In about six months I am going to be in need of some furniture. Particularly office type furniture. I really can’t get into yet, but I’m going to be making a few little kind-of-big changes around here. Good, wonderful, yet slightly nerve racking changes. Part of which includes an office/studio space for yours truly.

And even though I clearly have months and months to plan, for some reason it’s all I can think about. I’m sure some of you can relate. I’ve been waiting four years for an office/studio space. As, I’m thinking about furniture layout, I’m looking for pieces to fill the space and make it super functional and organized. (Seriously, right now all my fabric, craft, and sewing supplies are stuffed in cabinets in my dining room. Disaster!)


I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Ikea. They obviously have very practical and useful things and their prices are great, but I’ve always found their stuff to be slightly cheap and maybe a little boring. Then, confusion sets in when I see ikea furnishings being used in beautiful and practical ways. Let’s take a look…

First, the Queen of making ikea fabulous and beautiful is Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy

Her most recent space, debuted on her blog yesterday, is her husband’s home office … aka her overflow storage space. (What a sweet guy.)

Inspired By Charm

via // to see more of this space, click here

Those cabinets are too perfect, right? That’s kind of what I was thinking for my space… or something that like. In white, though.

She also used the entertainment center in her living room.

Inspired By Charm

via // to see more of this home, click here

Her style is very Scandinavia. Modern meets vintage. Clean lines meet touches of home. I love that. I’ve always had a hard time describing my own style. And while I don’t love all the details, parts of it really resonate with me. It’s comfortable. It’s home. It’s somehow neutral, but still colorful. 

Inspired By Charm

via // to see more of this home, click here

She also used a free standing kitchen cabinet as an island in her office/studio space. This is a must for my space. I also believe that glass doored cabinet in the back is from ikea as well.

I’m also swooning over how Emily of The Sweet Beast made a boring Ikea piece truly original and beautiful with a little paint and handwork.

Inspired By Charm

via // to see more of this makeover, click here

I mean, that’s fabulous, right?

Layla from The Lettered Cottage also incorporated an Ikea media center in her Presto Change-o Drawing she did for her brother-in-law.

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 via // to see more of this home, click here

And I’m also slightly obsessed with this lighting fixture.

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Maskros // via Ikea

Remember I used it in my Tea Towel Inspired Bedroom.

It’s obviously been seen all over blogland, but most notably in YoungHouseLove‘s Master Bedroom

Inspired By Charm

via // to see more of this home, click here

Do you see what I mean here? I’m torn. Ikeas options are perfect, practical, and at the right price point. But its it too cheap and junky? 

So, I’m curious, what do YOU think of Ikea? Love it? Hate it? Like it in moderation?

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  • Kristina Wing Plattner at

    I think IKEA furniture, just like any other furniture, becomes what you make of it. It can be just-out-of-the-cardboard run-of-the-mill stuff or it can be transformed. And I think you are so awesomely creative you can turn inexpensive IKEA stuff into remarkably fabulous furniture. There are some really awesome “IKEA Hacker” projects out there, too… so I say, don’t be afraid to give it a try! 🙂

  • Pat at

    I live in Northwest Arkansas, land of Wal-Mart, as you might be aware, and despise and boycott the place, well, for the most part. I became aware of IKEA while living for a short time in southern California, and loved the place. Alas there is no IKEA for 500 miles, but I am fortunate enough to have children living within the vicinty of IKEA (boston & Minneapolis). So as you can imagine, besides the museums, IKEA visits are a must. From the small items to furniture I’ve had no trouble with their products. (By the way, their clothes pins, which I do use outside and sometimes leave them on the line, hold up quite well!) and if you haven’t checked out Decor Hacks, they have cute ideas for IKEA furniture! I love that light fixture too!

  • Debby at

    When my daughter and I were recently at their store we agreed that Ikea isn’t really our style but it can just about work with anything. Alone, it may be boring but with added features like I am sure you would use, it would work well to any situation. Good luck.

