IKEA hit British soil from Sweden almost 28 years ago and so started a complete love affair with cheap and stylish Scandi flatpacks… Oh, and those delicious meatballs you get when you go.
Suddenly everyone knew what an Allen key was but more so here was something totally fresh, fantastic AND affordable. But has anyone else got a tinge of IKEA-apathy? Surely there has to more to life than just IKEA?
The Scandi import has upped the ante on the home front irrevocably which means happily for us that there are now more shops and collections to choose from and most are actually quite reasonably priced. Here are our favourites. Move over BILLY bookcase...
Offering everything from furniture to wall art, throws, cushions, vases and even a dedicated wedding range. You do have to root around, but you'll find some gems. Check out the two drawer coffee table from their Lancaster range, or their hexagonal framed mirror at just £7.99. Their mythical forest wallpaper is beautiful with a price to match at £12.99 a roll and it's hard to believe their petal heart print cushions are not actual flowers (£5.99).
Tesco's latest range is a veritable feast for the home with great prices to match. Kit your dining room out with the Palermo Dining table (£149) along side the Marseille metal dining chairs - (£49) in (a bit crazy but in a good way) Yellow but also wonderful in white. For extra diners try the low Malmo stool from only £19 (also available high). Their 'basics' Indigo small sofa is perfect for small spaces and a snip at £149. Also take a look at their outdoor range - their tropics inspired folding deck chairs (gorgeous in orange, £30) and their French inspired bistro table and chairs (£75). For the inevitable accompanying cold drink try their Riviera-esque 'blue dipped' jug (£15).
Decorator's Notebook specialise in handmade home accessories from fair trade groups, social enterprises and artisan co-operatives all over the world. Their ethos is that design quality and ethics can go hand in hand and allow customers to create a beautiful home without compromising their style or their conscience.
With 33 stores all over the UK, stock changes regularly but they claim they are 60% cheaper than other retailers. Although you can't shop online, which is a bit of a pain. Their beautiful rustic tables are seriously sturdy. Also their beautiful blue & white cushion with serious top texture is a stand out accessory for your sofa (£7.99). You can't buy online so a visit to store is essential.
With over 140 stores in the UK with so much to choose from and is suitable for a range of budgets. Their home accessories are particularly good for those with less cash to splash. From their 'purity' range their ombre bud vase at £3.99 is perfect for stems and their rustic ramble wooden lantern is just stunning for £30. Also you may not know it yet, but their luxurious knitted pouffe is exactly what you need in your life. (£59.99).
Wilko calls itself the 'home of family value' retailer. And although it sounds a bit like a razor, it's actually just an amazing shop that sells just about everything. You could kit out your entire home this way, but highlights right now are their sleek nest of tables available in shiny black or white at a very reasonable £65, or this millennial pink jug for just a fiver.
Graham & Green
A family-run business with unusual pieces. Their geometric vases are so nice it's hard to know if you'd look at the flowers or the vase and their black distressed whale book ends will make even your crappy old uni books look interesting.
Atkin & Thyme
Launched in October 2014, this boutique scours the globe for handmade pieces which means your mates won't automatically have the same wardrobe as you. We're very into this dome table lamp, par example.
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.