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Friday, July 25, 2014

How Our IKEA Items are Holding Up (Review for more than 15 different items from IKEA)



We get a surprising number of e-mails asking about how our different IKEA pieces are holding up and if we would recommend them so we thought we would write up a full post going over each piece and answering  for each one:

Would we recommend it? 
Would we buy it again?

If you are wondering why both questions are necessary, you'll see in the first item that they both aren't always the same answer (although most of the time they are). 

First, though let me write a little bit about IKEA pieces in general and why we purchase them. Basically for us, it more often than not comes down to budget.We often mix in more affordable pieces (for instance in our living room the sofa is from IKEA and the chairs are from TJMaxx) with some other pieces (like the RH mirror and sconces that are in that same room). I think mixing and matching helps give a room a more layered look instead of  having it feel like everything is all from the same store.

(Oh and the photos used are all just randomly pulled from previous posts that best showed the item, so that's why if there are more than one photo of an item and the other items in the picture are different it was probably from a different post)


Okay so first up in our IKEA Karlstad Sectional (and warning - this has by far the most lengthy explanation because it's the item we get by far the most questions about):




Okay, so for the Karlstad Sectional:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

Would I buy the white cover again? YES
Would I recommend the white cover? NO

Now here's my long explanation about this. (Don't worry the rest of the items just have a sentence or two - haha!) When we moved in we immediately knew we were going to need a large sofa for this room. I wasn't thrilled at the idea of getting a sectional but we have a lot of people over at a time and knew it was probably a necessity for this room. Along with lots of family visiting, we also have the team over and well, we needed a lot of seating. After looking for quite a while before we moved I realized there were very very few options for sectionals in our price range. We loved some of the Pottery Barn ones but they were not even close to being in the price point we wanted to spend so pretty much IKEA was the only option we could find. We went back and forth between the Ektorp and the Karlstad. Although I liked the look better of the Ektorp the Karlstad was larger and we knew we needed that extra seating. Plus because it isn't a slipcover the cushions don't get nearly as wrinkly and really hold their shape. Although I certainly fluff the decorative pillows - I don't ever have to do anything with the sofa or the sofa cushions themselves at all! After having it for over a year now I would have to say I am thrilled with it. We can fit so many people on it and it's surprisingly comfortable. Plus it has held up really really well. So, if I was looking in this price point again I absolutely would buy it again and would definitely recommend it. 

As far at the white cover goes - well, that is a different story. Would I get it again - yes. But that's because I like the look of a white sofa and am willing to make that trade off for the fact that it needs upkeep. I think for this I need to explain a little bit about how and why it works for us. First, we are not picky about people eating on the sofa. To me I feel like a house should be lived in so it doesn't bother me at all when people spill on the sofa. I can just unzip the cover and wash it.  Although when it is just our family we eat all of our meals at the table or on the porch, but when we have the team over half of them end up eating over there (everything from wings to hot fudge sundaes) because there isn't enough room for them all. I kind of have a weird personality when it comes to things being in order. I like for everything to be in it's place. Messiness stresses me out - haha! Seriously, I almost never leave the house without all the beds made. But oddly enough spill, stains, dings, paint chipping off, etching, etc. and those kinds of things don't bother me at all. I figure they make a place feel lived in and add character. And trust me - we've had some spills - haha! 

So, that leads me to would I recommend a white cover - NO! The only reason I would say no to this is because this is NOT a slipcovered sofa and therefore it takes some effort to get the main part of the white cover off the frame, wash it and put it back on. (The seat and back cushions though are really easy to unzip and wash). If this were a true slipcovered sofa I would say yes. We have several white slipcovered pieces (for instance the chairs in the kitchen and in our den) and they are super easy to remove and wash. The Karlstad though is not a slipcovered sofa. So, although you definitely can remove the whole cover (and swith it to another color if you like) it takes a little bit of effort. I don't mind that at all becuase for me the look of the white sofa outweighs the fact that it's a little bit annoying to remove the white cover from the frame. But I think most people would find it a lot more annoying than I do and not think it's worth it.

