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Things to consider when buying IKEA furniture

Will Sayner Will Sayner
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IKEA is fantastic for those who need to furnish their home quickly, great for household items such as kitchenware, and essential for young people moving into their first property. 

IKEA hasn’t become the largest furniture store in history by being bad at what they do; the affordable prices, wide product selection and ruthless efficiency of their business model have made the company a global success. Virtually all of us have owned – or currently own – IKEA products, and in all likelihood we’ll purchase more in the future! 

That being said, we should be careful not to rely on the Scandinavian superstore too much, and here’s why…

1. Building your own furniture may be easier than you think

If IKEA’s most pervasive problem is that it robs your home of individuality, then what better way to solve the problem then by building your own pieces? After all, nothing could be more individual than furniture you have built yourself. 

We’re not all carpenters so of course this is not an all-in-one furnishing solution, but mixing one or two pieces you’ve made yourself with the IKEA furnishings will counteract the generic look.

2. Everyone buys from IKEA

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Homes excessively furnished with IKEA products can lack a sense of individuality or character because everyone buys the same products from the same global store. Be honest, how many times have you thought “I have that book shelf” when you’ve been in a friend’s home? We’d wager most people have at least once. 

However, if your heart’s set on IKEA and you want to circumvent this problem you could try customising the furniture to make it more unique.

3. There are alternatives

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This sounds obvious, but there are alternatives to IKEA! The brand has become so ubiquitous that often we fail to consider the wealth of options available. 

IKEA pioneered flat-pack design and changed the way we shop for furniture, but times have changed, and with the advent of online shopping we can get just about anything delivered to our doors with the click of a mouse. Why buy the same sideboard you’ve seen a thousand times before when you could opt for a far more personal piece?

4. Upcycling is all the rage

Goose Side Table de Little Mill House Ecléctico
Little Mill House

Goose Side Table

Little Mill House

Another highly creative and original means of furnishing your home is to purchase upcycled products. 

The idea of repurposing old items to create something new and unique is not only quirky, fun and stylish, but environmentally friendly too.

5. Flea markets and second-hand stores

Living area details Salones de estilo ecléctico de Little Mill House Ecléctico
Little Mill House

Living area details

Little Mill House

IKEA is affordable, but so are second-hand stores – and flea markets too if you’re lucky enough to find a bargain – so if you spend a little time shopping around you may be able to find an individual, high-quality piece for the same price. 

However, if you are in a rush then IKEA may be the simplest solution.

6. You’d be amazed what you can find online

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Second-hand shopping can be done online too, and you might be surprised at the bargains you can find. 

Websites such as Craigslist can be a great way to find specific pieces at low cost; maybe even for free if people are in a rush to vacate their home.

7. The construction materials

Taburete pequeño recto de Mideco Rústico Madera Acabado en madera

Taburete pequeño recto


Some IKEA furniture is made from manufactured board covered with a laminate. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but let’s be honest manufactured board doesn’t hold a candle to real wood!

8. The shopping experience

Many people love the IKEA shopping experience, but some don’t, and if you’re amongst those who find it an ordeal then maybe consider buying online instead.

For more IKEA inspiration, check out these: Ways to disguise IKEA furniture.

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