So, here's a little inside scoopers for you.....designers use Ikea. Now, before you get out your catalogue and start buying up every henefle and shretna in there, listen up! I have to admit, they have really kicked up their game the past few years. There are some dang good looking teak pieces for the dining room. The black back painted glass square table is just plain smokin'. if it fits your room - buy that baby. It looks like a few european tables I've spec'd that were $6000.00 +. The key with Ikea is to stick to the really generic styles. If you are looking at the closets, buy the flat panel gloss white doors. Don't get sucked into the new patterned glass or corrugated acrylic....that is if you are hoping to not have them scream Ikea to guests.
What I've been doing a pile of are Kitchens. Sadly Canac Kitchens went out of business in September and I can't help but think it's partially due to Ikea's increased popularity in this department. The old rules are true here too. Stick to the dead simple styles. I use the Applad white doors in 90% of the kitchens I do. I never do their faucets or specialty cabinets. Basically avoid anything that will be an immediate identifier. Use only the cabinets themselves and add a stone counter, black granite is the best in terms of budget, buy an expensive faucet and undermount sink. I have a patented MacGyver move for the under mount lighting. I buy the encased T8 fluorescent from the home depot and a standard aluminum corner guard, also from the depot. It's sold in 8' lengths I think. I have the contractor install in set back a few inches from the front edge. It's just deep enough to hide the lights and is a really contemporary alternative to the standard cabinet valance.
I like to handle my Ikea use like I do my cocktail wear. No one will question my H&M $29.99 little black dress when I wear it with a pair of Gucci heals and fantastic jewlery. Buy the basics but spend money on the extras.