The Stuff of Life: Stylish Improvisations With IKEA Furniture

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Somehow, several pieces of cheap furniture look more expensive than one—and other tips

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Every morning we scroll through A LOT of blogs looking for delicious/interesting/useful ideas and improvisations. Lately, we spotted some IKEA pieces buried in features about stylish interiors. Our view of IKEA is that when it's great, it's really great, like the Alto-esque stacking stools they used to sell for $12 and the geometric rug, above, that we blogged a while back. And then there is IKEA that becomes great when used cleverly...

Take this very basic Ikea PS metal cabinet for $99, for example...

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...two placed side-by-side with bookshelves above to become a moderne wall unit...

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...and this Alex flat file-ish drawer unit for $199.

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Interesting how multiples seem to make these pieces look more expensive.

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One of my favorites is the giant storage wall made with white IKEA kitchen cabinets of different widths created by Andrew Dunbar and Zoee Astrakhan (check out Dwell's slideshow here):

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...those same plain white cabinets can be lined up and affixed to the wall to make a floating credenza:

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This post also appears at The Improvised Life.

Images: Via Emma's Design Blog

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Sally Schneider writes The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog about improvising as a daily practice. Her cookbook The Improvisational Cook is now out in paperback. More

Sally Schneider is the founder of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog that inspires you to devise, invent, create, make it up as you go along, from design and cooking to cultivating the creative spirit. It's been called a "zeitgeist-perfect website." She is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table and the author of the best-selling cookbooks The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, which was recently named one of the best books of the decade by The Guardian. She has won numerous awards, including four James Beard awards, for her books and magazine writing.

Sally has worked as a journalist, editor, stylist, lecturer, restaurant chef, teacher, and small-space consultant, and once wrangled 600 live snails for the photographer Irving Penn. Her varied work has been the laboratory for the themes she writes and lectures about: improvising as an essential operating principle; cultivating resourcefulness and your inner artist; design, style, and food; and anything that is cost-effective, resourceful, and outside the box.
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