Want to elevate your IKEA? This post is for you

Want to elevate your IKEA? This post is for you

If you’re anything like me, the minute you accepted your diploma your mind was filled with daydreams of having your first non-student apartment. In my head, I pictured carefully curated furniture that I picked up on-budget for my stylish Pinterest-ready living room. The reality of the situation is while I might not be a student anymore, my bank account still resembles that of one.

If you caught my last IKEA post, you’d know that I’d already resolved to do a lot of shopping at everyone’s favourite Scandinavian furniture store. We sold all of our furniture when we left Halifax so we needed everything. Like… our mattress and TV currently reside on the floor. Not the look I’m going for.

It’s important to me that every room in my home reflects my style. But, because most 20 somethings buy all their furniture at IKEA, my initial thought was that it would be nearly impossible to create a space that didn’t look like it fell out of the IKEA catalog. I still think we have a long way to go. But, in the meantime, here are a few layering tricks to elevate your IKEA look.

Couch | Desk | TV Stand

Step 01 | The Base

After you spend hours crying building your furniture and find the arrangement that works for you, it’s time to elevate your look.

Step 02 | Grounding the space

I was going to talk about how important it is to find a rug that fits your room, and give you a set of guidelines on how to make sure your coffee table doesn’t look like an island. Then I went to Home Sense and my toes fell in love with a rug that is too small for my room. I know, I should know better! Truth be told, my budget fell in love with this rug more than my toes did. At $150, I couldn’t pass it up! And for now, the texture and colour add a much-needed softness to the space. I can always pick something bigger further down the road if it bothers me.


Step 03 | Add texture with Soft furnishings

Next, we switched out the curtains that came with the apartment in favour some breezy white curtains from — you guessed it — IKEA. For the couch, we bought these cute striped pillows from Home Sense with tassels and just have an old IKEA pillow behind it. It’s a bit too 50 shades of grey right now so eventually, I’ll replace the grey IKEA pillow for something a little bit more fun. The pillow inserts are actually IKEA, but I bought those last year so we already had them. Lastly, lazily drape a soft throw in your preferred colour onto your couch so it invites anyone who sits down to cuddle up.

Step 04 | Greenery

Adam and I can never agree on a colour scheme. But we can agree on the fact that we basically want to live in a greenhouse. We’re pretty good at taking care of plants so we always opt for real greenery instead of anything fake. I love the act of nurturing and taking care of my little plant friends; it could never be a chore to look after them! Fake plants don’t exemplify the kind of growth I want in my life and to me do more to collect dust than inspire my life. I’ll probably write a full post on taking care of plants because I feel so strongly against fake plants! Trust me, they’re a lot easier to deal with than people let on.

Bulb | Cord | Bracket

Step 05 | Cozy lighting

If you’ve been around for a little while you know that I absolutely abhor overhead lighting unless it comes with a dimmer switch. I find individual lamps and candles create a much better atmosphere for relaxing and I almost always opt for alternative lights to cast a glow around my home. Even though Christmas isn’t for a couple months, I just had to put up my curtain of lights in our big window. I hung the lights behind the white curtain panels, and I love the soft glow it creates in the evenings. Bonus, the individual lights don’t cast a glare on the T.V. screen when we’re watching movies. Because… priorities.

Step 06 | Personal Touches

My last and final (possibly favourite) step is adding quirky personal touches. I tried to tone it down for this post, but I have a feeling my little knick-knacks will find a place as we settle in. My favourite decorative elements are vintage brass candlesticks for height and glam, scattering books and magazines for inspiration and leaning prints in unexpected places. I could never be a minimalist because I like a little clutter!


There’s one major thing missing in this room… Can you spot it? We’re still in desperate need of a coffee table! I wanted to find something that wasn’t IKEA to add more variety; plans are definitely in the works for this key piece of furniture. I’m looking for something simple with a touch of storage and a bit of a rustic edge. Who knows? There might be a DIY on the way…

For now, I’m really pleased with how it looks! I hope this post helped you layer up your IKEA furniture so it feels a little more polished than a showroom.

What’s your favourite part? Let me know what you think in the comments!


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