IKEA 2013 Catalog Preview: Stylists' Design Ideas Worth Stealing

IKEA's 2013 catalog has arrived! This new edition further cements my theory that the true genius of IKEA is how they skillfully show us how to use their basic items in ways that are new, fresh and innovative, making you feel like you want to dig in and make the most of your home. Their stylists keep on coming up with new ways to stretch square footage while keeping things looking good - there is always an idea or two worth stealing! Jump through for 7 fresh decorating ideas from the pages of the 2013 catalog along with a link through to the whole thing online, so you can explore on your own…

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1. Consider mixing shelving and bookcases: This mix of wall hung shelving and Billy bookcases creates a custom storage solution to suit an awkward space by simply extending the level of the shelves in the bookcase out across the stairwell. This would be a great solution to bridge spaces between bookshelves that span a desk, bed, window or any other object you'd like to incorporate into a storage wall, making the entire expanse feel more "built-in".

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2 Run ultra narrow shelving the full length of the wall: This super skinny simple shelving creates a great space for what can be an ever-changing display of artwork and collections. The keys to making it look good? It runs from one end of the wall to the other and is painted the same color as the wall - these two touches makes it feel architectural, rather than "stuck on" the way that some picture rails and floating shelves can if they have lots of negative space around them.

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3. "Upholster" an (inexpensive) chest of drawers: This great custom look was obtained very simply - according to the catalog text, the patterned fabric was just stretched and tacked in place with a staple gun. Not a project you'd do with a antique hardwood dresser, but it looks fantastic on a simple, low-cost chest.

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4. Hide the clutter, not the storage: These wall hung cabinets are the antithesis of "hidden storage" on the surface, but actually provide tons of space to store things away. The bold blue doors make for an almost-artwork-like statement in the room and look striking, while being totally practical..

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5. Get creative in the entryway: This classic plastic bag holder/storage solution breaks free of the interior of your under sink cabinet and works wonders in the landing strip area as a clever wall-hung umbrella holder - with the added benefit of not taking up floor space.

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6. Ceiling hung panels are a great looking sound dampener: Kill two birds with one stone by adding an easy-to-diy accent piece in the bedroom (or wherever you'd like) which also absorbs sound. The panels also help to visually define a space, so it would work well in a studio or any type of open plan room that serves multiple purposes. Note how the gray paint on the ceiling is dropped down a foot or so onto the top of the walls, creating a backdrop for the panels that draws your eye up and helps to frame the panels.

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7. Mix it up in the kitchen and anchor it with a strong center: This duo of textured-look wood grain upper cabinets (set on the horizontal) with the clean, flat finish white lower cabinets (vertically oriented, of course) add plenty of flair and push/pull visual energy to an otherwise simple, utilitarian space. The concept of matching the dark wall color to the countertop to make it a solid black "line" running between them is a great one - it adds strength and cohesiveness to the design.

Check Out the New Catalog: IKEA 2013

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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