Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Ikea Debate

(, ikea sofa with DIY slipcover)

(client entry, ikea dresser. progress shot, ignore the plant that hasn't be re-potted ;O)

(my apartment, ikea bookcases)

(interior designer michael bargo's apt in domino magazine. ikea dining table)

My feeling about Ikea is that 92% of it is crap, but the remaining 8% is great. When people say they're 'too old' for or 'above' Ikea I think it's a little silly. I see their products in beautiful designed spaces all the time.

The bottom line is setting up an apartment can cost a lot of money and the best way to get a beautiful and affordable result (even when you understand that 'affordable' is a relative term), is to do a careful mix of high and low end pieces. As a renter for over 10 years, I chose to spend money on accent furniture and decorative things, things that I've been able to take with me and successfully use in each space.

Do you have Ikea pieces in your home?


belledame said...

i actually had to think about that and look around a bit. i don't have any ikea furniture, although i did buy a 24" dining table from them in '97. it was too small to sit at. i just used it for a surface in my kitchen for several years. i do have some unused frames, a canvas wall hanging, sheer curtains and a few candleholders.

my furniture is not expensive or high quality but it is a mix of Pier 1, Target, West Elm, and some pieces you can order from various e-tailers.

Anonymous said...

It's about what works, what holds up over time, and what you love. For me, it has to be very prsctical, or it's gone.

We bought Ikea Pong Chairs for temporary use while waiting to decorate. Now we use them at our summer house. They're sturdy and comfy.

I have a Pier 1 glass table that I love, and a wire mesh nightstand sized dresser from Bed Bath and Beyond that everyone who stays in the guestroom wants to tke home with them.

laura said...

exactly. it's not about buying into a store's whole identity, but picking out a select piece that is nice.

sunny said...

I do have some ikea pieces..and some fabrics -

I love my two expedit bookcases, the simple white ikea desk, and the colorful kitchen accessories and linens that brighten up my apartment.

It's a day trip to and from IKEA but it's a treat to visit there.

Not sure I'd want an entire apartment done in IKEA but wish it had been around when I was in college....would have had a much cooler, organized dorm room!

Anonymous said...

I think, like you said, it depends on the piece. It really bothers me from an aesthetic point of view when you can tell exactly where something came from - and a lot of Ikea stuff is very identifiable.

That being said, I have Ikea metal bookcases (I stole the idea from you!), and a giant canvas map, and a desk (bought as separate legs and an unfinished top) from there. My bed is also Ikea. None of these things seem to scream Ikea to me, and they're all simple enough - with the possible exception of the bed, which was bought as a stand-in until I find something I really love.

My other furniture comes from all sorts of places, nothing hugely expensive, but tends to be pretty simple and neutral. The things I've bought from Ikea tend to follow that vein...

aiisa gulko said...

ikea in my house? Yes: the falstabo couch (discontinued years ago), but recovered it in my own fabric; a malm dressing table which i use as a desk - both bought in the as-is dept; as well as a few grundtal shelves (in both kitchen and in bath) which I like to call the "poor man's" train rack; my duvet cover, and finally 2 hyliss metal shelves (same as in your living room). Can't wait til I can customize them (drill holes in the supports to love the shelves) and turn them into sofa side-table height shelving units!!

It's all about the mix. No one ever comes in my apt and says oh, wow, ikea. When I lived in my previous apartments, the effect was even less noticeable because I had a lot more MCM furniture, but now that I've downsized spaces and sold the pieces which were out of scale, I appreciate the fact that I've been able to repurpose pieces till I find the "perfect" pieces for my current space.

Raena said...

We have a 3 inch flower pot from Ikea. That's it. Although, admittedly, I've been looking through their catalogs for years.