The audio version is available here:
We can all admit that IKEA comes to the rescue when we need practical, cost-effective and well-designed products. Their style is so versatile, fitting seamlessly into any space with that universal Scandinavian interior design charm. However, there’s a catch. As convenient as it is, it’s easy to end up with interiors that resemble those of other people. We lose the edge. You know what I’m talking about – those Billy shelves, Ektorp sofas, and coffee tables that you can spot a mile away. And honestly, that can be a bit of a turn-off.
While we don’t all have the luxury to escape Ikea, we can still make it work by adding personal touches that can make all the difference. This post isn’t about hacking, painting, or customizing Ikea furniture, as that can be quite a hassle, and to be honest, I can’t be bothered with all that. Instead, we’re focusing on bringing some personal touches to IKEA furniture in the easiest possible way. It’s all about keeping things simple and hassle-free, making your space uniquely yours without any unnecessary fuss.
Let’s dive in and discover some effortless ways to add that special touch to your interior:
1 – Going Neutral:
IKEA is absolutely perfect for those essential furniture pieces that act as a solid foundation for our homes. I’m talking about bedframes, wardrobes, sofas, coffee tables, shelves, side tables, and the like. Sometimes, it’s just more practical to get everything from IKEA, while other times, we can splurge on items from different shops. There’s no right or wrong approach here; it’s all about what works for each of us individually.
Now, if you’re looking for a little guidance, here’s a helpful tip: try to skip anything too patterned and instead work with a clean, neutral base in terms of colour (those floral sofas are a no-no, shape or style doesn’t matter as it comes down to personal taste). Neutral elements create a blank canvas that allows for more flexibility. Then, use accent details as a fantastic opportunity to infuse your personal touch.
2 – Starting The Journey of Collecting Statement Pieces:
This will truly make your space your own. Trust me, it’s an enjoyable pursuit that can unfold over time, no need to rush. This will help to take the focus away from the so-familiar IKEA furniture.
Look for objects like prints, illustrations, and candle holders – anything that speaks to you and adds that personal touch. Anything goes, as long as it reflects a bit of who you are – your taste, the places you’ve visited, or your unique journey.
The beauty is that these items can be small and manageable, making them easy to pack and transport, if I have to relocate elsewhere. I’ve discovered how incredibly useful this can be, as I carried frames, decorative items, and cherished objects with me to relocate to different countries. Their compact size made integrating them into a new space a breeze, and the moment I set them up, I instantly feel at home.
Also, whenever I travel, whether abroad or just an hour away, I keep an eye out for prints and illustrations that catch my eye. Often, I bring them back without frames, so I can arrange them exactly how I want. These little treasures have been my constant companions, relocating with me from Dubai to Casablanca and all the way to France. They have become anchors of stability no matter where I am. So, go ahead and curate your collection of meaningful items – each one will bring you joy and tell a story of its own.
3 – Introducing Colour:
To breathe life into your IKEA neutral furniture and achieve a cohesive look, start by mastering the art of incorporating colour. Begin by identifying a colour palette that resonates with you, whether it’s calming pastels, lively jewel tones, or earthy hues. Once you’ve settled on your theme, carefully select accent pieces like wallpaper, chairs, cushions, throws, vases, lighting fixtures, rugs, headboards, side tables, and ottomans… that align with the chosen colors.
Consider exploring stores beyond IKEA. Actually, skip IKEA altogether. Their accent details are too recognizable. I can spot them even on TV shows and movies.
So, mix and match with items from different places like Amazon Home, H&M Home, Zara Home, or even Etsy. They offer a plethora of styles, patterns, and colors at affordable prices. In fact, I still cherish three beautiful cushions from Debenhams that I purchased ten years ago in Dubai. So, venture beyond the familiar and discover treasures that perfectly fit your cohesive color scheme.
4 – Developing Picture Walls:
Gallery walls are the perfect way to create an eye-catching focal point in any room without breaking the bank. Whether in a hallway, living room, or bedroom, they add a personal signature to your space. The beauty lies in their uniqueness – no two gallery walls are ever the same. With an array of frames and artwork, you can showcase cherished memories, favourite prints, and captivating art pieces. The mix-and-match approach allows for creative expression, making each gallery wall a reflection of your individual taste and style. So, unleash your creativity, curate a collection that speaks to you, and watch as your gallery wall transforms into a captivating masterpiece that truly defines your space.
5 – Decorating With Books:
There’s something about books that just makes an interior feel cozy and sophisticated. No objections from me on that front. Any books will do as long as they cover topics that speak to us, that we find interesting. Personally, I’ve got all sorts – classics, romcoms, interior design, marketing, and recipes (which I’ve never actually followed) with those coffee table books that are too pretty to resist. You don’t have to read all these books at once; just start building your collection.
Try mixing up the sizes and colors to add visual interest. Intersperse them with decorative objects like vases, candles, or small sculptures. Experiment with different arrangements, stacking books both horizontally and vertically. You might even consider organizing them by color or theme for a harmonious touch. Plus, books can serve as makeshift side tables in cozy reading nooks or make a charming addition to coffee tables for a warm and inviting feel.
6 – Decorating With Plants:
Decorating with plants has been a journey filled with disappointment and frustration for me. My short story usually goes like this: I buy plants with enthusiasm, bring them home, but then I end up overwatering them (more often than not). Within a week, they’re gone. Now I opt for indoor plants that require minimal care such as hardy succulents and resilient snake plants, or spider plants (and no… artificial plants are not an option). These green companions add life and beauty to any space without the stress of constant maintenance. Don’t forget to go for cool, interesting pots that complement the look. Whatever suits your taste.
I hope this post has helped you. Happy decorating!