Best IKEA Classics 2008

Best IKEA Classics 2008

Maxwell Ryan
Aug 4, 2008

This is our Go-To list. IKEA continues to create new designs, but it's the evergreen classics that we buy the most of - designs that stand the test of time and become staples in our offices and homes (see Aaron's ICFF list here). In order to document those that I feel are the "best of class" classics this year (which I also hope IKEA doesn't discontinue), I put together this list for today. All of these below are designs that I've purchased and recommended countless times. Got your own faves? Tell me below in the comments....

>> Frosta Stool - based on the really classic design by Alvar Aalto, the Frosta is a simple, flexible design that can double as stool or table.

>> Vika Legs - designed by Olle Lundberg, I like these legs more than any other that Ikea sells. They are chic, strong and don't look like Ikea.

>> PS cabinet metal locker - ubiquitous in our house tours and reader's homes, the PS series picks up on the vintage metal locker fad and translates it into a line that has many uses and doesn't stand out too much.

>> Pronomen Counter Top - this solid beech counter top is extremely affordable, comes in many lengths, is cuttable and can be nicely aged with oil. I recommend these for tables and desks as well as counter top.

>> Patrik Swivel Chair - who needs an Aeron, when the Patrik can comfortably outfit your home or office for much, much less. A little hard on the seat (adding a cushion helps), the shape is classic mid-century modern and the whole thing is durable.

>> Expedit Bookcase - a fabulous copy of the much more expensive Conran orginal, Expedit is great for any kind of storage and/or creating walls in loft-like spaces. I recommend using Expedit in multiples to heighten the drama.

>> Knappa Pendant Lamp - another great and more recent rip off of a good design, the Knappa popped up almost everywhere last year.

>> Grundtal Kitchen Hardware - these have been around for years (thank God!) and can be used all over the house. I've used them in outdoor showers, kitchens, bathrooms, you name it. The Grundtal series is a good example of "building blocks" in that it can be used in many different ways.

>> Ribba Frames - I forgot to add these to the email, but these simple wooden frames come in many sizes, are great basics and work well in multiples. Wood frames can get really expensive, these are not.


Meanwhile, I got a whole bunch of great response to the email yesterday
with my own IKEA classic faves. Here are some more recommendations:

  • Sarah N. - Must include the Norrebo series. We've got 3 in our circa 1000sf home, and love them. Solid wood, modular, open, beautiful and sturdy.
  • Olga P. - The Lack shelving unit. I have this in green & use it in the horizontal position as a tv stand.
  • Charlotte Mc. - I agree with all of your choices and add the pot lid rack/holder [Grundtal?]. I can't remember the name but it is perfect to hold magazines, towels, etc. Love it!

  • Andrea N. - As an IKEA devotee, I own numerous favorites. I wrote a little IKEA manifesto of sorts on my tumblr, inner sanctum. A recent buy is the Stockholm console table, which was featured in a photo on your roomarks page. I love the mid century-inspired design, and the quality is excellent. Very solidly made, with wood veneer and some solid wood parts. The design is versatile, too, and it can be used as a sofa table as well as a console.

    I, too, have Expedit bookcases. I have the narrow ones and turned them on their sides. Unbelievable quality for the price.

    Lastly, I have a Stockholm display cabinet that I got in 1993! (definitely no longer available, haha) It, too, is very solidly built, with wood veneer, and has made it beautifully through 3 moves.

  • Jesse's Storage Unit

  • Jesse Kane - The IKEA favorite e-mail must be kismet. I designed an Effektiv storage unit for my guest room/office just last week, and I love it. I had a 1970s danish stereo console in the narrow and long space between the bed and the wall. It made a retro buffet in my previous apartment but became a space-wasting monolith in my current condo.

    Jesse's New Desk
    I searched for stylish but reasonably priced storage furniture for a year before going custom with Effektiv and Korrekt handles. The unit is made up of six "add-on units - low" in a checker board of brown-black and birch. There are three sets of drawers, one file cabinet and two cubby holes. It maximizes wasted space and is narrow enough to open up the path to the bed. It holds my wireless printer, assorted office supplies, personal files and scads of home goods. On the downside, my OCD put the one hanging file drawer in the center of the unit for symmetry, rather than closer to the work area.

    Jesse's Old Desk
    As a bonus, the unit made a utilitarian desk obsolete, and I upgraded to a West Elm Parsons model. Please pardon the cord mess under the desk which is a work in progress. Don't worry, the danish piece is just in storage until my next home. Jesse Kane Rogers Park neighborhood Chicago, Illinois

Thanks to all of you!

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