Do you ever walk into a stylish space and mentally try to decipher storied or custom pieces from those that were shipped in a flat pack from IKEA? That’s a cool game to play, right? IKEA, arguably Sweden’s finest contribution to the 20th and 21st century (I kid…?), has become a mecca of sorts for the broke-twenty-something-who-has-no-furniture folk to the high-caliber tastemaker fold, and for good reason: there is literally something for everyone.
If you’re like me and get your kicks from decor guessing games, then you’ll probably be interested to know what pieces interior designers turn to time and time again, whether to meet a budget or because the pieces themselves really are that good (hello, the Stockholm Series!). Here, eight interior experts shell out their IKEA go-to’s and weigh in on why they just can’t quit these perennially versatile and accessible staples.
“I think this cabinet looks 10 times as expensive as its price. The brass handles elevate the relaxed and breezy vibe of the rattan, making it extremely adaptable but eternally chic. And the scale is pretty much perfect.” — Max Humphrey, Designer
“I love these casually draped over kitchen chairs or upholstered pieces. They add a layered feel and can disguise worn-out or stained upholstery.” — Megan Pflug, Blogger and Expert DIYer
“The minimalistic black bookshelf is common at first, but when I spray paint it gold and accessorize it with a client’s personal items, it takes on an all-new, high-end look. I’ve used this hack in so many of my projects; I’m afraid they’re going to catch on!” — Mikel Welch, Designer and TV Personality
“This sleek design is a unique piece for a family room or patio setting. Add a cushion or throw pillow to personalize it to your space.” — Monika Hibbs, Founder and Creative Director of MonikaHibbs.com
“We’re often looking for a small side table to pair with a chair that feels understated and can help support the other pieces in the room that have a lot of personality. These tables are perfect because they are sleek and can be used alone or nested together.” — Tina Ramchandani of Tina Ramchandani Creative
“This may very well be my most favorite new IKEA introduction. The clean-lined dowel posts and slight nod to a mid-century aesthetic make it super versatile but also still on trend. I love that it comes in a natural finish because that makes it customizable! I had this one stained a medium brown with a slight gray wash and it looks like a million dollars.” — Kate Lester of Kate Lester Interiors
“There is no better coffee table under $50. In white it looks sleek and understated. No one will ever guess that is just $49! Great, effortless style for a steal.” — Jeanine Hays of AphroChic
“Ikea does a really good and inexpensive throw, like these two graphically striking ones. The Amalie (the black-and-white one above) alone could add that bit of contrast for a space that’s lacking one, and the Ormhassel brings an easy lightness to a more sophisticated, tailored setting.” — Max Humphrey, Designer
“Especially in space-crunched Manhattan, I’m a big believer in storage that doesn’t necessarily look like storage furniture, and the Lillangen High Cabinet with mirrored doors totally fits that bill. This wall-mounted piece has the look of something much more architectural, and it gives much pricier modern cabinets a serious run for the money.” — Patrick J. Hamilton of Ask Patrick
A Must-Know List For Renters
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