From your first apartment to your dream home, there's one décor brand that makes its way into every interior along the way: IKEA. The Swedish giant has perfected the art of fashion and function with its minimalistic collection that walks a fine line between classic and on trend—you should see its new nature-inspired line. Achieve that coveted high/low mix by pairing an IKEA stool with an iconic designer pendant light, or make a popular piece your own with a chic IKEA hack à la Athena Calderone of EyeSwoon, who admits she has "a thing for IKEA."
"The truth is, like it or not, we all operate on a restricted budget when it comes to designing, picking, and choosing where to splurge and where to save," she told MyDomaine. "I have used the IKEA Malm bed in both my city and beach house, and IKEA's matte black kitchen cabinetry (sadly discontinued) in my Amagansett home. That said, I have always customized, reimagined, and reworked these pieces and, in doing so, elevated the overall look." Keen to know what other pieces she buys from IKEA? Ahead, we share Calderone's top picks, along with those of Emily Henderson, Homepolish's Tali Roth, and more.
"Bottom line: This bed is an unbelievable design. It's clean-lined, minimalistic, and priced oh so right. That said, I always prime and paint IKEA beds. In the master bedroom of my Amagansett home, I wanted to make a statement in bold contrast to the pale room, and I chose to paint the Malm bed a strong graphite gray to complement the industrial ceiling fan and wall sconces. The bed adds a punchy presence to the space yet it isn't the focal point. In my DUMBO loft, I did the exact opposite. I painted the bed frame the exact color of the wall so that a monochromatic serenity washes over the room. Essentially the bed disappears into the wall." — Athena Calderone, founder of EyeSwoon
"This gorgeous piece looks stunning adorned with a cushion or sheepskin. It's the perfect chair for any space, be it a bedroom or living room. This sleek Scandinavian take on a classic rocking chair is beautifully crafted and has the most unique shape and coloring. I particularly love this guy for a reading nook in the bedroom." — Tali Roth, residential designer for Homepolish
>"The size, price, and quality of this product are what makes it a winner for me. We have used it over and over, and because of the simple pattern and black-and-white palette, it is totally timeless and can be used with so many different styles." — Emily Henderson, director of Emily Henderson
"Brass is everywhere these days, but I love it most when it's mixed with other metals. As lighting is often considered the 'jewelry in a room, this piece strikes the perfect balance: It has pizzazz but isn't too blingy, and the finish is contemporary but still elegant. This lamp would be perfect in a home office that doubles as a guest bedroom. It does double-duty as the perfect task light but is still chic enough to impress visitors." — Lindsay Pennington, founder of Lindsay Pennington
"The matte black base cabinets in my kitchen basically act as a bold blank canvas punctuating the lower half of my kitchen," she said. "I applied black leather straps as the hardware to the doors and drawers. The leather offers a natural material that is softer and will wear over time.
"Choose to spend your dollars on fantastic bedding and swoon-worthy decorative pieces for your kitchen, but where and when you can, IKEA offers incredible design and a starting point for you to add your own personality in a variety of ways. I am a huge fan of IKEA customization." — Athena Calderone
>"I am not an organized person. In theory I am, but I would much rather spend my days talking about boys and design than putting all of my stuff away. So these lidded storage boxes seem to keep my hoarding in check while still providing storage for those things that I just can't seem to throw away or organize." — Brady Tolbert, editorial director of Emily Henderson
"This gorgeous find has such a beautiful shape. It's also a real money saver for anyone doing a kitchen renovation. No need to spend hundreds on a feature matte black fixture when an IKEA version looks this stylish." — Tali Roth
"Let's face it—everyone is looking for the perfect glass cup, and this is it. Ideal for serving juice in the morning, water during the day, and wine at night, it nests naturally into the dishwasher (no stubborn stems) and is so affordable that you can buy it in bulk. It's casual but not boring. Modeled after the famous French Picardie bistro glass, its classic style works in any setting (even as a delicate bud vase on a nightstand)." — Lindsay Pennington
"The graphic quality of this rug makes a modern statement without being too busy or overwhelming. Though mostly neutral in hue, it has bands of color that elevate it from basic into fun and playful territory. I've used it in the office of a young female executive to counterbalance bright artwork and accessories, but it would be adorable in a playroom or as an anchor between two twin beds in a children's bedroom." — Lindsay Pennington
