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8 things you probably don't think of when buying IKEA furniture

Homify logo Homify 17/2/2017 Will Sayner

 IKEA is fantastic for those who need to furnish their home quickly, great for household items such as kitchenware, and essential for young people moving into their first property. IKEA hasn’t become the largest furniture store in history by being bad at what they do; the affordable prices, wide product selection and ruthless efficiency of their business model have made the company a global success. Virtually all of us have owned – or currently own – IKEA products, and in all likelihood we’ll purchase more in the future! That being said, we should be careful not to rely on the Scandinavian superstore too much, and here’s why…

1. Everyone buys from IKEA

 Homes excessively furnished with IKEA products can lack a sense of individuality or character because everyone buys the same products from the same global store. Be honest, how many times have you thought “I have that book shelf” when you’ve been in a friend’s home?  We’d wager most people have at least once. However, if you’re heart’s set on IKEA and you want to circumvent this problem you could try customising the furniture to make it more unique; like the piece above by online shop, Creatisto.

2. There are alternatives

 This sounds obvious, but there are alternatives to IKEA! The brand has become so ubiquitous that often we fail to consider the wealth of options available. IKEA pioneered flat pack design and changed the way we shop for furniture, but times have changed, and with the advent of online shopping we can get just about anything delivered to our doors with the click of a mouse. Why buy the same sideboard you’ve seen a thousand times before when you could opt for a far more personal piece? Like the handmade and environmentally friendly sideboard above.

3. Building your own furniture may be easier than you think

 If IKEA’s most pervasive problem is that it robs your home of individuality, then what better way to solve the problem then by building your own pieces? After all, nothing could be more individual than furniture you have built yourself. We’re not all carpenters so of course this is not an all-in-one furnishing solution, but mixing one or two pieces you’ve made yourself with the IKEA furnishings will counteract the generic look. Simple pallet constructions like the coffee table above can be made with relative ease and minimal cost.

4. Upcycling is all the rage

homify / Little Mill House: eclectic Living room by Little Mill House © homify / Little Mill House eclectic Living room by Little Mill House

 Another highly creative and original means of furnishing your home is to purchase upcycled products. The idea of repurposing old items to create something new and unique is not only quirky, fun and stylish, but environmentally friendly too.

5. Flea markets and second-hand stores

 IKEA is affordable, but so are second-hand stores – and flea markets too if you’re lucky enough to find a bargain – so if you spend a little time shopping around you may be able to find an individual, high quality piece for the same price. However, if you are in a rush then IKEA may be the simplest solution.

6. You’d be amazed what you can find online

 Second hand shopping can be done online too, and you might be surprised at the bargains you can find. Websites such as Craigslist can be a great way to find specific pieces at low cost; maybe even for free if people are in a rush to vacate their home.

7. The construction materials

 Some IKEA furniture is made from manufactured board covered with a laminate. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but let’s be honest manufactured board doesn’t hold a candle to real wood!

8. The shopping experience

 Many people love the IKEA shopping experience, but some don’t, and if you’re amongst those who find it an ordeal then maybe consider buying online instead.

 If you are feeling inspired to give building your own furniture a go, then you should take a look these great ideas for building your own bedframe.

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