HOUSE: New Mexico #1

Adding functionality to the bedroom with IKEA!

IKEA bedroom makeover -

Aside from wanting to make the space better looking, the primary goal of my ongoing bedroom makeover project is to improve the functionality of the room. For the first few months I lived here, the only thing in the bedroom was a bed. I had nowhere to store my folded clothes, no bedside table, no mirror…I didn’t even have a knob to open the closet door. I kept my clothes stacked on shelves in a closet on the other side of the house. My socks were kept in a shoebox. At night I set my phone and a glass of water on the floor beside the bed, hoping the latter wouldn’t tip over and destroy the former.

IKEA bedroom makeover -

IKEA bedroom makeover -

The 8-drawer NORDLI dresser from IKEA was the first piece I chose to add to my barren bedroom. NORDLI comes in a bunch of different configurations (and colors!) thanks to its modular assembly, so I was able to find a variation that fits perfectly in the limited amount of space I have between the foot of the bed and the closet. The small drawers are just right for storing socks, undies, scarves and other accesories, and the four large drawers hold my jeans, pajamas and t-shirts with room to spare. It’s SO nice to have all of my clothes in one place! No more going back and forth from my bedroom to the closet just to put together a single outfit, and a bent-wood IKORNNES mirror completes the dresser top with a place to put on jewelry (and maybe preen a little).

IKEA bedroom makeover -

IKEA bedroom makeover -

My bedroom is a converted one-car garage, so it’s disproportionately long and narrow. Because I have a king-size bed, I only have about 16” of clearance on either side. That’s not much room for a proper bedside table, and even a tiny table might have looked squeezed in. To keep things looking balanced, I installed a couple of floating LACK shelves to function as nightstands. They’re just big enough for the necessities, which is fine by me! I love that they leave the floor open underneath—that makes for easy vacuuming in addition to keeping the space feeling airy.

IKEA bedroom makeover -

IKEA bedroom makeover -

The RASKMÖLLE rug is the jewel of the room, if you ask me. It was created as part of IKEA’s initiative to protect the craftsmanship of hand-woven rugs and improve the working conditions of rug weavers in India, a consideration I greatly appreciate IKEA having made as part of their ongoing efforts to ensure that their products are ethically manufactured.

I can’t pull out the worn carpeting since this is a rented house, but putting a heavyweight, flat-weave rug on top of a carpet really makes a huge difference. The rug is large enough that it only leaves a small amount of carpet exposed, and the impact is almost as striking as painting the walls white was. The whole room is so much brighter and happier now! RASKMÖLLE feels so soft underfoot, too—much better than scratchy synthetic carpet.

IKEA bedroom makeover -

It’s so easy to keep my bedroom tidy and organized now! I spend far less time getting dressed in the morning, and I no longer have to refold tipping stacks of clothes now that they’re piled up neatly in drawers. My bedroom feels like a place to retreat and relax rather than a sad, empty hole. I even have a place to set down a cup of coffee on lazy weekend mornings in bed!

IKEA bedroom makeover -

I am a Brand Ambassadör for IKEA U.S. This is a sponsored post.

IKEA is a registered trademark of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. and is used with permission. The views, ideas and opinions expressed here are my own.

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  • Reply Rita March 18, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Sometimes a rug on top of carpet moves around and doesn’t stay flat. If that happens you can get thin (1/8 inch) sheets of masonite to put in between the rug and carpet, that really helps to stabilize the rug.

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 10:44 am

      I haven’t had any issues with the rug not staying flat, but thanks for the tip! I assume you’d then want to also use a grippy rug pad to keep the rug from sliding around on the masonite…and a rug pad under the masonite to keep it from sliding around on the carpet as well?

    • Melbournite March 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      I used a special rug-on-carpet sticky underlay. Kind of double-sided tape but in large sheet form and made for the purpose. I have spongy berber carpet and am keeping my various rugs in place with it, it works a charm. A good rug supplier will sell it in precut sheets or off the roll. It’s removable down the track.

    • Clare March 18, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      How do you vacuum then? Just leave the rug down, or do you lift it for vacuuming?

    • Melbournite March 19, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      I leave the main area of the rug down, I lift the edges which don’t have sticky on them. If you pull the sticky part up you have a limited number of times you can put it back down (2 or 3).

