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 our favorites under $100. Yes, you can 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 interior designer and lifestyle expert Athena Calderone of EyeSwoon, who admits she has a thing for the ubiquitous home décor brand.
"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," Calderone tells 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." And we trust Calderone's taste—just look at her Brooklyn home.
Keen to know what other pieces she buys from IKEA? Ahead, we share Calderone's picks for the best IKEA chairs, lighting fixtures, and dressers, along with those of Homepolish designer Tali Roth and other interior designers.
Meet the Expert
•Athena Calderone is a multidisciplinary creative, working as an interior designer, stylist, and creative director.
•Tali Roth is the founder of Tali Roth Interior Design, designing spaces all over the globe.
IKEA Malm Bed
"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
IKEA Grönadal Rocking Chair
"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
IKEA Ranarp Work Lamp
"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 Interiors
IKEA Sektion Base Drawers
"The matte black base cabinets in my kitchen basically act as a bold blank canvas punctuating the lower half of my kitchen," Calderone says. "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," adds Calderone.
IKEA Bosjön Kitchen Faucet
"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
*As of November 2019, the Bosjön Kitchen Faucet is not available in matte black, though is available in stainless steel.
IKEA Pokal Glasses
"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
IKEA Kaatrup Flatwoven Rug
"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 Bestâ Storage
"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." — Tali Roth
Use white against a large span of white wall to help them blend into the interior.
IKEA Kallax Shelf Unit
"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
IKEA Aina Curtains
"The number 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 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, Creative Director, Bobby Berk
IKEA Henriksdal Bar Stools
"I use the Henriksdal counter-height stool all the time," says designer Brian Patrick Flynn. "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."
IKEA Lack Shelves
"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
IKEA Volfgang Chair
"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
IKEA Kivik Sofa
"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
IKEA Hemnes Dresser
"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
IKEA Fado Table Lamp
"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 an interesting shape (tick), lets off soft and ambient light (tick), and is super affordable (tick, tick)." — Tali Roth
IKEA Gladom Tray Table
"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
IKEA Godis Glasses
"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 order Chipotle on Postmates." — Brady Tolbert
IKEA Tarno Table and Chairs
"This charming bistro table and chair set instantly transport 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." — Lindsay Pennington
IKEA Karlstad Sofa
"This sofa is one of my favorite IKEA items. It has super-clean lines and can be updated to fit any style of décor." — Kimberly Winthrop, founder of Kimberly Winthrop Interiors