My 10 favorite Ikea decorating ideas and tips
This post will sound like a giant Ikea ad which in a way it might be but I have no affiliation with Ikea whatsoever. I am a fan and I thought sharing my favorite Ikea decorating ideas might be helpful to someone out there.
I received some great feedback about my recent “How I decorate on a tight budget” post, which made me think about writing a post about how I decorate with Ikea items.
I love it when people come to our house and then hear a comment like “Wow that’s Ikea? I would have never guessed”. Including Ikea pieces in your home without it screaming “hello I purchased this at Ikea” isn’t all that hard to do.
My 10 favorite Ikea decorating ideas and tips
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I have Ikea pieces in almost every room but I wouldn’t want a room to be entirely Ikea.
I should probably retract that statement because I do have one room in our house that’s almost all furnished by Ikea, but it doesn’t look like it, at least I don’t think so. To me it doesn’t, I know there are probably other opinions out there and that’s ok too.
Can you guess which one? …. If you guessed my daughter’s room then you are right. The only thing that’s not Ikea in her room is her desk chair, lighting, and her curtains.
So let’s start with her room as tip one:
Use their curtains as a fabric:
That is exactly what I did with my daughter’s bed. I used a set of velvety Sanela curtains (this color isn’t available anymore) to upholster the DIY headboard. Why did I do that? Because if you look at the standard price of a velvet-textured fabric at most fabric stores, then you’ll notice how expensive it would be to upholster a huge headboard and also make a bed skirt out of it. Two panels were enough for the entire bed and only came in at $49. Ikea has many more velvet-textured curtains in different colors as well as other great patterned curtains.
The desk is the BESTÅ BURS desk from Ikea, the bedding is the Emmie Ruta duvet set, Skold fur is on the floor and I found the diamond pattern Euro shams at an Ikea in Germany. (find the clear chair HERE, sewing machine HERE, swinger arm lamp HERE, light fixture HERE, similar paint-by-numbers HERE and if Ikea doesn’t have the fur then you can find a similar one HERE | acrylic shades are from Target and not available anymore | chandelier HERE | greek key pillow HERE | sewing machine HERE | similar dotted throw HERE
You can download my daughter’s vintage paint-by-numbers by clicking HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
Mix in Ikea throw pillows or paint them
That’s something I’ve done all over the house but I don’t just strictly have their pillows. They are just mixed in and I have a huge stash in my linen drawer so I can switch them out.
Or personalizing Ikea pillows with fabric paint (HERE).
My favorite Ikea pillow is the Ikea Gurli pillow because it is so cheap, white, and incredibly easy to paint on. I’ve painted pillows and there are many more great tutorials out there by my blog friends. One of my absolute favorite ones is by my friend Shannon Claire. Her pillows look amazing.
The only non-Ikea item in the above photo is the bunny and the swing arm lamp! If you don’t like to DIY, you can find a similar headboard HERE and you can find the swing arms HERE.
And I painted the below pillow as well from an old Ikea cover.
Change out the Ikea hardware
I get so many questions about our nightstands in the master bedroom. Well, they are Ikea HEMNES dressers and I changed out the hardware to gold ring pulls (similar to THESE) which changed the look entirely with such a small change.
Ikea HEMNES dressers, SKOLD fur, and EIVOR throw (the chaise is vintage and not available and my bed isn’t available anymore either but you can find a similar one HERE and HERE)
And recently you guys gave me a nudge to drill into my Ikea vanity to add more ring pulls (HERE) which I did and it upgraded the look of the vanity tremendously.
below is a more recent photo of the bathroom (see more info HERE)
find the faucet HERE and mirror is vintage from Goodwill
Use wall vinyl decals on Ikea furniture and fabric
With this tip, I’m referring to my Ikea BESTA media cabinet in the living room. I made a custom Otomi-inspired decal specifically for those doors (which I now sell in my Etsy shop HERE) but you don’t have to go that busy. You could just add subtle stripes that are easy to cut out of vinyl (I buy this vinyl HERE) or any other easy-to-cut shape as I did to my Ikea Merete curtains in the entire downstairs. It’s as simple as ironing on squares onto white Merete curtains (click HERE to see the curtains project or HERE to buy similar ones)
disco ball HERE | similar mirror HERE | similar starburst HERE | similar lamps HERE |
black lamp shade HERE | similar end tables HERE | fringe pillows HERE | leopard lumbar pillow HERE |
similar rug HERE (mine is vintage) | other rug HERE | similar pouf HERE or HERE | throw HERE | similar coffee tables HERE
Use Ikea Hardware in the kitchen
You are probably wondering why I told you above to switch out the hardware and now I’m telling you to use their hardware… let me explain.
