As many of you will recall, when I moved to Dallas nine months ago (where does the time go?), I signed a lease for my first commercial office space for my online boutique. Prior to that, I’d been living and working in Manhattan’s West Village, packing and shipping orders from a studio apartment that clocked in around 400 square feet. Needless to say, it’s been a major upgrade to have a designated space to store and ship from.
The only problem? I suddenly had over 1,000 square feet of office space and exactly zero office furniture to fill it. Which wasn’t so much of a problem given the obvious solution: a series of trips to my local IKEA.
My office is divided into two spaces, one a large room with 20-foot ceilings and an industrial feel and the other a smaller entryway with great light that faces the parking lot. When I was figuring out how to lay out the space, it made the most sense to keep all the ugly essentials (boxes on boxes and sometimes boxes of boxes!) in the larger back area and to make the front room as pretty as can be for taking Instagram photos of products and displaying most of our merchandise during shopping nights.
Before the first trip to IKEA, I did a ton of browsing online, took measurements of the wall to the right of the door where you walk in, and calculated that I could fit three of these Vittsjö shelving units along that wall. I had used IKEA’s Kallax shelving unit in my New York apartment as well as in Will’s home office but I wanted to try something a little lighter in this space.
The thin metal frame and glass shelves of the Vittsjö are perfect for reflecting the great natural light in this room and they make our colorful products really pop! Once the shelves were assembled and placed in their new home, it really looks like they were made for the room — I think most people would be surprised to know they only cost $79 and took a couple hours to assemble all three!
Through my new role as an IKEA Brand Ambassadör, I learned that IKEA designed the Vittsjö shelves with exactly that purpose in mind: to highlight the items you want to showcase with a clean and simple frame (the intersection of form and function!). There are so many backstories like this behind IKEA products, largely because all of their products are purposefully created in line with what they call “democratic design.” The concept involves particular attention to five key elements: form, function, quality, price, and sustainability. It’s interesting to look back at the furniture I bought for my office space (and our house!) now knowing all of the thought that went into designing a set of shelves!
I also picked up a Docksta table, which is a great value at $179 and I had previously used as a dining table in my apartment. The spacious top makes it ideal for styling additional inventory during events but it’s also a great spot to pull up a chair and have a meeting with my small team. This table is probably the easiest piece of furniture I’ve ever assembled and is the perfect modern touch no matter where you use it.
When it comes to decorating on a budget without sacrificing style, there’s truly no better resource than IKEA. I love the clean lines and simplistic design of everything they do — not to mention the fact that the pieces in this post cost me less than $500!
*Photos by Rebecca Dale Adler. This post is sponsored by IKEA, a brand I genuinely love. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Design Darling!