IKEA probably wouldn’t have become such a cultural phenomenon without its super competitive prices. I mean, the Swedish meatballs and stylish Scandinavian housewares are certainly part of the equation, but when you’re looking to furnish as quickly and inexpensively as possible, it’s a no-brainer to shop at IKEA. You're sure to make the most of your time and money.
But over the years, IKEA has low-key become kind of high-design, at least when it comes to some of their newer pieces and collaborations with partners like Ilse Crawford, Sonos, Acne, and the forthcoming OFF-WHITE. Sure, they’re still peddling the basic MALM dressers and LACK tables we all probably had in our first post-college homes, but they also offer a bunch of pieces that are pretty darn awesome—especially for the price—and worth keeping in your home for the long haul.
Need a little proof? I asked a handful of designers what IKEA items they have in their homes. And if it’s good enough for a professional designer, it’s good enough for me. Here’s what to look for on your next IKEA run.
“We love the SEKTION cabinet system and made a custom credenza for our home office. We used Ikea's white laminate countertop and added our own acrylic legs and brass pulls on the doors to customize the pieces even more.” —Abbe Fenimore, Studio Ten 25
“My favorite IKEA product has to be the EKET modular storage range. Long gone are the days of the chunky KALLAX shelving unit. Now, the possibilities are endless with this stylish and versatile collection. With different module depths, sizes and on-trend colors, you can be more creative than ever before. —Juan Sandiego, Boreal Abode
“I have IKEA pieces in my home and love them! They are so practical for our lifestyle right now because of my young kids. The thought of spending a large chunk of money on custom draperies makes my stomach hurt, especially knowing that dirty hands will inevitably stain them. The LENDA curtains are simple, neutral, brighten our room, and are budget friendly.” —Ashley Moore, Moore House Interiors
"One of my favorite pieces to use from IKEA is the BILLY bookcase with or without OXBERG doors. They give the appearance of better made furniture, come in different finishes, and can fit into any décor style." —Doreen Amico-Sorell, Sorell Interiors
“RIBBA frames come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so they're great on their own or as part of a gallery wall. The lines are straight and clean—very Scandinavian minimalist—so they go with any décor style. They stand back and let the art shine. Plus, they come in white and black and are very inexpensive.” —Nicole Alexander, Siren Betty Design
“The LOHALS rug is such a great size and is perfect for layering with a smaller antique rug. I have had two of them in my home and in my studio for years. They wear well and remind me of a timeworn beach villa. The price is amazing, and I can vouch that it has survived two babies, a cat, and a dog!” —Maggie Griffin, Maggie Griffin Design
“We have an old baker’s table that is 12-feet long and 5-feet wide—it’s an amazing piece. Since we had such a large table, we knew we needed large lighting to help balance it out, so we went with the 19-inch HEKTAR pendant lamps in dark grey from IKEA. They are inspired by old factory style lighting, and we were going for an industrial vibe, so we loved them and their price!“ —Amy Arbogast, Vintage Nine Two Eight
“The STOCKHOLM Sofa is so good. It can be styled in so many different ways, and the cover can be removed for dry cleaning. We have this sofa in red in our kid’s media room, and it is super comfy—I've even fallen asleep on it a few times. And it’s durable. I have walked in to find kids buried under pillows, sitting on the arms, wrestling with our doggie, Lola, on it and even standing or jumping off it, which we don’t ‘allow,’ but it’s great to know they don’t seem able to destroy it.” — N’Ckyola “Nikki” Green, Xtraordinary By Design