Loved for their design-forward furnishings, Scandinavian-inspired goods, and seriously low prices, in the world of home decor, Ikea almost seems too good to be true. Yet most times we enter an Ikea, that sense of luck and confidence is replaced with decision dread. If you’ve ever arrived with one purchase in mind and left with four (or more) Frakta bags, you know exactly what we’re talking about. What, then, would you do if you forced yourself to walk into an Ikea with a limited budget—say, $100—to work with? What would you buy?
We asked interior designers this very question. While some of the pros would splurge on one iconic piece, others opted for a handful of organizing essentials and decorative accents. Want to know exactly how they’d shop with $100 in their pocket? Here’s a sneak peek inside their bag:
Joanna Hawley of Jojotastic is constantly on the lookout for fresh ways to keep her tiny bungalow clean. So what would she snag from the Swedish retailer? “Storage bins and boxes for my small space, plus a few house plants with what’s leftover!” A graphic catch-all for loose office papers, kids’ toys, and other miscellaneous goodies, these simple lidded boxes are a stylish fix for a cluttered space.
With $100 to spare, designer Andria Fromm would giver her oversized art a sleek refresh. Loved for their clean design, the Ribba series (available in black and white) is an ultra-chic and budget-friendly way to display your most treasured works.
“Rattan planters, glassware, and small indoor/outdoor metal side tables,” are just a few summery essentials on Justina Blakeney’s shopping list, which has suddenly put us in the mood for homemade lemonade sipped on a sunny afternoon outside.
This slim and sturdy surface is Utah-based blogger Sarah Gibson’s first choice. Whether topped with coffee table books in the living room or used as a bonus dumping ground in the entryway, this simple wood table will extend a modern, organic feel wherever it sits.
“From classic linen-like neutrals to deep rich velvets, Ikea’s window treatment hung from ceiling to floor, make a dramatic statement,” dishes Atlanta-based designer Tavia Forbes of Forbes + Masters. “Having a seamstress remove the grommets and add the pleating tape can transform your Ikea drapes. This will look more polished on a rod or the Vidga Track System.”
The simplest way to elevate your space? Hardware! Knobs, pulls, and other easy-to-swap accents can totally change the look and feel of a space without taking a toll on your wallet. “Ikea has some great options for updating a kitchen on a budget,” shares designer Becki Owens.
“I love using this for bedrooms, kitchen, and dining areas,” shares SoCal-based designer and blogger Anita Yokota of Ikea’s popular statement fixture. “The Scandinavian neutral vibe easily translates into any styled home.” With cash to spare, Yokota would also walk out with a Gladom tray table: “A versatile piece to place by the bed, sofa, or even a corner with a plant.”
Although designer Dee Murphy also has her eye on a Sinnerlig pendant, she’s also thinking of all the ways to show off her in-season blooms. This dreamy terracotta vessel and boho-approved plant stand are two of her favorite finds.
For Shea McGee—one part of the duo behind Studio McGee—Ikea is the one place she goes when she wants to keep things practical. A wood step stool, baskets, extra storage, and dish towels are a few things she’d invest in.
“The BOSNAS ottoman is very easy to customize by making your own square slipcover to suit the room,” notes Kahi Lee, one of the designers on TLC’s “Trading Spaces.” “I tend to buy a bunch, make a cozy, and slip it over the frame. It’s an easy accent piece that works well in any room. With any leftover money, I’d buy a bunch of pillow inserts to have on hand for when I need them.”
Chic, decorative pieces for every room in the home is how Natalie Myers of Veneer Designs would spend her money. And if she had to swap her handful of inspired finds for one iconic piece? She’d “blow it all on a PS Locker Cabinet.
See more Ikea items we love:
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