Introduction: Ikea Tarva + Vittsjo TV Center Hack

I hacked Ikea Tarva dressers and Vittsjo shelves to make a 90" wide custom TV Center with faux apothecary drawers with a great deal of help from my son. It turned out better than I thought it would!

Step 1: Hack the Tarva Dressers

The Tarva dressers were assembled per Ikea instructions except for the following hacks:

1. We cut the legs off to the height of the skirt board on the dressers.
2. We cut two 1/16 - 1/8" deep grooves horizontally across the drawer fronts to give us the apothecary drawer look.
3. After assembling and finishing (Minwax gel stain and Minwax fast-drying polyurethane), I attached apothecary drawer hardware from Amazon. I first made a template the size of the drawer fronts with holes punched in it for where the screws needed to go. I placed the template and marked the holes, used a nail and hammer to make a starter hole and then attached the hardware.
4. We leveled the dressers and bolted them together. There was a groove where they met because the Tarva tops have a bevel on them so I filled the groove with wood putty before applying the stain and finish coat.

Step 2: Hacking the Vittsjo

We simply cut the Vittsjo off a little above the bottom shelf to get the height we needed. The rubber "feet" that were supposed to go on the bottom of the unit were attached to the bottom where we cut them off.

We cut boards for the shelves and notched them to fit to the uprights of the shelving units. You can see the notches in the boards in the photos. It was a little tricky putting them together but it fit perfectly and looks great!

Step 3: The Finishing Touches

I bought 3/4" square wooden dowel rods and cut them to length, then painted them with black acrylic artist paint. These were attached to the bottoms of the wood shelves above the TV to "connect" the 2 shelving units and give the appearance of a single unit. If you look closely, you'll notice that the cross-piece is missing on the top shelf at the back. We will be taking care of that tomorrow!

I made a simple fabric panel out of black broadcloth to fit the area behind the TV and attached it to the Vittsjo units using velcro. Velcro was sewn to the fabric and glued to the back of the Vittsjo with clear silicone caulk.

I'm just getting started on styling the shelves!

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