How to Furnish an Apartment for Under $1,000: IKEA Edition

     When I started my "What to Buy Where: A Beginner's Guide to Bargain Shopping" post I mentioned that I could probably furnish an entire small home or apartment for under $1,000 at IKEA. This sparked another post idea in which I would actually try to do that task. Spoiler alert: I did it. My total came in at $998.07. This price includes not just basic furniture but decor, textiles like rugs, bedding, and pillows, "unnecessary" furniture, lighting, and everything one would need in a basic kitchen. My total shopping list came to 74 items. I didn't want to just randomly pick the cheapest things on IKEA's website, so I was careful to pick things I'd actually want to decorate my home with and things that went together well (but were still among the cheapest products). Overall, I think I ended up with a "mid century modern" look, with very minimalist furniture, bright pops of color, and an over-abundance of house plants. Disclaimer: In the following post I will pretend to know what I'm talking about when it comes to interior decorating. I know nothing about interior decorating.


About the Room: Aside from being cheap, the theme I was going for with this bedroom was "dark with lots of color". The bed frame is dark, the dresser is dark, the bedside table is dark, AND the bedspread is dark, so I made it less masculine and boring by adding a bright grass-like rug, polk-a-dot mirror, colorful throw pillows, globe light, succulents, poster with different colorful doorways, and a big snake plant. I think because there is so much black and dark blue, the bits of color wouldn't be overwhelming or childish. The only thing I think could possibly look horribly wrong is the green rug, but it looked good in the collage so I went for it. 

Row 1: AXAG pillow $1.99 (x2), SOMAR 2018 cushion cover $6 (x2), DVALA full size sheet set $19.99, SANSEVIERIA TRIFASCIATA Potted plant $7.99

Row 2: KNARREVIK nightstand $9.99, KOPARDAL bed frame $129.00, INDIRA bedspread $19.99, EDELVIK poster $3.00

Row 3: HASVÅG spring mattress full size $179.00, HAMPEN rug $29.99, NEDJA cushion $4.99, SJÖPENNA table lamp $14.99

Row 4: SUCCULENT potted plant $3.99, LUNDAMO mirror $4.99 (x2), KULLEN 3-drawer chest
$59.99, VÄXBO collage frame for 8 photos $9.99

Total: $520.86

Total with just essentials (1 pillow, sheet set, bed frame, bedspread, mattress, 3-drawer chest): $409.96

Living Room
About the Room: This is my favorite room by far. When I was searching for each piece I always sorted by price lowest to highest. When the orange couch popped up as the second cheapest option out of 159 sofas, I knew it was the one. Very affordable, but also fit in perfectly with the style I'd already established with the bedroom. I knew I wanted to stray away from dark or black furniture in this room, afraid of creating a Halloween-esque feel with the orange sofa. Instead, I went with a white coffee table and white standing lamp. I love how the black and white cow pillow goes with the  black and white rug and the turquoise pillow contrasts perfectly with the orange sofa. The poster has a cute-sy saying but mostly I liked that it matched the 50s-era color scheme I had going on. 

Row 1: EDELVIK poster $5.00, PACHIRA AQUATICA potted plant $9.99, YPPERLIG cushion cover $6.00

Row 2: RANVEIG cushion cover $6.00, KNOPPARP sofa $149.00, HOLMÖ floor lamp $12.99

Row 3: LACK coffee table $29.99, SOMMAR 2018 rug $29.99, HIMALAYAMIX potted plant $3.99

Total: $252. 95

Total with just essentials (sofa): $149

About the Room: IKEA apparently likes white for their kitchens. Incorporating color for this room was rather difficult, but I think I managed to do it. I love that the orange chairs match with the orange sofa (in my mind the house/apartment has an open floor plan so the kitchen would blend into the living room). The hand towels add a pop of color and match perfectly with the food-themed 50s style poster set. The blue glasses contrast wonderfully with the orange chairs and white table.

Row 1: POKAL glass $1.29 (x4), MOPSIG 16-piece flatware set $4.99, EDELVIK poster set of 3 $12.00

Row 2: OFTAST deep plate/bowl $0.79 (x4), MELLTORP table $39.00, NIMMERN hand towel $2.99 (x2)

Row 3: FINSTILT pot holder $2.99, NISSE folding chair $14.99 (x2), OFTAST plate $0.79 (x4)

Total: $106. 42

Total with just essentials (1 glass, 1 silverware set, 1 bowl, table, 1 dish towel, 1 chair, 1 plate): $64.84


About the Room: I could've gone with the cheapest option, a simple clear or white shower curtain, but I knew I wanted something that popped, like the other rooms. When I saw the sea-themed whale shower curtain, I knew it was worth a "splurge" (still only $7.99). From there, I found a bath mat and towels to match. The poster of the woman in the hat was a last-minute add on because I needed something to complete my collage and it looked great with the blue accents. I thought a little cacti would be cute to put in a bathroom window or along the sink, and is reminiscent of the coral in the shower curtain.

Row 1: EDELVIK poster $3.00, YTTERN washcloth $0.99, BILLSJÖN hand towel $2.99

Row 2: TOFTBO bath mat $9.99, LASJÖN shower curtain $7.99, CACTACEAE potted plant $4.99

Row 3: FNISS trash can $0.79, DRAGAN toothbrush holder $4.99, VÅGSJÖN bath towel $4.99

Total: $40.72

Total with just essentials (bath mat, shower curtain, trash can, 1 bath towel): $23.76

Everything Else

About the Essentials: I picked these based off of what I needed for my studio apartment this past year. I personally have the frying pan, knife set, 3-piece kitchen utensil set, 17-piece food container set, and colander. They're all really good quality and have held up great.

Row 1: KAVALKAD frying pan $3.49, ANNONS 5-piece cookware set $9.99, ÄNDLIG 3-piece knife set $7.99, LEGITIM chopping board $1.49

Row 2: DIREKT 3-piece kitchen utensil set $3.99, PRUTA food container set of 17 $5.99, VISPAD
colander $2.99, DESSERT measuring spoons set of 4 $2.99

Row 3: DESSERT measuring cups, set of 4 $3.99, FILUR bin with lid $9.99, KONCIS can opener
$3.49, VARDAGEN baking pan $7.99

Row 4: RYET LED bulb E26 400 lumen $0.99, RINGSJÖN shower curtain rings $0.99, RYET
LED bulb E12 400 lumen $3.79, INNER inner cushion $2.99 (x3)

Total: $79.12
Total with just essentials (everything minus food container set, colander, can opener, baking tray, light bulbs, and pillows): $44.91

Grand Total: $998.07
Grand Total with Just Essentials: $692.47

     Whether this was totally boring to you or not probably depends on whether or not you're a not-supremely-rich college student getting ready to move away from home in the near future or not. If you ARE a not-supremely-rich college student getting ready to move away from home in the near future, I hope this was helpful. Now you don't have to spend hours perusing the IKEA website for the cutest, cheapest apartment essentials because I did it for you! You are very welcome. Maybe it's just me, but I think it's pretty impressive to be able to fully equip a living space in under $700. It's possible to spend that much on a bed alone! I recognize that my style might not be your style, which is fair. You might have to peruse IKEA anyway to find things you actually like. This post was just to prove that it is possible to do things like move into a new place for the first time for a semi-affordable price and make your living space attractive and cozy. 

IKEA, please sponsor this post. Thank you.

-SE Wagner


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