Last week, we posted a "how to" of sorts, a guide for styling a console table. The post got me thinking about an empty space behind a sofa in my downstairs den that would be perfect for a console table (yes, the downstairs den is complete with a giant leather sofa, a flatscreen tv, and industrial grade carpet...). Not wanting to make a big investment, baby boy and I headed to Ikea, where I purchased a shiny red Malm console table.
This was my very first Ikea furniture purchase, and I can't complain! The color, style, and price fit the bill nicely.
Below, David Netto has used plain white Ikea Lack tables in a welcoming, cozy family room. Once again, on their own these tables could seem cold and boring, but with the warm tan sofa, layered rugs, and cream curtains, this space is perfectly warm and inviting.
Rule #2: Paint it!
In perhaps the greatest Ikea Hack of all times, Lindsey made over the "Rast" chest of drawers by adding some paint, some stain, and some new brass hardware. Can you believe this is the same dresser?!
The Edland bed below has been painted a cheery warm yellow! Would you ever guess that it could be yours for just $279? This is the perfect way to customize an inexpensive piece of furniture. (Yes, I think we have put the Krylon kids through college by now...)
Rule #3: There is power in pairs!
Whether it's lamps, benches, or nightstands, pairs sometimes look better than a single odd piece. We aren't advocating everything in a room being matchy matchy, but pairs can do add a certain symmetry and level of sophistication to a space. And that extra sophistication is just what you need when you are using inexpensive pieces from ikea.
You've probably seen the bedroom below a thousand times. It is the perfectly matching pair of turquoise stools at the foot of the bed that allows it to blend so seamlessly with super fancy de Gournay wallpaper.
Or how about using this matching pair of Lack side tables, at a whopping $8 each, as a pair of ottomans? The cushions on top make them the perfect place to rest your weary feet.
Rule #4: Keep it simple!
Don't buy your statement furniture at Ikea. Rather, go for basic pieces with clean lines that will blend well with your room and allow your more unique furniture and accessories really stand out. After you have made it through the Ikea maze and refueled with a cinnamon bun, you might be tempted to buy that bright stripey chair or floral slipcovered sofa. Resist the temptation! You will likely grow tired of statement pieces that scream "IKEA" and become center stage in your home. In the breakfast room below, a white Docksta table blends perfectly into the background of fabulous navy flamestitch wallpaper.
Mary McDonald for Domino
A white Lack bookcase is the perfect backdrop for Michelle Adams's brightly colored books, objects, and art. The bookcase doesn't compete with what is sitting upon it.
Michelle Adams, photographed by Patrick Cline
This Miles Redd children's bedroom uses an inexpensive white Ikea twin bed, against a backdrop of fabulous blue and white Marthe Armitage wallpaper on a Dash and Albert rug. This is a perfect example of using a simple Ikea piece so that the room's focal point is the gorgeous wallpaper.
Miles Redd in Elle Decor
In Tori Mellott's office, a simple white desk and chair create a sense of cohesion in a room full of colorful books and accessories. You notice the pops of color instead of focusing on the simplicity of the desk.
Tori Mellott for Domino