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We don’t know how anyone gets through college without Ikea. Simple, versatile, affordable. Ikea couches and dressers (and that armchair–we love you Poäng!) have helped us become the adults we are today, but then when we do reach adulthood, we tend to move on from Ikea. But should we? We found ten ways we’ll never, ever outgrow our decor alma mater.

The Haute Storage Solution

Storing stuff is a struggle at any age. Ikea’s tried and true storage solutions are really just a jumping off point for the imagination. Amateurs buy the Pax and use it as-is. Professionals make it their own. Let’s hear it for mirrored doors!

The Affordable Island

Once we’ve got kitchens big enough for center islands, the price tags of said islands can make us want to crawl back into our one-room studio with a mini fridge. A simple Billy bookcase turned on its side offers extra counter space. (Did you ever think you’d have extra counter space)?

The Shoe Solution

A pile on the floor of the closet is no longer an acceptable

shoe storage

solution. One of the best parts of adulthood is that the shoes get better with age. Arriving at the point where shoes deserve to be displayed in a glass case is a true mark of maturity. No more over-the-door hangers!

The Permanent Fixture DIY

This is different than trying your hand at booze-soaked watermelon or personalized coffee mugs. The permanent fixture DIY takes care, planning, and commitment. That Ikea dresser deserves a second chance at life, the chance to find a space for itself in your grown-up apartment.

The More-Than-One-Piece Couch

This is a very big deal. This is true commitment. Color, style, shape, these are all things that have to be decided. You have room for a real couch, you should have a real couch, and still have enough money left over to style the rest of the room, thankyouverymuch.

The Custom Closet

You no longer accept your closet as it is. You will whip your closet into the clothing storage leviathan you know it can be. And you’ll use highly versatile

ikea shelves

to do it.

The Home Office

Your bed is no longer your desk. Your desk is your desk, and if you want to create a home workspace inspired by productivity and personal style, you know where you’re going to find (or hack) it.

The Real Entryway

It’s more than just a door and a Command hook stuck to the wall. The entryway is the decor-obsessed person’s dream. It’s a permanent first impression, an emblem of adulthood. Getting creative with Ikea pieces ensures yours will stand out among so many credenza+lamp+tray situations.

Smart Shelving

This is when we start seriously considering shelfies. Storage doesn’t have to be functional-only, there can be a little form, too. This is especially true as we start to identify wall space that can (and should) support a little custom storage.

The Real Kitchen

It’s functional, it’s beautiful, it matches. If you’re ready to stop cringing every time you see your cabinets, but are fully aware that an entire kitchen remodel could totally disrupt your life, you know what your solution is, don’t you?

The Extra Closet

Not the closet, mind you, but the extra one. The wardrobe. The armoire. The piece that allows you to cohabitate with your significant other without throwing out half of your belongings. It used to be the white plastic number with the shelf inside that always fell down. Now we can upgrade.

The Completed Room

It’s a time of finishing things, of pulling things together. The effortless matching scheme that is Ikea allows those with even the toughest rooms to tackle create and craft rooms full of storage, seating, and style.