Uncategorized February 28, 2024

Cheap and Chic: 7 Ikea Pieces Designers Use (and Love)

For decades, Ikea has been churning out stylish, minimalist furniture and accessories that come with affordable price tags. Because of this, the Swedish brand is a favorite among new homeowners, cash-strapped renters, and, yes, even professional designers.

Katie Zimmerman, owner and principal designer at Zimmerman Interiors, in Bowling Green, KY, says one of the best things about Ikea furniture is that many of its pieces are customizable. “Whether it’s adding a new coat of paint or swapping out hardware, there are plenty of ways to make these pieces your own,” she says. “This not only allows you to create a unique look in your home, but it can also help your furniture last longer and stay looking great.”

From luxury-looking sofas that don’t break the bank to a wildly popular pendant light, here are the Ikea pieces that design experts can’t recommend enough.

1. Billy bookcase

Above: The Billy Bookcase.

Carlie Rice, designer and social media manager at Havenly, shares that she loves the Billy bookcase because it’s both simple and customizable.

“These bookshelves are the sneaky, secret way to get built-ins in your space without taking a large chunk out of your bank account,” Rice says.

Rice points out that you can combine various sizes and paint them—an especially stylish tactic when you want to create picture-perfect nooks in offices, hallways, and playrooms.

Zimmerman agrees that the Billy bookcase is a must-have piece. “These can be transformed to appear custom with molding, doors, and sleek hardware,” Zimmerman says. “The appeal is the versatility and the look-for-less results.”

2. Kallax shelves

Above: Ikea’s Kallax Shelves.

If you’re looking to install shelving in your home, go for Ikea’s Kallax units, recommends Rachel St. Amour, principal partner and owner of Van Saint Group, in Baltimore, MD. “Ikea just debuted a stand for these shelves—and talk about a design game-changer,” she says.

St. Amour also mentions that the 1-foot-by-4-foot Kallax configuration can easily be made into an entryway bench. “Pop it onto the stand, add a cushion from Etsy, and you have a custom, one-of-a-kind bench,” she says.

The Kallax is great for storing shoes, hats, and other accessories. “You can even paint these to match any design aesthetic—just don’t forget to use a lacquer-based primer first,” St. Amour says.

Mike Semegen, owner and project manager for Hello Home Studios, in Kelowna, BC, Canada, is also a fan. “This is a versatile and stylish shelving unit that can be used in many different ways,” Semegen says. “You can easily combine several of them to create a storage unit wall.”

Kallax shelves are also useful as a room divider, bookshelf, or TV display unit.

3. Soderhamn sofa

Above: The Soderhamn Sofa.

If you’re looking for a sofa with a luxurious aesthetic, similar to the popular Neva sofa from furniture company Sixpenny, check out Ikea’s Soderhamn sofa. This couch, available in five shades, is design-forward while still being reasonably priced.

“The Soderhamn sofa is great, because it has a unique design with right and left armrests that can be exchanged,” says Carmelo Carrasco, an interior designer, real estate agent, and co-founder of Axel Property Management, in Allentown, PA.

Because of its versatility, the Soderhamn sofa can easily fit into any living room.

4. Pax closet system

Above: The Pax System.

Another of Zimmerman’s favorite Ikea pieces is the Pax closet system. “This is a great option for anyone looking to create a high-end, built-in closet system without breaking the bank,” she says.

With the right molding, paint, hardware, and planning, you can transform this budget-friendly piece of furniture into your own.

“Plus, it offers a ton of storage space, which is always a plus when it comes to selling a home,” Zimmerman adds.

5. Harlanda armchair and 6. Ekkronmal throw blanket

Above: The Ekkronmal Blanket (at left) and Harlanda Armchair (at right).

If you’re in the market for a well-made armchair, Rice recommends Ikea’s Harlanda option. This timeless piece of furniture is available in six colors and can be used in living rooms, bedrooms, and dens. “We often see similar, if not identical, items in stores like Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn,” Rice says. “This is a price point you can feel good about while still making sure you get a classic silhouette that feels and looks expensive.”

Ikea is also a great option for inexpensive home accessories, such as throw blankets. “Why are cute throws so expensive?” says Rice. “They don’t have to be!”

For an affordable throw that only looks pricy, Rice recommends the Ekkronmal blanket. “I love that this one adds a pop of color that feels warm, inviting, yet still subtle,” she says. “Pair it next to a vase of fresh sunflowers.”

7. Sinnerlig pendant lamp

Above: And Ikea’s Sinnerlig Pendant Lamp.

If you want to elevate a bedroom or dining room, pick up the Sinnerlig pendant lamp. Easy to integrate into many different aesthetics, this lightweight fixture adds character to any room. “It makes a statement that would look just as great in a coastal dining nook as it would in an organic-modern bedroom,” says Rice, noting that for $129, the Sinnerlig is an excellent size for the price.

N.B.: This article by Brittany Natale has been syndicated from Realtor.com; see the original here.

And for more Ikea finds, we suggest:

* Remodelista Reconnaissance: A Woven Floor Lamp in an Architect’s Home Office

* Ikea Finds: Sculptural Lights by a Dutch/Kiwi Designer, All Under $100

* High/Low: A Liberty-Esque Duvet, Two Ways | BidBuddy.com