources
  • ½-inch x 48-inch square poplar dowels
  • Valspar Brilliant Metal Gold and Metallic Oil-rubbed bronze spray paints
  • 2-inch rubber swivel casters—Lowes Home Improvement:
  • Stain—Express Color in Walnut:
  • Walls—Eastwood barn wood-look wallpaper from the Texture Resource Volume 4:
  • Cabinet pull: 11-5/16″ Artesia Pull, Part#: P16695C-SBZ-C:
  • Sunshine mirror:
  • Rug—Laced Links Dhurrie Rug in Taupe and Charcoal, 5X8, XR1120
  • 0508TP:
  • Chair seat fabric:
  • Drapes and Gold lacquer tray:


© Caruth Studio

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