The Best Living Room Items from IKEA, According to Designers

published Oct 19, 2019
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Anyone who’s been to IKEA knows it’s virtually impossible to buy only one thing. Sure, you might do into your home decor pilgrimage searching for a simple side table, but you’ll likely walk out of those blue and yellow doors with seven new throw pillows, a set of nesting stools, and another add-on for your PAX wardrobe.

But if your small home is begging you to restrain yourself, don’t worry—it is possible to edit your IKEA cart down.

Take your living room, for example. According to the pros, there are only two living room essentials you really need to buy from the Scandi-chic store.

Textile designer John Robshaw says that IKEA’s lighting selection is a must-buy—and we couldn’t agree more. No two living rooms are alike, but whether you have a sleek, mid-century modern room or a space that’s filled with bold colors or prints, great lighting will never go out of style. Robshaw is particularly fond of IKEA’s HOLMÖ
floor lamp.

“I love the way this lamp diffuses the light, giving the room a soft, romantic vibe,” he says.

Robshaw also adores the rice paper lampshade, which he says makes this light look like a piece of art when idle.

According to Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy, plants are an affordable way to pack a punch. (That’s right, IKEA sells plants.) While the Swedish store has a surprisingly expansive collection of plants, Wood favors the Dracaena Marginata—or Dragon Tree for short.

“They do great in spaces with any type of lighting, and are the perfect mid-size plant for your living room,” Wood says.

At $1.99 a pop, they’re easy to replace in the ever-so-common event if you haven’t mastered the art of plant parenthood. Since these plants are so affordable, you can even pick up some cute planters—but nothing more. Remember: You don’t need a blue and yellow bag full of stuff to make your place pop.

What are your favorite living room essentials from IKEA? Sound off in the comments below!