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The six things I bought at IKEA (and one thing I wish I bought)

As I mentioned earlier this week, my friend and I ‘popped’ into IKEA last Saturday to grab a few things. It happened to be the grand opening weekend of the brand new massive store and it was literally busier than Disneyland. So many people.

On less busy days, I like to take my time and look around, pushing those wonky carts and snacking on the ikea animal crackers as we shop. But on this particular shopping trip, I had a short list of specific items I needed and was able to skip the showroom section and just cruise my way through the marketplace and warehouse.

I say that I have a love-hate relationship with IKEA, but actually, I mostly love it. Not all of it, mind you. Maybe 90% of the products are not for me, but those leftover 10% are pretty great.

Someone asked on instagram if I would share what I bought and I like that game (don’t you think it is interesting to see what people put into their carts?!), so I’m here to play. These are the six things I bought last week at IKEA (and one that I wish I bought).

LACK WALL SHELF | I grabbed four of these for the studio. They are very minimal and slightly modern, which is just what I wanted for above the desk. Ryan helped me install the first one and I did the other three by myself!

RIBBA FRAME | If you remember the design plan for the third floor hangout space, I bought two National Park posters for the wall and needed an inexpensive framing option. We have a million of these frames (see them in our old house here), just not in this color and size. You can’t beat the price and quality is just fine.

ZAMIOCULCAS PLANT | You guys, I’m getting out of control over here with my love of plants. I spent yesterday morning pruning, repotting, inspecting, delighting in my growing assortment of greenery. Is it just me getting older? Is it the fact that I’m no longer spending my every effort growing toddlers that now I can direct that care to plants? I don’t know, but I kinda like it.

FYI: a ZZ plant is super hardy and easy to grow in spaces with little direct sunlight but it is poisonous to children and pets.

RENS SHEEPSKIN | These sheepskins not only add a terrific texture to a bench, chair, bed or floor, but they feel amazing. I have one that sits on a cute tufted ottoman in the living room and another draped over my office chair. I love how it looks and feels so much, I added a second one to the matching chair.

KOLDBY COWHIDE | I laughed when I looked at my cart and saw sheepskin and cowhide. Apparently I have a thing for farm animals. The cowhide was for Ryan’s office, but I put it up in the studio to try it out and liked it so much I think I’ll steal it from him.

VITTSJO SHELF | Speaking of stealing … when we redid Ryan’s office last week, we borrowed furniture from around the house and this shelf was one of those things. It used to function as an etagere in the guest bathroom in our last house. When we moved in to the new house, we stuck it in the kitchen. And now it is in Ryan’s office with a second one flanking his desk (photos to come of his space soon). This shelf is super inexpensive, clean-lined and multi-purpose.

Great choices, if I do say so myself :)

What I missed out on buying but really wish I hadn’t is this great planter I never even saw it in the store (that’s the trouble with going quickly) but came across it this week online and have made a mental note to pick one up next time I’m there.

So that’s what came home with me from IKEA.

I’d love to know … do you have a favorite item from IKEA?

43 Responses to The six things I bought at IKEA (and one thing I wish I bought)

  1. ellen March 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    And…1) did you have to modify the cabinet/dressers, and 2) are the drawers deep enough for hanging files?

  2. ellen March 13, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    Howdy! Love the cabinets (dressers?) in the office…we’re just completing a huge remodel on a new house, and these are stylin’. Source please? (sorry if someone already asked…skimmed through comments, didn’t see.
    Thanks!

  3. Karen March 13, 2017 at 11:40 am #

    Yes I do! I love the PRESSA – it is a hanging drying rack with 16 clips. Works fantastic in my laundry room for all those items that come out of the wash that you don’t put in your dryer. Can’t say enough great things about it!

  4. Lynn March 9, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

    I use the planter in the kid’s bath to store smaller items…toothbrush holder, toothpaste, etc. I love it because it’s sturdy, metal (no glass to break) and the little wood feet keep it up off the granite, so no water damage. Get one!

  5. Mindy March 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

    Love the Raskog carts and the price is fantastic. The last plant I bought from there was less than $5 and has been thriving so much so that I just repotted it. I love the look of the sheepskin but want a faux version.

  6. Amanda Sandridge March 5, 2017 at 8:47 pm #

    I second the Kallax shelving units. Pottery Barn kids canvas storage bins fit in them perfectly and dial up the style!