  • Reply gina v. March 18, 2016 at 10:54 am

    good morning —

    absolutely love the site. but i’ve got to say this post comes across a lot like an advert. i understand the whole ikea ambassador thing… but still.

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 11:23 am

      It is an advertisement, Gina! Don’t let anyone try to tell you that “sponsored post” means anything else. 😉 I earn a small amount of money from this blog every year in the form of 3-4 sponsored posts, affiliated links, and sidebar ads—it’s just about enough to cover the cost of hosting.

    • hello March 20, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Your website is awesome and inspirational and it’s good you’re getting financial investment from an admirable retailer. But it would be more empowering for your readers to make the fact that it’s a sponsored post super clear right up top and right on the link, not in the fine print as a kind of footnote–so a reader can make an informed choice about whether to keep reading, and not sort of get blindsided by a sort-of commercial in the sort-of non-commercial space of a post… As a fan I would read anyway!!! But it’s nicer to know from the start! Thanks for thinking about it…

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Hi “Hello,” I’m actually contractually bound to use a specific disclaimer in a specific location within the post. Beyond that, the only stipulations were really that I talk about (a) making my bedroom more functional, and (b) bring in the subject of “democratic design,” which is why I mentioned where the rugs are made. That said, point taken, and I’d be happy to make an adjustment provided its in keeping with my contract. Can you point me toward a blog that you think deals with this in a way that you as a reader appreciate? (Also, for whatever it’s worth, most of my traffic comes from social media, and the links I shared to this post used a #sponsored hashtag so that followers know whether or not they want to click.)

    • Caterina March 22, 2016 at 5:35 am

      As a long time Ikea AND D16 fan, I couldn’t care less that you’re doing IKEA sponsored posts. I’ve actually found it quite interesting what’s available in the States vs. Australia Ikeas and how you’ve managed to make so much of their products your own. Anyway, we all have to make money, I’m really not sure why people expect all content to be free.

      By the way, grand life changes and ups-and-downs aside, I think your move desert-side is amazing and I wish you all the best.

    • Melbournite March 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      Unlike a lot of bloggers, Anna is being very clear about this being an ad. I don’t mind reading an ad if I know it is one.

    • amey March 25, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      i concur. it seems like you and your friend daniel never post now unless you’re flogging something. it’s very disheartening to think you two worked so hard resurrecting old houses in forgotten neighborhoods on a budget of zip, with style and real hands-on hard work, to become flacks for even so hip a company as ikea.

    • Anna @ D16 March 25, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Jeanette (“amey”), you’ve left over 50 comments on my blog since 2009, and this is where you’ve wound up? It’s baffling, frankly, since I have to assume that you having read my blog for 7 years means that you’re aware that I do roughly 3-4 sponsored posts a year…if that. What are all of these “flogging” posts you’re purporting to be reading on my blog? Do you think I’m accepting money from companies and not making disclosures? Also, what is this “budget of zip” you’re referring to in my past? Evan and I renovated our house over the course of nine years and with the support of two incomes. Don’t conflate that with Daniel (who is not the same person as me, FYI), who truly is working with a bare-bones budget and is WORKING HIS ASS OFF to make some funding from Lowe’s for material costs stretch as far as possible. It’s pretty seriously fucked up (and delusional) for you to act like that level of renovation is just supposed to magically happen without any money. Do you think that because a project is funded in part by a company that somehow actual work isn’t taking place? I don’t get it, I really don’t. Do you want to know why I agreed to write two sponsored posts for IKEA, Jeanette? BECAUSE I MOVED TO THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, I HAVE VERY LITTLE MONEY, AND I DIDN’T HAVE ANY BEDROOM FURNITURE. You’ve been reading Door Sixteen for the better part of the decade, so you obviously know that I love IKEA. The only way that I could get these four items (dresser, bedside shelves, rug, mirror) delivered to my house for less than $700 in shipping costs alone was to become a Brand Ambassadör. To me, it’s worth it. This is a company I respect and that I have been writing about since the inception of this blog. Somehow though, in your eyes, I am a “flack” because I allowed them to cover my shipping costs? OK. You can keep on believing that, and in the mean time, I’ll keep working hard at my job during the day, writing as many blog posts as my free time allows, and fixing up my house on the weekends. This is real life, and I’m living it for ME, not you. See ya!

