Friday, January 18

12 Things You Should Be Buying at Ikea

You probably know by now how much I love Ikea. You might also know Ikea is a big store with thousands of products that can overwhelm even the most enthusiastic shopper. Well I'm here to help with that! I've spent enough time there that I know my way around, where all my favorite products are, and which products are worth the trip! There are a few things I've bought over the years that are my tried-and-true favorites. The items I go straight to Ikea for that have impressed me with both quality and price.

So I've made a list of my 12 must-have items at Ikea!

1. Pillow Inserts

It's no small feat to keep your pillow covers looking plush and amazing, but a good pillow insert doesn't need to break the bank! Ikea carries polyfil inserts for just $3 and fluffy down-feather inserts for $6! It's a steal! 

2. Pillow Covers

Nobody wants a naked pillow insert, right? Pillow covers are great for dressing up your pillows, but they're also super functional because you can toss them in the wash anytime you kids drop a banana... or you spill your ice cream after they're in bed. *ahem* Plus they're easy to switch up seasonally or when you're just ready for a new look. I love Ikea's covers because they're affordable, durable, and they have some great prints and colors (I especially love their neutrals - this one is my fave!).

3. Fake Plants (+ pots!)

At this point *most* of the fake plants in my house are from Ikea. I especially love their eucalyptus branches and the little potted fejka guys. I'll admit not all of their plants are winners (I was not impressed with their fake fiddle leaf fig) but some of them are so good!

And I kind of doubled-up this point because while you're picking up your fake plants you should definitely check out their pots. Lots of cute options for just a few dollars! They are my favorite pots to use in macrame hangers.

And P.S. they also sell real plants, including real fiddle leaf figs!

4. Curtains

One of my Ikea all-time favorites! Seriously, almost every curtain in our house is from Ikea (all except a couple home-made ones). They have the hands-down best price for quality curtains. We bought the curtains in our living room 10 years ago and have carried them to three different houses. They've held up great and I still love them! And I always love the Lenda curtains - just $25 for two 98" panels!

5. Storage Cart

This little guys is so good he gets his own number. It's a cute way to add a little extra storage, and the wheels are super handy! This cart is often used for craft storage, but that's just the beginning - it's perfect in a pantry, as a nightstand, holding toys in the bedroom, or even in a bathroom!

6. Dishes

Guys, I just love Ikea dishes. They have some very affordable basic white options, but I especially fell in love with the heavier stoneware settings (called FINSTILT).

We bought a set with green trim several years ago and I love them so much! The only catch - Ikea sometimes discontinues a pattern. Which happened to my beloved green dishes. When we inevitably break some (house full of boys, anyone?) I'll have to replace them with a different color or start from scratch. *sadness*

I also have and love their teapot. And I do not have and love these cups:

7. Wrapping Paper

Did you know Ikea has a paper goods section? They have basic wrapping supplies year round (classic black, white, and brown), but at Christmas they bring in a bunch of festive options! I buy my best wrapping paper here almost every year, along with gift tags and string.

8. Frames

I used to buy all my frames at Ikea (the prices are great) but for a while we took a break when they went to exclusively black and white frames. Black and white are fine, but I've been drifting toward wood frames and they just didn't have that for me. But at long last, they have not one, but two wooden frame options! And just like that, we're friends again.

9. Throws

The perfect way to add texture and coziness, plus great for snuggling up with your post-bedtime ice cream. Tons of options (including great neutrals) starting at $4!

I'm loving this vintage style knit throw!

10. Bedding

We have a couple pillows and sheet sets from Ikea, but I especially love their comforters and duvets! I've had a terrible time finding bedding - I may be a little picky - but now we have their comforters on every bed. They are super affordable and the duvet covers are east to wash. My hands-down favorite is the Blavinda duvet cover we have in our master bedroom - it's reversible pinstripes on the front with a gray back.

Shopping buddy alert:

11. Baskets

Easy organization is a must and I love some of Ikea's storage options! They have baskets, drawer organizers, large storage bins for just a couple dollars, and $5 wooden crates I love for our craft supplies. The organization section is worth a stop all on its own! A few larger baskets are on the pricey side, but most of their storage is very affordable.

I'm working on buying less (buying none, really) and purging what we have (you can read all about it here), but you bet I'll be using my Ikea storage solutions for the things we are keeping.

love this Fladis basket!

12. Toys

Maybe not your first instinct when you think about Ikea - did you know they had a toy section? - but they actually have some really great toys. And most of them are nice, open-ended toys that encourage creative play (which are always a winner in my book).

We have several Ikea toy favorites:
  • felt play food 
  • metal pots and pans (the wooden play kitchen is adorable, but we built our own instead) 
  • wooden train sets
  • art paper roll and art supplies
  • bath toys
  • pop-up tent

We don't actually have this, but the boys always like to sit in the egg chair:

I rate all our toys with an unspoken size:playbility ratio and this does not pass the test.

Those are my top 12 Ikea must-haves!

And while these didn't make the list, we also have a few furniture pieces that we love. We bought a pair of armchairs 10 years ago that are still going strong (despite being climbed on and literally rolled across the floor by small boys) and last year we added a vimle sectional. I love it so much.

 I'd love to know: what are your favorite things at Ikea?