Every year when the new IKEA catalogue comes out, design people like me get very excited. It’s full of inspiration and great design ideas and just plain eye candy. While I like to create a room using vintage pieces mixed in with modern and a few luxury items, the IKEA designers are quite brilliant at creating gorgeous rooms out of only IKEA products. Now that’s a gift.
This year’s catalogue is extra special. Not only are we in a pandemic, so few of us are going out to actual stores to shop, choosing instead to shop from the safety of our homes, but many of us are fixated on fixing up our homes and this catalogue is chock full of some special pieces.
Here are the ones that moved me most.
01 of 19
BERGPALM Duvet Cover and Pillowcase
The cover of the 2021 IKEA catalogue features an unmade bed with this gray striped duvet. Of all the duvet cover options at IKEA (and there are a lot—an entire wall devoted to them in the actual stores), these delicate pinstripes ($24.99) are my favorite. I liked them so much, I bought them for the twin beds at our Cape Cod Airbnb. Paired with a jute rug, it makes the perfect beachy bedroom.
Here’s the deal about IKEA bedding, not only is it affordable, but the quality is quite good. I had one IKEA duvet cover that lasted 15 years before it tore. I sewed it up and still use it. I buy IKEA sheets and down pillows and duvets for all of our vacation rental beds.
02 of 19
Rattan is huge right now. I’ve been dreaming of buying a vintage rattan day bed for our Catskills house for a couple years but while vintage is pricey, a couple of these $169 armchairs are more affordable.
I could see this chair in a reading nook in a girl’s bedroom. Add a colorful pillow and a hanging pendant light and she’ll get lost in a book for hours. These could also work in a living room. I would toss a sheepskin over the backs of them and have them flank a couch.
03 of 19
RABBLA Box With Lid
Have you heard of the Danish concept of “hygge” (pronounced “hoo-guh’)? It connotes coziness and comfort and simplicity, and if this sounds like something you want in your life right now, these boxes are a perfect step to getting there. Put them on the bottom of a bookshelf and store a knit throw in one. When the weather turns cold, put a fire in the fireplace, pull out that throw, light some candles and get your hygge on.
Available in 3 sizes, $12.99, $14.99 and $19.99
04 of 19
GODMORGON Box With Compartments, Smoked
First came Marie Kondo. Then came The Home Edit. Ever since I discovered organizing one’s life can be a thing, I’ve been slightly obsessed with organizing my life. This $19.99 box is perfectly priced and could be used in the bathroom, the kitchen or the office.Continue to 5 of 19 below.
05 of 19
GODMORGON Mini Chest With 2 Drawers, Smoked
Hello, perfect marker box. Perfect jewelry box. Perfect storage-for-old-love-letters-and-cards box. I would put one of you in every room—and at only $12.99 each, it may be doable.
06 of 19
HAVSTA Glass-Door Cabinet With Base
A couple featured in the 2021 IKEA catalogue created a dining room piece using this $300 glass-door cabinet. It was flanked on either side with two cabinets with bases. For $700, they created a custom-looking piece that looks classy and stores a ton of stuff.
I like these knobs alright, but to make cabinets such as these look custom, swap out the knobs for heavier pieces. I would choose unlacquered brass knobs, which age into gorgeousness over time.
07 of 19
APPLARO Outdoor Table and Chairs
I searched all summer for the perfect outdoor table and chairs for our Cape Cod rental that wouldn’t break the bank. I ended up buying a table on Facebook Marketplace and chairs online, but this set ($149 table, $65 chair) would have been perfect. No one would know the wood is acacia, and not teak.
We live in the Northeast, so I would bring these in for the winter, but if you live in a warmer climate, you could enjoy this set all year long.
08 of 19
KLUNKA Laundry Bag, White/Black 16 Gallon
I have a love affair with stripes. Stripes on my tops. Stripes on my bedding. Stripes on my throw pillows and now stripes on my $9.99 laundry bag. Dear stripe-covered object, I love thee.Continue to 9 of 19 below.
09 of 19
HELMER Drawer Unit on Casters
With everyone working and schooling from home these days, you need to stash your stuff. This $39.99 unit on casters works for kids and adults. You can even label the drawers so they have purpose and don’t become a catch-all.
