17 Affordable Items for a Man’s Apartment from a Recent Walk Through Ikea

17 Affordable Items for a Man’s Apartment from a Recent Walk Through Ikea
Outfit your place, save money, and no one will ever know you bought it from Ikea.
17 Affordable Items for a Man's Apartment from a Recent Walk Through Ikea

Ikea has always been a savior for young people trying to equip their places. But it used to be everything kind of…well, looked like it was from Ikea.  These days, you can easily find beautifully designed, modern home pieces for reasonable prices. I recently took a stroll through my local Ikea, and these were the items that stood out to me. Like something you see? Let's have a conversation in the comments!

Tobias Chair, $79

Made of glass, plastic, and chrome, the Tobias chair takes on the color of its surroundings, creating a modern feel that can balance a room containing more natural furniture.

Sinnerlig Stool, $49

This short stool looks like it should cost a lot more, thanks to its cork seat, which provides natural dirt and water repelling properties. Use it as extra seating or as a stand for a plant.

Lovbacken Side Table, $60

A beautiful and minimalist mid-century modern table with a split design faux teak top.

Rissna Nesting Tables, $119

Nesting tables have been popular for several years now – they offer extra table space when needed, and easily slide into one another when finished. The legs of these tables are solid beech wood.

Raskog Stool, $29

A simple, classic metal stool for an unbeatable price. If you've shopped at all for metal stools you know they regularly command upwards of $80. Use as is, or easily install a wood top with my DIY.

Pugg Wall Clock, $11

Similar to plants, well designed clocks bring a certain life to a room. This one, with clear roots in mid-century design is reminiscent of vintage gym clocks.

PS Cabinet, $99

Vibrant, simple metal design, this cabinet works equally well as a TV stand or as extra storage for the dining room. Imagine a small home bar on top.

PS 2012 Coffee Table, $50

From the same line as the cabinet, this metal coffee table with casters adds a modern touch to any room.

Nittio Bulb, $8 & Sekond Light Cord, $8

Edison style bulbs, noted for their visible structure and warm, dim light, have been a must-have since the vintage / industrial style became popular a number of years ago. The only problem with traditional Edison bulbs is they're inefficient and expensive. This LED version will last up to 25,000 hours. Simply hang to introduce mood lighting to any space.

Janinge Stool, $129

Balance vintage or rustic elements with modern pieces like this beautiful bar stool.

Hyllis Metal Bookshelf, $15

The problem with most commonly available shelving is it looks cheap. Made out of particle board and cardboard, they look like every single book shelf you've ever seen in a young person's apartment. Break the mold with these dirt-cheap galvanized metal shelves at an unbeatable price. Want to take them up a notch? Simply add stained wood tops to each shelf.

Hemnes Night Stand, $99

Introduce character and color into your bedroom with this solid pine night stand, available in 4 colors.

Helmer Metal Drawer Unit, $40

An homage to vintage drawers and card files, the Helmer unit adds needed storage to a desk area, or even in a living room for sorting magazines and remotes. I have a red one in my office and love it. Also, shout out to its construction, it comes flat and you bend the metal along perforations into shape. Pretty cool.

Wooden Hangers, 8 for $5

Those wire hangers with the dry cleaning paper over them aren't doing your clothing any favors long term. Luckily, Ikea sells decent wooden hangers for a fair price. Start out by swapping your best shirts to wooden hangers, with the eventual goal of using them exclusively.

Hector Floor Lamp, $50

Matching designer style from the likes of Design Within Reach and Restoration Hardware, the Hektar floor lamp's oversized head provides more than just lighting, it's a part of the room.

Ekoln Soap Dispenser, $6

Stereotypically the last room in any guy's place to get design love, add intention with a simple swap in soap dispensers.

Arod Floor Lamp, $55

This gun metal floor lamp will make any nook shine.

Do you have a favorite Ikea piece? Share it in the comments!

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


  • Reply November 16, 2015

    browneagle44 ロベルト

    The wingback chairs are also fantastic!

  • Reply November 16, 2015


    I can vouch for the PS Cabinet. I’ve been using it for the past three years and it’s held up great! Although, anyone with a blue-collar background immediately asks something like “is that a craftsman?”

  • Reply November 16, 2015


    meh. unimpressed

  • Reply November 16, 2015

    Ilyas Mohamed

    I have the Helmer drawers and I can say they’re really good for the price and as pointed out, look a lot more sophisticated then they actually are (considering the fact that you have to bend a sheet of metal like a brute for one of the parts)

  • Reply November 16, 2015

    Matt Schultz

    I like the Vittsjö series and have several pieces in my living room. I use the nested tables as a coffee table, two of the laptop stands as endtables, and one of the tall shelves for photos and books. I haven’t “hacked” mine, but the simple construction and materials make it easy to spray paint the frame a different color or replace the glass with some other surface. For me, the original dark metal and glass looks great.

  • Reply November 21, 2015


    Picked up the PS cabinet after reading this. I wish there was more hardware involved, but seems sturdy enough. DVDs
    inside, books on top. Have made use of many other home decor recommendations on this site as well. Big ups to Andrew and his crew for all the clever and great looking ideas.

    • Reply November 21, 2015


      Awesome!! Glad you like it. Share a photo when you have a chance. You’re very welcome, thanks for reading!

      • Reply November 22, 2015


        Thought I had attached them to the post. PS Cabinet, DIY bar cart, DIY entryway table (legs from modernlegs.com), and “added wood” to my bar stools. Also working on the $30 big map and frame (didn’t read enough comments and my pickets were only 4″, so dimensions were off). Redoing that and also have a cool idea for DIY coffee and end tables that will happen soon.

        • Reply November 22, 2015


          All looks awesome!!! Thanks for sharing, I’m going to share it on Primer’s Instagram!

          • November 23, 2015


            That’s awesome. Thank you, Andrew.

  • Reply November 29, 2015


    Yeah, so I just bought a bunch of these items. Thanks Andrew, for making me spend money. 🙂


    • Reply November 29, 2015


      Haha! You’re welcome, what’d you go with?

      • Reply November 30, 2015


        I got a couple of the galvanized shelves. I’m guilty of having the standard black particle board ones. I went with the green Helmer drawer unit, and also ordered a nightstand. I already own the PS coffee table back when they made it in blue. The same blue actually on the above Raskog stools. I thought about picking those up, but I already have a pair of distressed metal ones that I like. I like the PS cabinet too, I think I would have bought that if I knew it existed when I bought my current TV stand. I’m trying to work more color into my apartment. Currently it’s a lot of black and grey.

  • Reply February 1, 2016

    tim r

    IKEA wooden hangers are awesome. My whole closet is full of them at the moment.

    I was actually just there yesterday and while the PS stuff looks great in photos it looks oddly cheap in person. My wife and I both opted out of purchasing them for our lounge area in our upstairs.

    Love IKEA though and I just bought an awesome set for my home office. I’ll have to tag PrimerMag in the instagram when it’s finished.

  • Reply March 5, 2016


    Great work! Please do more of these. I bought the clock and bookshelves so far. I’m planning on buying the PS pieces but I also like the hemnes and helmer.

    Do you have any recommendations on carpets? I need one to really ties the room together. Thinking something neutral if I already have the red PS coffee table as an accent?

    • Reply January 1, 2018


      IKEA Val Rupta oriental rugs are GREAT wear VERY well, priced VERY well inexpensive, look GREAT

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