Suspiciously Swedish

Ikea: a four letter word or salvation depending on who you ask. While walking around the giant, mostly windowless fortress (as we did yesterday) isn't my cup of tea, neither is paying through the nose for the same stuff elsewhere.

That being said, I do try to support my local businesses, but with two kitty mouths to feed I've got to watch the good ol' family budget. For things that are really special or where quality matters (like kitchen knives) I shop locally, ahem, the brooklyn kitchen. Sheesh, I love that place.

Long story short, I am not above Ikea. In fact, I love my Ikea bits and pieces. Not the furniture though, I'd rather find something old for the same price. But that's just me.

The red and white dish towels I adore, 49 cents and if you squint they look like old french linens. I try to buy them in stacks of 20, I don't use paper towels, so the more the merrier. And the knit pot holders look very handmade, too. Only $2. Couldn't buy the yarn to make them for cheaper.

Heavy bottomed juice glasses. A classic and a steal.

Plus the yellow ones also came from my local dollar store, $1.49 for a set of 4. I think they've been sitting on the same shelf since the 70's.

I don't dream of fancy can openers, so buying cheapo Ikea ones allow me to take the money I saved and buy a dreamy bread board or a hand carved wooden spoon, kitchen tools I DO dream about.

And the trash cans can't be beat. White enameled oscar the grouch style for both garbage and recycling.

Cork trivets, woot woot! A million and one uses!

Their cookie jars hold damn near every thing in my kitchen. Pasta, nuts, rice, tea bags but I keep the big one holding my spare sheet moss outside the cabinets. Looks like a terrarium but isn't.

Blue and white napkins in assorted plaids and stripes also make me very very happy. Hmm, wonder why.

And yes, as soon as I get home I immediately get rid of the evidence; snipping out tags and peeling off stickers. Then I can get back to pretending the whole trip never happened in the first place.


  1. Thanks for the tip on the dish towels. I've been wanting to cut down on my paper-towel use for some time, and this seems like a perfect solution!

  2. Great post Amy! I sort of dread Ikea stuff, but I love your tips here. How's the new kitty! Update please!

  3. I went to ikea for the first time EVER a week ago and was pretty amazed. you found some good stuff!

  4. I have those pot holders and the trash can! (another thing about Ikea) Spring seems to be the season for Ikea trips/posts:

  5. Love your finds and agree Ikea is great for smaller items - functional items on a budget!

  6. I have the red stripe dish towels, garbage can, garlic press, knit pot holder, and whole bunch of their jars. They are classics that fit a budget. Good picks!

  7. i must say ,.. i use the ikea dish towels because they look like french linen as well.. what can you do.. a girl has to save some money somewhere!

  8. i love this post- i was JUST telling chelsea cook how i was so impressed with how she was able to take items from ikea and make them look loved and not the typical stark minimalist filler items.

    and the french linens-loves! i have them in every color. blue is my favorite.

  9. I love that all off the bloggy girls out there have the same ikea goodies. Birds of a feather.

  10. not to burst your bubble, but those "french linens" are identical to the ones chefs use in professional kitchens as side towels (basically a rag we keep tucked into the side of our apron to wipe our hands on from time to time)

  11. Oh don't worry, no bubble to burst.

    I use mine like paper towels, so they frequently wipe up dirty floor spills etc... Perfect because you can bleach the heck out of them and they still look great!

  12. my ikea shelves look like leaning towers of pisa. or if you have a wild imagination-like an evil army of collectibles coming to kill you when you close your eyes for a nap. this has been a sobering experience. wow.