The Idea of Ikea.
On with sharing my thoughts on thrifty design. I think a lot of people think of Ikea as decor for your first apartment right out of college. Or perhaps while you're in college. And Ikea is an excellent resource for those on a tight budget, but originating in Sweden, they're bound to have some great design too, right? I thought I'd share some pieces I've bought there, as well as some new pieces they have that are pretty great and, of course, very affordable. Oh, and I'm going to apologize right off the bat for the lack of direct links - for some reason Ikea's rarely work.
Part of my design philosophy is that I'd rather purchase a really well made and possibly expensive sofa, dining table or any piece of furniture that is the real focal point of a room, and then decorate inexpensively around it. Accessories at Ikea are a prime example. I bought the little white vases (they're very Jonathan Adler, no?) and planter for $1.99 each. The frame is their Ribba frame and it comes in lots of great sizes and finishes (birch, white, & metal) and has a pre-cut matte and glass. I think the largest one is about 28" x 39" for only $30.
This is their Docksta Dining Table. I found it surprisingly sturdy and a pretty good Saarinen knock-off. I put some vintage Mies van de Roh Cantilever chairs around mine and I'm quite happy with the look.
These fun, colorful lacquered Önska round boxes are $4.99 for the whole happy set of 12.
I love this great Mid-Century Danish Modern knock-off Stockholm Coffee Table. It has a functional second tier which is nice for stacking coffee table books and displaying small accessories or stashing the remote (I hate the look of remotes!).
I'm also a huge fan of these $3.99 Polarvide throws. They have this sweet little die-cut pattern and fringe and they're super soft. In person, they look really expensive! I got my mum one at Christmas and she thought it was gorgeous (fooled her, didn't I?).
They've also got a large and well designed selection of chairs. I like all of these and they're all under $50.
This set of two sweet Maränge teacups, wooden tray and spoons are $7.99. They look so peaceful and pretty for tea time with a nice brew of jasmine pearls.
I hope I've left you with an open mind to the idea of Ikea. Just remember there's some pretty fun stuff there that will leave you much more in your wallet for the bigger purchases.