    • Jill April 11, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      I love you, Anna. You are inspirational in so many ways, and I love this ad post because I know you do love IKEA, you’re clear that it is sponsored, and you deserve to make a living from your incredibly hard work. Keep it up, sista. Also, I am planning on checking out every one of things you have mentioned! PS – we are just finishing our remodel of our kitchen which we did with IKEA cabinets. I am happy to send you the final product if that helps you with your brand ambassador-ship. I think you’ll approve. 🙂

    • Sarah May 4, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      God dammit, I wish I could type the clapping emoji on my computer.

    • Julie Richardson March 26, 2019 at 8:11 am

      Good for you Anna, I have seen your blog since waaaaaay back before there was a pinterest, before any mainstream mid century modern decor, before youtube took off with everyone having a blog, you were and are the real deal, I have always loved your house renovations and even got myself a smiths poster with elvis on it and had it framed in gold for my house which I saw on your site and in your home, you have a phenomonal eye for design and I respect your work ethic and (serious) attention to detail. Kudos to you for standing up for yourself, the hatred online is out of control, these people are just jealous that’s all!

  • Reply Katrina March 18, 2016 at 11:02 am

    The room looks fantastic! We bought my 4year old son a nordli side table in red (a compromise he wanted red walls. Heck no! and it’s great!
    I see you kept the ceiling fan, did you paint it?

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

      No, it was white to start with! It just needed a good cleaning. 🙂

  • Reply Susan March 18, 2016 at 11:03 am

    I just love your design sense. This is a HUGE difference from where you started. I would have been so paralyzed from the awfulness of the beginning that I couldn’t have figured out what to change. You are a marvel.

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Thank you so much, Susan! I’m very happy with how the room is turning out.

  • Reply Gigi March 18, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Awesome makeover, Anna! When I first saw the before pictures, I was like “oohh boy! This is gonna be a big one..”, but I really feel that the changes you made were so simple, and had a huge impact. BRAVO!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Thanks, Gigi!!

    • Taste of France March 20, 2016 at 6:03 am

      You said it! I never would have imagined this from the before photos.
      Ikea really deserves credit for providing stylish options at reasonable prices. On the the other hand, I prefer vintage/antiques: they are made of solid wood or natural materials so you don’t have off-gassing of nasty glues and polyurethane; they also are reasonably priced; it’s environmentally friendly to keep them out of landfills; they have a unique personalities, whereas a Malm is a Malm is a Malm, even if you’re a brilliant hacker. We do have some Ikea–my office is an Ikea ad of floor-to-ceiling Billy bookshelves and Ikea filing cabinets–but we’re trying to make more of an effort to find previously loved items.

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2016 at 9:44 am

      One thing I’ve learned in a big way since moving to this part of the country is that it’s not so easy to find nice vintage or antique furniture everywhere. The curbside “finds” here are absolute junk, and the vintage shops are full of vintage garbage that’s been “gussied up” with milk paint. It’s a VERY different world here, and I honestly never would have been able to furnish this bedroom in the way you’re describing (unless I was willing to go with some truly hideous, poorly-built, badly damaged furniture). Fortunately, the only room I moved here without any furniture for was the bedroom—the rest of the house is already full of stuff I brought with me from New York: some of it vintage, some of it antique, some of it high-end newer pieces, some of it IKEA, and some of it vintage IKEA. 😉 Not everyone throws their IKEA stuff away after a couple of years. I buy the good-quality stuff, and much of it I’ve owned for well over a decade now—and I plan to keep it in my life indefinitely. I suppose it’s fortunate that I already lean toward the Eames ethos of design democracy (very similar to IKEA’s), and I’m a big fan of smart mass production. I’m totally OK with a MALM being a MALM and an Eames shell chair being an Eames shell chair. I’ve always felt that my houses and personal style have been individual enough on their own to not have to worry about whether or not other people own the same stuff. 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2016 at 9:49 am

      Also, FWIW: IKEA follows some of the highest standards in the world regarding off-gassing and the like these days when it comes to furniture production—regardless of cost. Worth a look, if you’re interested in this stuff (I am):