>"IKEA has fabulous storage units and media consoles. I removed the legs for my Columbus Circle apartment project. These guys are fabulous used in a line of more than one, as they start to look like built-ins. They have tons of storage and come in all different finishes to suit every interior. Use white against a large span of white wall to help them blend into the interior." — Tali Roth
>"It's minimalistic and can house books, art, and display objects in a symmetrical, organized fashion. It can accentuate or highlight the items within rather than the shelving unit itself, and because it's modular, you can also add cabinet inserts." — Lara Fishman, principal designer for Storm Interiors
>"The amount of times I've been asked for a recommendation of good, inexpensive, and not-cheap-looking white curtains is staggering. These Aina curtains from IKEA are always my top suggestion. They are are a soft linen, and at $60 for a pair, you cannot beat the price. I love that they come extra long, too, which allows you to hang them almost at ceiling height and give your room the designer look without paying top dollar for custom linen curtains." — Brady Tolbert
>"These used to come in both white and beige (and I still see them sometimes in store), but their new gray color is awesome as well. They are oversize, simple, and work great when styling out your couch, bed, or any bench. And you can't beat the price." — Emily Henderson
>"I use the Henriksdal counter-height stool all the time," he said. "To take it to the next level, I usually have my workroom sew a custom slipcover with a fun print or a super-textural solid. You end up with a stool that looks like it cost over $1K, and all in, it's only about $150." — Brian Patrick Flynn
"I have used these floating shelves countless times. I love how they have this ability to look chic and expensive yet also blend into the wall. I use them to fill a space out properly. Here we used a minimalistic bracket for reinforcement and loaded them up with books. They look custom-made." — Tali Roth
"This chair looks (and feels) far more expensive than it costs. Obviously it's perfect for the dining room, but it could be repurposed as a desk chair or even additional seating in a living area for parties. The fabric is neutral enough to work with both cool and warm tones, so it fits right into any interior design scheme. A steal at twice the price." — Lindsay Pennington
"These suckers are super cheap and good. They have a good, deep profile that feels modern and simple, and when mixed in with other custom or more expensive frames, they don’t look cheap. I particularly love the square shadowbox-style frame with the deep inset. It immediately elevates whatever you put in there. I've even had a mat cut for four Polaroids, and I floated them in the middle. It looked totally custom and expensive." — Emily Henderson
"The Kivik sofa in the basic white fabric mixes well with just about anything. I used two of these in my country house and surrounded them with super-high-end elements, and everyone assumed they were Italian modern sofas. They're really chameleon-esque." — Brian Patrick Flynn
"The Hemnes dresser is a classic by now, and for good reason. Impossibly well priced, it provides ample storage and has a great scale. The drawer knobs easily can be changed to personalize the look to suit almost any interior style. Though typically seen in bedrooms, I would put it in a dining room to stash away placemats, serving pieces, napkins, and extra silverware. Even with two lamps on top to add a dinnertime glow, there's still plenty of space on the surface to serve buffet-style." — Lindsay Pennington
>"I use this guy in almost every job I have! He looks great on many surfaces. He is a practical piece of styling, as he has interesting shape (tick), lets off soft and ambient light (tick), and is super affordable (tick, tick)." — Tali Roth
>"I love this piece! The color the shape and the simplicity all speak to me and work with so many other materials (light/dark woods, brass, velvet, chrome etc). This is the perfect movable side table that can also work as a sofa table. This shade of green is very on trend and works with all neutrals, grays, blacks, and whites." — Tali Roth, residential designer for Homepolish
>"I am very much into the idea of affordable dinnerware and glassware, probably because I drop a glass or break a dish every time I try and wash them. So I keep these guys stocked in my cupboard at all times, and when I do end up breaking one, I can head out to IKEA and grab another set for cheaper than I can Postmate Chipotle." — Brady Tolbert
"This charming bistro table and chair set instantly transports you to the streets of Paris, people-watching while sipping a cappuccino. It would be adorable on a balcony or nestled in a garden, but it would also provide the perfect punch of color in an exterior entryway. I'd add two cushions to the chairs in a color that complements the rest of the interior and let that lipstick red do the rest." — Lindsay Pennington
What is your favorite IKEA piece of all time?
This story was originally published on September 28, 2016, and has since been updated.