Furnishing Your Apartment from Ikea?

provided by WarmSleepy via flickrIf you are looking to furnish your first apartment, you may be wondering where the best place to buy your major items from. There are many great stores to choose from these days and it is hard to establish the best place. While I often suggest that craigslist is the best place to buy items because it ensures that you are not paying the mark-up price for a new item. There are many things that you can buy there that fit within a young person’s budget, but it does take time. Regardless of whether you want to rent or buy, if you are needing quality furniture in a pinch, Ikea might be a great alternative (and I’m not getting paid to say this).

Great Deals I have found at Ikea

Dishes – My wife and I bought two sets of dinnerware for cheap. I don’t remember the exact price, but it was around $24 for a set of 6. This included bowls as well as big and small plates. Because we don’t have a dishwasher, we purchased two sets because that allows us to do dishes less often (yes, that means there is a stack of dishes at some point during the week – don’t judge me).

Bookshelves – My wife and I love books! We have almost all of our books from college plus the other books that we have collected over the years. Some people may think we are book hoarders, but we have actually stopped buying books lately because we are using our public library. We don’t want to just get rid of our books, so we needed bookshelves. Have you ever had a cheap bookshelf that bends in the middle of the shelf? Yeah, we didn’t want that, so we had to go a little more expensive than the cheapest one available. We were able to find two nice bookshelves for $60 each (on sale).

Candles- Candles may not be a necessity or major item when it comes to furnishing an apartment, but it does add a little flavor to decorating (and no, I do not mean eating them). Buying candles are often put off because they are so expensive ($8 for a medium candle? I don’t think so!). Ikea has a great collection of candles at reasonable prices – you should check it out! Having lots of these candles were what was heating our house for four days during the October winter storm. Yep, that’s right. If you have enough of them lit, they can bring the room temperature up 1 or 2 degrees.

How Ikea Can Cost You

Before you rush off to the closest Ikea store, you should know that the store is designed to get you to buy lots of items. They literally build each store like a maze, so that you have to go through all of the departments before you can check out. I often feel like a herd of cattle going through the winding store because everyone is going the same direction. While it is designed to encourage splurge spending, if you can convince yourself that you are only going to buy the items that you need, it can be a great place find furnishings for your new place.

Where have you found great deals to furnish your home?

20 Responses to Furnishing Your Apartment from Ikea?

  1. I’ve found Ikea to have many great items that don’t cost that much. I was looking for new bedding and was amazed when I found that duvet covers were so expensive. I went to Ikea and purchased the duvet and cover for less than half the price I found anywhere else. It’s been over two years now and both are still holding up great. I was worried that the quality wouldn’t be as good, but it is.

    Ikea is my first stop for kitchen items too.

  2. I have found really great deals at Target. We have bookshelf and a few other items that we purchased there 10+ years ago and they’ve held up better than items we bought at furniture stores. We also have a few Ikea items that the previous owners left at our house when we bought it; they’ve also held up very well.

    We don’t have an Ikea nearby so we don’t shop there that often. It’s more of a hassle for us. But I think that if we lived near one, we’d go. A lot.

  3. I love IKEA stuff, too! I live right near a store, so there tends to be a lot of great IKEA furniture available cheaply on Craigslist, too. The best part about buying used: it’s already assembled!

    • Unfortunately several Ikea items I’ve bought off craigslist had to be disassembled for transport, and then you do run the risk of missing a couple parts. Deals are still worth it and I’m pretty handy with a Makita.

  4. I just found some serious deals at Ikea over the weekend–a $110 chair frame for $40 with matching $129 cover for $29!! I love Ikea, Craigslist, the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Savers. I’m a huge fan of the DIY re-do, and I’m always looking for the next project.

  5. Great point that IKEA is designed like a maze to make you stay in longer. You definitely have to go in with a plan or else you could walk out with some serious regrets.

  6. We always check out the “As Is” area near the checkout at IKEA. You might have to ask where it is. We found a really nice coffee table there for $20 that had just a tiny scratch on one leg. It has served as our tv stand for many years, though we’ve used it for a coffee table from time to time. We liked the color of it, but we can always paint it if we want to change the look.

  7. We found that kids toys and furniture is much cheaper and durable. Our 29 pound toddler can still handle the changing table like a boss! That thing is solid. I think we did his nursery for less than $300 for new stuff. Fairly cheap when you compare to Toys R Them or other places. We never go on the weeekend though as all the “deals” and slightly loved section has been picked over.

  8. Ikea has great, inexpensive frames. I’m always amazed at how expensive frames are in other places. I don’t own any high quality artwork so spending a ton of money on a frame isn’t something I’m interested in.

    I love Ikea’s candles. They smell good, they’re pretty, and they’re cheap. What more could you ask for? I’ve also bought towels and washcloths from there and they’ve held up pretty well.

    Stay away from all that fancy lighting that has to be nailed to the wall. It’s flimsy and a pain in the butt to put up. Plus, you don’t notice all the unsightly cords these things have when they’re hanging up in Ikea. When you get home, they look a mess.

  9. […] 20′s Finances: Furnishing Your Apartment from Ikea […]

  10. I buy most of my Ikea stuff off craigslist cause I’m too cheap to even pay Ikea prices. I got a beautiful $300 canopy bed off craigslist for $50 and paint to refinish it. Followed it up with a brand new table for $100…half off. It’s good to live next to an Ikea.