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Decorating Tip: Learn To See Things Differently

I find it so inspirational when I see people take products and furniture and use their imaginations to personalize somewhat mundane things into something special. That’s the beauty of IKEA. Their price point is affordable and nothing feels precious which gives you freedom to explore your ideas – perhaps a lamp base would look better decoupaged in a favorite paper or a cabinet would be far better with new hardware and wallpaper hung on the inside.

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Stack wooden storage boxes and drawers and paint them inside to create a bookcase – this is a look I’m seeing more and more and I love it!)

That’s what I love about buying things at vintage stores, flea markets, yard sales and shops that are priced reasonably – like IKEA – you have the freedom to go a little crazy and exercise your creativity. You have the right!

learn to see things differently

(Paint a thick stripe down the center of a table as a “runner” to customize and add visual interest.)

I thought I’d share some of my favorite IKEA inspirations today from their beautiful blog, Livet Hemma. I recognize all of the pieces shown but love seeing the fresh updates each have been given by the creative team behind the Livet Hemma blog. It’s so inspirational and fun! It also shows that IKEA pieces can be quite special and do not have to be left ‘as is’, but can become something special to you and your family.

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Some vintage pieces add character to a space so consider using them to avoid your room from looking like it all came from a single catalog.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: A low cabinet works nicely for displaying favorite things and for storing boxes and books underneath. In a mostly white space, use different tones of white to avoid a clinical look and by all means, go with lots of different textures to warm up white – wool, knit, ceramic, glossy, matte, cotton, linen, etc.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Add a little green to all white space, plants give texture, color and are good for purifying the air in your home.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Paint furniture in chalky matte colors to make them look vintage.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Paint cabinet doors in different colors that you love.)

learn to see things differently

(Tip: Try layering mirrors and frames, leaning them against the wall.)

Another decorating tip: When you look at anything for your home, it’s great to use your imagination and to not always see what you’re looking at but to imagine how it could be. Look at the shape of a piece, think of alternate uses, imagine how it would look painted in a fresh color, visualize a dresser for instance without the drawers and used as a bookcase instead… There are so many things our imagination can dream up if you only give yourself the permission to do it and so I say, have fun, follow with your heart and happy decorating!

(images: ikea livet hemma)

Posted by decor8 in uncategorized on November 29, 2011

Your comments...

  1. Rebecca commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 5:27pm

    I adore the ikea blog there is always an amazing amount of new ideas, how do they think them all up?! I’m thinking about making over my ikea desk, its all white but has birch drawers…might repaint them a funky colour or cover in paper/fabric…thinking cap on!x
    Rebecca´s last blog post ..and the winner is…

  2. Igor commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 5:34pm

    These are beautiful ideas that showcase that decoration and interior design is not reserved for people with big wallets. It is a very personal and creative process that works with most things we find out there, be it in nature, on attics, in stores. Ikea is a great source for simple, reasonable and well-designed pieces – and I strongly disagree with people saying it all looks the same when you have Ikea stuff at home. If you put a little bit of thought and creativity it will look different, cause it will look like YOU. Then you succeeded! Love your post, Holly! Cheers, Igor xoxo
    Igor´s last blog post ..Trend: Wood In Interior Design

  3. Heather commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 5:51pm

    I love the chalky matte paint and the low cabinets. One of the things I love about your blog is the fact that virtually every post is full of new ways of looking at things! It’s really inspiring.

    I prefer the inexpensive furniture for the same reasons. We just refinished our hand-me-down kitchen table, I painted the legs and the apron violet-blue. I never would have done that on something expensive. Honestly, I love it more than any expensive table out there!

    Thank you for posting!
    Heather´s last blog post ..The Wanderlust Shop

  4. Nicole commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 6:20pm

    That’s why I love flea markets, cellars and attics! With a pott colour, a little imagination and a little time effort you can make up wonderful unique pieces. Particularly in today’s time we should be aware of the environment, rather than just buying new. Great post, Holly!
    Nicole´s last blog post ..Fensterkleider

  5. Amanda commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 6:39pm

    This is such wonderful inspiration for those of us who can only afford ikea and I totally agree, with a bit of sprucing up and your own personal touch ikea furniture can totally make your room.
    Amanda´s last blog post ..Local Love: McNally Jackson

  6. samantha commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 7:19pm

    I love Ikea products for this very reason, you don’t feel guilty for doing a little customizing, and making them more personal to your own tastes. Plus you get to fill a trolley up without the guilt of the over spend. :)
    samantha´s last blog post ..Cable & cotton Lights.

  7. Esther commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 7:25pm

    Totally agree, I love customizing and upcycling Ikea furniture.

    Rebecca I would most definitely cover those drawers, it’s so easy with some reasonably heavy paper, gift wrap even and so quick!
    Esther´s last blog post ..Red & White for the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability

  8. sarah*ahearn commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 8:46pm

    love this post my friend! it’s right up my alley! hoping things are settling down for you…
    xxxs & ooos *s
    sarah*ahearn´s last blog post ..happy cyber monday!

