best of IKEA: stark modern

While many people think modernist design revolves around über-expensive furniture, it really doesn’t have to. I’ve rounded up a number of beautiful options from IKEA that can help you achieve the stark modern decor you want without the exorbitant price tag.

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1. DOCKSTA Table ($199) – The DOCKSTA table is a godsend to anyone going for a high-end look but doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg to achieve it. It’s a virtual replica of the iconic Saarinen dining table from Knoll, which costs more than 10 times as much as IKEA’s version. Its straightforward yet inventive design and clean white exterior make it ideal for attaining a modernist aesthetic.

2. KARLSTAD Sofa and chaise lounge ($849) – Structured yet simple, the KARLSTAD sofa and chaise lounge combination looks especially gorgeous in the woven Isunda gray cover. Not only does the mottled grey serve as a lovely neutral (as an alternative to black and white), but it’s just dark enough to hide some indiscretions.

3. EIVOR Throw ($19.99) – A perfect accent on any sofa or bed, the simple design of the EIVOR woven throw truly makes it a winner. Use this throw to unify a color scheme or place it against a bright sofa for a nice contrast.

4. FALSTER Reclining outdoor chair ($99) – As the best-looking outdoor lounge chair offered by IKEA, the FALSTER recliner is beautifully designed and constructed of lightweight aluminum. Although it’s not as cheap as you might be used to, this is a quality chair both in terms of design and durability.

5. BERNHARD Leather dining chair ($149) – Sleek and cushioned, the BERNHARD is one of IKEA’s most versatile dining chairs. The soft leather looks gorgeous in white and is far easier to clean than fabric. The shiny triangular legs only add to the chair’s already impeccable design.

6. SÄVERN Soap dispenser ($16.99) – As someone who has searched high and low for the best looking soap dispenser (at a reasonable price, of course), the SÄVERN is it. Incredible design, no drips, no rust, easy to clean – this dispenser has it all and would look absolutely perfect in a minimalist bathroom.

7. BAGGÖN Hanging umbrella ($69) – With its sleek steel construction and large white shade, this umbrella is one of IKEA’s best value items. A handy crank will open and close the umbrella and the entire piece is capable of folding up quite small. Place this beauty in your backyard to instantly upgrade your al fresco dining experience.

8. SILLERUP Rug ($119) – Timeless and graphic, this black and white low pile rug is an incredible value at just over $100. This piece would serve as a wonderful focal element in any living room, adding an exciting new dynamic to the space.


10 best IKEA products for the money

As someone who spends far too much time looking at IKEA products online [and subsequently buying them at our Houston-area store], I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about in terms of which IKEA products are simply the best. For stylish and affordable modern home goods, there really is no place like IKEA. Whether it’s a stainless steel trash can or a mutli-functional daybed, I’ve got you covered with the absolute best IKEA has to offer.

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Photos: IKEA.

1. ÅFJÄRDEN Towel [$4.99 to $14.99] – As the best IKEA offers, the ÅFJÄRDEN towels are both remarkably attractive and affordable. The textured grid design gives them a uniquely modern feel and they are very absorbent and plush. Available in washcloths, hand towels, bath towels and bath sheets.

2. EIVOR Throw [$19.99] – The black-and-white striped EIVOR throw is both incredibly stylish and functional. Place this graphic beauty on your sofa or bed and transform your room with this bold woven throw.

3. BRIMNES Daybed frame with 2 drawers [$249.00] – The BRIMNES daybed frame with two drawers is probably the most useful piece of furniture ever created. Whether it’s serving as a twin bed, pulled out to make a king bed or just as seating, this thing is truly amazing. With two twin bed mattresses [two MOSHULT foam mattresses are only $158] on top, simply pull out the underframe and you’ve got yourself a king-sized bed. The daybed, also available in black, is perfect for guest rooms with limited space.

4. HOVET Mirror [$129.00] – For a 30 3/4″ x 77 1/8″ mirror [that is huge], you really can’t beat the HOVET. It’s white surround and impressive size make it ideal for use as decoration in a living room or bedroom. The piece comes with hardware so that it can be mounted, as well.

5. FICUS LYRATA Fiddle-leaf fig [$12.99] – This 32″ tall fiddle-leaf ficus is almost too good to believe. With a $12.99 price tag, I’d challenge you to find a better looking plant for less. It’s lush leaves and medium height make it great for bringing a bit of the outdoors to any room. Perfect for use as an indoor plant as long as it’s placed in a bright spot.

6. SÄVERN Trash basket [$24.99] – If you’re looking for a stylish, modern trash can for your bathroom, look no further. At $24.99, it’s IKEA’s most expensive small waste bin, but it’s worth every penny. With a flip-top design and sleek stainless steel construction, the SÄVERN trash basket is a real stunner.

7. RANARP Floor/reading lamp [$59.99] – The RANARP floor lamp is one of IKEA’s best-looking pieces. At only $59.99, it’s honestly a steal with it’s white and brass hardware and black-and-white cord cover.

8. KARDEMUMMA Plant pot [$1.49 to $19.99] – IKEA’s KARDEMUMMA plant pots are extremely versatile in addition to being quite stark and beautiful. Available in a number of different patterns and sizes, the simple white pots look great indoors and out. Perfect for using with FEJKA artificial plants if you want to add a touch of green to an interior room.

9. SODERHAMN Sofa and chaise lounge [$899.00] – The SODERHAMN sofa and chaise lounge combination in Isefall light turquoise is simply stunning. The modern, deep-seated design, soft color and chic metal legs truly make the SODERHAMN a winner. Major selling points: the removable, replaceable cover and the under-$1,000 price tag.

10. RIBBA Frame [$1.99 to $24.99] –RIBBA frames are perhaps the most useful items IKEA sells. Ranging from small desk photo frames to massive wall frames, you really can’t beat them for the price [a 27 ½” x 39 ¼” frame is only $24.99]. Not only that, but they come in several colors: white, black, aluminum, high-gloss gray and medium brown. Although the mats in the frames may not fit all print sizes, it’s far cheaper to buy or make a custom mat than buying a pre-matted frame.

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