that time of year again: IKEA frenzy

Two weeks ago I ventured out to IKEA to pick up a couple of odds and ends, and realized the second I hit the parking lot that I'd made a huge mistake. The place was absolutely swarming with university students and their parents, stocking up for dorm rooms or first apartments. It's that time of year again.

I think it goes without saying that I'm not a huge fan of buying all your furniture and accessories in one place at one time. If it can be avoided, it should be. The reality is, though, that when you're starting from scratch and heading off to school you have better things to worry about - and better things to spend your money on - than a well-curated room.

But just because you have to stock up IKEA styles doesn't mean you have to live in a hot mess. It's all about making smart choices. Take this cute and simple bedroom scheme as an example:

Bed frame = 149$
Solid red curtains = 29.99$
Indian inspired curtains = 14.99$
Black sheet set = 23.99$
Flokati rug = 39.99$
Striped throw = 29.99$
Woven diamond pillow = 9.99$
Red velvet pillow = 12.99$

What you have there is a stylish, grown-up room for only about 300 bones. It's not perfect (it's still all from one place after all) but it's pretty, pulled-together, and doesn't look cheap.

A big part of achieving that is doing your best to stick to quality materials - like iron, wool, cotton, and velvet - that feel rich and add loads of texture. Texture might not be the first thing you think of when throwing together a student room, but it should be! I really think it's one of the major keys to actually enjoying your space. I own that rug, for example, and stepping onto it in the morning is one of the only things I don't hate about getting out of bed.

You might also scoff at the idea of layering two pairs of curtains when you're trying to cut costs, but think about it for a second: the price of both of these adds up to less than many of IKEA's solo options, and you get a much more luxurious feel for your money. It looks like you splurged when you didn't, injects some much needed pattern and personality, and accounts for the need to block light in the bedroom. I call that bang for buck.

When it comes to IKEA you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I've always fallen on the side of love. While that doesn't mean I'd suggest a full blown shopping spree, if you have to do it, you CAN do it right! And maybe, just maybe, that'll mean a little less landfill fodder when the year is up.

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1 comment :

  1. Great post! Man, so many undergrads would have awesome rooms if they could hire you as to create haute IKEA rooms for them


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