Monday, June 9, 2014

Ikea, Done Beautifully

In one of my early apartments, none of my family's furniture would fit into the tiny space. Well, I borrowed a rug and a bed frame, and a small table did work as a tiny desk, but when it came to the couch and the kitchen table, we needed to find something small enough to fit the space, preferably with the ability to open up if we chose to open it. My roommate and I went on a serious Ikea shopping trip, and we came home by public transportation with, among other things, a loveseat, a couple folding chairs, and a kitchen table that fit our tiny common space dimensions perfectly. I am still proud to have managed to get everything we purchased home that day! Ikea was the perfect option for us because we needed very specific sizes, and we knew we weren't staying in that space forever.

Ikea gets a bad rap for cheaply made items, but when it's styled well, Ikea's options can fit perfectly into a space and guests will be surprised when told the item is from Ikea. My mother's friend has the most perfect loft, which I've been in love with my whole life, so I was shocked to learn that the bookcases she added to help define the space are from Ikea. A cousin also has a piece from Ikea, and again, no one would know.

What seems to make both of these items work is two things: First, they are both stained very dark, and the stain hides that the wood isn't expensive. But second -- and this one is rather counter-intuitive to me -- they are surrounded by beautiful other pieces of home furnishings like old Oriental and Middle-Eastern rugs and chairs with clearly wonderful design. They are also both filled with beautiful items -- the glass case holds an old clock, nice frames, and a couple of lovely baskets. The bookcase holds a lifetime collection of a variety of interesting books and vinyl records.

The reason I find this counter-intuitive is because when one goes to Ikea, the items don't look as cheap in the store as they often do once they get home. I always assumed this was because if everything in the store is cheap, it's less noticeable than when something cheap is compared to nice wood, but I have been proven very wrong.

Would you have guessed where these items are from? I'm so impressed with the eye for design that made these work so well!

Ikea Bookcase

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