I'll be the first admit, I love IKEA, but I don't want my rooms to look like pages out of an IKEA catalog. My favorite part about IKEA is that you can get really well designed pieces and have money left over to customize it and make it your own. My favorite finds from this article are the custom slipcovers from Bemz and the custom decals from Mykea. Brilliant stuff!
Here are a few of my tips:
1. Measure Twice, Buy Once. Measure your spaces, width, depth and height. Measure the spaces that you're shopping for and also the spaces that you MIGHT be shopping for. This will help you IMMENSELY once you get to the store. Obviously this will ensure that your piece will fit, but many times I'll spot things that I wasn't necessarily looking for and having the measurements on hand helps me to figure out if I want to get it or pass. Time is precious and I don't want to make multiple trips if I don't have to.
2. Make a List and Check it Twice. Go to IKEA with a game plan and a list. I used to go in there to just window shop and I'd leave with a whole bunch of stuff that either I didn't need, didn't fit or didn't look right once I got home. Boy, I can really get sucked into those "model rooms" that IKEA is so good at putting together. That all made for wasted time and money. :P Make a list!
3. What kind of trip is this? For me, there are 2 types of IKEA outings. One is a scouting outing where I'm exploring, getting inspiration, and gathering information, the other is a purchasing outing. Knowing what your goal is with your trip will help you be more efficient with your time. I don't know about you, but IKEA is not one of those places you can zip in and out. Walking into the store from the parking lot is at least a 10 minute trek!
Hope these ideas and tips help. Happy shopping and see you Monday!