  • Reply Karen March 18, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Looks amazing and cozy!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 11:25 am

      It’s SO cozy! 🙂

  • Reply Kim // Yellow Brick Home March 18, 2016 at 11:38 am

    That little mirror is just the thing I’ve been looking for! Sold. We already planned on going to IKEA this weekend for a few other things, so I’ve just added this to the list. Thanks for the inspiration, Anna. 🙂

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Kim, the mirror is SO nice! The white PS one I originally wanted was discontinued, but it turned out for the best because the bent wood is TDF. You’ll love it!! xx

  • Reply Laura @ Rather Square March 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Amazing what a little black & white can do to transform a room. I love the rug!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      It’s a great rug! I love that it reads as black and gray. 🙂

  • Reply julie March 18, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I love it, it looks great, the rug makes a huge difference! I also like the mirror. What made you choose a king size bed vs a queen or full?

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      I don’t know, Julie!! I ordered the bed and had it delivered to the house before I’d even seen the bedroom in person, so I didn’t really have a sense of how the room was laid out. Thankfully it fits!!

  • Reply Patricia March 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Very nice bedroom!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Thank you, Patricia!

  • Reply Laura + Atypical Notion March 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Girl, you just know how to make an ugly tan crap-hole into a chic, graphic and crisp bedroom. On point, as usual. And your camera work is great, I had no idea you had a king sized bed in that room!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Haha! Yeah, transforming crap-holes is kind of my thing. 😉

  • Reply Kate March 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Ooooh, fun! I love the rug, too! That gray stripe is the perfect color. While I’m sure I’d want to rip out the wall-to-wall carpet as much as you do, I have to say, the small bit of beige peeking out around the edges of the room adds a bit of a natural, organic feel to the space. The floating nightstand shelves are a clutch move!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      I’ve been trying to convince myself of the same thing, Kate!! I wouldn’t turn down hardwood, though…

  • Reply Laura March 18, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Very nice. Serene and stylish.

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you, Laura!

  • Reply Nancy March 18, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I’m going to Ikea tomorrow with my parents, who’ve never been! (No IKEA in upstate NY, as you know…)
    You’ve inspired me to pick up a few things. I need rugs for the bedrooms, and I prefer natural over synthetic so I’m glad to learn about the IKEA rugs!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm

      Oooh, have fun and don’t get into any arguments!! And yeah, the natural-fiber IKEA rugs are great. I have several, and they’ve all held up very well for years.

    • Nancy March 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Well, my stepmother was under the impression that she could go to Ikea just to look around but I set her straight. There’s no way she’s coming out of Ikea empty-handed, especially since it’s her first time there!

  • Reply Caro March 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Looks amazing! Are you also planning on having some kind of bedside lamp. I am just curious if you would attach it to the shelfs. I am thinking about using some kind of shelving as a bedside “table”.

  • Reply Rheeds March 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Absolutely worth the wait…. Lovely to see such an cute room come through. Lovely to see the pink vase & black bird made the trip south with you.

    I can’t wait till I sort out our post-move clothes storage, but I keep changing my mind on solutions, so maybe worth a little extra time getting used to the space.

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you, Rheeds. Good luck getting settled!

  • Reply Molly March 18, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    This looks amazing! And such a big transformation from the before pictures. Can I ask how you like your bed frame? Does it seem pretty sturdy? We are looking for a new bed, but the slats on the last slat bed frame we had would fall through pretty regularly, which has made me a little nervous to purchase another one. Our dog also likes to hide under the bed (usually at the first sight/sound of a skateboarder) and I don’t want to risk any slats falling on her. Thanks!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Yeah, the bed frame is awesome!! I had the same concerns as you, but it’s turned out to be really solid. The slats have never fallen through, and I’ve tried (and failed) to push them through just to make sure it’s totally safe. I highly recommend it!

    • Molly March 19, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply Sandra March 18, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Love it!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 8:05 pm

      Me too!! 🙂

  • Reply Jaimie March 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Everything looks awesome. You have such a keen design sense. I think I need that rug for my living room. I’d love to see the chair opposite the dresser too; I assume it was left out because it’s not Ikea.

