We will never stop admiring the beauty of a high-end product, but our salary doesn't always accommodate the luxury price tag. Fortunately, there's one thing every stylish room has in common: the high/low mix.
The old adage rings as true in interior design as it does in all other aspects of our lives: too much of a good thing will throw off the balance. Athena Calderone, an interior designer and the founder of EyeSwoon, agrees. Too many iconic pieces in one home can appear fussy or over-styled.
It is in that clash, the opposition, the high and the low that truly makes a space your own.
"The goal when I approach a space is to ensure there's a mix," she told MyDomaine. "A touch of sophistication with something that has an edge.... It is in that clash, the opposition, the high and the low that truly makes a space your own."
Calderone isn't the only design pro who practices the high/low method. We collected IKEA-inspired designs and hacks from a number of interior design professionals to teach you how to elevate your home for less.
Add a Pop of Color
When Krystal Giardina from House of Harvee discovered she was expecting a baby boy, she knew she wanted a green dresser for the nursery. But when she couldn't find a product that matched her vision, she decided to make it herself.
To achieve the exact look she pictured, Giardina picked up the IKEA HEMNES dresser and got to work. She lightly sanded the piece, painted over the stock white stain with a shade of green, and replaced the basic black knobs with a set of slender, gold drawer pulls. This simple IKEA hack takes a minimal, Scandi base and gives it a little playful charm.
Step Up Your Style With Faux Fur
Scandinavian design blends all things warm and cozy, and Danielle from the House on Hillside Lane accomplished the aesthetic in this darling reading nook. The subtle textures on the accent chair, throw pillow, and even the artwork on the walls invite you to snuggle up with a novel and a cup of tea. To take the comfy vibes up a notch, Danielle finished the look with a RENS Sheepskin Rug from IKEA laid over a patterned HAG-01 area rug from Loloi Rugs.
Kick off your shoes, sink deep into the cushions, and stay awhile.
Beautify Your Storage
Storage is a must-have for every home, but it doesn't have to be a cluster of clear, plastic bins under the bed.
IKEA's RASKOG Utility Cart finds the balance between practical and pretty. This industrial shelf comes in white, black, and a trendy gray-green. It includes a set of four wheels for accessibility, and the metal material makes it a durable addition to any room, especially those with little ones. In this cute and cozy nursery, the versatile cart features a collection of children's books and stuffed animals.
Incorporate Organic Materials
In this stylish office, Danielle from the House on Hillside Lane blends Scandi and boho influences and tops the space off with an IKEA statement fixture overhead. The woven bamboo shade sends warm, golden light throughout the room, adding a sun-kissed finish to details like bronze, raw woods, and even happy houseplants. This accent piece is both chic and affordable, so you can elevate your design without stretching your budget too far.
Snuggle Up With a Decorative Throw
Classy, comfy, chic. This exquisite bedroom design by Amanda of Dwell Aware was featured in a MyDomaine list of beautiful midcentury modern bedrooms, so you might be surprised to find a $15 IKEA piece nestled in the middle of the room.
IKEA's YLVALI Throw adds a polished finish to this dreamy space, and especially its centerpiece: the bed. The fitted bedspread and solid white pillows feel stiff on their own, but the soft chenille throw draped casually across the top provides just the right mix of clean and cool. This cozy throw invites you to follow suit, to sprawl across the bed and chill.
Update Your Lighting
Proper lighting is imperative in design, and it can be challenging to find a piece that fits your desired aesthetic and distributes light warmly and evenly throughout a room. Karen Emile of Milk and Honey Life found the perfect balance in this IKEA HEKTAR Pendant Lamp and loved it so much, she used the same fixture in her dining room, bedroom, and living space!
The understated bell-shaped design catches your eye without dominating the design, leaving room for Emile to make more creative, playful choices in her dining chair selection and an assortment of pottery and glassware. While this product is not currently available in the shade of the beautiful beige featured above, you can purchase the same style in a modern dark gray.
Create Your Own Built-Ins
Coupled with laundry chutes and crystal doorknobs, built-ins are another frequent feature of older homes. In recent decades, however, storage has taken on new forms, so those who appreciate these old-fashioned architectural details have to find alternatives or get creative.
Kaari Sommer of The Sommer Home built her home with her husband, Tom, in 2016, but she dreamed of a wall of built-ins in the den off of her living room. To bring her vision to life, Kaari purchased four IKEA Billy Bookcases and constructed her own, custom built-ins. The crown molding and brass sconces give this fun and functional addition a little extra vintage charm.
Get Creative With Seating
Some designers prefer a more muted color palette for their homes, featuring a blend of neutral tones and natural textures. To achieve this modern aesthetic, one might gravitate towards West Elm, Article, and CB2, but IKEA products play well with these high-end brands, meeting the same look and feel without gouging your budget.
In fact, Kimberly of Lemon Leaf Interiors achieves an ultra-modern style in her home using affordable products from brands like Target, Wayfair, and Amazon. In this classy living space, she's stacked a pair of IKEA ALSEDA Banana Fiber Rattan Stools under the coffee table for added comfort and visual interest. The final result looks like a million bucks, though the sticker price is far from it!
Add a Hint of Green
Interior design trends come and go, and houseplants seem to follow a similar pattern, with money trees ruling the marketplace one year and Monsteras claiming our attention the next. Fortunately, you don't need to browse your bougie neighborhood nursery to keep up with the trends of the day; once again, IKEA has got you covered.
After you've selected your furniture and décor, round out your design with a touch of green. IKEA has a variety of houseplants you can choose from, but one low-maintenance option is their Succulent Potted Plants, available for as little as $3.99. The living room above highlights the greenery with delicate glass terrariums and a trendy cane tray.