  7. Jana March 5, 2017 at 5:25 am #

    I want to put shelves up in our living room and kitchen. Can the lack shelves be painted a different color or do they come in a different color? Also, would a different shelf be sturdier for the kitchen (for dishes, glasses etc.)? Thank you, Emily!

    • emily March 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm #

      I don’t think I would feel super comfortable stacking my dishes on these lack shelves. I know others have done it, but they feel a bit wobbly. We used brackets from ikea and shelf boards in our last kitchen and they were great. Here is a post with those in it: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/open-shelves-kitchen/

  8. Jolie March 4, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    We just went to the new Burbank one yesterday (so huge!!). I found my shelves for our office redo and I picked up the iPad stand impulsively. I also took lots of pictures for the kids shared space redo :)

  9. patti March 4, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    Please add me to your mailing list. The subscribe button isn’t working for me. :(

  10. mary beth at MBZ interiors March 4, 2017 at 6:51 am #

    I want that planter too! My kids bought me the Ikea Stocksund chair for Mother’s Day a few years ago. I can wash the slipcover (dog!) and it’s soooo comfortable and pretty too.

  11. Ranee March 4, 2017 at 6:48 am #

    So many cute things!! I’m curious about how large the cowhide rug is? I’ve been trying to find one that’s reasonably priced, but this seems to be about the best price I’ve seen…I’m just wondering about how large it is? Thanks!

  12. Jitka March 4, 2017 at 1:12 am #

    Omg! I have been there on Friday when they were suppose to have private event before opening to a public but they switched the days and we got in the very first day . Ever since I saw your post on your beautiful green plants and how it changes the look of the room I was looking for every kind of mostly white planter . We got two of those you wished you bought plus some little aloe Vera and other variety of plants and I love them all. Thank you for being such an awesome motivation. I love looking at my new plants every day. Hope they won’t die on me anytime soon .

  13. Heather March 4, 2017 at 12:05 am #

    Ahhh I love this post so much! Because yes I am totally that person peering into other people’s carts 😂 So thank you for sharing. And oh my goodness the new IKEA is incredible!! My sister and I went earlier this week to check it out, and yeah going on a Tuesday at 7:00, it was basically empty. I can’t believe how BIG it is and how many more products they have! It’s like the website come to life! For example last year I wanted a night stand and they had maybe 10 choices in the store and I wasn’t in love with any of them. So I ended up going with a three-tiered Raskog cart (def my favorite item) and not using the casters. But then when I was there the other night, there were like three dozen night stands and I found two that I wanted! The Raskog carts are so multi-functional–my sister uses hers as a craft cart (sewing machine on top, fabric and other things on the lower shelves), we use one at work for a bar cart, and a friend uses hers in the kitchen.

  14. Lulu March 3, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

    I love the Virserum frames. I have Pottery Barn picture ledges and love to arrange different size IKEA frames and change out the images/photos/quotes often. I also love the dog tail hooks in black to hang leashes and jackets by the back door for rainy day potty runs for my golden.

  15. Christy Jones March 3, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    I’ve been to IKEA twice in the past two weekends. It’s so fun but so crazy too. Hubby created a desk with a wood top (like yours) and the choose your own legs. Looks great and was $50. Can’t beat it!

    I love their frames, some of their lighting is great. Also their kitchen stuff- plastic canisters, our nonstick work and egg pan are every day essentials. I also love their stainless flower pots with the rod which I turned into a command station with the family calendar to hold pens, stamps, etc. -it’s so cute and cheap and I always get compliments on it.

    We also have the Kallax shelves and love the larger as a basement room divider and the smaller for my son’s toy organization.

    I’m curious about the couches as many people tell me how durable they are. My West Elm Peggy hit the dust almost as soon as we bought it becaus of the tufts and buttons. Ready to find something durable and inexpensive to get us through the toddler years!

    • Christy Jones March 3, 2017 at 7:48 pm #

      That should be nonstick wok- not work.

  16. Kristen Thomas March 3, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    Are those real sheepskin and cowhides? Disappointed by those choices. There are other choices that don’t involve living things. :(

  17. Stephanie March 3, 2017 at 4:13 pm #

    I love our ikea dressers! (The low white ones that everyone seems to have),
    ikea patio set,
    Curtains- long, great selection and so cheap!
    and just grabbed some kitchen towels there last week that were adorable- I was going to keep one and give the others away as hostess gifts but as soon as I opened them I knew I’d be keeping all of them 😂

  18. Debbie March 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

    Great choices!! I agree, that 10% that’s good is just soooooo good.