We've actually pondered getting the gray cover for it and switching to that for a while but I'm not sure if we ever actually will do that. We definitely have considered it though and may somewhere down the road.

And next we have the IKEA Ingatorp Dining Table (at Jason's house)
For the Ingatorp Dining Table:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

For the price I think this is a great table and would both get it again and recommend it. My only complaint with this piece would be the finish scratches a bit easily. 


IKEA Ingolf Barstools


So for the Ingolf Barstools:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

These are really quite sturdy and feel like a nice quality stool. I would definitely recommend them. They are relatively heavy and I don't worry about them flipping over when the girls climb into them. (And quality-wise I would buy them again. However, looks-wise this wasn't quite the look I had in mind for this spot but I couldn't win Jason over the ones I wanted for this space) =) 


IKEA Ingolf Chairs
So for the Ingolf Barstools:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

For the price I think these are a great chair! Plus we have the kids sized ones too that sit a little higher. They wipe down really easily. My only complaint would be I have to tighten the screws every once in a while. 


Next we have the IKEA Henriksdal Chairs (in the picture above and below at the ends of the tables)
So for the Henriksdal Chairs:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

These are a great price for a slipcovered chair and they are extremely easy to just slip off the cover and throw it in the wash and then slide it back on. I would get these again in a heartbeat and definitely recommend them. My only complaint would be the same as the other chairs -  I have to tighten the screws every once in a while. 


IKEA Flytta Rolling Cart

 For the Flytta Rolling Cart:
Would I buy it again? NOT SURE
Would I recommend it? NOT SURE

So, this is probably the hardest one for me to answer. I am a little torn on it. From the very beginning it wasn't the exact look I wanted. Once we got it into our kitchen though I have to say I really enjoyed it - it was so easy unloading dishes right onto it and was lots of fun styling the top seasonally. However, it did cramp our kitchen a little more than I wanted to admit and I think practically speaking the sideboard I made fits better in our kitchen makes the kitchen feel a good bit larger in real life (I know it's hard to get a feel for that in photos). For the year we used it I did like it and probably would have recommended it. It started getting wobbly though right before we moved it out. I tightened up the screws a bit and that probably would have fixed it. And the little side rails started falling out if it got bumped. Basically, for the price I would say I liked it. And up until quite recently I would have said that I would recommend it. Once it started getting a little wobbly though that makes me a bit unsure if I would recommend it or not. I think I probably still would. But I would have someone stronger tighten all the screws.


IKEA Tarva. We did an IKEA hack on this. You can read about the whole process here.

 For the Tarva:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? DEPENDS

This answer is a little bit complicated too. I guess I would have to say of all the furniture we have bought from IKEA this piece was probably the worst quality. It think it's kind of lightweight and feels pretty inexpensive (which technically it is so it's hard to complain too much about that). Now, it probably seems crazy that after I just said that quality wasn't very good that I would buy it again. For me the reason I would buy it again would be if I was looking for an inexpensive option this size it's hard to beat. The simpleness of the design allows for it to be easily changed up a bit to fit just about any style of decor and it could work either as a nightstand for a tall bed or as a dresser. For us it was a great inexpensive option for now. I imagine in a few years when we've finished a bunch of other things way ahead of this on the list we will probably replace them with something of nicer quality. But for now they provide some nice storage and were the perfect size for next to our bed (which was something I had a REALLY hard time finding so I am really quite pleased with them!) 

Now that brings me to would I recommend them. Well, if you are looking for something long-term that gets a lot of use - probably not. But if they would get medium to light use and you are looking for an inexpensive option that you can make over to fit you style - then I would most definitely recommend them! (Although I have to say they were probably one of my least favorite pieces to put together).


 IKEA Kallax

 For the Kallax:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

A small piece of the veneer is peeling off in one spot which is kind of annoying but other than that it's a nice cubby storage system that works great for the girl's playroom so I would at this point get it again and would recommend it. We haven't had it all that long though (a few months)so if anything changes I'll update this. I also like the baskets. I've had most of them for a couple of years and they hold up quite well!