    If you want to swap out those outlets for white ones, it’s super quick and easy. If you even feel inclined to do so. We did it at our old house (everything was almond, meh). You just switch off the breaker for the room and use a pair of pliers to bend the wires around the screws of new outlet. Just don’t try to spraypaint them. We tried that first and it makes them tacky and they get dirty and then you can’t even donate them to Habitat Restore.

    Are you planning on showing any other rooms to redesign?

  • Reply Caroline March 18, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Gloriously bright and modern.

  • Reply Anacelie March 18, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Your room looks beautiful! The floating shelves are my favorite detail. If you have any pull at Ikea, could you tell them it’s about time they open up shop here in New Mexico (preferably in Albuquerque…preferable up the street from me)? 😉 I miss it….

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Sadly, IKEA has pretty tight guidelines when it comes to where they will and won’t consider putting stores, and the big one is that there has to be a population of at least 2 million people within an hour’s drive of the store. It other words, unless Albuquerque gets a LOT bigger…it ain’t gonna happen. Believe me, I feel your pain! 😉

    • Erika March 21, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Well that’s interesting, because if those guidelines are so strict you would think there would also be strict guidelines on IKEA saturation. I live in the Netherlands where there’s 13 IKEA’s on a total population of 17 million (actually reached that number today!). There’s two IKEA’s I can reach in half an hour and I think three more within that one hour range. If they’d relocate an IKEA from here to your area I would not mind at all.

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2016 at 11:57 am

      I don’t know if those guidelines are the same outside of the US—I just know that’s been their benchmark here as they expand. Most of the US does not have an IKEA within driving distance.

  • Reply Kate March 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    It’s a bit embarrassing how much I’ve been waiting to see this post. And as usual, you never disappoint, Anna! Your style has always been a huge influence on me – thank you for sharing such a gorgeous room. I hope you spend many happy hours in this room.

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Thank you, Kate! 🙂

  • Reply Chanelle March 18, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    It looks wonderful! I love that the dresser is asymmetrical.

  • Reply Kelly March 18, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Quite the transformation! I really love it. And long time D16 readers know that you would have selected these products, sponsored post or not, but your willingness to be up front about it, makes me love this blog even more.

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Thanks, Kelly! And yes, that’s true. In fact, I owned most of the stuff in this room before IKEA even came knocking. 😉

  • Reply Lindsay March 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Looks great… your style. Question-did you get the mattress from Ikea? I’m a single lady transitioning from a queen to a king (already have my Blu Dot frame) but I have sticker shock from mattress shopping…..if you got it from Ikea any feedback is appreciated!

    • Anna @ D16 March 18, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      Hi Lindsay, this mattress is actually from Tuft & Needle. It’s great! I’m very happy with it.

      My last mattress in New York was from IKEA, and it’s probably the best mattress I’ve ever had. You can read a review of sorts in this post from last year:

  • Reply Jasilyn March 18, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    This room turned out great! I’ve been curios to see what would happen. I love IKEA. There is one here in Russia and every time I visit I get sad because I can’t buy anything or decorate my house because I plan on returning to the USA sometime soon and I don’t want to bring a lot back.


  • Reply Pippa March 19, 2016 at 2:04 am

    As usual, you don’t disappoint. May I ask where you got the black and white laundry basket?

  • Reply Corey White March 19, 2016 at 9:02 am

    The room looks amazing!!!

  • Reply Natalie Mulford March 19, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Oh gosh! How amazing does the room look now!? I’m about to move into a new rental, that is all carpeted, and I have a cat, so I’m thinking of picking up some rugs, I shall have to check out IKEA (I have one in walking distance, I love it, my bank balance doesn’t!).

  • Reply Lisa March 19, 2016 at 10:55 am

    This looks wonderful. What a transformation. And I love the gray, black, white + geometry effect.

  • Reply kate March 19, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I love how the bedroom has turned out! You made terrific choices!

  • Reply mommy March 19, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    You’ve done it again! It looks fresh and lovely.

  • Reply Michele March 20, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Amazing transformation!!! Love it!
    After reading the first post on your bedroom redo, I bought a full size Tuft and Needle mattress-worth every penny as I am now sleeping like a baby! I’m now looking for a bed frame and I’m thinking of the IKEA Leirvik. My concern-assembled measurements are 78 3/4 by 56 1/4 but matress size (and Lonset slats) are listed as 74 3/8 X 53 1/8. As an IKEA brand ambassador, would you be able to find out if my Tuft and Needle matress will fit this frame? Any assistance will be greatly appreciated!

