If you’ve been following along here or have ever been to my home, you know that I absolutely love IKEA.
Seriously, I would marry it if I could. Now, my love affair with IKEA wasn't necessarily love at first sight. I used to begrudgingly go when I was a broke college kid trying to stock up on as many cheap plastic items as I could to fill my dorm room. I looked forward to the day when I would graduate college, I could also graduate from IKEA and shop at Pottery Barn or Williams & Sonoma like the rest of em'.
Well, here I am, an almost 30 year old wife and mother with calloused hands from the countless hours i've put together IKEA furniture, most recently being yesterday.
Like most love stories, they don't always end up as you expect. You head up the escalators to the IKEA showroom and are overcome with excitement of all the beautifully staged rooms. By the time you get to the marketplace and warehouse, you're exhausted, your significant other is cursing under their breath, your kids want meatballs, and you grab a handful of things, try your hardest to navigate that damn trolley cart, and drive home feeling utterly defeated by IKEA himself.
The troubles don't stop there. You get home and start opening packages to realize none of the directions have words. You continually mutter to yourself how you wish you would have gotten this, or that, while your spouse has given up putting together the furniture after snapping a wooden dowel and swearing up and down that the directions are wrong.
So, low and behold, I am hoping to save your sanity, your marriage, and your money by bringing you the ultimate shopping list for IKEA.
The items in these guides are things I personally own or have been eyeing for quite some time. IKEA's style is very fluid, and all of their pieces seemingly fit together to create a beautiful, minimalist, and Scandinavian design.
Since having my son, I have been loving IKEA's baby and children's products. We have been using a Montessori approach to learning/behavior with Jude and much of IKEA's kids line compliments the Montessori method, like beautiful wooden toys, multi-use activities, and items that foster independence.
1. train tracks 2. train 3. paper holder 4. craft apron 5. tunnel 6. shelf 7. crib 8. high chair 9. sheep skin 10. weaning table 11. truck 12. stacking cups 13. junior chair 14. book shelf 15. step stool 16. play kitchen
KITCHEN & DINING
We renovated our last kitchen with IKEA cabinets and I would 10/10 recommend IKEA cabinets to anyone looking to renovate a kitchen. They are phenomenal quality for the price and have a ton of extra features like soft close drawers and organizational accessories to make it not only look pretty, but be super functional. I will do an entire blog post on our experience with IKEA Sektion Cabinets but here is a guide for everything else (including the kitchen sink!) that I love.
I'm a sucker for a neutral and bright bedroom. Add a nice area rug and some pretty artwork and you've got yourself a little nordic oasis. Also, I am OBSESSED with this bed. If it came in a king size, it would totally be mine. You could hang some curtains to the back of it to resemble the look of a headboard.
I truly believe that IKEA has the best selection for office goods. Their paper bins, organizational items, and mix and match desks are pretty great. We bought this double work station desk for our attic and use it every day. If you have the space or young kiddos, a double work station is great for homework and work!
Hands down, we get asked where our patio umbrella is from more than anything else in our house. Every time I say IKEA, people are shocked. This thing is HUGE, like REALLY huge, and it swivels and tilts and all of the other fancy things that the super expensive ones do.
TIPS & TRICKS
I hope I was able to convert you to an IKEA lover after this guide. You definitely can't beat their prices and the quality of their furniture has really improved over the years. It definitely can still get overwhelming when you head to an IKEA, so here's a few tips for you.
1. Smaland - Ditch your kids to play while you shop, and it's totally free! You can drop them off for 60 minutes and must be potty trained. Set that timer, and enjoy your IKEA trip sans kids!
2. Skip the Showroom - Instead of heading straight up the escalators to the showroom (unless you're looking for inspiration), hit the marketplace by following the blue arrows and maps in the store to get there. You will save yourself a ton of time!
3. Head straight to Warehouse - If you're planning on only getting furniture, head straight to the warehouse. They have kiosks where you can shop the website to get the article number (which is how you know where it's located in the warehouse). This will also save you some money as you won't be throwing every kitchen towel, picture frame, and candle stick in your cart!
4. Check out Clearance! - There is a clearance near the cash registers inside the warehouse. Hit this first! Usually these items are things that were returned with no damage and guess what? The furniture is already assembled! Double Win!
5. Join Ikea Family - It's free to join and you get exclusive discounts on certain products. If you want to hit up the kitchen sale and discounts, you'll have to join as an Ikea family member.
6. $7 Shipping! - Yep! You heard me right? Do you only have small items that you need to grab from IKEA but don't want to make the trip? Hit their website and you pay a flat rate $7 shipping fee! This does not include bulky furniture, but does include many of their small items. Try this route first before heading to the store!