  • paisley82 at

    I love Ikea. I have quite a few things from there. Bought our couch, table, and crib for the baby. I love our couch the most. It’s an L shape, the part that sticks lifts up to store blankets and pillows and the long sitting part under it there is a thing that pulls out and lifts up to make a queen bed. We bought a temper type pillow top and it feels amazing to sleep on.

  • Jeanettebr at

    I think the key with anything is to take it and make it your own…and to bring in items from all different shops, designs and trends. So IKEA works well for this. Its priced right to add the pieces you need and allows you to splurge on those wonderful vintage pieces and extra special decor and it can all come together to look beautiful. I have no doubt you could take any item and make it your own! I am anxious to see how it all turns out.

  • Dee at

    I think it’s perfect if you like to change things up once in awhile.

    For my main furniture I like something a little more substantial (real wood, good construction), but for my son’s first apartment when we needed “everything” quick — IKEA was perfect.

    AND — if you like DIY, it’s good. You’re not going to try some idea on an expensive piece of furniture, but playing around with IKEA type furniture — perfect!

  • Luci at

    I am a huge fan ok Ikea and am fortunate enough to live near 2 of them. I think the trick is to mix it up and add your own creative spin to it, which I know you will. and i’m always surprised how well it holds up.. Not junky at all. Go for it!

  • ChRiS at

    you can turn anything into what you need and your style… are just full of talent i can see you working with alot of these pieces and making it U….i can’t wait to see what you do!!!

  • Melanie at

    I’m like you with IKEA – fun and practical stuff, but yeah, cheap and boring. Thus said…I do have some IKEA pieces in my house. I have an IKEA sofa in the family room, which we love. It’s very comfortable and has worn well. Even has removable/washable slipcovers. Also have a few other IKEA pieces – a small bookcase, side table, and sofa table. Yes, they’re predictable, but with your creativity and imagination, I think you could do wonders with IKEA pieces for your office.

    I love the pictures you posted from other blogs…I’m a huge fan of Posie Gets Cozy. I just love her home and her decorating!

  • debbie @ happy little cottage at

    I love Ikea. The prices are great, and the styles adapt to almost any living space. I adore Alicia’s house. It is a REAL home 🙂 Have fun planning your office!!

  • Anonymous at

    I think you answered your own question by showing us those wonderful posts of other bloggers, what’s not to love about their style?

    Everything in moderation I say it is all in the mix, just like you would not buy a complete room from any furniture store the same goes for Ikea, buy only what you love. I think every home could use a little IKEA.


    margo (on vancouver island)

  • Victory Garden Yarn at

    I will admit I used to *loathe* Ikea. But once we really started needing more space in our tiny apartment (i.e. I started operating my business out of our living room, collecting vintage Pyrex, etc.), I embraced both the price & clean lines of Ikea furniture. Needing to store yarn, hooks & needles, finished product, and all the other little things that go along with running a handcrafted business meant I needed inexpensive & blank furniture to hide all my clutter–especially good since when I want to relax in my living room, I’m technically still in my office! I say go for it, I’ve never had a complaint about anything from Ikea!

  • Pat at

    Oh, and I love your blog!

  • Brandi at

    Ikea for sure has it’s place and can provide great options – especially on a budget! All the negatives you listed are true – add to that the fact the instructions are pictures only and the pieces can be a pain to put together. BUT, we have bought some fabulous things from IKEA. Multiple things for the kids playroom (it is a WONDERFUL space- and pretty much all IKEA), a TV stand, a perfect cabinet for DVDs (it is so pretty and perfect for what we needed), rugs, curtains for the kids rooms, and, surprisingly, real plants! We do not buy it with the intention that it will be passed down for generations. We buy it for an immediate purpose.

  • Carri at

    I kinda have the love/hate thing with Ikea too.. I have several pieces from there and I am using them.. but “some” stuff does seem a tad cheaply made. Yet some stuff is totally awesome… I think you can make a nice looking room with Ikea pieces so long as you’re careful in what pieces you use….