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Hi Michele, the assembled measurements are of the ENTIRE bed, including the sides of the frame. The slats (and your mattress) will sit inside of that frame, hence the smaller dimensions. Does that make sense?

    • Michele March 21, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Yes, thank you so much for your help!

  • Reply Michele March 20, 2016 at 10:27 am

    PS forget to add that my tuft and needle matress measures 75×54.

  • Reply Noor March 20, 2016 at 11:35 am

    When I first saw the room I thought it would be impossible to make it look better, but you’ve done it. I have to say, I like it a lot.

  • Reply E March 20, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Love your blog- where is jug on night stand shelf from please?
    Many thanks,

    • Anna @ D16 March 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      The one with the crosses? It’s a vase I found at the Goodwill years ago. There’s no maker’s mark on it, unfortunately.

    • E March 20, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      Yep! Score. Thanks for the speedy reply, hope you having a great Sunday.

  • Reply Aimee March 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Sooo cute. I love the drawers you bought. I just redid my son’s room and used the wardrobe from that line.

  • Reply Christina W. March 22, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Ok first, Anna has been using IKEA stuff for basically forever. She’s ALWAYS been a brand ambassador for them only now she’s getting paid for it. It’s not like she’s suddenly hawking Scotchguard and effing Glade candles ffs. Second, Anna I’ve always loved Swiss Coffee when I see it used on blogs, so when I was asked to choose the colors for a small presale remodel on my grandmother’s house that’s what I picked. It turned out quite a bit more pigmented than I’m used to seeing, which is ok for the project since it’s being sold but if I want to use the color in my own house eventually I don’t know how’d I feel about it. Did they just maybe mix it incorrectly or is there a specific mix you request? I know paint looks different in different light, but this was a space absolutely flooded with sunlight (two picture windows in the room). Thanks!

    • Anna @ D16 March 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Christina, no, this is just regular old Valspar Swiss Coffee. I think they only have this color in the chip library at Lowe’s, though, because I tried to buy a gallon at Ace and they didn’t have the “recipe.” Apparently different retailers carry different kinds of Valspar? It’s very subtly off-white—nowhere near as pigmented as the BM Moonlight White I used in my Newburgh house.

      If you take a look at Dabito’s blog, you can see Valspar Swiss Coffee in a different setting:

      That’s how it reads to my eye in person, too. How many gallons did you buy? Is it possible it was mixed incorrectly? I’ve bought at least four gallons of it at two different times, and all four gallons match each other.

    • Anna @ D16 March 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      BTW, you made me laugh with the comment about Scotchguard and Glade candles. Yeah. That’s not going to happen! (Although my dad used to be REALLY into Scotchguarding everything made out of fabric when I was a kid…)

    • Christina W. March 29, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Thanks for the reply! I’m so bad about checking back. I’ve since found out that they only did one coat since it’s a budget “make it look nice enough for listing photos” job, and they didn’t prime. So that’s it! Also apparently there was a mixup somewhere along the way and Chocolate Froth was used in the room that was puzzling me the most, haha.

  • Reply Chelsea March 22, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Hi Anna! Looks great. Where is the black bird from?

  • Reply Lorrie Whittington March 23, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Well done Anna. Great job, it all looks gorgeous. If I thought those lovely pristine white walls would last more than two minutes in my own house with the husband and urchin, I would do the same! Very keen on that mirror.
    Well jell!

    P.s. Personally, couldn’t give a rat’s arse if you are pimping Ikea. Quality post.

    Toodle pip! x

  • Reply regan March 23, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Id love an update on the shelving as you use it. in the past I’ve had horrific luck with ikea’s quality for shelving and the bottoms always seem to bow and fall out. is there a way you have found to combat that? i know you use a lot of ikea stuff wether or not your sponsored by them.

