IKEA 2012 Preview: Stylists' Design Ideas Worth Stealing

It's here — IKEA's 2012 catalog is out! I've said it before and I'll say it again — their stylists do a really good job of making you feel like you too can live a super organized, stylish life with nary a single square foot squandered. Now, decking out your whole home in the IKEA mode would make you feel like… well, like you are living in a catalog, but surely stealing one or two of their clever ideas is worth considering. Jump through for 8 smart ideas and a link through to the new catalog:

1. Create the Feel of Architectural Detail with Furniture: The cover (shown above) features a window wrapped with bookshelves, not just standing vertically on either side, but also one wall anchored across the top - this do-it-in a weekend update creates instant visual impact/interest AND adds lots of storage.

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2. Don't Be Tied to the "Need" for a Sofa: Letting go of the idea that every living room needs a sofa can be the first step to freeing up square footage. In this example, two chaises "float" in the center of a small living room, providing seating while allowing the walls to be used for storage and a work space.

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3. Create a One-of-a-kind Chandelier: These three pendants work together to create a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The super textural, natural wood choice, along with a very narrow, vertical colorful shade, balanced by a simple, modern white drum makes for an inexpensive yet so-much-more interesting choice than a single overhead light source.

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4. Let Your Room Divider Do Double Triple Quadruple Duty: This room divider made from wardrobes earns its square footage allotment in the small space by functioning in many ways: by defining the bedroom area from the rest of the space, providing bedside tables, holding the wall mounted reading lamps AND adding extra closed storage for clothing or other belongings.

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5. Multiples are a good thing: This small space has tons of storage and looks interesting and personal - a big part of the secret to it's success? The use of basic items in multiples. Two pendant lamps, two bookshelves, two sofas (in different fabrics), a choo choo lineup of storage boxes on wheels, a large number of small wooden boxes, and even the violins that read as wall art all work well when done in repeat. This is an easy-to-try designer trick of the trade that is worth giving a go, especially in small spaces where including similarly sized and shaped items can cut down on the visual "noise" of a space.

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6. A Multiple of the Multiple Idea - More of the Good Thing: I'm including two examples to illustrate how the multiples concept works no matter what the style or size of the room or scale of items being repeated. In this larger, more conservatively decorated room, the same idea as shown in #5 is at work again - there are two rugs, two ottomans, two coffee tables, two pendants, two bulletin boards stacked — you get the idea!

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7. Consider Moving Just Your Daily Tabletop Basics to Open Shelving: Not everyone can rock the open shelving concept for their whole kitchen. I know I have plenty of stuff that I want close at hand that just isn't pretty enough for viewing. This idea is a nod to the current craze for open storage AND has a practical side too - how about using up some otherwise wasted vertical wallspace with just a few open shelves for the basics you use everyday? Add a few wine glasses, plates and pretty bowls and voila - easy reach for setting the table and a decorative element, all in one.

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8. Color is King When Your Main Pieces are Black and White: This room is a perfect example of the power of paint. The majority of items in this room are either black or white. The rugs, all the case goods and tables, the armchairs, desk chair, pillows, throws, lampshade and even most or the artwork are one of these two basics. The exceptions that make this room feel alive and "decorated"? The just-right gray paint and sofa upholstery. Which means in a few years, one could simply repaint and reupholster just the sofa and have a room that appears TOTALLY different.

CHECK OUT THE NEW CATALOG: IKEA 2012