Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When You Need to Upgrade From Ikea

Ikea furniture is great...for a while...for certain things.  And then there comes a point in time when you are no longer a student or a new grad and your income is at a level where you can have something a little better.  Solid wood perhaps. Custom draperies. That's where this client and her husband were.  They had a sofa and a loveseat to sit on.  A beautiful table that had been made by the client's father sat in front of it.  The large flat screen sat a shelf, in a position that made it difficult to see from both seating areas.  Homemade drapes were on the windows, but they needed some love.  And the walls had been very recently painted.
Source:  Ivar cabinet photo from
Well I can't say we finished the space.  It still needs some art work and some items to fill the beautiful custom stained bookcases.  There are end tables to add, as the perfect ones haven't been found yet and some more lighting. But we've added some more layers.  I believe the perfect space doesn't happen over night.  So I'm thrilled with what we were able to achieve, especially working with an existing paint colour...which from a decorating standpoint is best chosen last.  I do love a challenge!

The style of drapes we chose was ripplefold.  They are absolutely perfect for a transitional type of space, as the top of the drapes is very simple.  The photos were shot on a very bright winter day, so it's challenging to see the ombre striped pattern, but the clients adore them open and closed.  This type of drapery is often on a track system that wouldn't have been very attractive in this space.  By using a decorative rod, we were able to make it a little less modern.

We added a few feather-filled cushions to their sofa and loveseat to add some more interest and layer in some more textures.  A button detail, that matches the colour of the sofa fabric, was added to the cream striped fabric cushions, while a modern pattern adds a dramatic punch and pulls in the wall colour.

To further soften the space, we added a circular motif rug, again pulling in the colours from the room, and the adjoining dining room.

The biggest investment is their "step up from Ikea" bookshelves.  The semi-custom solid wood bookshelves were chosen to have open and closed storage.  You can pick what size you want from the catalog, and then have them stained in a select number of colours.  The media cabinet was found in a complimentary style and was stained to match the bookshelves.

I love what were able to do.  And hopefully the final pieces will be curated in the near future to make this former university pad into a comfortable "grownup" space.

If you need help freshening up your space and are not sure which stores to shop, I can help!  I have many design packages for budget friendly makeovers.  Click here for more details.

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