    • Anna @ D16 March 24, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Hi Regan, I’m not sure these tiny shelves are the best barometer since, well, they’re so tiny (longer shelves of any type are more likely to sag/bow) and are carrying next to no weight, but I used to have one of the longer LACK shelves in my bedroom (this was pre-Door Sixteen) and it was great—no issues. The longer versions mount onto a steel bracket. I’ve also had lots of other IKEA shelving in various parts of my house of the years carrying heavy loads (GRUNDTAL in the kitchen, OXIE/TRYGGVE combo in the bedroom, LIMHAMN in the apartment kitchen, etc.) and they’ve held up beautifully—they’re still in use, in fact, just in different homes. 😉 I can only speak to the types of shelving I’ve owned, of course, but all of the IKEA shelving I’ve used in my homes has been fantastic. Can I ask which types of shelving you’ve had trouble with?

    • Tal Saarony March 31, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      I’m sorry to say that I have tried to use 3 of the longer Lack shelves and all sloped down and were unstable. although they probably (maybe?) would not have come crashing down, they were at a downward angle and I didn’t feel my bowls would be safe. A real bummer as I liked them so much. Ended up adding anchors, which ruined the floating look.

    • mommy April 8, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      The sloping problem must have had something to do with the installation. I have had two of the long Lack shelves in my office for 10 years, loaded with heavy books and no sign of sagging or sloping. I also have a long IKEA shelving unit made of solid maple hardwood (inherited it from Anna). It has been through several uses and re-configurations over the years and is still in perfect condition. It’s beautifully designed with a vertical board along the front edge of each shelf to further strengthen it. It even has some dove-tailed joints. Unfortunately, I think it’s been discontinued.

  • Reply dollaBill$ March 24, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Well done! I’m so happy that you are still showcasing affordable design options for those of us for whole Design (is not) In Reach. Looking forward to more inspiration.

  • Reply dollaBill$ March 24, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Oops – typo. That’s “for whom”…

  • Reply Betsy March 25, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Hey Anna! Just leaving you a note to let you know I love your blog and content- I don’t care who pays you! I trust you for beautiful design and your delightful wit. Not sure why longtime readers would be put off by a post like this since it reads in exactly the same voice as everything else you’ve done. You’re an inspiration! Keep turning turds into gems and I’ll be sticking around 🙂

  • Reply Cori Magee March 28, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    It’s unreal what you did with that room, looks so good!

  • Reply Julian March 28, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Congratulations on taking a not-so-great situation and making it out of this world! I believe you said you rent this space; if so, then the landlord has to be blown away (in a great way!) by what you’ve done to it. Thankful for this blog, your talent, and willingness to share. Can’t wait for more!

  • Reply Caitlin March 30, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now (whoa, probably since about 2008!) and appreciate how straightforward you are. I also couldn’t care less that you’ve do occasional sponsored posts – why? because (1) it’s clear you love Ikea products and would/do blog about them even without sponsorship (2) you obviously put a TON of work into this blog, so more power to you for getting some support from a company that you would otherwise be freely advertising for.

    That said, I also wanted to thank you for inspiring me to update my bedroom, which has very similar issues to yours (weird carpet, strange long space). I ended up getting the Nordli dresser as a replacement for a beloved (but very broken) dresser that I’ve had for ages, and am in complete awe every day of how much easier my life is now that my drawers open without jiggling 🙂

    Thank you for all that you offer here on D16, and keep it up!

  • Reply Selina April 1, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Anna,
    I’ve been following your blog for years now, and it makes perfect sense that you would be an Ikea ambassador! And get a little something in return for how much you’ve shown that Ikea doesn’t always have to be so “Ikea”.

    Now I have an Ikea product question for you! The Nordli 8 drawer dresser… were you able to assemble it with the all of the small drawers to one side from the set shown on the website (that you linked to) which alternates the small drawers to the L and R sides?


    • Anna @ D16 April 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Selina, yes, you can assemble it either way! It’s all modular, so you can come up with a ton of different configurations. (And thank you!!)

  • Reply Ravi April 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Don’t listen to the haterz. Your blog is awesome, and I think you made it pretty clear that the post is a sponsored post. Your voice is authentic despite what anyone else may say. PS. Nice splurge on the white AJ Floor Lamp. Are you pleased with the purchase?

  • Reply Carlie April 3, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    It’s exciting to see how your new space is coming together! I’m pretty surprised at some of the negative comments… Please don’t listen! Would you consider posting about how your skin care regime has changed since moving to a desert climate? You turned me on to Herbivore Botanicals, Punker mascara, and I have always gotten a lot out of your skin care posts. I also live in the desert and I’m curious about if you’ve made any changes.

