When staging an empty home, many a seller is drawn to IKEA’s wondrous warehouse for the inexpensive, contemporary furniture and furnishings. Unfortunately, everyone else is doing the same thing so staged homes frequently end up looking identical inside. Anyone who trawls though real estate listings on a daily basis will notice a handful of IKEA products that routinely appear in listings all the time. Here’s a list of the top six that show up the most frequently…
1) GISLEV (Gray Rug—$19.99)
Gray goes with everything, and the ridiculously low price of $20 goes great with a budget. However, because so many people own this rug—the author of this post included—everyone knows it’s cheap. Potential buyers see it and get the sneaking suspicion that everything in the home—from the furniture to the flooring—is just cheap window dressing. For an alternative that offers a similar contemporary style, check out this Hand-Woven Bamboo Rug or this Andros Natural/Blue Rug.
2) FILLSTA (White Pendant Lamp—$39.99)
Not only does this pendant lamp routinely appear over kitchen tables in thousands of homes, but it’s also appears in countless restaurants, bars, office lobbies and more. The result is constant feelings of deja vu, a gnawing inkling that you’ve been there before. Instead, opt for mini chandeliers, constellation pendants, or even make your own drum shade pendant lamp.
3) FIGGJO (Mirror, Round Black—$19.99)
To some people this is the height of modern styling, but to others it is declaration of a complete lack of originality. If wall space needs to be covered, just about anything but a beer sign or movie poster will do better than this Jetsons-esque mirror. If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to throw it out you can turn it into a clock with the help of crafty DIYers.
4) PREMIÄR (Picture, Jungle Journey—$149)
Oh, no. Absolutely not. Never in a million years is this allowed to appear on the wall of a home being shown. Is it a lovely image that gives the room depth? Yes, it is. Can you find this stunning image in 30% of college dorms and 40% of coffee shops outside of metropolitan areas? Probably. Even a giant map thumbtacked to the wall would be more compelling. Please do not turn the home into a generic space by using this image.
5) KOLDBY (Cowhide—$199)
While expensive modern homes typically feature a zebra-hide rug under the coffee table, those with more modest incomes try to eek by with the more affordable cowhide. When this home decor item transitioned from being the rug of choice for cow poachers living in tornado-damaged single-wides to being an item sought out by the chic and trendy is debatable, but what’s not is the frequency with which is appears in staged homes.
Swap it out for a colorful rug and get the added bonus of not making vegetarian or Hindu home buyers uncomfortable. Or, you can just get weird and custom order this “Giant Ruggle.” Wait, don’t do that.
6) JULES (Red Visitor Chair—$34.99)
Whatever you do, don’t you dare set these Swiss cheese-like chairs around the dining room table. It may seem like a creative and inexpensive item to feature, but the fact is it’s been done a thousand times before.
IKEA is the Shangri-La for those seeking modern furnishings on a budget, but be careful that in your effort to make a home stand out you don’t actually make it blend in with all the others. Don’t be afraid to visit other stores offering similarly priced items in contemporary styles.
– Ten Things You Didn’t Know About IKEA—Neatorama