IKEA furniture basics are welcome additions to the home for apartment dwellers, parents with young children, dorm dwellers and more. But to make your IKEA finds look a little less “stock” and a lot more chic, try these simple tips for dressing up your IKEA basics.
1. Consider the composition – This means don’t just think about where you’ll place the piece, but also, how you’ll position it. Something that is typically placed vertically, like the IKEA Expedit bookcase pictured above, can also be flipped on its side as a handy console table.
2. Add texture with a background – Whether we’re talking bookcases or kitchen cabinets, the premise is the same. Paint, prop up or adhere a patterned background to add dimension. It adds instant pop. In the photo above, I leaned a plywood painting behind the bookcase to achieve my preferred “mixed media” styling. If you want something personalized but temporary, try painting a large piece of art paper (cut to size) and adhering with mounting tape. When you tire of that you can just swap it out for another original piece that fits your present mood.
3. Skip the typical accessories – Some IKEA furniture, like the Expedit bookcase, have optional coordinating accessories available like colored plastic baskets (you know the ones). Skip those (or get them, but use them in a different design application) and accessorize instead with your own unique combination of books, baubles and other treasures from your everyday adventures.
4. Light it up – Subtle lighting adds ambience and one of my favorite design techniques is to create small vignettes around the home brought to life with touches of lighting–be they rope lights, stick on LEDs, simple holiday string lights, candles or lamps. In this application, I just used matching lamps for the main light source and accented with simple orange holiday string lights draped throughout.
5. Appeal to the senses – With tips 1-4, your compilation is a joy for the eyes and includes lots of fun textures too. But don’t stop there. Finish your transformation by adding another dimension of charm with sensory appeal. You can add sound by piping some tunes through a portable speaker, light a scented candle to appeal to your mood, or set out a platter of tasty fresh baked treats to delight the tastebuds.
Remember, you don’t have to do this all at once. Applying even one of these tips can make a big difference for simple furniture. If you do try any of these tips, do share how it turns out below!