    My favorites include:

    -The coffee and cinnamon buns. :)

    -Our Expedit 8-section bookshelves (now called Kallax). We have two and I would have probably put them in more rooms were I not afraid of looking like a showroom. They have been used in the family room, kids’ bedrooms, kitchen and have been vertical and horizontal. They do everything.

    -IKEA 365+ white dishes. I bought mine about 4 years ago and they have since been redesigned into bowl shapes I don’t love as much. But the material is a nice cool white that always looks good and they don’t chip.

    -IKEA 365+ stainless steel cookware with the polished inside. We have some that are around 15 years old and other than a few tiny scratches, they still look almost new because the shiny steel cleans so well. Plus, they are great on induction cooktops.

    -Our ivory Linblomma 100% linen duvet. It’s probably not the BEST quality linen, but I love the knotted ties, and it looks good in every bedroom in our house. When I want it casual, I don’t iron it; when I want a crisper look, I do. I even take out the fill in the summer and just use it as a bedcover.

    And I always hit the plant section. Even the plants I bought there in “meh” condition I was able to save, and for about 1/3 the price of other places.

  19. heather morris March 3, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    I also have a love hate relationship with IKEA. As much as I love the store and prices a trip there always totally stresses me out!!! I have the lack shelves in several rooms and love the simplicity and clean look. As a photographer I of course love the affordable frames, how can you not. I love the giant mirrors with simple frames. I think my favorite thing is all of the organizational containers, baskets, shelves…oh and the lighting. But the thing I have the most of is the organization items they are in basically every room of the house.
    Your office is already the office of my dreams and you are not even done yet 😍

  20. Nataliya March 3, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

    Emily,
    What paint sheen did you use on those dark doors? As for ZZ plant, it’s one of those you would never regret buying. I bought mine at IKEA last June and watered it may be 3 time and it is the happiest plant in our house. Never dropped a leaf. What a survivor!

  21. Barbra March 3, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

    I don’t live near an IKEA so I have to live vicariously through other people’s shopping experiences there. I am always so curious when you say you purchased plants at IKEA, it must be a wonderland! I need to plan a trip just to see what an IKEA store is all about. Thank you for sharing your cart and adventures. I am a fern nut, too, and have been enjoying you sharing the garden lady craziness!! Its nice to know I am not alone. I have been wanting to get a ZZ plant since you blogged about it…my search is still on…

  22. nicole March 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    I have those shelves in my craft room also. I put buttons, spools of thread, and other small items in mason jars on one shelf and it looks pretty neat..

  23. Becky March 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    I only WISH I had an IKEA nearby. The closest one is a three-hour drive. Totally worth it. I just have to stock up my wish list and bring a U-Haul.

  24. Lesley March 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

    I like the kitchen supplies. Great supply of drinking glasses, wine glasses, and some fun printed ones too. I also buy the Sanela velvet pillow covers for 26″ square pillows on the sofa, which also conveniently fit the Euro shams on my bed. I have a good supply of the cotton grommet top drapes, which I’ve used in the last 3 places I’ve rented, but am tiring of the scrape across the rod, so I recently picked up the Ritva, more of a linen weave with back tabs. I have repurposed the cotton ones to make panels for a room divider and attempted a floor cushion (unsuccessful, drat!).

    I now make it a point to visit the “as-is” section first and found that if you ask nicely about the price, you can often get a few more bucks chopped off.

    • Debbie March 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

      We used Ritva curtains in our last house and they were great. A couple of sewing friends helped me to sew a simple pleat into them so they kept their shape better as we opened and closed them. They looked way better than the $30/pair I spent on them.

  25. Dawb March 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    I stock up on the down/feather pillows (20″ square or 26″ square). I make quilted pillow covers just an inch smaller (the pillows have gotten less full over the last couple of years). Pillows are my “go to” gift for graduates, Christmas or birthday presents. They are only $7 or $8. Inexpensive but appreciated gift!

  26. Carrie March 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    We also ADORE our RASKOG cart. Turquoise for the baby’s room. Charcoal for the garage. Yay!