IKEA Sundvik Table and Agen Chairs
 For the Sundvik Table and Agen Chairs:
Would I buy them again? YES
Would I recommend them? YES

We haven't had these items all that long (a few months) but so far I would say I am very pleased with them and would buy them again and recommend them.  (If that changes at any point I will update this). 

IKEA Liatorp Desk 
 For the Liatorp Desk: 
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

This piece in my opinion is probably the nicest piece of IKEA furniture (well, that we own anyway). It is extremely heavy and feels like a much higher end piece in my opinion than IKEA. We have one in our Dear Lillie office up in NH and I recently got one for our guest room/home office. I would most definitely buy it again (in fact, I did - haha! We bought the Dear Lillie one about a year and a half ago and just recently bought the one for our house) and I would most definitely recommend it. 


IKEA Byholma Rattan Chairs

 For the Byholma Rattan Chairs:
Would I buy them again? YES
Would I recommend them? YES

For the price, I have to say I have been really pleased with these so far and would buy them again and would recommend them. I've had mine all that long but my sister has had some for quite a while and they've held up very well! 


IKEA Alina Bedspread

 For the Alina Bedspread:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

For the price I am really happy with this bedspread and would both buy it again and recommend it.


 IKEA VITFJÄRIL pillow and Eivor striped throw:
IKEA VITFJÄRIL pillow and Eivor striped throw:
Would I buy them again? YES
Would I recommend them? YES

I would most definitely buy them again! In fact, I have - both of them! I first bought the pillows for my house (you can see one in our master bedroom a couple photos above and we also have one in our gray guest room) and I loved them so much I got them for Jason's house for the girls' room. And I can see myself eventually getting a few more. It's such a pretty little pillow and the price is fabulous! I also love love love the striped throw and added a second one.


IKEA Hermine Throw:
For the Hermine Throw:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES

I love this throw and would both buy it again and recommend it. 





IKEA Emmie Ruta Pink Buffalo Check Duvet Cover:
For the Emmie Ruta Pink Buffalo Check Duvet Cover:
Would I buy them again? YES
Would I recommend them? YES

I would recommend these duvet covers and buy them again. My only complaint would be the fact that they get wrinkled looking pretty easily.
 
IKEA Fintorp Hanging System

We used these at our old house in the kitchen and bathroom and now one is in the girl's playroom and I just added the other one to Jason's kitchen (I should have updated photos soon!)

So, for the Fintorp Hanging System:
Would I buy it again? YES
Would I recommend it? YES


And that's it for all the main things I can think of. I also have quite a few little accessories like the pitcher shown below which I use all the time, little white lace vases, and gray dishes. I have been very happy with all of my smaller purchases and haven't had any issue with any of them. We also have the Ritva curtain panels in most of the rooms of our home and for the price have been very happy with them. Eventually I wouldn't mind switching them out for nicer ones but for now I really can't beat the $24.99 price!




Well, I think that's just about everything! Please keep in mind these are just my experiences with each item. I am sure there are plenty of people who have had completely different experiences or opinions on different items.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!







P.S. If you are new here you can find a full before and after tour of our home here in this post with details and links to paint colors and source lists for all of our items:
http://dearlillieblog.blogspot.com/2014/06/one-year-later.html

And you can also look under the our home tab for more info on our home and for more details and source info and paint colors on Jason's spaces click here.

51 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your honest reviews! Some of those items I didn't even know were from Ikea! I just wish there was one closer to me!! I know I'd be there more often! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  2. Great post. Very informative and helpful. I've always wondered about the quality of Ikea furniture and held off because I thought it would fall apart. My daughter has one of their sofas and loves it. I have some smaller stuff. Some of it is cheesy but other stuff isn't. My target chair needs to be tightened quite a bit too. Annoying.

