IKEA IVAR styling

Yesterday I posted some before & after photos and videos on my Instagram of the new styling I created for our IKEA IVAR cabinets, in our dining room. It was an impulse post – usually I only realize afterwards this could’ve been nice to share ha. But yesterday, I took you with me in the process and asked if you liked that sort of content. And you did! Very much so, I understood from your response. So today I made some photos and decided to follow up on those Stories with a blogpost and share a bit more of how I style a cabinet like this.

I’ve been meaning to restyle this corner for a long time, but I really have to have the right mind for stuff like that. I have to be ready to the messy part in between, where all the stuff is on the table, you probably know what I mean. So yesterday I finally felt like taking on this project, so I did! Let me show you the before:

It wasn’t bad at all, but it wasn’t very exciting to me either. I wanted it to have more texture, and some more height. So because of those demands, I immediately thought of adding coffee table books or magazines. They immediately add texture, as well as height if you stack them. But I’m getting ahead of myself, first let me show you the after:

I feel in the “after”, the items are better spread, as well as there is more diversity in the objects. I didn’t start with a completely empty cabinet, because the amplifier in the middle, and the two speakers on the side have to stay here. It’s the best place for our music and all the cords go inside the cabinets. Those were my starting points. Now let me share what I do after that:

  • I always start with greens. With every styling I include plants, and these cabinets were no exception. So, I started with the highest plant, and moved that a bit more to the right then it was before. I knew I wouldn’t use the big black art frame again, so this was my “height replacement”. It ended up basically in the middle of the cabinet, and now I had two squares on both sides of the plant left to fill.
  • Next to plants, I always work my way from bigger to smaller items. You need to start with the bigger to know how much space they take, as well as knowing if you need to add more height, or that you’re done.
  • In my case, I wanted to add at least 1 pile with (interior) magazines. For height ├índ texture. I eventually ended up with 2 piles, because I felt I needed a bit more height on both sides. Books and magazines are my top tip when it comes to adding texture.
  • The FLOS 265 wall lamp gives us light, but I wanted to add at least one more lamp. I firstly added the Murano Mushroom lamp (for sale via my shop HERE) on top of the radio. It ended up a little more to the left than I would’ve preferred, because now it’s basically the same “lighting area” as the wall lamp. But hey, if your cord simply isn’t longer, you have no choice haha! In the end I even added a 3rd light fully on the right, to create a light there, as well as height.
  • Because I am into bigger items the most, I added a big brown vase on the left, with some pampas. I added this not only for it’s size, but also because of the organic shape. I always like to mix straight and organic items together, to create an interesting view.
  • After that, I slowly work towards smaller items. I added the Frida Kahlo print again because I love that one, then a smaller plant, scented candle(s), etcetera. Usually I have quite a clear idea which items I definitely want there, and after that I just wing it.
  • When it comes to styling, it’s always good to take a step back and see what it looks like. I constantly switch between moving around/adding items, and looking at it from a distance. After I posted the photos yesterday on Instagram, I actually changed two items: the small green plant with the big brown pot left & right. When looking at it from a distance, I felt it needed to be changed, mostly because of height issues. Things will always look different from different angles, so make sure to try those out!
  • Use every surface you have! Even on the speakers & radio you can place items, it really adds interest. As a matter of fact, this will usually solve your problems with variety in height for you.

So there you have the full view! Basically styling a cabinet like this is just displaying items you like, but there are definitely a few guidelines that keep it looking good. Let me know if you like posts like this, and I will make sure to share more related posts. Thanks for reading!

Love, Marrit

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