We've all spent more time than ever in our homes over the last few months, teaching us how important it is that our most basic items work exactly how we want them to.
Who could have predicted that 2020 would be the year of staying home? Back on January 1, when we were all toasting to the new year, you probably had plenty of plans and goals for the months ahead, but spending almost all your time inside your own four walls probably didn't feature highly.
However, since that's how our recent months have looked, we've become a lot more closely acquainted with our homes. We realised that things we'd been putting up with would no longer 'do', when we had to deal with them multiple times a day. That wonky chair that you curse every time you sit in it, or the kitchen table that is simply too small (especially when it has to double as an office).
Luckily, Ikea's latest collection is bringing us back to basics. No reinventing the wheel here, or trying to convince us to adopt a soon-to-be-forgotten trend: just everyday pieces of furniture that will function perfectly. These items will be available from August, so you can start making your list now.
The go-anywhere chair
The beautiful shape and clean lines of this chair take the best elements of Scandinavian design as their starting point, and create a design that looks much more expensive that its price point of under €100. As it's lightweight, it can easily be moved around to whatever room it's needed in.
Whether used as an extra seat in the kitchen or as the focal point in a hallway, its three shades of oak veneer: natural, red, or black give you plenty of choice as to the style you want to create. Fröset easy chair, €80.
The extendable table
Over the last few months, who among us can say we haven't longed for our kitchen table to be just a bit bigger? Whether it's been for kids' art projects, your own working from home office, or just fitting everyone around the table with enough elbow room, extra space is often helpful.
This dining table extends thanks to a leaf that can be stored under the table top, so it's quick to lengthen and put back to normal again. Made in birch, its calming, neutral shade will fit in easily with almost any decor. Rönninge extendable table, €250.
The instant-colour rug
Many of our living spaces are decorated in neutral tones: they're calming, easy to layer, and are easy to live with. But if your space lacks a hit of colour, this rug is an instant way to provide it.
Its overlapping shapes combine a whole range of shades, so it will complement neutrals of any base colour. It's also great value for a rug of this size. Steinmätare rug, €40.
The stylish storage
The Ivar storage system is an Ikea classic, its wooden frames and shelves now found in homes across the world. Mesh cabinets and doors made from bamboo in either untreated wood or grey have been added to the collection, so you can create cabinets that close rather than just open shelving.
You can also easily paint these cabinets, like the flash of pink shown above, in order to further customise your space. Ivar cabinet with grey mesh doors, €80 each.
The statement light
Lighting may seem like one of the less important aspects of a room, but it's one of the hardest to get right. Anything too office-y will make your home feel clinical, but statement pendants can be extremely pricey, and you also want to be sure they provide enough light.
This soft pendant adds both structure and whimsy to a space, and when illuminated emits a warm glow, while it is made from 100 per cent recycled polyester.
Its designer, Ulrika Mårtensson wanted to make a long-lasting lamp that would always be interesting to look at. "When designing Vindkast, I wanted to create something timeless. The ruffles of the textile are all different, they never make the same pattern. At the same time as giving a beautiful light, I wanted to give the lamp a long design life with the combination of using more sustainable materials." Vindkast pendant lamp, €29.
The straightforward sofa
Prioritising comfort, this sofa has a high back, deep seats and soft covers, so you're guaranteed that a night in on the sofa feels like a treat.
It's also simple to get it home, as its lightweight metal frame comes flat-packed. This makes it easy to disassemble if you ever need to move, and it comes in a two or three seat option. Vinliden three-seat sofa, €450.
The hard wearing plant pots
Whether you want to add to your collection of house plants or brighten up your balcony, these brightly coloured pots will do the job.
Made from powder-coated steel, they're suitable for indoor or outdoor use, and will never crack or shatter on you, while being much more stylish than plastic. Omfång plant pot, 9cm €2, 15cm €4.
The multitasking vessels
This cute set of penguins will not only act as decoration to your home, but they also serve as vases, jugs or carafes, so you'll find yourself reaching for them whether you need a milk jug or somewhere to put those flowers you bought.
We only wish everything in our homes were so multi-functional. Lättsåld set of two vases/carafes, €10.
Featured image: Ivar cabinet with doors, €80 each
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