  • cpetrickb at

    I am new to your blog by way of Pintrest. I must say I love your Pintrest posts. I am an artist and an IKIA fan.. I kinda look at the simplicity of the lines as I would a blank canvas. Oh and Yes, some things look cheap. Just skip them and move on. There are just as many wonderful finds as there are things to avoid. And I never leave with the things I had in mind when I arrive… Always find something even better!

  • cpetrickb at

    I am new to your blog by way of Pintrest. I must say I love your Pintrest posts. I am an artist and an IKIA fan.. I kinda look at the simplicity of the lines as I would a blank canvas. Oh and Yes, some things look cheap. Just skip them and move on. There are just as many wonderful finds as there are things to avoid. And I never leave with the things I had in mind when I arrive… Always find something even better!

  • Eclectically Vintage at

    I’m torn too since I do love unique pieces and Ikea is so mass marketed (and yes, cheap)! But I do have a few pieces. Two white dining tables that I use as desks in my sunroom – pushed together to create one long (8′ desk) for my girls. They also each have the Billy bookcase in their rooms – but in the Shakespeare pattern! They are amazing – colorful and fun! I too covet that Maskros light and wanted it for my house but had no place to put it! A girl can dream. I’m sure you’ll pick the perfect pieces and mix them with things to make them look anything but boring and cheap.

  • Nethernote -Nicole Hill- at

    I think the best thing about Ikea is that like anywhere else you can get something that speaks to you–even if it softly says ‘paint me bright put me by the reading light!’

  • carol jane at

    I do not like Ikea furniture, but some of there accessories are ok. The last time I went there I came home with a package of white closet hangers. That was it. Everything looked kinda junky to me. You get what you pay for. My daughter has a few furniture pieces from there. The couch is awfully uncomfortable, and the foam in the cushions is falling apart. I would never buy a couch from there. The slipcovers wash terrible. Sorry, just do not like the quality of the stuff.

  • Lori Lehman at

    Finally gave into my husbands wish for an Ikea desk on Father’s day this year. We went to to the Sacramento CA store and he picked his desk and storage unit out. Our 14 year old son picked a TV stand/cupboard for his room. Have to admit both units look nice and have clean lines. Not going to be heirlooms : ) but everyone is happy with their new stuff. I fell in love with these baskets and can’t wait to get them! Can’t wait to see what you pick, love the way your porch looks and always look forward to your blog!!

  • Barbara at

    I too have a Love/Hate relationship with Ikea. I would say 1/2 of my home furniture is from there. I love my chairs and sofa. I love my beds. I hate the buffet I had. I had it until it warped so badly I replace it with more sturdy furniture. I must shave our kitchen table and chairs are one of the first pieces I ever purchased from Ikea. that was 20 years ago. They have moved 3 times with us and are still going strong. They even saw 3 children grow up. I would look at the construction of the pieces you are looking for. Does it have good support for the intended use. Your very creative. If Ikea is for you I’m sure you will come up with something brilliant.

  • Funky Junk Interiors at

    I’d personally much prefer to land some amazing furniture in solid wood and repaint. I love an eclectic feel anyway so I don’t mind the mismatched thing. But I realize it’s not for everyone. Ikea has a very streamlined clean look which is nice. And I know you’d take good care of it. But when you find an Ikea piece at the thrift, it’s generally in pieces! 🙂

  • Anonymous at

    I like Ikea also. Yes, it’s a bit mass produced, but it gives a wonderful backdrop to other things. I am big on their book shelves and occasional tables but not a true fan of items like couches and chairs. However my bed, my closet, china cabinet, side table in my livingroom and entertainment center are all Ikea and because they are simple and streamlined, the other items in these rooms shine.


  • Jodi at

    I am of two minds about IKEA, too. I think it contributes to waste! A lot of people throw away perfectly good furniture that could use a paint job or minor updating and buy cheap, poorly made IKEA stuff instead. That said, there are some great pieces there, too (I love what Alicia does with the basics from IKEA and makes them her own).

  • blondiesays at

    Michael, check out they have vinyl stickers for Ikea furniture. Cute and cool designs. Should be right up your alley!!

