Ikea’s furniture might not completely match up with grandma’s antique armoire or that Eames table you’ve been eyeballing, but in these penny-pinching times, their modern pieces are functional and appealing if you need to outfit a new room or whole house without too much expense. (They definitely saved me in my post-college years and for some odds and ends such as TV stands or storage units.)
To make things easier, Ikea’s Swedish design-on-a-dime mavens have updated a cool new tool on their site — the Ikea Home Planner. The software, which you download to your computer, lets you work your home design magic before you even lift a piece of furniture. Just set up the space (the kitchen, bedroom and living room are the current options) to match your own room’s measurements. Then you can drag and drop in Ikea furniture to see how it fits. Mix and match and try whatever you like — even if you aren’t ready to buy the pieces, it’s fun to rethink your space (and save in that “someday” file). If you like the arrangement and are ready to buy, you can save the design to the Ikea server and head to the store to pick up your loot.
Of course, if you’re just in the mood to browse and dream, check out our own Designers’ Portfolio collection — to see how some of HGTV’s favorite design gurus have transformed kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and more.