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  3. Really great post! I have been thinking about doing an Ikea hack myself but I can't bring myself to buy commercial rather than one of a kind vintage.
    Happy Weekend,
    Alison

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  4. Great post. We, and our daughter, have several of the same pieces and agree with your comments about them. You make every piece look like it came out of a high end designer showroom. Proof you can furnish a home beautiful without breaking the bank.

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  5. Thanks for the review. I have been looking at those rattan chairs for a while. It is good to know they hold up. I just reviewed the Hemnes sink and Rattviken sink top.
    http://starterhomeforever.blogspot.com/2014/07/to-ikea-or-not-that-is-question.html
    I would love for you to check it out on my new blog.

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  6. great post! I love ikea but sadly when I go I get so overwhelmed that I forget what to buy! I made a shopping list on my pinterest to help. My husband has no patience there so it's hard to "shop". You house looks beautiful and I didn't even know most of that was Ikea! LOL

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  7. Fantastic post. Thank you so much for sharing all this very useful information. I am a big fan of Ikea furniture and design.

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  8. We are getting a new house and u have no furniture for it. Nada. I was thinking about getting Ikea pieces and this post confirms it. I'll be shopping there. I really love all the whites in your decor. I love that you decorated on a budget.
    Hugs
    Isabelle

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  9. Thank you for an awesome post! It's like you read my mind and answered all my questions I had about your IKEA pieces. I hear a lot of people complain about IKEA furniture but I have always had great luck with the pieces I have chosen. Like you though I do my research and pick pieces that are heavy and constructed well. I am in the middle of choosing an IKEA secional so this couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks for your honesty and for sharing!

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  10. I LOVE this post, thank you so much for reviewing all these pieces! We have a lot of IKEA pieces at home too, and I love how you used yours! Beautiful! Thanks for all the useful information!

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  11. Thanks so much for this post. I have bought a few items from IKEA, but no furnishings yet because I wasn't really sure how their furniture holds up. There is a winged chair that has caught my eye (Strandmon Wing Chair) that would go great in a room I am still trying to finish. I am looking at it in an orange that would add a nice pop of color to the room. Love how your new home has evolved! Great job!

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  12. What about the ikea white curtains? I'm thinking of getting them. Thanks :)

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  13. What about the white ikea curtains. I'm thinking of buying them for two different rooms in my home. Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. Sorry it's such a lengthy post it was probably easy to miss, but here is what we wrote about them "for the price have been very happy with them. Eventually I wouldn't mind switching them out for nicer ones but for now I really can't beat the $24.99 price!"

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  14. I've had the same experience with our white Ektorp and Ikea dressers. I love the white slipcovers, but they always have something on them. I've been looking at the tan and gray slipcovers also, but I just love the white. So I bleach on! If it makes you feel better the Ektorp covers are a pain to get on also. My bedroom dressers were a hack and we're pretty easy on them, but they definitely won't last forever. That's okay though since I lived with master bedroom furniture I didn't like for years just because it was so expensive. My boys Ikea dressers are really falling apart and they are only a year old. They just can't handle little boys. I'm replacing my older son's right now with PB Kids. I'm hoping we'll have better luck! Great post!

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  15. This is such an informative post! So many times we see things on blogs when people buy them but they never get mentioned again and you wonder if they are really happy with them. I have a couple of Ikea pieces too and so far so good on them. You really can't beat the price!
    -Shelley

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  16. Loved your post and your detailed explanation! Thank you!

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  17. Where is the wood top X table from in your last photo?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Jessica! We made that ourselves. You can read more about it here: http://dearlillieblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-sideboard-for-our-kitchen.html

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  18. Thanks for this incredibly in depth post! You have a truly beautiful home.

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  19. Such a beautiful home. Long time follower but first time commenter. Can you tell me where the gray and white rug under your kitchen sink is from? Ikea or Target maybe? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It used to be my mom's so I'm not 100% positive where she got it, but I'm pretty sure it was Home Decorator's Collection.