10 of 19
RAGGISAR Basket, Set of 3
I am going to buy these $6.99 baskets and find a place for them. I love them so much, I would buy another home so that I could have a place for them.
11 of 19
DINERA Serving Plate
When I saw the picture of a salad on this $7.99 plate in the IKEA catalogue, I thought, “well, that just looks rich.” It’s like something hand-crafted by a maker in Italy that you might pluck off the shelf at a boutique to give someone as a hostess gift.
When buying dishes for any kitchen, my own or a vacation rental, I always buy plain white and I never splurge. This way if a plate gets chipped, no biggie. Plus, white dishes allow your food to be the main attraction. If you want to dress up the table, do so with napkins and serving bowls full of colorful foods.
12 of 19
FRIHETEN Sleeper Sofa, Hyllie Beige or Dark Gray
With so many people working from home now, why not turn your guest bedroom into an office space as well? This $499 sleeper sofa is perfect for a guest bedroom/office. I would pick the dark gray color and add textured cream pillows for a bit of pop. (You’re welcome).
One thing I love about this couch is that it comes with bedding storage. You can store pillows, comforters, sheets, and a mattress pad inside the sofa, and when you’re ready to turn it into a queen-sized bed, you just pop it out. IKEA mattresses can be a tad firm, so I would add a mattress topper for a bit of extra comfort. I put them on all firm mattresses in our houses.Continue to 13 of 19 below.
13 of 19
GUNRID Air Purifying Curtain, Light Gray
In the time of COVID-19, why wouldn’t you want an air-purifying curtain? I had no idea before I opened this catalogue that such a thing existed, but apparently it does. But even if air-cleaning curtains aren’t your jam, you just might fall in love with the detailing on the top of these $29.99 curtains, as I did. I would buy them for that alone.
14 of 19
SLATTUM Upholstered Bed Frame
IKEA makes great bed frames that look much more expensive than they are. This $129 light gray bed frame is lovely. And bonus: You don’t need a box spring.
15 of 19
KUBBIS Rack With 7 Hooks, Gray
I love racks and put them in every entryway and every bedroom.
This $14.99 KUBBIS rack is a modern twist on my very favorite type of rack, the Shaker peg rack. If I had a farmhouse, I would line the entryway walls with peg racks stained a deep black-blue.
Or maybe I’d just buy a few of these.
16 of 19
SLÄKT Bed Frame With Pull-Out Bed + Storage, White Twin
If I had to go back again and choose a bed for our 6-year-old’s room, I would pick this bed instead of a bunk bed, which is a royal pain-in-the-bottom to make.
The genius of this $229 bed is when your kid has guests, the lower part pulls out.
On second thought, this would make a great day bed in an office. I’d throw a bunch of giant throw pillows in lovely fabrics on it, so it looked nice. I have collected these pillows and they are in a closet awaiting the perfect day bed. Could this be it?Continue to 17 of 19 below.
17 of 19
HEMNES 6-Drawer Chest
When I saw this $229 dresser featured in the catalogue I thought, “Now this is a dresser I can get behind.” Here’s the deal with dressers: I love the look of vintage dressers and how well made they are. But what I don’t love is the musty smell that can happen to old wood. Plus, the long, low mid-century pieces my husband prefers tend to hold very few clothes. We own several mid-century dressers, and the deepest drawers hold exactly two fuzzy sweaters.
Enter this piece. It looks classic, doesn’t smell bad and holds a lot of stuff. Sold.
18 of 19
NIKKEBY Clothes Rack, Gray-Green
Has there ever been a more perfectly-designed clothes rack? For our vacation rental on Cape Cod, we lack a closet in one of the bedrooms, so my husband crafted a hanging clothes rack from a piece of wood and a couple pieces of rope. This $69 piece would have been a great alternative.
19 of 19
HEMNES Glass-Door Cabinet With 3 Drawers
I love a glass-fronted cabinet because I love nothing more than to “curate a shelf.” My trick is take all the beloved decorative objects in a house and then fiddle with them on shelves until I’m satisfied. Take a beautiful vase, a set of old leather-bound books (always an odd number, never even), a beloved family picture and an object brought over in a suitcase from a far-away country, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a nicely curated shelf. Put them behind glass in this $399 piece so you never have to dust and you’re good to go.