I've always had a love of Ikea. As a kid, my parents would take me to the one outside of Baltimore where I would wander around pretending to live in the little staged showrooms. As an adult and a designer, I have found quite a few pieces that are well designed and pretty sturdy considering it's...Ikea! Here are a few of my favorites.
The Stockholm Rug: I have seen this rug used so many times by designers. It's well made, affordable, and looks just as great in a dining room as it does in a kids play space. I have one in my son's room and it's held up extremely well (and is also reversible!)
The Kallax Series of shelves: I use these ALL the time with my clients who want chic and affordable storage. Add a few wicker baskets or colorful bins and voila - simple, functional, and good looking storage. This one below is also being used as a side table and they added brass casters to give it a more custom look.
The Stockholm TV Unit: The Stockholm collection in general is great (see the rug mention above) but I love this piece because it can be used as a TV stand or as a low side board or bench.
The Blames Highchair: Such a modern highchair that's a fraction of the price of others. It also comes in red! And it's very easy to clean.
The Pax Wardrobe System: This is such a great closet system that can be configured in many ways. In the Boston area, so many of us live in small and old homes with less than ideal closets. This is a great way to bring a somewhat built-in look to your home when you need more closet space. And it comes in both traditional and modern finishes.