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  20. Beautiful home!! I was curious where you got the round, gray table in the picture where you review the Ingolf chairs? I love it and have been looking for something just like that but I can't find one anywhere. Thanks in advance!! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! It's from Pier 1 about 8 years ago. We have painted it several times but it was originally black.

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    2. Thanks!! It looks fantastic!! :-)

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  21. Great Post,Such a beautiful high quality Furniture.So many times we see things on blogs when people buy them but they never get mentioned again .

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  22. Your ikea furniture looks beautiful in your house. I have the Aluna bedspread as well and didn't buy the inserts. Which ones did you get for your Alina covers? Thanks for the review been looking at purchasing a kitchen cart from there as well.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Unfortunately I have no idea--sorry!

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  23. Your house is beautiful! Where did you get the wood table in the picture where you talk about the Henriksdal chairs?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! You can read all about the table we built here: http://dearlillieblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/our-farm-house-table-saga.html

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  24. I loved this. Where did you buy the table lamps on top of the Tarva dressers?

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  25. Your kitchen looks beautiful!
    Whee did you get the roman shades above the sink?
    Thank you

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  26. Hi! I'm thinking about getting an Ingatorp table, round or regular. Can you easily fit 8 people around both? I have loads of space for it, maybe the regular one would look better.. ?

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure about the round version, but Jason's could definitely fit 8 people!

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  27. Hi, love your home! I wanted to ask you where your coffee table is from?
    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's from Pottery Barn about 8-10 years ago, but we have since made it over.

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  28. Hi Jennifer - I just started reading your blog and I need to thank you for the high level of detail you include in your work. My husband and I just purchased our first home in San Francisco and it is in desperate need of updates (has not been updated since 1950). We are young (I'm 25, he's 34) and in uncharted territory - the first pioneers amongst our friends to own a home. A lot of my time has been spent researching and researching all the little pieces and when I found your blog, which is similar to my style, and how you have a source list for everything, I feel like my head came up above water and I am relieved. I just want to give you a great big hug for all the time you are saving me!! Thank you! Such a beautiful gift for design that you have! God bless you!

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  29. Great site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also.
    DIY Furniture

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  30. I love what you've done with the Fintorp rail. I tried to install my own, but the screws that fit into the holes don't appear to hold very much weight. Would you mind sharing how you installed yours? Thank you so much!

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Jenni just installed hers with the screws supplied. It has always been fine, but she doesn't necessarily think its designed to hold much weight.

      -Jason

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  31. Look you house very beautiful.I felt the interior of the house is the harmony.I like them but my wife don't like this.She like many colors.

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  32. Hey there, just wondering How did the sundvik table and chairs hold up?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! The top of it has a lot of crayon marks, but otherwise it has held up great!

      -Jason

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  33. Thank you for taking the time to share your reviews! We're looking at buying the ingolf chairs and I think it will be perfect for our dining room and perfect price too!

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  34. Found you when searching for reviews of the bar stools. Your pictures look like they're straight out of BH&G. You have a great sense of design, and these Ikea items are all so fitting. You make them look more expensive than they are.

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  35. Hi there!
    In regards to the Hermine throw, is it more of a grey color in person? I was considering for a grey couch, but on the IKEA site it reads that it is beige, brown. Thank you!

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  36. It has been over 2 years since you bought the Henriksdal Chairs...I has wondering how they are holding up? I am thinking about buying them for our kitchen table...so they will get alot of use, especially from our 3 children who are all under the age of 6. Thank You!

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    Replies
    1. We have had those chairs for about four years now and actually just gave them away two weeks ago. We really enjoyed them although my one complaint would be that we had to tighten the legs quite regularly. That being said, my husband is a college basketball coach and we regularly had players sitting in them who are much larger than the average person so I think that I probably wouldn't have had to tighten them very much if we had just ourselves and our girls sitting in them =). Other than having to tighten the legs quite often I didn't have any complaints! I thought they were comfortable and it was super easy to wash the slipcovers.

      Have a wonderful rest of your week!

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