In January I was approached with the incredible opportunity to design a space for Atlanta's most prestigious residential showcase for designers -  The Atlanta Symphony's Decorators Show House and Gardens. This terrace level bonus room was presented to IKEA Atlanta, and my managers thought that it would be a great experience to further develop me as designer, project manager, and leader. And you know what, they could not have been more right! At 26, this experience has made my young career. To quote myself in a conversation with my manager Michael, this has been "the most challenging, frustrating, exhausting, amazing, and rewarding project that I have ever been apart of! This was definitely an opportunity of a lifetime."  

Below are some before photos when we viewed the space for the very first time, as well as a few photos that are just a few finishing touches away from being complete. The planning took about Two-and-a-half months, the construction took about three weeks. The concept was to create a multifunctional space that blended our Swedish modern roots with the timeless, classic feeling of this 9-million-dollar mansion. We used an eclectic mix of products from our modern and traditional range, as well as a few real-life accessories from our very own homes to add depth.

Overall we wanted it to feel like a beautiful place where people could actually live. You know, step outside of the context of a show house, and let visitors know that YOU CAN ACTUALLY LIVE LIKE THIS! It's functional, beautiful, and affordable. Twenty thousand dollars won't just get you a new credenza or sofa like in the other rooms in this house, it can get you a brand new, fully-furnished space... a lifestyle. Did I mention you can buy it and take it all home with you today? So enough chatting. I know you wanna see the photos!

Kitchen space before:

Kitchen space almost complete:

List of products:
  • IKEA Akurum / Abstrakt Gray kitchen (25 year limited warranty)
  • White IKEA by Whirlpool appliances (5 year limited warranty)
  • Marble tile from Floor and Decor
  • Caesarstone countertops
  • Henriksdal barstools with custom covers with Sofia fabric by the yard
  • Hektar pendant light
  • IKEA PS 2012 plates on the window wall
  • Custom Roman shade with Angsfly fabric by the yard

Banquette wall before:

Banquette wall almost complete:

List of Products:
  • IKEA Akurum / Sofielund light gray cabinets
  • IKEA Stockholm lighting
  • Cole and Sons wallcovering
  • Emmie Rund bolsters
  • Pillow custom made with Malin fabric and cut Ritva curtains
  • Hadjeby table
  • Tobias chairs
  • Koldby cowhide
  • Tropisk tree
  • Pekannot planter pot
  • Olunda Picasso print
  • Skovel clock

Reading corner almost complete:

List of Products:
  • Lerkyl canvas
  • IKEA PS 2012 bowl
  • Tved LED floor lamp
  • Jappling chair
  • IKEA Stockholm side table
  • Standmon ottoman
  • Rens sheepskin rugs
  • Ursula blanket
  • Sanela cover with Fjadrar cushion

Entertainment unit wall before:

Entertainment unit wall almost complete:

List of Procucts:
  • Hallaryd picture
  • Besta / Framsta / Inreda entertainment unit
  • Solsta Palbo stools with custom covers using Tradklover and Sofia fabric
  • Strandmon wing chair
  • Stacked Alseda stools
  • Oleby tray
  • Jappling ottoman
  • Rens sheepskin
  • Gaser rugs

Window wall before:

Window wall almost complete:

List of products:
  • IKEA PS Maskros pendant
  • Tertial lamps
  • Vittsjo shelving units
  • Karlstad sectional
  • Besta Burs desks
  • Forsa work lamps
  • Ritva Curtains extended with Angsfly fabric by the yard

List of Products:
  • Holminden Lamp
  • Klubbo side table
  • Vejmon coffee table
  • Karlstad Sectional
  • Pillows are a mix of prefab and custom covers made with our fabric by the yard
  • Almsta chair, Hadjeby chair, IKEA PS 2012 high back arm chair, and Ingolf chair (behind sectional and Besta Burs desks)

List of products:
  • IKEA PS chest of drawers with add on
  • IKEA Stockholm lamp
  • Omvaxlande tray on wall
  • Hasselnot basket
  • Strandmon chair
  • Ursula pillow cover

List of Products:
  • IKEA PS glass door cabinet
  • Fyllig floor vase

List of products:
  • Ljusas Ysby table lamp
  • Vittsjo side table
  • Honefoss mirrors

Okay, here is one more before and after shot for you!

The biggest of thanks goes out to my incredible team of amazingly talented individuals for without them this space would have never been possible -

Marianne, Robin, and Michael - I love you guys. In spite of everything, we did it! And it's beautiful!

So to my readers, what do you think? Does it do anything to change your perception of IKEA?

Of course my little photos barely do it justice! If you haven't had a chance to get out to the ASO Decorators Show House and Gardens, the last day is May 12th! The house is filled top to bottom with breath-taking architecture and gorgeous designs from some of Atlanta's most talented designers. All the proceeds help fund educational and community outreach programs for children and adults throughout the city. So get out there, support, and be inspired!