In a kitchen, you need a very large amount of knobs and I just didn’t have the budget for the standard price of stylish pulls. Ikea has a nice selection of kitchen pulls and knobs at an affordable price, so I added their gold knobs to our white cabinets.
Paint their affordable flower pots
Find the tutorial HERE.
I painted the metal Ikea flower pot with RubNBuff that I thinned with paint thinner.
Use Ikea frames for gallery walls
Mix them in with other frames and canvases for a more eclectic mix.
Mix in one Ikea rug or piece of Ikea upholstered furniture
find the side table HERE | similar pouf HERE or HERE
I have recently moved my favorite Ikea rug, the LAPPLJUNG RUTA rug to be specific, into my son’s room but haven’t had the time to photograph it yet.
And if you are wondering about the curtains, they are made from Ikea Merete curtains. Check out my painted curtains tutorial. And the how-to video is below:
Or you can buy similar curtains HERE.
Use Ikea fabrics
I have used Ikea fabrics many times but my favorites are my upholstered Parsons chairs (click HERE for tutorial) for which I used the SOFIA fabric.
And my Ikea spotted window valances (click HERE for tutorial) I’ve had for a very very long time and for which I used the TRÅDKLÖVER fabric.
Below you can find a more recent photo of our kitchen with the spotted valance.
See the entire makeover HERE:
turn Ikea shelving into built-ins
There are many ways you can utilize their great storage solution and make them look very custom. The only thing you need is some added molding and possibly some hardware.
I have started to add closed shelving to the basement to be able to store all the toys, games, and items from around the house.
similar table HERE and HERE, Ikea SKOGSTA stool, faux fiddle leaf fig HERE, Ikea BESTA system, similar globes HERE, HERE and HERE,
This was so interesting for me to put together myself since I never really noticed how much Ikea I actually use.
And I hope it helps someone out there get some ideas.
i love mixing ikea into my decor! they have great pieces to repurpose and use as is. love ikea! and love how you used it in your home!
Oh I agree me too. I keep raking my brain about the basement configuration for the shelving unit. That’ll be a big Ikea project.
Julia, you are so very generous with all your information. This post is so full of ideas and inspiration. Thank you so much!
I’m glad you found some inspiration. I hope there will be others too 😉
WOW! I would have never guessed so many pieces were from Ikea. I may have to look at their web site again. Your home is gorgeous! I’m new to your blog and love so many of your ideas. The mirror was absolutely the best idea I have seen in a long time and easy!
Oh thank you so much Donna, I really appreciate your sweet comment and I’m glad you like the mirror. I think us bloggers always think we need to come up with really intricate ideas and sometimes the easier ones are way better.
Thank you Julia for all the ideas. I do not live near an Ikea store but I have a list going now for my next visit to Ikea about 90 miles away.
I love your style. I’m all over the place and much older than you! I have color for everything, but nothing that ties anything together, so you inspire me. Thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad I can inspire. Thanks so much Donna
You are the mix master! I’m always surprised at how many Ikea items I have throughout my home when I stop and think about it. Beautiful as always, Julia!
ooh, I really need to try the painting pillows idea! I always think I’m going to start sewing pillows, but….I just don’t sew. I think our most Ikea-y room (the library) is the one I get the most compliments on; you can definitely do Ikea without things looking cheap. Great tips!
I love IKEA favorite posts! Great ideas!!
You have so many great ideas here! I haven’t been to IKEA in a while, and now I’m itching to go buy all the things!
Haha thanks! It’s certainly cheaper to stay away from Ikea and Target because that’s what happens, you want to buy everything.