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Archive Dive: 10 Times Ikea Storage Furniture Looked Expensive

We are unabashed fans of Ikea, but we are also realists. Just because something appears great in their catalog doesn’t mean it looks the same in real life. When they do get it right, though, and marry incredible design with solid materials at affordable prices, we feel it in our bones. Here, 10 examples, culled from our archives, of Ikea storage furniture that looks way more expensive than it is and had us asking: Wait, is that really Ikea?

C&J Katz Apartment Boston bedroom
Above: Those two understated, unique dressers flanking the fireplace in this master bedroom are from Ikea’s powder-coated steel Lixhult line. Photograph by Justine Hand from ‘Own’ It Like You Own It: 8 Ways to Personalize Your Rental, Designer Edition.
Is it from Ikea or an antique store? In architect Elizabeth Roberts’ weekend home, a dark blue Billy Bookcase With Glass Doors provides storage for toiletries. Photograph by Dustin Aksland and Eric Striffler, courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts, from Elizabeth Roberts at Home: The Architect’s Own Beach House in Bellport, NY.
Above: Is it from Ikea or an antique store? In architect Elizabeth Roberts’ weekend home, a dark blue Billy Bookcase With Glass Doors provides storage for toiletries. Photograph by Dustin Aksland and Eric Striffler, courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts, from Elizabeth Roberts at Home: The Architect’s Own Beach House in Bellport, NY.
Malgorzata Bany North London House from The Modern House
Above: Ikea nails the unfinished wood trend with their raw pine Ivar line. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House, from 1,000 Square Feet on a Budget: An Artist’s Loft in North London.
Interior designer-botanical artist Maaike Koster's home studio, Haarlem, the Netherlands.
Above: This Scandi-inspired attic office includes the white five-drawer unit Alex from Ikea. Photograph courtesy of Maaike Koster, from Black and White and Green All Over: At Home with a Dutch Botanical Artist.
Dining sideboard, Camilla Vest loft, Soho. Matthew Williams for Remodelista photo.
Above: The elegant modern sideboard in Camilla Vest’s loft is actually an Ikea piece with custom light gray cabinet fronts. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, styling by Alexa Hotz, from Nordic Design Ambassador: At Home in SoHo with Model/Entrepreneur Camilla Vest.
Baby's Room in Lisa Jones' London Remodel, Photo by Richard Round Turner
Above: Mounting a quartet of Ivar Cabinets to the wall of a children’s room has a monumental effect. Photograph by Richard Round-Turner, courtesy of Lisa Jones, from A Star Is Born: A Rehabbed London Maisonette from a Newly Minted Designer, High/Low Secrets Included.
Farrow & Ball Painted Bedroom Furniture
Above: Alexa upgraded her pine Tarva 5-Drawer Chest by giving it a fresh coat of Worsted, by Farrow & Ball. See A Bedroom Refresh with Farrow & Ball Paint.
A wall of Ikea cabinetry surrounding a stacked washer/dryer unit has the look of custom built-ins in this laundry area. Photograph by Dana Gallagher, styling by Helen Crowther, from Embrace the Bright: A Textile Shop Owner at Home in Brooklyn.
Above: A wall of Ikea cabinetry surrounding a stacked washer/dryer unit has the look of custom built-ins in this laundry area. Photograph by Dana Gallagher, styling by Helen Crowther, from Embrace the Bright: A Textile Shop Owner at Home in Brooklyn.
 Justine painted the Pax Wardrobe in her son’s room Benjamin Moore Sea Salt to give it a more Gustavian look to complement the stenciled walls. Photograph by Justine Hand, from DIY: The Stenciled Kid’s Room, Boreal Forest Edition.
Above: Justine painted the Pax Wardrobe in her son’s room Benjamin Moore Sea Salt to give it a more Gustavian look to complement the stenciled walls. Photograph by Justine Hand, from DIY: The Stenciled Kid’s Room, Boreal Forest Edition.
Lucile Demory Paris Apartment Photo by Claire Cottrell for Remodelista
Above: The Kallax shelving line, a favorite among record collectors, has been around for so long it feels like a classic. Photograph by Claire Cottrell for Remodelista, from Modern Thrift: Lucile Demory’s Architect-Designed Rental in Paris.

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