Tips for Replicating the IKEA “Look” Without IKEA

IKEA Look without IKEA

While Scandinavian design has many facets, many might equate this style with what they see at their local IKEA. The IKEA style no doubt has its roots in this design, but its popularity in the U.S. has benefited from the proliferation of IKEA stores and their in-store room set-ups. The aesthetic of the IKEA style is something that many homeowners want to duplicate, but also desire to do so in a more custom and substantive way. Here are the Tips for Replicating the IKEA “Look” Without IKEA:-

To achieve a Scandinavian style that mimics an IKEA aesthetic, consider incorporating the following concepts into your design.

Find Your Balance

This style is all about finding the right balance. Begin by balancing the clean, sleek lines found in European cabinets with cozy details that invoke a sense of home. While an uncluttered design style lends itself to organization and a contemporary mood, incorporating cozy details like soft area rugs and pillows are ways to personalize any space. Maintaining a more monochromatic color scheme is one way to maintain a Scandinavian design when adding these softer details. 

Deploy Minimal Color

A monochromatic color scheme is another great way to follow the Scandinavian design style. Using neutral colors, usually white, is a way to allow occasional bursts of colors to really pop and get attention. By using white in your cabinetry and even countertops, items that you wish to highlight can stand out. IKEA will often display these kinds of items in groupings, so look for ways to group artwork, pottery, or other beautiful and functional items. 

Minimalism Rules Apply

While showcasing your home’s most interesting items, you also need to edit your displays in order to follow the IKEA style. Overly stacked or cluttered collections will detract from the clean, almost utilitarian Scandinavian style. To make allowances for this, remember to plan storage (so everything isn’t visible) and consider spreading any collections on display throughout several rooms, or rotating a smaller number of pieces to be visible at different times. The key here is to edit, but chances are if you’re a fan of the IKEA style, you already subscribe to this idea. Minimalism can also carry through to the use of hardware and accessories. Push latches and sleek, almost hidden tabs can replace visible hardware and maintain a sleek appearance while adding to the cabinet’s function. 

Put the Fun in Function

If there is one thing that you can say about all furniture and cabinetry in the IKEA and Scandinavian styles, it is that function is key to the design. Nothing is made for purely aesthetic purposes. Cabinetry may look good, but not at the expense of being highly utilitarian. Form will always follow function, which makes it easier to bring elements of Scandinavian style to your home’s most-used rooms. In fact, if you work with the right professionals, you can extract multiple functions from different pieces. That is how you really embrace the philosophy of IKEA’s design style.

Bring Nature In

One additional way to warm up the monochromatic, contemporary spaces that are characteristic of Scandinavian design is by incorporating elements like plants and natural materials into your finished room. Just remember to do this while also considering the function of any additions. For example, instead of just having random plants in your kitchen, consider wall or window installations of small herb gardens for cooking. If you want to have some natural materials visible (minimally) on your countertops, consider using wooden or woven materials in containers that hold bamboo utensils. When using wood or other natural materials for cabinets, keep finishes natural to achieve this look. And married to the importance of nature is the focus on using sustainable materials. 

Let the Sunshine In

For a true Scandinavian design style, optimize the use of natural light or seek to mimic it if necessary. It should come as no surprise that Scandinavians love natural light, especially since they experience limited sunlight at certain times of the year. The monochromatic color scheme, so often done in brighter neutrals, maximizes dispersion of natural light and supports the existence of any plants. 

Bring it All Together

All the elements in Scandinavian design may have been popularized by IKEA, but they are still just another design style that can easily be duplicated by a professional custom cabinet designer. Custom cabinet fabrication will bring sleek design to your kitchen or bathroom project while maximizing storage with cabinet options that fit your available space exactly. Our staff is able to discuss all aspects of your design in order to duplicate an IKEA style, but with higher quality materials and custom manufacturing. 

What are European cabinets?

In many European cities, the average size of kitchens and bathrooms is smaller than in America. The European cabinet design evolved from a need to maximize storage space and adapt cabinetry to older homes and apartments. Sometimes known as frameless cabinets, this design style employs a construction method that eliminates the front face of each cabinet. This eliminates obstructive center stiles, allows for cabinet doors to be mounted directly to the side of the cabinet, and increases internal drawer space. Aesthetically European cabinets lean toward an uncluttered, sleek look that allows the rest of the architecture to shine. 

As the name implies, European cabinets are not widely available in the U.S. unless you choose a product like IKEA, that comes with limited sizes and requires a significant investment of your time for assembly.


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