  • Reply kristenv April 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Glad you’re starting to post a little more, Anna. I always liked your design smarts (except the pink, still can’t wrap my head around the pink). I went through a divorce last year and am sort of reinventing my life not unlike you. Am starting this week to look in earnest at houses to buy after dreaming about it for a long time. I wanted to tell you I’m rooting for you and am taking inspiration in your posts in more ways than one. Get it girl.

  • Reply EB April 12, 2016 at 5:54 am

    The room looks amazing and I don’t care that this is a sponsored post, fwiw. You are far more upfront than some bloggers and it makes sense that you should recover the costs of hosting this website, especially as you do take the time to respond to people’s questions and comments. It is very inspiring to see how even the most mediocre space can be transformed into something stylish. Can’t wait to see what you will do with the rest of the house (if you plan on sharing that).

  • Reply Rajrang April 13, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Oh my gosh! This room is so beautiful. Each and every thing is beautifully organized and i love the black and white colored rug to match the pillows and quilt. Well done Anna! Thanks for inspiring us.

  • Reply Melissa April 14, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Im so in love with this room. Its so fresh, and inviting!

  • Reply Marta April 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I literally never leave comments anywhere, but I’m just in awe of how amazing this room turned out to be. I will probably be a renter for a long time and I get discouraged to make any changes to the places I’ve lived in because it’s not mine, but seeing this makes me want to paint and overhaul EVERYTHING. Seriously, great job!

    • Anna @ D16 April 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you, Marta! So glad to hear you’re inspired. 🙂

  • Reply Patricia April 20, 2016 at 1:12 am

    We need to pitch a reality show of you flipping apartments around America on HGTV. I’m so glad that band-aid pink on the walls are gone!

    • Anna @ D16 April 20, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Hahaha, slowest-moving reality TV show ever!!

  • Reply Gabriella April 25, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I love how you used those floating shelves! What a brilliant way to make the best of the layout of the space.

  • Reply Rachel April 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I really appreciate that you show people different things you can do when you rent and when you buy a home. It’s fun to see what you come up with, big fan of your style.

    • Anna @ D16 April 26, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks, Rachel! 🙂

  • Reply Sophie April 28, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Hi !
    I really like you choice, so sweet and cute :3
    I enjoyed meeting your blog!

  • Reply Leonie June 15, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Hi Anna,
    I just love how crisp and clean this look is.
    It doesn’t give off the Showroom vibe, but rather a comfortable bedroom.
    I wanted to redesign my bedroom and was looking for ideas like this.

    I love your blog 🙂
    Best wishes,

  • Reply Suzanne June 7, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Hi! I just came across your post because I am considering buying 2 Ikea Nordli dressers. I have been trying to search for reviews and haven’t had much luck. How has your held up? Do the doors still slide in and out smoothly? I would love your honest feedback.

    • Anna @ D16 June 7, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Hi Suzanne, yeah, the dresser has been GREAT. The drawers are still rolling nice and smoothly, and I love the soft-close feature. Absolutely no complaints at all, and I wouldn’t hesitate to fully recommend the line.

  • Reply XJ November 27, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I was just searching reviews on Nordli dressers, and I ended up here. I was wondering if the drawers, the bottom board would slip out of its groove easily? I have this problem with other Ikea drawers.


    • Anna @ D16 December 22, 2017 at 9:16 am

      I haven’t had that problem, no.

  • Reply Jessica March 22, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Hey Anna:

    Thanks for the post and info on Nordli. Can’t find much on it, and wondering how far the drawers come out? I’m thinking about hacking a storage bed using Nordli components, but I haven’t been able to find much info on that specifically, and I have a very small bedroom and queen bed–not a lot of clearance room, and need to make sure my clothes will be easily accessible.

    And @XJ: look on YouTube for fixes for Ikea drawers. I had the Hopen and similar problems, but there is a ton you can do to strengthen them up (e.g., use glue in slats, add brad nails, corner braces in the back, etc. Ikea’s nice design, but no $150 dresser is going to be built like an heirloom.


    I also read that they recently reconfigured the height etc. of it–do you know anything about that

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