Basically since we moved in and I got our Japanese chest in place, I've known I wanted to do a pair of etageres on either side and a mirror above. We're still saving up for the mirror (I know exactly which one I want) but we got the shelves put up over Thanksgiving weekend and I think they look great!
Of course if we have another post like this, I'll have to change the name of the blog to "Here's What Else I Bought at Ikea" so let's just consider me cut off from the big blue and yellow megastore, shall we?
Yep, these are Ikea shelves that come in a few different styles. The single towers were a perfect fit for either side of our chest. And they were only $40 each - which I think is a reasonable price for them. They are NOT something we'll keep forever - I think one move with these would be all they could take. Definitely not a high quality product, but for now, they do a fine job in this apartment storing some of my prettier dishes. I probably wouldn't have spent more on them. But look how nice our china looks on them... (here's where I realize that one of our salad plates cost as much as the shelf they're sitting on, ha!).
On the tansu chest we opted to keep our "bar" although at the moment there is little more than a bottle of bitters. We'll have to remedy that soon (a decorating expense that Ryan encourages rather than gives me the side-eye for).
The raffia tray is from West Elm (love it). In the photo above, you can see the silverware caddy we had in lieu of drawers in our last kitchen. Now it helps corral my entertaining bits and pieces (like spreaders and cocktail picks).
Having a bar on a chest or dresser is pretty ideal, I think. Lots of space to stash napkins, extra votives, placemats and chargers. Almost works as a sideboard, really - but smaller and used more.
A word about our table, as I've had questions about it in the past. It is, in fact, the Docksta from Ikea... a piece that I would NOT buy again. I love the tulip style, but the bottom always looks dirty and the paint has started to bubble slightly and chip from the top. Really annoying. It's always been a little on the wobbly side as well (just try to keep from spilling your wine if you're cutting meat!). The size is perfect here though, so we'll probably live with it for a few more years or until we move. I hate to spend a lot of money on a dining table when we rent (dining spaces are something that vary so much home to home) but even a craigslist wood table would have been about the same price and I think I'd like it more in the long run.
Things left to do in here:
1. New dining chairs. We only have these two, and now that we have space for more seating, I'd like to have four. Also, the paint color and fabric were perfect in our last place, but not working here. I may keep them somewhere else, but new chairs are in order soon!
2. Replace painting with mirror. That painting has been all over our last three homes, and it serendipitously fit in this spot that was looking so bare. But I have my eye (and savings account) on the perfect mirror for this spot to bring some more light to this dark little corner.
What do you think? What's your stance on buying Ikea? It makes so much sense for renters, but I have a few splurges here and there that help even it out (I think the chest cost more than the rest of this ensemble combined!). And I have some more non-Ikea purchases in the queue that are ready to make an entrance and be with us for the long-haul.