  27. Tina @ buildinghousemakinghome March 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    Ha ha, I too have a love/hate relationship with Ikea. Love some of their products, hate fighting the crowds in the store! I recently bought the larger version of the Vittsjo for our master bathroom as it looks sort of Parisian/industrial–you think? Love how it looks in your home for sure! We recently built a house and needed some towel racks for our bathrooms. I ordered the GRUNDTAL for behind the doors in both of our bathrooms and am loving the functionality. I had them shipped to my home quite inexpensively as I didn’t want to fight the crowds to pick them up on the weekend. It probably saved me $$$ in the long run as I always pick up a plant and pot or five whenever I go as well ;-). Love how you are incorporating your style into your new home one step at a time, Emily! Thanks for letting us come along for the ride.

  28. Sue March 3, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

    I don’t get to Ikea often. I spend hours when I get the opportunity to go. There is nothing i don’t see,examine and consider for buying. I love,love,love to go.

  29. Jennie March 3, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    What a coincidence! I literally just came through the door with my IKEA purchases and checked your blog. I actually bought the planter you missed out on and it is amazing! The price is unbelievable and it will work in so many places! I plan on purchasing more…
    You definitely need one!

  30. Brooke March 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

    I love it all! I am sorry you missed out on that planter it’s so great looking! I am currently awaiting the Stall shoe cabinet from Ikea, I need to get the shoes that my kids seem to need to take off and leave on the floor directly to the side of the garage door out of sight it’s only 6 3/4″ deep and holds a minimum of 8 pairs of shoes. Ikea has some terrific solutions at great prices, I just can not handle putting the stuff together! It takes the patience of a saint to deal with those directions and parts!
    http://chenilleandchampagne.com/

    • Lesley March 3, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

      Look up TaskRabbit and have someone come out and do it for you!

  31. Tam March 3, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    I was hoping that one item mentioned would be the wooden top of your desk – do you remember where you got that? We just bought our first house and I want to put a long desk in my office for my kids to sit and “work” with me ❤️. I’d love to hear your source? Thanks!

  32. Crystal March 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

    Love all of your great purchases! Those Vittsjo shelves are gorgeous (planning to get a few myself for my boys’ room)
    I am blessed to have an IKEA just a short drive away, which is awesome since I have a bare bones home-furnishing budget ;)
    Asking me to choose a favorite IKEA product is like asking me my favorite flavor of ice cream! LOL ;) But I have a few regular purchases there, the topmost one being their bedding. I LOVE their selection of duvets and covers. Most people don’t think to get linens at IKEA, but they are great-quality, and you can’t beat the price.
    I love my ektorp sofa and chair (had them for 10 years now, and they’re still going strong even with 4 kids who are not easy on furniture!).
    The Raskog cart is super useful (I have two and will get more as I need them), and their Billy Bookcases are the best-built shelving I’ve found for affordable, fiberboard bookcases.
    IKEA is also far ahead of other furniture manufacturers when it comes to minimizing toxins such as formaldehyde and flame retardants, so I feel safer using their furniture in rooms where my precious children are sleeping.
    I’m anxious to see your husband’s office with the Vittsjo shelving: I need inspiration for my boys’ desk and Lego area I’m working on :) My son loves clean lines and black, and his eyes lit up when I steered him over to the Vittsjo shelf at IKEA last week!

    • Debbie March 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

      I’m with you on the linens! I like to change bedding often for fun, so I like their pricing for duvets, though I usually pair them with sheets from Target (love the Threshold Performance sheets). We have an ivory Linblomma linen duvet & shams that travels all around the house to different bedrooms. It looks good in every room!

  33. Amy March 3, 2017 at 7:12 am #

    Love the RASKOG utility cart (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50331762/) – when they first came out, they had a mint color that I just love! Thanks for sharing your finds – the sheepskin and the cow hide are super fun.

    • Talia March 3, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

      I love mine too! Between me and my two daughters, we have six of them! So handy.

  34. Lori March 3, 2017 at 5:59 am #

    I haven’t been to Ikea in years, but I pass by it once a week. Thinking I might have to pop in because I love that sheepskin! So cozy!

  35. Kim@Irishman Acres March 3, 2017 at 5:57 am #

    You touched on a few of my favorites… Frames, sheepskin, and cowhide. But I’ve also been looking forward to a trip there (3 hrs away) to get those wicker chairs that I see so many have at their dining tables. I think they are called Byholma. And also looking forward to possibly getting the Ektorp slipcovered sofa for my new office in our wedding venue we are building!
    Fun fun… I love this post! Thanks for sharing!
    Kim

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