10 Buys Under $20 You Won't Believe Are From IKEA 


Original Illustration: Stephanie DeAngelis

Since moving into my very first apartment with my S.O. last month, I've been deliberating over which items are best to splurge or save on. Given it's a rental, I know there's no point in spending my entire paycheck on high-end wares that might not suit my next home, but I still want the space to reflect my personality. If you're in the same position, I've found it helps to answer these three questions to decide whether it's worth the investment:

  1. Will the item be exposed to a lot of wear and tear?
  2. Is it specific to the specs of your current apartment?
  3. Is it very trendy and of the moment?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's probably a sign that you should opt for inexpensive versions of the décor pieces you're looking for. Why? Accessories in key traffic areas, like runner rugs in a hallway, will likely need to be replaced regularly, you'll probably donate or sell apartment-specific furniture when you move into a new home, and trends come and go. It's more worthwhile to spend your money on timeless pieces you'll love for years, not a season.

With this in mind, I've scanned IKEA for the best items that cost $20 or less, which are perfect to save money on. Spanning trend-specific sconces and practical baskets to stash under your bathroom sink, they're no-brainers. This is exactly what you should buy with $20 at IKEA.

How do you decide whether to splurge or save on décor?