THE BEST OF THE COTTAGE: IKEA

I know, IKEA.  Really, the best of the cottage is IKEA?  Yes, and I think the internet needs to be littered with more images of  judicious use of IKEA stuff.   Everyone and their hund (that’s Swedish for dog) shops IKEA, and  we all know you can have too much of an IKEA thing.  “Go, look, and carefully select” is my motto for the yellow and blue Swedish giant.  Not everything there is good–I’ve declared my love-hate here before.  And I do have a beef about their stuff being so disposable–I mean, hej?  Where is all that stuff going when it dies?  Our grandchildren will be living in a Billy Bookcase wasteland.  On the other hand, I love the place.  See what I mean?  Anyway, here is the cottage IKEA style.

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I got the most mileage in the kitchen with IKEA.  I really wanted an apron sink–but my hopes were dashed when I researched the price.  Then hope returned when I found the Domsjo sink at IKEA.  It is a single basin–which takes some getting used to–but it also comes in a wide double-basin style, too.  Our contractor Kenny cut out the cabinet below to fit the sink in and then added trim on the sides to finish it out.  Dish towels, with a pocket sewn in, hang from a tension rod under the sink.  Also from IKEA is the pendant light in front of the window.

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And we all know you can find shelves aplenty at IKEA.  I chose the natural wood planks with the stainless steel end caps in place of upper cabinets.

I’m a big keep-the-glasses-close-to-the-fridge kind of girl–but there is no space by the refrigerator for upper cabinets or shelves to store glasses.  I found these little unfinished wood shelves for a few IKEA bucks.  Guess what?  My IKEA glasses fit perfectly in there!  What a big Swedish meatball surprise!

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I painted them the same Svelte Sage as the cabinets, and now there is always a glass within reach.

Did you know that IKEA sells stainless steel 2×4′ countertops for about $100?  Oh, the possibilities.  The kitchen islands in my last two houses have had stainless steel countertops thanks to my skilled brother who crafted them for me.  I love them!  It was my brother’s lucky day when I found this at IKEA–do you know how many hours go into giving stainless steel that lustrous finish?  Ask my bro, he’ll tell you.  There are a few options for bases at IKEA, but I wanted a beefier base in natural wood so I had my cabinet maker whip one up for me.  The kids like to perch here on the IKEA stools–a little contemporary styling to create a modern storybook cottage.

I also took advantage of IKEA’s butcher block countertop in the downstair’s bathroom.  This little alcove used to be a doorway to the closet.  We closed it up and used a cabinet from the kitchen desk as a vanity.  This piece of countertop was around $45 and was cut to fit perfectly.

Opposite of the vanity area is the IKEA sink and faucet.  Have you been to IKEA lately to see their bathroom sink options–lots of cool styles.  Just don’t get the one that looks like a urinal–ew, think of the misunderstandings that could occur.

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Finally, I bought just a few pieces of IKEA furniture.  The ever-popular parson chairs are for the dining room.  The best part is the washable, bleachable slipcovers!

IKEA pieces tend to blend nicely when they are tucked in a room with better-quality items–like the Karlstad sofa in the TV room.  Again, I love the washable, bleachable slipcover–so important when you have children with snotty noses, dirty feet, grimey hands.  Uh, perhaps I should be bathing my children instead of writing this post…

I won’t mention the IKEA towel rack in the bunkroom bathroom that busted my nose last April.  Oh, lignonberries, did that HURT!  And now I have a scar on my nose forever.  Oh, IKEA…I hate it; but I love it.