Published on May 10th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Varde Island with mosaic front panel

Materials: Varde, glass tile, grout

Description: My husband and I purchased a 1960′s split level that recently had the kitchen revamped – but not in a style we liked. The original island was too small for the kitchen, looked out of place and didn’t offer additional seating.

After purchasing new appliances, painting the cabinets and a trip to Ikea – our kitchen looks thoroughly modernized and we love our Ikea island!

The island is a VARDE base cabinet unit, which we topped with one of Ikea’s oversized butcher blocks. Then I tiled and grouted its original melamine white front with the same glass mosaic tile we used as our backsplash.

You can’t quite tell in the picture, but the butcher block top overhangs the base unit, which allows for three stools to fit perfectly underneath it.

Ikea products used in kitchen: VARDE cabinet, VARDE cabinet handles, NUMERAR countertop, GRUNDTAL shelving, and Ikea stools (that I can’t find the name to).

~ K Lonnstrom

More hacks on

The Frost(a) Sledge
Bedroom malm nightstand and Pax TV stand hack

The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

18 Responses to Varde Island with mosaic front panel

  1. DIY4US DIY4US says:

    Thanks for sharing your creative use of the VARDE. We considered building an island from cabinets (as shown in IKEA stores), but in the end opted to hack the STENSTORP because we preferred freestanding & also had a fairly small space to work with. There is a flat panel on the underside there which I had not considered decorating. But I’m inspired by your hack.

  2. Anonymous says:

    OMG it’s amazing! I could never tell it was the same kitchen. Im really inspired by your kitchen, thanks for publishing it.

  3. Mad Mod says:

    I found this when I Googled Varde. Without realizing it I’m stealing your kitchen. Well, at least the look of your kitchen. We had nearly identical kitchens to start with and the end result of mine will eventually look a lot like yours!

  4. Anonymous says:

    love it!!!

  5. Ruth says:

    Did you combine 2 counter tops to make a wide one or did you order it tht wide?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very nice, not sure about the wall color though, the grey really darkens the room, and kitchens are supposed to be bright.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great job! Love the mosaic touch. Iam an artist and love ‘details’ so I’m also drawn to VARDE series…with plans of painting ;)

  8. Liz Martineau says:

    do you have any great tips for painting cabinets? My kitchen desperately needs the same modern update. Love this!

  9. Anonymous says:


  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for eliminating another piece of “ugly” from our world! With enough resistance we will prevail!

  11. Susan says:

    Looks great. I also like that the island isn’t painted. Adds more warmth to contrast the white.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Love it! Typical drab cabinets before, amazing effect after. Not easy to make it chic, practical, sixties and modern all at the same time, but you did it.

  13. Darlene says:

    What a great transformation! I actually like the fact that the island is a different colour from the cabinets, it adds a layer of warmth to the area.

  14. Keira says:

    That looks absolutely fantastic, especially all the mosaic. What I can’t figure out, though, is why you didn’t paint the island white to match all your other cabinetry?

  15. marikorose says:

    Really love your reno/update! Especially the mosaic tiles, which just take the island to a whole new level. Fantastic idea! :-)

  16. phin says:

    Now that is a beautiful kitchen! I would have never thought to remove that side set of cabinets and add exterior shelving. A job well done!

  17. becky says:

    Wow, what a difference the painted cabinets make! nice job.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey, great idea :) beautiful …

    How big (m2) is this area ?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