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The plant section was great.
Plants are something I always struggle with as a designer. I love bringing a sense of nature inside but I have the opposite of a green thumb — I feel like I look at plants and they start to wilt.
But Ikea surprised me with its selection of easy-to-handle plants that required little-to-no sunlight and minimal watering.
I liked Ikea’s selection because each plant had an easy-to-read sticker with pictures showing how much light and water they need. I saw a range of small and large plants and lots of cute planters to throw them into.
Ikea has an impressive selection of frames.
Good frames are hard to find and they’re usually overpriced when you do find them. But Ikea offers colored frames in a multitude of sizes.
Using frames in the same colors is a plus because you can incorporate them throughout your home and keep a sense of continuity. Ikea has a great variety, from polished-brass to matte-black frames.
You can also scatter the frames throughout the home to marry different rooms and provide a flow to the design of your space.
I’m a fan of the basic dressers at Ikea.
There are so many TikTok and YouTube videos about upgrading dressers and luckily, Ikea carries the perfect starting point for those inspirational tutorials.
The natural-wood dressers I saw at Ikea were super affordable and seemed very easy to personalize with paint, stain, new knobs, or even wallpaper.
I even saw multiple of the same dresser painted and styled in different ways, and most people probably wouldn’t have even recognized that they were the same piece of furniture.
I really liked the closet systems at the store.
Ikea’s Pax closet system really impressed me. It was essentially customizable and came in so many different finish options.
If I saw this closet system in someone’s house, I’d think it was custom casework. In reality, all of the parts were in the $3,000 range, which is impressive for a closet system of this size.
I also liked the doors on this collection, as they could minimize the appearance of clutter and maintain cleanliness throughout a space.
The chandeliers I saw at Ikea were stunning.
I’m quite skeptical of the quality of a $30 lampshade. But the more I looked at it, the more the Älvstarr lampshade pulled me in and surprised me.
The light in the showroom was stunningly arranged in a tiered style, but it could also be displayed as floating nightstand lights or hung independently. This light could fit with a variety of design styles and still create an artistic statement at a very reasonable price.
The outdoor decking was eye-catching and affordable.
It seems many patios, porches, and front steps could use a quick facelift, especially in the summer. Luckily, Ikea’s selection of outdoor decking seemed extremely affordable and appealing.
I especially loved the tone of the natural-wood option, which looked like treated teak. It came in a variety of colorways that could elevate your outdoor space by adding some texture and warmth.
On the other hand, the quality of the mirrors seemed off from a distance.
Though many of Ikea’s mirrors seemed nice, the closer I looked, the more negatives I noticed. It seemed that no matter the price or size, the reflection was distorted from a distance.
As a designer, distortion always irritates me. And my biggest personal problem is that this can distort a selfie taken in a mirror.
The outdoor lanterns didn’t seem very durable to me.
Though I love the idea of outdoor lanterns, the ones at Ikea didn’t seem like they’d last a Midwest weekend outside, let alone a whole season. The lanterns looked nice but appeared to be constructed out of thin paper, which isn’t very desirable for outdoor lighting.
I could see these lights on a screened-in porch or covered patio but, honestly, I’d suggest going a different route altogether. Paper lanterns can give a unique look when done right, but I’d save myself time and money and opt for some different ones.
I think a poster or canvas from Ikea lacks personality.
Ikea’s canvases and printed posters were better quality than I’d expected them to be but that wasn’t my issue with them. Ikea is known for mass-produced pieces at an affordable rate and I think art should be more personal than just hanging up reprinted stock photos.
I purchased a couple of Ikea’s clearance canvases to repaint and give new life to, though, because it was cheaper than buying new ones from an art store.
Unless you have a similar plan, I’d recommend staying away from the canvasses at Ikea and thinking of more personal art for your home.
The bamboo shelf units look nice, but I wouldn’t trust them to hold anything breakable.
I really appreciate the look and idea of bamboo shelves, especially in small spaces like a bathroom. The ones I saw in Ikea seemed nice, but I wasn’t as impressed once I got a closer look.
In my opinion, they didn’t seem super sturdy or as if they’d be able to hold much weight. I’d want a shelf that seemed sturdier for a bathroom where canisters or liquids would be set on it.
I didn’t find the bedding at Ikea to be that desirable.
I wouldn’t always generalize a whole department of a store as something I’d skip over but, in my opinion, the bedding at Ikea is not very desirable.
I found the sheets, comforters, pillows, and blankets I came across weren’t the quality I look for in bedding. Some of the looks were super current and enjoyable but once I laid my hands on the fabric, it was an instant “no.”
Bedding should be a high-quality investment — something you should look forward to touching. Consider purchases like these carefully since you can spend about a quarter of your day in bed.