A Stylist Takes On IKEA

July 21, 2010

An interesting story hit my inbox a few weeks ago and I had not a moment to examine it further until today. I am so glad I did! Wow! I think this may inspire those of you who either have a lot of IKEA things in your home and feel bored with it or for others who see IKEA as only a place for the budget-conscious or college crowd. In these images below, stylist Lo Bjurulf, who is represented by Agent Bauer, takes everyday IKEA objects and styles them in a way that gives them a whole new look and feel. Take a look and leave your thoughts below, I’d love to hear from you and see what you think of these styled shots.

A Stylist Takes On IKEA

A Stylist Takes On IKEA

A Stylist Takes On IKEA

A Stylist Takes On IKEA

A Stylist Takes On IKEA

See what a little creativity can do to budget items?

(images: agent bauer)


  • Reply Tricia - Avolli July 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Soooo pretty!!


  • Reply patricia July 21, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    What beautiful photos. So dreamy.

    And call me narrow minded but I want to learn how to make those paper flowers!

  • Reply Jamie July 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Love, love, love, love, love! Makes me want to jump in the car and head to IKEA NOW!

  • Reply Ludmila {} July 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Amazing idea! It can be used for a wedding or another party! very inspiring!

  • Reply Lex July 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I love the styling in these photos! I can’t even choose a favorite, I need to save all of them in my inspiration folder. Super gorgeous, thanks for sharing ?

  • Reply Jena July 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Oooooh, I looooove it!

  • Reply MeanMillies July 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I really enjoy the soft color palette, with pops of color. I never would have imagined this was Ikea merchandise. The use of repetition in the product, to drive the look home, is completely inspiring.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente July 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    So beautiful….I adore that image of all of the lights over the long table….beautiful. I feel like I am always more impressed when someone takes less expensive items and makes them fresh or works them in with pricier items and creates something beautiful than when they are working with only designer pieces. I love seeing folks imagination at work when they are creating a beautiful space. So great…

  • Reply ClarityK July 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    The stuff is OK – the space is magnificent. I wouldn’t worry about my Ikea furnishings if I lived there!

  • Reply Jorid July 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I think I saw some of these in the paper as an ad for IKEA in assosiation with the Swedish Princess Wedding. :)

    Gorgeous photos and styling.

  • Reply Staci Edwards Design July 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Super! Looks so great! This makes me happy because I am about to redo my office, but don’t want to spend much so was considering Ikea… Now I’m feeling even better about it! :)

  • Reply Swiftrev July 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Style just ain’t about having cash to splash, is it? Brilliant inspiration!

  • Reply shellie July 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    how gorgeous…but then i have no shame in saying i love ikea…

  • Reply Gina July 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    i really like the vases, i bet they are under 10 bucks!

  • Reply Renata July 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Uau! What a great stylist! You really forget this is Ikea furniture!

  • Reply my spatula July 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    wow! so inspiring!

  • Reply Flavia July 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    This is a perfect example to show that creativity, not money, is key in designing a beautiful space. These are such stunning shots!

  • Reply Michael - Innkeeper July 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    i’ve always had a love/hate relationship with ikea. i always felt their stuff did the trick, but it always felt cheap to me. or that it needed something. it has is place/need in the world obviously.

    anyway. these images are beautiful.
    …if i only knew when i was a senior in high school that i could be a ‘stylist’ … that would be my dream job.

    i think it takes a great skill to be able to take something so ordinary and turn it into something beautiful. while it may not be a persons desired ‘style’, you must admit its super pretty and very well done.

    thank you soo much for sharing this!!

  • Reply laura trevey July 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Very creative… and beautiful photos!

  • Reply Laura Blaylock July 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    This is so refreshing! Not only am I inspired to learn oragami, I’m inspired to take a second look at all my favorite IKEA products that have become a little bland and restyle them for something a little more unique. Love it!

  • Reply Christine July 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    BEAUTIFUL. That wide shot with all the lights!!

  • Reply Laura Blaylock July 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    This is so refreshing! Not only am I inspired to learn some fabulous paper folding techniques, I’m inspired to take a second look at all my favorite IKEA products that have become a little bland and restyle them for something a little more unique. Love it! Maybe he could help them put together a new look for their catalog?

  • Reply Punctuation Mark July 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    creative people can do anything no matter what the budget is…love it!

  • Reply Jacqueline July 21, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    All I can say is I LOVE IT! I made my first visit to an IKEA store last month, and came home with a bunch of goodies. The trip made me realize how much I love IKEA, and now I am seeing IKEA everywhere!

  • Reply Stacey July 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    These images are amazing!!! The fact that inexpensive Ikea items were used to create such a fantastic scene, makes it all the more sweeter!

  • Reply Holly July 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    What a great idea! These photos are fabulous!

  • Reply Joselyn July 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I would have never guessed IKEA. Phenomenal styling!

  • Reply Jasmine July 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    absolutely stunning! it just shows that you don’t need a huge budget to have a beautifully decorated home/event! love it!

  • Reply lauren lanza osias July 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    this is genius!!!!! i am loving this so much. it doesn’t hurt that the photos are all brilliantly taken. they add to the allure. but it definitely proves ikea can be genius when used properly.

  • Reply Jeanine July 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    My husband and I were just walking through the many vignettes at our local Ikea in Frisco, TX. I was commenting to him that most of their displays had a contemporary look to them….but many of the items could be used in different style settings. This article is exactly what I was thinking. Can you imagine what Lo could do with the entire Ikea store?

