24 January 2013

My long-distance relationship with IKEA continues

Even though traveling north can be tough (remember the harrowing ice storm? I DO), visiting our Chicago-area family is pretty fantastic. They’re lovely hosts, their kid is adorable, and... they are willing to go to IKEA with me. And they don’t even make fun of my manic IKEA enthusiasm! What more could I ask for? Nothing.

And yet, this year, they tolerated a whole new level of my IKEA enthusiasm on our most recent visit: taking photos of my favorite IKEA vignettes!

Here’s the thing. Sure, IKEA has lots of cheap, quirky furniture... but they also have really talented designers. Whether your style is modern or traditional, sophisticated or shabby chic, they can somehow mix and match their stuff to provide universal appeal. It’s cozy and livable and I love it. So I had to take photos because, dear readers, there were things I wanted to show you and talk about. It’s basically what I do here.

[Forgive the quality of photos, please... I love you, iPod Touch, but you cannot compete with the DSLR.]

Every time we walked by this toile duvet cover, Mr. P pointed it out to me...

Dude knows my taste. But what I really liked about this particular display was how the designers paired the toile with the modern graphic floral pillows. Honestly, even though I have always liked toile, it has always scared me too much to use it. It just seemed like a pattern you really have to commit to, that it’ll set an inescapably old-fashioned tone for a room and bend your will to its ways. But look how nicely it’s playing with other patterns! Maybe I won’t shy away from now on.

You guys know how I love a nice wall of white bookcases:

And I have long loved the HEMNES bookcases – particularly that glass-doored one in the middle. Oh, if only it weren’t several hundred dollars out of my budget (the budget for “things I totally don’t need” being, of course, zero dollars). And don’t miss the “library” lamp in the upper left corner! I think if/when I get lighting for our bookshelves, IKEA will be our best bet.

There are lots of beautiful kitchen setups in each IKEA, but the one I ended up being completely drawn to – unsurprisingly – had white cabinets and soft green walls with light tan countertops. But what this kitchen had that ours did not was this great eating area:

I’ve seen so many IKEA-cabinets-turned-bench-seating tutorials (here’s a favorite from Lindsay at Little House Blog), so I love that IKEA has embraced it and made one, too.

Also loved in that kitchen: the table legs, the neutral and striped pillows, and the industrial schoolhouse light fixture. Not loved: SHORT CURTAINS. I have irrationally strong feelings about short curtains (and they are negative). If you can’t have floor-length curtains, go for a roman blind. Yes, IKEA sells something like that.

If I had to choose a favorite bedroom, it’d be this one:

You guys, I don’t know if it’s the Southerner in me or what, but lately I am loving buffalo check. And a neutral buffalo check like that duvet? Paired with moody dark greeny-gray walls and black and white photography? I die.

(Oh, yes, that’s Mr. P leaning in on the side, trying to see what I see in buffalo check. I simultaneously fear and hope that he’ll convince me we don’t need any. Although... I wonder how it would look with toile?)

Elsewhere in my favorite bedroom, we have a great reading nook with my current favorite IKEA lamp:

It’s the BAROMETER, and I think it might be perfect tucked behind our sectional. Maybe?

PS, don’t miss the buffalo check pillow and the HEMNES dresser in the foreground. Basically if it’s HEMNES series, I love it.

Finally, we have my favorite room I’ll never have: a dressing room:

The chaise! The adorable side table! The old-fashioned oval-mirror vanity! The chandeliers, plural, two of them squeeee! In the grand scheme of things, a dressing room will always be totally impractical for me and my lifestyle, but I can still dream, eh?

(Un)fortunately, because we were traveling with Mr. P’s parents and a carload of Christmas presents, I knew that I’d have to leave this IKEA visit mostly empty-handed (nothing like this IKEA trip of yore). Still, I did manage to pick up a very few things: curtains, because there are never enough IKEA curtains (don’t worry, I’ll show you soon), and something else... which can be found in the photo above...

... and which are not these:

Those linen-covered storage boxes are absolutely swoon-worthy. Lookit, the bottom of the metal label frame, it’s also a handle! Love them. These storage boxes are my current IKEA infatuation, but at $10 per box... I think I’ll settle for covering my current boxes in linen, metal handle aside, thanks.

So what did I get from that dressing room photo? Well... you’ve already seen it, featured rather unceremoniously earlier this week.

That pillow there, that I’m cuddling in my pitiful sickly state? It has a MARGARETA cover on it! I grabbed a few of those, marked down to five bucks a pop, and I love love love the white and gray stripe with our tan sectional. I also love it in our office, in the guest room, in our bedroom... basically, I want about twelve more MARGARETA covers. Good thing IKEA is so far away!

Anyone been to an IKEA lately, readers? Go on, make me jealous. But if you too are IKEA-less, you can virtually join in the fun with a catalog! (Not gonna lie, I look at mine at least once a week.)


Christal said...

I learn so many decorating vocabulary words reading your blog. :-)

Tina said...

Dang. I LOVE those Emmie roll-up blinds! They would've been perfect in the sun room... not to mention at a quarter of the cost of what I ended up with. Dang. Dang. Dang. And the lamp? Love it, too... Shoot. I want a couple of those, also. I appreciate all your studying and posting things I really like. ;-)It might be nice to live closer to Ikea since they ssstillll refuse to do mail-order. =P~~~~~~~~