My favorite IKEA pieces and how we use them

January 11, 2019

I've been working on a organizational project in our basement that has escalated into a much bigger DIY project...per usual with me. :) 

We needed a good solution for our games in the basement and I went with an easier version of the built in cubby storage in our old basement: 
Wall of cubby built in storage

We didn't need nearly the storage we used to (not many toys left in this house, sniff!!), and I didn't want to do anything permanent just yet. As our kiddo gets older the way we use this space may change over time. 

Instead, I used the IKEA Kallax cubby units and they're working great!:
Wall of IKEA Kallax units

These are supposed to have four cubbies, but on the two end units I didn't add the smaller shelves that create the four spaces. Instead it's just a more basic bookcase so the longer games fit perfectly! 

More to come on this if you give a mouse a cookie project soon. :) 

Before we had an IKEA nearby, we'd stop in on the way to or from Kings Island and it was usually a quick walk through to grab what I wanted. Since the one here in Indy opened I've been able to really explore the store and I love it even more than before!

Years back I wasn't so sure about the quality of their pieces, but over time I've come to trust that everything I get there is going to hold up and function well. I'm super pleased with EVERY item we've purchased from IKEA over the years. 

One purchase I can't really speak to are their upholstered pieces. I think I'm in the minority, but I don't find their sofas and chairs to be very comfy. I hear they get more comfortable over time, but that's one thing I don't see myself purchasing. 

But pretty much everything else -- I love! I've rounded up the best IKEA pieces I've used in our two homes. 

First up, one of my favorite rooms EVER...our son's bathroom in the old house: 
Bathroom makeover with dark gray tile, cement tile backsplash and wood vanity

Those round Stockholm mirrors were the perfect finishing touch to the tile wall. I SO wished I could use them again in his new bathroom, but the vanity isn't as wide. These mirrors are big! The frame comes out on the bottom a bit, so you can use it as a little shelf. :) 

Next up -- their butcher block. I used it in a few places in our old house, including the DIY built in bench in our white and blue mud room makeover
White mud room with beadboard and bench

It's very inexpensive as far as butcher is concerned, and warms up a space beautifully. It always stained nicely and held up great! 

Next up -- their dressers. I showed you the one in my closet when I shared how I organized my jewelry and shoes
Shoe and jewelry storage in closet

We also have one in my husband's closet too. People fear the IKEA assembly instructions,  I know. When you pull everything out of the box it can be intimidating, but it's not that bad. I'm a nerd that kind of enjoys putting furniture together though. ;) 

I particularly like the Hemnes line of dressers and furniture (the dresser above is one). They have a simple, classic design that goes well with nearly every style. I used the tall Hemnes cabinet with glass doors for our master bathroom. It provides so much storage!:
IKEA Hemnes glass cabinet makeover for bathroom

Mine didn't look like this when I got it -- see how I transformed it here!

What I really love about IKEA furniture is how easily you can add your own touches to make it work perfectly in your home. Because so many of their pieces are a simpler design, they are easily dressed up. You can see how I did just that with the Tarva dressers I turned into nightstands
IKEA Tarva makeover with paint and stain

The possibilities with their unfinished items are endless! There is a ton of storage space in these too.

I have SO many smaller favorites too, but I'll save that for a future post. I did share a round up of my IKEA faves $10 and under here

Five IKEA faves under $10

I wrote that years ago and I still use ALL of these items! Love them. 

I'm sure I'm forgetting something! But this is a good list -- do you have any of these? Have you had good luck with IKEA furniture? Do you have a favorite product? I've been very pleased over the years. It's a fun place to explore for sure -- just make sure you have some time. 

Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. We just purchased the hemnes large dresser and the sundvik crib for our son’s nursery (due in April) and am surprisingly pleased. But I’m not sure why I’m so surprised. You’re going to laugh but I LOVE our Ektorp sectional and love seat. You can’t beat the washability of it!! It’s pretty cozy and I love it still after 2.5 years!

    1. I love our Ektorp sofa-with-chaise, loveseat, and armchair, too! You can't beat the price, and I haven't had any trouble with cushions, and we've had them for years. My daughter just bought to loveseats and an ottoman for her apartment, and they're lovely and cozy.

  2. I love Ikea! We have had our Ikea kitchen for about 1.5 years and it still looks fabulous. We have ikea kids tables, dressers, night stands, kid beds, and more I just love them all. One of my Favorite little gadgets are these shower hooks to hang up towels or luffas. .

  3. How do you put together the "board" of items? I want to do my own design board for a bedroom makeover . thanks

  4. I bought an IKEA couch about 20 years ago and it was perfect as an extra bed! I took off all the back and side cushions and put a mattress pad on it with sheets and it was one of the most comfortable beds we had! Everybody liked sleeping there. lol It held up beautifully, and I just let it go a few months ago.

  5. We have had an Ikea Goteborg couch, Karlanda chair and love seat for over 15 years. all well lived on by kids and pets. The couch, with back cushions off, is bigger than a twin mattress and comfy to sleep on. I just buy covers from BEMZ when they need a refresh. BEMZ makes covers for Ikea furniture, even the discontinued furniture like the Goteborg. We just bought the Kivik sectional earlier this year and love it.

  6. Sadly, the closest IKEA is a 5 hour drive, so I’ve never been to one. There was talk of a store opening here, but I think that’s fallen through. It’s too bad because we have at least 6 colleges within easy driving distance and I bet students would frequent the store. Maybe someday.

  7. We do not have an IKEA close to us. The closest one is about 4 hours. BUT I have heard such good things! I really might need to make a trip just to browse the store! (And take a truck and trailer with me!) I had no idea they sold butcher block! I love the idea of adding that to places!

  8. I don't think I actually have one piece of Ikea in my house! My daughter does, and she loves it. Of course one of the huge reasons I don't have any is because I love sooooo far away from any I detest putting furniture together!!

  9. We love ikea! I feel like the quality greatly increased about 8ish years ago. Or maybe they just have more variety from the cheapest to more substantial pieces. I also bought 75-cent vases for my wedding reception with clipped flowers for less than what one centerpiece would have been!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!