  • Kelly at

    I live 5 minutes from an Ikea and I must say that I love it. And I do love Ikea, but I’ve accepted that many of their mainly weight-bearing furniture pieces, like bedframes, some couches/chairs, etc — are very cheaply made and not worth the $.

    However, I think their storage, accessories, kitchenware (minus their pans — terrible) and textiles are amazing. If you become more fluent in Ikea, you will learn that they have higher quality lines and very low quality lines. For example, that office storage from Posie Gets Cozy is the Hemnes line. I have their dressers and they are better quality than their MALM. For my kitchen, I have a few NORDEN pieces (sidetable, breakfast table) and they are pure wood, extremely heavy, and lasting.

  • Happy Tummy Point at

    Some of IKEA furnishings do look cheap, but they’ve definitely have available some really nice pieces that I’ve used in decorating my own home. You really need to just go and see what they have. I’ve had several furnishings I was going for an ended up finding another piece that I loved and works great in my space.

    I’ve actually driven to IKEA 4 times in the last few months and each time I find something else that I love. It’s noteworthy that I live 2 hours from the closet IKEA. This last time I found a beautiful faux walnut finish billy bookshelf with 7 adjustable shelves in their as-in section. It was perfect and matched my mid-century feel. It’s now residing in my living and I love it. One of my favorite things I’ve bought from IKEA.

  • MeenyMoe at

    I love Ikea for their price and simplicity. But, I, unfortunately don’t live near one and would need to drive at least 4 hours one way to get to one. I agree that some of their pieces do look cheap and unimaginable, but as others have raved…make it your own and everything changes! I think color is the thing that Ikea lacks but that’s easily and cheaply changed with a can or spraycan of paint! Go for it! Ikea all the way!!! LOL – Karen

  • Cherry Chick at

    Save your $$ and buy some Real furniture. Like you said “it’s cheap” but it’s crap. I once wrote a blog post about my first experience with purchasing an IKEA Expedit that I titled “IKEA is not for MeA”. What a pain in the ass that I had to rustle up the boxes myself from the stock floor, maneuver it through check out and load it in my car. Then there was the whole expierence of assembling the dang thing. Never again! Look from some quality furnishing for your special office is my advice. 🙂


  • Af Smith at

    I think I prefer antiques, but I wonder if the people who think IKEA furniture is all crap have actually shopped there? It all could be crap, but do you know there are different price categories there? Like a cheapest line for the student, an inexpensive line for just starting a household, a moderate for family life, and an expensive (relatively)line. The theory is “for the many” and not everyone can afford the top line. I know the fiber board with laminated exterior stuff is kinda sucky (although kinda instant when you need it), but they have a lot of solid wood pieces too. Their “IKEA Stockholm” furniture is some of their better stuff, at least I think that (I can’t afford any of it). It isn’t custom or anything (unless you put together your own custom set and add more color or whatever), but it’s simple and easily incorporated into any setting. Pretty sure that’s the Ikea way. Don’t forget the many metal pieces too. If you need smaller industrial looking carts or drawers on casters, IKEA has some of that too. Or, just casters. Some of their stuff is great, practical, and cool. The good stuff isn’t as substantial as some fine furniture stores, that’s the Swedish though. If you’re close to an IKEA, go to the showroom and feel your way around, ask question, and really check out the furniture. Also, the reason that the prices are lower is because of the self serve concept. Sometimes a pain in the ass! Especially if you weren’t expecting it. I think you can pay someone to bring it to your house and/or put it together if you need to. Again, “for the many.” And…lol, yes, I work at IKEA.

  • Anonymous at

    I am an avid reader so all of my built-ins are filled with books. I was running out of space and wanting to redecorate our master bedroom so I decided to make a new velvet headboard and flank our bed with built in bookcases. The contractors wanted anywhere from three thousand to five thousand and I said no thank you I will do it myself. So, I went to IKEA purchased six solid wood bookcases, built them, added trim and painted the backs and now I have “custom” IKEA bookcases that look fabulous!

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