When it comes to organization, Ikea is king.
Built-in BILLY bookcases changed the look and feel of our home office. Hemnes bookcases can be incorporated into stately mudrooms, and stacked dressers can be upcycled into beautiful custom wardrobes outfitted with MDF paneling.
And home bars? Ikea products work just dandy there too.
Before I jump right to aesthetics, a few notes regarding my research…
What I Learned About Ikea
- A lot of great Ikea products are not available in the United States. For example, Ikea makes X-shelf dividers called nornas, as well as the kantern, which essentially looks like a tick-tack-toe grid for shelves. Neither option is available in America. Even the one Etsy vendor who makes kanterns does not ship to customers in the US.
- Sometimes furniture designs have different names depending on geographical location
- When a furniture series gets discontinued (i.e. the Expedit or Effektiv) this can make the research process confusing. You'll want to find the closest relative or replacement, which in the case of the Expedit would be the Kallax.
- Different bars share a lot of the same features.
- Pretty much any type of shelving unit can be turned into a bar!
General Tips for Planning Your Ikea Bar
Take advantage of instructions from other DIY tutorials. For example, say you’re planning to incorporate a Billy bookcase. Peruse several tutorials on built-in Billy's to familiarize yourself with the building process and supply list (a base made of 2x4s, new or recycled baseboard, L-brackets, crown molding, MDF trim, caulk, paint, etc.).
Knowing how to attack the project once you’ve measured your space is half the battle.
Little details will influence your order of operations, such as:
- Will I need to install a mirror on the wall?
- How will my big pieces fit together? Can I use pieces from the same furniture series? Are the pieces strong enough to hold heavy bottles?
- Where are the studs in my wall in relation to where the heaviest pieces of furniture will go?
Get a piece of graphing paper and mark down your dimensions beforehand. I usually do a rough sketch for three reasons: a) to appease the hubby, b) to anticipate how much material I need, and c) to make sure I incorporate every design element that I want.
Upcycle pieces you already own to save money. As mentioned in my previous post, you can even use changing tables and kids’ craft tables!
Where are the Best Places for Ikea Hack Inspiration?
- Pinterest is the ultimate search engine for home design. It's a good idea to create a dream board where you can keep pins organized.
- Ikea Hackers.net has so many great Ikea projects in one place! Because contributors only need to provide a photo and a brief description, there were more entries here in the bar category than Pinterest.
- YouTube is a great resource when it comes to Ikea hacks. Many of the tutorials I needed could only be found on YouTube. I’m a very visual and audio learner, so I prefer videos over photo tutorials. I tend to get lost between steps in written blogs because I can’t see it in my mind’s eye.
- Professional Design Company Portfolios. The white kitchen featured in the post title is a great example. That’s definitely not an Ikea kitchen, but you could incorporate something very similar into your design if you’re installing your own cabinets. Houzz is another great resource for professional photos.
- Ikea Stores. Believe it or not, some of the best ideas for bar layouts come straight from the source! I love wandering aimlessly around Ikea, sharing design thoughts aloud while getting high on cinnamon scents. It's a lovely time. The Swedes clearly know how to party.
Common Organizational Elements
- Kantern (also called Divide 9) shelf dividers. Vineta at The Handyman's Daughter just posted a tutorial on making this very thing!
Under the cupboard wine brackets. Eithermetal or wood work fine.
Track lighting or puck lights.
Miniature wine fridges.
The Hutten wine rack.
The Hejne (also called the Gorm).
Ivar shelving for wine bottles.
And that concludes the second installment of Ikea Hacks for The Home Bartender series.
The first post focuses entirely on bar cart hacks, which are essential for entertaining when you don’t have the space for an actual bar. In case you missed it, you can visit that post here.
In Part 3 I'll be sharing real life examples of built-in Ikea bars. To proceed to that post, click here »»