Have a Small Living Room? This $65 IKEA Table Should Be on Your Radar.

published Jun 14, 2023
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Credit: Andrew Bui

Over the last 80 years, IKEA has been a popular place to shop for furniture and home decor that’s ripe for personalization, thanks to its affordability. Creative DIYers have hacked everything from the HEMNES dresser to the PAX wardrobe to the SEKTION kitchen, and the store carries plenty of under-$15 finds for closet organization and maximizing efficiency in small spaces, too. There’s one IKEA item that’s gone under the radar, though, and it’s about time that it gets its place in the spotlight, because trust me: You’ll never find a better end table alternative than this.

Haley Boyko and her partner, Nick, live in a colorful three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, New York, that they’ve been renting for two years. The couple says they lucked out with this spot because it’s actually a three-bedroom, three-bathroom, three-outdoor-space duplex, so it’s a huge canvas for all of their creative endeavors. Boyko is a footwear designer and freelance illustrator, so the entire unit is filled with her work and supplies for her artsy hobbies. “I have tons of paints, canvas, a rug tufting frame/tufting guns, resin to cast those molds, and a handful of instruments,” Boyko says. “Both Nick and I are super creative so we have a lot of creative activities in the house!” 

Boyko’s design style is bold and eccentric, filled with affordable decor and furniture that represents the best of her and her partner’s combined colorful style. “We always try to stay on a budget when we move,” Boyko says in her house tour. And her go-to place when shopping on a budget? You guessed it: IKEA. “I know it’s not for everyone, but I truly love IKEA,” Boyko says. 

You’ve probably seen the BILLY bookcase and are aware of the KALLAX shelving, too. But a more under-the-radar product that deserves a spot in IKEA’s greatest hits collection just might be the TINGBY table on casters that Boyko bought for her living room. 

At first glance, sure, the TINGBY side table looks similar to a utility cart you’d maybe see a teacher using in a school classroom, but you can’t argue with the $65 price tag. Lightweight due to its particle board construction, easy to maneuver around a room with its casters, and ideal for storage (thanks to the shelf under its tabletop surface), this piece of furniture certainly earns its keep in a smaller space.

It even comes in a few different colors — gray, red, and white — to speak to lots of different aesthetics. Like almost every other IKEA product, though, you can customize it more to your own liking, too, with a little bit of sanding and paint. “If you ever come across a piece of furniture that you like but don’t like the color, PAINT IT,” Boyko says emphatically. “It’s so easy to change the color of something and make it yours to fit with your space and style.”
If you are someone who’s constantly creating like Boyko — or you just want a sturdy end table that can tuck neatly into a corner —the TINGBY might be for you. This piece flies under the radar at IKEA, but if you’re looking for something that can handle drinks and snacks up top, while storing things like magazines and remotes below, this is the under-$75 piece you need for your living room.