New Favourites At Ikea

I now live less than 10 minutes from an Ikea. This is highly convenient for work scouting after enjoying the famous $1 breakfast accompanied by at least two cups of Ikea coffee, which I adore. I hit up the store today and was wowed by so many new things. Here are some of my faves:

Who doesn’t love a demilune table? The Arkelstorp ($129) comes with a green, white or black-painted base. I prefer the black. I’d probably paint the top black, too — doing so would make it slightly less country and more versatile. I’d get two to flank a fireplace or use one as an entry table.

This famous Frosta stool ($20) is back. Those bent ply legs are iconic. Perf as a bedside table in a kid’s room or cottage, a drinks table, or even just, you know, as a stool! I have mixed feelings about the almost-neon coloured top. I sort of wish it was also natural birch. I might be inclined to paint the top white.

This sexy injection-moulded polypropylene number, called Janinge, could easily be mistaken for a Italian version that would cost 10 times more than its $69 price tag. It’s stackable, comfy and (praise be!) requires NO assembly! I want three for my office at work. (It doesn’t seem to be on the website, so run to your local Ikea to check stock in case it’s been discontinued!)

Most of the hoopla at Ikea these days is about the new Sektion kitchen system. All the kitchens at the stores are newly installed and feature the new system plus a huge array of new countertops. I picked up all the planning booklets and will be studying them over the weekend. Partly because I’m a nerd like that, but partly because I’m in the midst of planning storage solutions for my new laundry room and mudroom at our country house in Tweed, Ont., and for our bedroom at our city condo. Above are my three favourite door styles. I can’t say that I’ve ever felt drawn to dark wood cabinets before, but the warm chocolatey tone and thin raised edge detail of Ekestad won me over. The one in the centre is called Björket and is a perfect crisp Shaker profile. You could paint them out, but I do like this blond wood tone — very Vincent Van Duysen! And lastly, the perfection of this last white door, called the Råsdal, is hard to capture via an iPhone shot. The finish is like a whitewash over white ash so you see the wood grain through the paint. It’s so lovely. There are so many more door styles — seems like more than ever before.

The new kitchen system includes tons of organizers and bells and whistles to customize your storage. These two handy items are standouts. On the left is the LED under-cabinet lighting system called the Utrusta. It’s so sleek and narrow that you don’t even really need a valance piece to conceal it. I’m actually thinking of switching to this system. On the right is the Ansluta remote ($15), which allows you to dim your kitchen lighting. I definitely want this because under-cabinet lighting needs to be bright when you’re working away, but it’s nice to dim it in the evenings when you’re entertaining or just popping in and out for a snack.

This oversized cabinet hardware made me smile and I’d love to use them somewhere! The knobs on the left are called Norrbyn ($3.49) and are almost 3″ in diameter. Fun colours! The 7-1/2″-long demilune pulls on the right are called Tosterup, and also come in white and red. They would look great on two-door cabinets because they’d look like a giant polkadot when then doors are closed.

Okay, this is unglamorous but very useful for those of you with wall-mounted TVs who either can’t or haven’t hidden your cords behind the wall. Nestle them in the $5 Uppleva channel and then paint the thing the same colour as your wall. Not as good as behind the wall but a gajillion times better than unsightly cords.

The Backvial bedspread is coming home with me for sure. And I need two more for a cottage I’m decorating. It’s pure cotton and comes in two sizes. The largest is only $40. I just know this will get better after softening up in the laundry, too.

These pieces are both called Bittergurka. They are from the garden section, but I’d use the planter ($15) in my kitchen to stash oil and vinegar cruets, salt and pepper grinders and a head of garlic right by the cooktop. The jug ($16) is a watering can. It’s so great-looking that I would leave it out and then maybe my fiddle leaf fig might get water and have a fighting chance.

The Enigt side plate ($3.50) would add a little dose of spring to my plain white dinnerware and is just waiting for a pretty salad to top it off.

See more great ideas from Ikea in the H&H-designed kitchen at this year’s Interior Design Show.

Photo credits:
1-10. Margot Austin

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