We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Seana Strawn has a strict decorating rule: She only brings items into her home that are either IKEA or vintage. Since she’s the home furnishing and retail design manager for IKEA U.S., you could say Strawn simply has serious brand loyalty. She’s been with the company for seven years, starting out as a product design developer in Sweden (where she lived for five years) before stepping into her current role leading all things related to visual merchandising, graphic design, and the annual style guide.

Even if Strawn didn’t work for IKEA, she’d still shop there…a lot. Her decorating skews eclectic, and she loves to balance out the bones of her circa-1911 Chicago home with mid-century–inspired finds. “I’m kind of sick of everything being the same,” says Strawn. So it works out for her that IKEA carries around 10,000 products at any given time.

But how does she narrow things down when shopping for her own home? Strawn has two boxes she likes to check: Looks-wise, things need to be steeped in Scandinavian modernism. They also need to be extremely practical. Take the new Ӓrtbuske vessel, for example. “That, to me, is iconic IKEA,” she says. “You can use it as a watering can or a vase—it has a lot of versatility, sturdiness, and beauty.” Cast-iron skillets, trays for organizing odds and ends, and real plants are a few more items that always end up in her cart. Ahead, Strawn reveals five of her favorite products, all larger staples, that are currently in her home.

The Jarlasa Side Table

red cart

Jarlasa Side Table, IKEA ($50)

I’m excited about our Nytillverkad collection, where everything that’s old is new again—these are IKEA products that are truly timeless. I recently purchased the Jarlasa cart in red, which was originally designed by Niels Gammelgaard, a fundamental designer for us, in 1984. I use mine as a record player station in my living room. 

The Holmsjoe Stool

I’ve Worked for IKEA for 7 Years—Here Are the Products I Have in My Home

Holmsjoe Stool, IKEA ($50)

From the Nytillverkad collection, I also got the Holmsjoe stool, which sits right next to the record cart. Its natural materials are a great juxtaposition to the industrial metal of the cart. 

The Ivar Cabinet

I’ve Worked for IKEA for 7 Years—Here Are the Products I Have in My Home

Ivar Cabinet, IKEA ($130)

I’ve got the double-door storage cabinet in my entryway, but it’s such a versatile piece. You can hang it on the wall, put stickers on it, sand it, paint it. All of our pine furniture is an opportunity for personalization, but the Ivar is everything for me. I’m going to get [another] one for my teenage son’s room to put under his gaming TV, but he’ll also be able to take it with him to college. 

The Varmblixt LED Table/Wall Lamp

orange light

Varmblixt LED Table/Wall Lamp, IKEA ($70)

The “doughnut lamp” is what we always call this. I have it hanging on a wall near my dining table, right next to a wingback chair, and it creates such an atmosphere. It brings coziness but also adds a supermodern touch to the chair. We knew right away [when we launched the limited-edition Sabine Marcelis collection] that this lamp was going to be a classic piece, so we secured it and kept it for the permanent IKEA range. 

The Stockholm Cabinet

I’ve Worked for IKEA for 7 Years—Here Are the Products I Have in My Home

Stockholm Cabinet, IKEA ($549)

One of my favorite vintage IKEA pieces that I own was made in the 1960s. It’s a solid teakwood bar cabinet that you pull down to open, and the inside is lined with leather and glass shelves and it’s backlit. We currently have a product that’s very similar. The Stockholm collection has proven heritage for us, and even if you purchase it new, I think its value will go up.