It's no secret that our editors frequently shop at IKEA. Stocked with budget-friendly decor that looks surprisingly expensive, the Swedish retail giant is our go-to source for affordable Scandinavian design. With a new season rapidly approaching, it almost goes without saying that the desire to revamp our spaces is palpable — but because no one wants to drain their bank account redecorating for spring, naturally, we're turning to our favorite budget home decor authority to transform our space on a dime.
To really show us how it's done, we tasked five interior designers with a challenge: Overhaul an entire space using just five items from IKEA — and they did not disappoint. Spanning the living room to the dining room and even the bathroom, these spaces demonstrate that a small budget shouldn't be a barrier to furnishing a stylish home. Keep scrolling to shop the pros' IKEA decor picks, including an oh-so-chic coffee table that's under $200, a high-end-looking armchair that's shockingly cheap, and a $10 organizational tool that'll change the way you cook.
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Sure, we'd love to invest in a statement sofa to embrace the curved furniture trend, but some design fads simply aren't within the scope of a reasonable redecorating budget. (Psst ... modern traditional design is on the rise again, anyhow.) To show us how to furnish an entire living room on a dime instead, we tapped Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors to share her top five IKEA decor finds for the space. Keep scrolling to shop her picks, including a chic-to-death coffee table that's under $200.
"This sofa has clean traditional lines and feels like a high-end custom sofa. It's a great blank canvas to paint on. Just add some fun pillows and a throw!"
"Once again, this coffee table is a great blank canvas to work with. I would add coffee table books, a flower arrangement, and a bowl or other small item, and done!"
"This woven chair will add a lot of interest and texture to the space and looks surprisingly high-end! It may need a sheepskin throw or cushion to complete the look."
"A jute rug is always my go-to when in doubt, but I love that this one has the interesting but subtle black pattern to it. I would tie in these details with a black bowl on the coffee table."
"I've been super into pleated lampshades used in a modern way, so when I saw this I had to include it! It still has a traditional feel of standard floor lamp, but the unique shade offers a little more flare."
LIVING ROOM TOTAL: $1,120.99
When it comes to decorating a bedroom on a tight budget, it's all about selecting items that serve dual purposes (think a freestanding mirror that doubles as a miniature closet ) and layering textures to add visual interest (think a tasseled throw strewn across the foot of your bed). To show us how it's done, we tapped San Fransisco-based designer Nicole Newkirk to find out which IKEA decor she'd add to her cart to make the most of this space — including a high-end-looking armchair that's shockingly cheap.
"This chair is super cute! It doesn't even look like an IKEA chair, which can sometimes be nice when you're designing with pieces high and low. I would keep the styling simple, add a ball pillow and cute olive tree next to the chair."
"Some people either don't have room for a nightstand or just don't want one altogether. This is such a space-saver: a wall-mounted nightstand that won't budge."
"Every bed needs a good throw blanket. If you don't have any pattern on your bed, a throw blanket is a good place to start."
"Floor mirrors are a staple in a bedroom. Especially ones like this where you can move it around your space if needed. If you have a small space, this also doubles as a clothes hanger in the back."
"Don't have a closet? A clothing rack is the best way to display your favorite pieces in your closet."
BEDROOM TOTAL: $370.97
Contrary to what you might think, you don't need to undertake a major renovation project in order to overhaul your bathroom. While installing new tile will undeniably alter the entire look of the space, a few small tweaks can make the room feel surprisingly fresh, too. Ahead, Portland-based interior designer Max Humphrey shows us how to upgrade the space with just $75 worth of IKEA decor.
"Brass is still my favorite hardware finish and I like mixing metals, so I'd use these cool hooks in a bathroom with black or a nickel plumbing fixtures."
"Why settle for boring white towels when you can have pink or green ones? Bonus: Either of these colors would look super dope with the brass towel hooks above!"
"I've swapped out the basic bathroom lighting fixtures in every apartment I've ever rented. This sconce is great because it works when hung horizontally over the mirror as well as vertically on the side of a mirror."
"I love these little cork organizers. Perfect for your jewelry or nail clippers (or your happy pills). Cork is a renewable material, too!"
BATHROOM TOTAL: $74.96
The arrival of spring marks the unofficial start of al fresco entertaining season, but we'd be remiss if we didn't advocate giving your indoor dining space an overhaul. After all, now's the time to stash away that jewel-tone table runner and embrace one in a seasonally appropriate shade instead. Here, Los Angeles-based interior designer Natalie Myers of Veneer Designs demonstrates exactly how to furnish the space for less than $1,000 at IKEA (brand new dining table included).
"You had me at solid oak. I like the modern farmhouse look of this generously long table that allows you to host more seats at the table."
"2019 is the year of beige for me, and I like mixing this uber-modern profile made of recycled plastics with the more traditional oak table."
"I have a thing for windowpane pattern and love the minimalist graphic tablecloth to bridge the mixed styles of the table and chairs."
"Playing off the windowpane tablecloth, I'm taking the grid pattern into 3D with a gold-toned bowl. Placed in the center of the table to hold pretty arrangements of fruit, or vegetables like artichokes."
"I like bringing in natural texture into the scene with a large flatwoven sisal rug to delineate the dining area."
DINING ROOM TOTAL: $899.98
Los Angeles-based Homepolish designer Mandy Cheng has a penchant for designing functional spaces that also just so happen to be impeccably stylish (see photo above). Between bulky pots and pans and oddly shaped utensils, the kitchen is a notoriously cluttered space, so we asked the savvy designer to divulge the IKEA decor that she's currently coveting for kitchen organization (and they're good). Shop her top five picks ahead.
"With this arctic blast making Los Angeles a frigid 60 degrees, I've been diving deep into new recipes so I can stay in, eat healthy, and not be bored with my meals. This tablet holder is perfect so I don't have to try and read things on my phone or bring my laptop into the kitchen where ingredients will inevitably fall inside the keypad. Place it on the countertop and style it with a couple cookbooks when it's not in use!"
"This wall shelf is everything! It's so versatile that it can be used not only in the kitchen for shelving, but anywhere in your house. For people that are renting and really need to maximize wall space in the kitchen, these would be perfect for your dishes, as a spice rack, or just a fun way to create a moment with all your coffee mugs. I recommend getting at least two (if you have the wall space) and stacking them one above the other with some space in between. Put a small plant in between the stack because greenery makes everything cozier. Plus, the powder-coated steel makes it so easy to wipe down!"
"When I first met my boyfriend, I felt like his cooking pot lids took up the entire kitchen. They were spread out everywhere, they slid out of the cupboards and onto my feet when I opened the doors, and I would get so mad I just wanted to throw them all away. A pot lid organizer like this one solves all your problems and keeps you from wanting to throw everything away. I love that the length is adjustable so it can fit inside a deep drawer or inside one of your cabinets."
"I'm all for drawer organization, so these bamboo flatware trays are right up my alley. Nobody wants to pull open a drawer and have all their cooking utensils slide backward into the abyss. That's exactly how utensils jump the drawer and fall into the back of the cabinet. Keep all your kitchen utensils in place, organized, and immediately within reach."
"These new powder coated steel baskets are adorable and so versatile! One would definitely be on the countertop to hold fresh fruits and veggies, and then 20 more would be in the pantry to keep everything upright and organized. These are also great for parties! Place napkins or paper plates in them, and then put cups inside another basket to hold all the utensils. Throw some fresh flowers in one of the cups to make the basket look extra stylish."
KITCHEN TOTAL: $82.95