Of course by now you know I love IKEA. I’ve only mentioned this amazing brand about 1,000 times already!
What I love about them though, specifically, is their innovation. Sure, I love to walk around the closest location (about 45 minutes away) as often as I can to dream. And I find just walking around there with a big coffee in-hand particularly inspiring and calming at the same time. But there is something about the organization, the cohesiveness, the creativity of the design that just really makes me feel at home. I could honestly spend all day there (and have), starting with a free coffee (one of the perks of being a IKEA Family member), a cheap-but-good breakfast, followed later by a meatball lunch (I find the kid’s portions are more reasonable), and then of course further followed by more coffee and almond cake. IKEA, more than any other interior store I’ve ever been to, seems to have this magical quality that makes me feel as if I could live this simple well-designed European life. And if my Carl and I have anything to do with it, we will.
So I spent a morning there recently when my Carl had some meetings in Cincinnati (a little further down the road) and I thought I would share with you some of the design inspirations I took away with me to implement sometime (and somewhere) in the future.
I love how classic and clean this room is. Sure I doubt we all actually live such color-coordinated lives, but I love the use of the darker gray-brown color contrasting with the white. It provides a strong contrast, but not too strong like how it would be if black or a brighter color was used. The bed has 2 full-sized drawers on each side for storage and the closets are deep and extend over most of the wall. The room feels surprisingly spacious, even though though the room is full of furniture, including a bench and a side chair! I think the paint treatment is quite unique (the darker color was more than a third of the wall), creating a cozy but still-airy feel. And of course I love the white floors - I alternate between coveting white floors everywhere or well-worn natural wood instead. Someday!
The next room is a little more masculine than I usually prefer (and the color palette to me, while cohesive, looks about as interesting as watching paint dry), but I love the traditional feel mixed with the industrial lights and the almost country-style closet and dresser. Of course this bedroom is either meant to be in a house where the bedroom functions as a master bedroom suite or this is actually a studio apartment and the kitchen/bathroom would be on the other side of the room. Either way, I love that the couch faces the bed (perfect for late-night conversations), along with the rocking chair and the side table (add the couch throw pillows), and you actually have a room that can seat quite a few people quite comfortably. The ladders behind the bed might be one of the most creative uses I have seen for textile storage, and it also creates a pretty interesting headboard!
This next picture isn’t of a room per se, but a concept. I’m not a fan of really big televisions. Well to clarify, sure I enjoy watching some of my favorite shows on them (almost nothing is better than Game of Thrones and Mad Men on a huge screen), but considering the amount of time the television is actually off in our house, I want it to look like part of my house design the rest of time. I’m not sure how I feel about all this white (although I think it would look pretty amazing in a room with unique and colorful wallpaper), but I adore the concept. The television fades into the background, and just looks like part of the design of the wall unit itself. Add in some good styling and you could really create an showcase of interesting design, even if your television is wall-mounted and practically big enough to be seen from space!
One last design inspiration for the day was the way this map was hung on the wall. First, it reminded me how easy it is to create cheap “art” for the walls. Of course this map is printed on canvas and wrapped on a frame, but you could easily recreate it with any old map you might have around the house (with creases and all, it adds character), pulled and stapled around a simple wood frame from a craft store. There’s no excuse for empty walls! I also particularly liked the way the map was framed on the wall with paint. You can’t get any simpler than that. I don’t particularly like the red and the tan combination, but imagine if the wall was dark blue and you painted a wide, white border. Or even a black border on a lighter colored wall. The creative possibilities are cheap, easy, and endless!
So, what kind of design inspiration have you come across these days? Have you seen a display in a store and thought – I’m going to do that (someday)?