Ok, we’ll whisper it. We love Ikea. If you’re old enough to remember the MFI furniture that infected just about every home in Britain (we are) in the 80s/90s, you may agree that the introduction of democratised good design from Sweden was long overdue. From its cheap hotdogs and tealights to the now ubiquitous Billy bookcase, Ikea gets the basics right, but therein lies the rub.
If, like us, you went a little crazy at Ikea at some point (and/or rented student digs in the last 20 years), you’ll know that can be hard to lift the ‘first home’ feel out of Ikea furniture. We say it isn’t impossible, but it does require extra thought. So here’s a couple of Ikea items we find ourselves going back to again and again, together with our Sturman & Co. tips on how to use them…
Bess first used these huge (80cm!) pendants back in 2012 for the refurbishment of Outside The Box Cafe in Ilkley. Many people ask where they are from and we like it so much we now have the smaller 55cm version in our Sturman & Co. studio (pic above).
Your electrician won’t thank you for the assembly process (allow at least an hour), but the overall effect is very strong, particularly if you have a high ceiling. And the trick to getting it right? We’re sad to say that this iconic design needs to be taken well away from its birthplace at Ikea for it to work. Make it yours by ensuring it is the only Ikea item in the room. If you’re on a budget, team it with vintage finds, or otherwise go with high end luxury.
RIBBA PICTURE LEDGE
Another item we have in Bess’s studio (it’s perfect for setting out colour and mood boards), Ikea’s Ribba Picture Ledge turns even the plainest wall into a flexible art gallery. It has often been copied (check out Etsy for more rustic versions) and was recently supplemented by the more decorative Marietorp and the deeper Mossanda.
It’s not difficult to use well. Go to Pinterest and get creative with your walls. And don’t forget to change it with the seasons..