  • Reply Marya July 22, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Love it!
    PS – what’s the name of this chest?

  • Reply diana strinati baur July 22, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I am with Clarity K about this one. The furnishings could be just about any simple Scandinavian pieces. The settings make the photos. I was one of the first nine people hired by IKEA in the United States for the first store. My relationship with the place, is as Michael the Innkeeper says, love-hate. Conflicted. Dubious. Adoring. I just realized that I have now officially had IKEA as part of my life for 25 years. I remember how disappointed I was when I brought all my new Ikea stuff home for the first time and it DID NOT look like the vignettes into the store. A tremendous amount of work and design go into IKEA store vignettes. These photos prove it again — it’s not about the furnishings (alone), it’s about everything else that goes into the ambience.

  • Reply Simone Walsh July 22, 2010 at 3:37 am

    The photos look great, but I’ve made a decision to boycott Ikea when it comes to purchasing furniture I need to use from now on – and most smaller things too.

    So many items I’ve purchased over the last 2-4 years have barely stood up to 12 months of very ordinary (or even less than ordinary) use – some haven’t survived 6 months. This makes Ikea very expensive rather than cheap!

    I even wrote to the local CEO about this, outlining multiple examples. He expressed surprise at what I was saying, which I felt couldn’t possibly be true!

    I can’t see anything will change unless people’s buying habits change in a big way. So I’ve decided that from now on I’ll be spending more on things that are going to work out cheaper for my pocket and the planet in the long run, no matter how nice Ikea things might look before you use them.

  • Reply chicgirldesigns July 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

    I love Ikea! Great design does not have to cost a pile of money. Beautiful photography too.

  • Reply Die Frau im Haus July 22, 2010 at 5:00 am

    There is a making of (also with interviews) of all the different themes Lo styled for IKEA:

  • Reply LWJ July 22, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Inexpensive, my eye. Each of those dandelion lampshades over the table is £85 apiece.

  • Reply Julia July 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I think the point is not that Ikea objects are made in large quantities and sold cheap, but that they are versatile items and it’s up to the owner’s sensibility to “make them work”. The fact that they are so clean and minimalist shouldn’t be seen as a limitation; I think they’re perfect canvasses to highlight individuality and embrace imagination.

    I thought the pictures were pretty but chilly… a wedding setting without guests and bride and groom looks as if everyone had left in a rush. Just a personal feeling.

  • Reply Nat July 22, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I always find that items look better in photos than real life. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ikea and have many items from there. But there’s Ikea–cheap-o stuff; and there’s Ikea – higher end stuff. Items the stylist used are NOT cheap by any means.
    I find that Ikea is great for a quick fix, their organizational items are amazing and, of course, the stylists know their job. Still you have to look at each individual item to judge the quality and durability.

  • Reply The Frugal Style July 22, 2010 at 9:52 am

    WOW! That is just amazing… I love the paper flowers in the white vases. Such a creative and whimsical space… Marking this as total inspiration!
    Melissa :-)

  • Reply Brooke H July 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Stunning and inspiring! . . . I’m due for an ikea outting.

  • Reply Emily July 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Interesting. I’m of the lovers group, more than the haters. The idea that everyone should have access to a functional, stylish home is one I really appreciate.

    I’m also wondering what the name of that wooden chest (2nd to last photo) is. Anyone know?

  • Reply Angela July 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    It’s beautiful!!

  • Reply Sarah @ Maison Boheme July 22, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I love IKEA. The pieces are so versatile… you just have to have a little imagination to make them your own. Thanks for the post!

  • Reply Amber Kane July 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I love these photos, I recently have been very drawn to neutral colors and these are just so soothing.

  • Reply carina July 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    these are beautiful! I wish we had IKEA in New Zealand…

  • Reply Alyson July 22, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I am a visual merchandiser at IKEA and I would love to decorate and display items this way.. but I have to stick to the book sometimes. :) I love it!! New inspiration…

  • Reply Emma July 23, 2010 at 12:24 am

    these are lovely, I think my favorite is all the white jugs/vases etc on top of the pine wall-piece. (Wall-piece? What is that kind of thing called?!! My brain is numb).

    Can’t believe they don’t have IKEA in New Zealand. Learn something new every day…

  • Reply Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas July 23, 2010 at 4:15 am

    I heard he did this as an ode to the upcoming (now recent past) Princess Victoria’s wedding.

    Whatever the inspiration – it is all so lovely!

  • Reply Ellie July 24, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Gorgeous styling! I especially love the lamp/chairs/shoes photo. Oh, and those delicious dandelion light fixtures… So dreamy!

  • Reply Katja Nina July 25, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Nice piece and great photos! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply whorange July 25, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Great use of the papery ball lamps. Yum!

  • Reply Jess July 27, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Ikea is great…. it’s just like making vintage or resale finds successful. I agree, if taken literally {i.e. all Ikea or all tag sale} it can look too budget-conscious. But when those items juxtaposed with a few beautiful pieces or inexpensive items are used in a ridiculously high quantity, it can produce a opulent effect.

  • Reply Jen @ Opal Never Shouts July 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Wow! This makes me want to take a trip to ikea, this is the best i have seen ikea product look! Fun!

  • Reply Kendra Jean Photography August 5, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    WoW! I love all the white! So pretty:)

  • Reply Beth August 8, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Beautiful – it’s amazing what talented people can do with such simple and inexpensive products!

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