IKEA Rast dresser hacks as nightstands

March 30, 2016

How to transform the IKEA Rast dresser into a nightstand. 

I'm in the middle of finishing up two bedroom redos -- our master bedroom that has been in the works for like five years or something. Seriously, I've lost count. And the guest room that I started last year. I absolutely LOVE the direction both are going. It's funny because the styles are different but I just adore each room.

Both are close to being done but the guest room is closer. I had a few updates done to the room a couple weeks ago, including adding an overhead light (which is amazing after going without all these years!) and crown molding. It was the last room in the house other than the mudroom to get that trim and it finishes off the space nicely.

Now to the last big project in that room -- the nightstands. I tried hard to be cool with mismatched nightstands my friends. REAL hard. I can't do it. I am a lover of symmetry and I have to have matching nightstands.

So of course finding two matching in the style I want is not easy. When it comes to nightstands I love a dresser look -- and for a year now I've searched Craigslist for "small dressers" to no avail. Sometimes I can find one, but never two with the look I wanted. At least for what I was willing to pay.

Last year I did some digging on the IKEA site and found two options -- one was the Rast and one was the Tarva. Both are labeled dressers and both are available with three drawers. The Rast was out of stock at our IKEA so I ended up looking at the Tarva for our master bedroom to see how I liked them:
The size was perfect, the price was great and I knew I could dress them up. I wanted to see how I liked the quality before I went back for the Rast. 

I was pleasantly surprised -- the Tarva is kind of the "grown up" version of the Rast. It's much bigger and taller and just more substantial. The drawer mechanisms are metal and it's just more sturdy in general:

I cut down the legs for two reasons -- it was two tall with them at full height and I plan to wrap the bottom with trim. We've been using them unfinished for months now and I quite like them -- now I just need to get them painted! 

We decided to take a last minute trip to IKEA a couple weeks ago and luckily there were plenty of the Rast in stock that day. I grabbed a couple up for the guest room: 

This is the little sister version of the Tarva. ;) It's less than half the price -- only $35! It's much smaller though, and the drawer hardware is plastic instead of metal. Because these will be mostly for storage (that we'll rarely need to access), I'm not worried about that. 

I gotta say, they are pretty adorable!:

The wood is inexpensive pine so I will need a good primer for both. The Rast has a lot more knots to cover than the Tarva -- even in IKEA furniture you get what you pay for! :) 

Now to decide what I'll do with them! I've actually already come up with a general plan for the master bedroom dressers and of course when I searched hacks for this post it was probably the number one way people have updated it: 
Take the Side Street Blog 

Just changing the hardware and adding simple lattice wood to the front of the drawers makes a big difference!

I loved this version too, with the simple hardware in the middle and the wheels:

I also liked the contrast of stain and paint -- this is always a great look:

Again with the wood trim -- love that! The added base around the bottom really makes a big difference too, right? It helps to beef up this small dresser.

The Tarva is a little bigger and the ideas for this one are endless too! What a great idea for a small desk:

I think this would still be a great nightstand and would do double duty!

There are overlays you can buy for IKEA furniture -- have you seen those? They have tons of options from very ornate to small details like this one:

They are an added expense (some get pricey) but would be a great way to update it if you aren't a big DIYer.

I LOVE how the just a simple cut to the legs of the Tarva completely changes the way it looks:

It looks fantastic paired with the long, modern hardware (these are cabinets pulls you can find at the hardware store).

Great ideas, right? I will most likely go more traditional with our dressers, but I don't want to do the same thing in each room. I plan to change it up a little and I'll be sure to share what I do! Spring break will be a perfect time to tackle at least one set! (Putting them together was enough DIY for me for the time being!)

Have you used either of these dressers in your home? If you've done your own hack feel free to leave a link in the comments. They are such a great, inexpensive option for pretty nightstands -- I'll let you know over time how they hold up!

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  1. I have the Rast dressers as my night stands as well with the lattice trim added! I love them. I have the Tarva as my main dresser in my room as well. I stained them all with black stain and they look wonderful together!

  2. I had a lot of fun giving makeovers to the Rast for our bedroom nightstands! I just pained the sides white, stained the drawer fronts, added lattice trim and new knobs. I still plan to add trim to the base and possibly plank the tops! Here's my post:


  3. Wow! So many gorgeous hacks. Thank you for including my Rast dresser, Sarah! Have a great day!

  4. Hi! I hacked 2 Rasts for our guest room! They are definitely more appropriate for a room that doesn't get a lot of use. The drawers are just OK. I will check out the Tarva next time I'm at IKEA! You can see them here :)


  5. I hacked the Tarva 6-drawer dresser as our living room tv stand-it has great storage for DVDs, video game consoles, blankets, etc. I painted the frame white, stained the drawer fronts, and bought new knobs for a hint of color.

  6. These are some great ideas for personalizing your pieces. I checked out the links posted by those who commented, as well. I'll be checking back to see what you decided to do with yours!

  7. I'm looking into getting new furniture for our bedroom. I love that Tilden bed-I'm leaning toward something like that four our bed. I also want to downsize our dressers so I've been looking at the Rast as an option for nightstands so we still have some storage. A few of the same Rast hacks you showed above are ones I've been looking at. I'm not sure we can fit two of them in our room though, and I'm with you-I want matching. Thanks for the detailed information-thinking I might have to look more are the Tarva. :)

  8. My husband hacked the Rast to turn it into a card catalog nightstand!


  9. I love both of these dressers, because you can do so much with them! Here's a Rast hack from our blog, that provides a wood/faux zinc look:


  10. How tall is the Tarva now that you've cut down the legs? Our bed is pretty high, I need something at least 30 inches tall, but it's been hard to find something that tall that isn't incredibly expensive.

  11. These Ikea pieces have great bones and I've seen so many great hacks! I used the RAST in our master for night stands, I'd give them a 6 on a scale of 1-10. We don't open the drawers much, just use them for storage so they are just fine for our daily use. The surface area on the top is a bit small so these may make a relocate to another room, but they've been by our bed for 2 years! I also did a simple hack with the Hemnes dresser. Changing out the hardware gives a high end look and no one ever guesses these are IKEA! This dresser on the other hand is extremely well made, has soft closing drawers and stands up to every bit of our daily use!! Best of luck with you're projects. http://country2coastal.blogspot.com/2015/03/chinoiserie-coastal-master-masterpiece.html

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  13. I love Ikea and you're so creative!! Love this!! Now I want to start a new DIY project! Lol

    Mel | www.thegossipdarling.com

  14. This drawer would definitely look great beneath my bedroom window with blackout blinds. I love placing furniture near windows because they double as seating areas whenever I would want to enjoy looking at the outdoors. Hre are some clever updates I also do at home https://homebloggingcorner.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/clever-home-updates-you-can-try-at-home


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