  9. Olivia commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 8:54pm

    Oh, I did not know that Ikea had a blog… And so nice moreover! Thanks for telling about it, I think it will become a favourite ;)
    Olivia´s last blog post ..Farbenglück im Shop

  10. Gandhali commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 9:41pm

    LOVED the tips!! :-)
    Gandhali´s last blog post ..Post-It Love

  11. Sara commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 10:01pm

    Love it all! These are my favorite types of Holly posts :).

  12. Kirsty Elizabeth commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 10:05pm

    Such an inspirational post :) i think its great when people customize pieces to reflect their personality. Keep being drawn to the colours in the last photograph….think its the neutral tones with the pop of plum shoes lol ;)
    Kirsty Elizabeth´s last blog post ..Nordic Snowfall

  13. Liz Villacorta commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 10:08pm

    LOVE this Holly!! I totally agree with you! When I buy things for my home that I find at a flea market or IKEA I’m never worried to take things into my hands and make it my own! Perfectly imperfect is the result of most of my home DIY’s and I wouldn’t have it any other way :)
    Liz Villacorta´s last blog post ..Thankful for…

  14. Maria commented
    November 29th, 2011 at 11:01pm

    I agree, IKEA is amazing. I just wish it wasn´t so d€#% hard to buy things there! I go crazy in that big house and nowadays I walk out with less things than i planned to instead of more, which was more common when I was younger. You just want to get out!
    Maria´s last blog post ..Aj aj aj!

  15. Ashley McFarland commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 12:33am

    I love the frames/mirror effect – so casual chic! Something I’ve never thought of before :)
    Ashley McFarland´s last blog post ..Cyber Monday 2011 – Evening Edition

  16. maureen commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 2:43am

    great tips & ideas! I didn’t see it that way at first…yes, with such affordable prices, one can go DIY crazy & if it fails, well u can buy another one .

  17. Erica commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 6:21am

    Thanks for the tips! I love the photos, I’m not that good with decorations but I am doing everything to learn!
    Erica´s last blog post ..jump higher basketball

  18. Alexis commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 6:48am

    Funny enough, my husband absolutely adores Ikea. The only one I’ve ever been to was in Germany and I wasn’t living in my own home (I was an au pair), so it was difficult to really let loose and see things as actually being part of my small living space at the time.

  19. Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark! commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 8:10am

    LOVE the layered mirror look. My husband is not a fan of Ikea- but I love it for the points you mention- it’s affordable, which means everyone can be creative.
    Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark!´s last blog post ..Let’s Go To The Movies

  20. FloVoCasa commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 8:23am

    I love this post with all those sweet tips and totally agree with you. Only one furniture in my home is a ‘standard’ one and all others are ‘pimped’ by me to express my personality and style. I don’t like homes in which you couldn’t get a feeling for the people living there.
    FloVoCasa´s last blog post ..In love with … Eulen & Füchsen

  21. Saskia commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 9:17am

    Oh, this is my topic. Nothing is more boring as a room looking like it all came from a single catalog, this is the same for luxury apartments as well as affordable IKEA styled interiors, isn’t it? I’m an official IKEA fan but to be honest I always try to combine and modify their products so that they do not look like IKEA anymore ;)

  22. Valentina commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 10:14am

    Very nice and cute ideas! I love the box storage! Thanks Holly, you are great!
    Valentina´s last blog post ..Concorso su Shabby Chic Interiors

  23. Louise commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 11:37am

    Hi there Holly!

    Love todays inspiration, and yes you are right the price point is important as it make good quality aesthetically appealling furniture available to everyone, kinda like what Ford did for the car industry! :) which you can then personalise should you wish.

    On the note of Ikea came across this short video of ‘Life inside the Ikea Catalogue’, you might find find funny :)

    Have a nice day

  24. Rowena commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 12:14pm

    These are really great ideas! I love the texture of every design on this page especially adding green plants in a purely white space! Very relaxing indeed! My friend would love this blog and I’ll surely send it her way.

  25. Ito Kish commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 3:37pm

    Great tips to make it easy for homemakers!

  26. Kim commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 5:38pm

    I love this post, so inspiring. It makes be feel ok about choosing something from ikea rather than feeling like its something temporary or a “make-do” item. You really don’t need to spend alot to have a unique piece of furniture in your home! Thanks so much x
    Kim´s last blog post ..I love… the Conran Marlowe armchair

  27. Pingos do Céu commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 6:52pm

    Love the words in your post today! So inspiring!
    My house has nothing that is not customized by one of us: a canvas painted by one of us, pillows created by us, a hand-painted vase, a tray decorated with a decorative paper to our liking. Even our sofa was made ??by us!

    Thank you for reminding us how important this is!
    Pingos do Céu´s last blog post ..Handmade knitting hats

  28. Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea commented
    November 30th, 2011 at 8:16pm

    I really love your tips today. Incorporating vintage (or vintage look) pieces with Ikea pieces really give a comfy and cozy feel to a room. I’m bookmarking this article for future reference.

    Marie @ Sally Lee by the Sea´s last blog post ..{Beach House Tour} A Coastal Cottage near the Sea

  29. Ann commented
    December 1st, 2011 at 12:48am

    IKEA products are perfect for interiors arranged in contemporary design style. It really leaves a lot of free space for a creative owner to add his own touch.

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