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Ask an IKEA interior designer: choosing natural materials for the home

When picking the pieces for our homes, we all have different considerations from price, to look, to comfort. Perhaps you’ve become more conscious of what your furniture is made from. We chatted to an IKEA interior designer to learn more about the value of investing in different natural materials.

A BILD poster in a black RIBBA frame leaning against a wall on top of a pine PERJOHAN bench with storage.

    Pine furniture in its many forms

    Pine can be enjoyed untreated, like this IVAR cabinet, or painted, varnished or stained, like this HEMNES cabinet. One of the reasons to love pine is that every part can be used, including the sawdust. From big, solid pieces to veneer, plywood, particle board and more – it’s such a versatile material.

    See the HEMNES living room series
    A pine IVAR cabinet on a wall with vases on top of it, including a set of 3 clear glass CYLINDER vases and a BEGÄRLIG vase.
      A red stain/light brown HEMNES glass-door cabinet with 3 drawers with one door open and a seagrass FLÅDIS basket on top.
        See the HEMNES living room series

        Mixing furniture materials for an interesting look

        By their very nature, natural materials such as wood and certain textiles can make a space feel warmer. To create a feel with a bit more edge or interest, consider choosing pieces that mix materials, like the cool steel and warmer rattan of this armchair. The juxtaposition is both attractive and intriguing.

        See all rattan armchairs
        A plant in a glass BEGÄRLIG vase atop a pine IVAR shelving unit with doors behind a rattan/anthracite ULRIKSBERG armchair.
          A white, wooden floor with a handmade/off-white HJORTSVANG rug and the corner of a rattan/anthracite ULRIKSBERG armchair.
            See all rattan armchairs

            Investing in long-lasting household textiles

            Both pure linen and cotton have advantages such as breathability and insulation, making them great choices for bed linen all year round. Both materials are also very durable and get softer with each wash, making the investment well worth your while.

            More sustainable cotton at IKEA
            A bed dressed in a white black/check ÅKERFIBBLA duvet cover with 2 pillowcases and a DYTÅG duvet cover with 2 pillowcases.
              More sustainable cotton at IKEA

              Hardwearing materials that are in it for the long haul

              Different materials have their benefits, so think about the purpose of your pieces. If something is really going to be put to task, like kitchen chairs and chopping boards, look for materials that are hardworking and hardwearing, such as tougher woods like acacia and pine.

              Learn more about wood
              An acacia SMÅÄTA chopping board hanging on a wall above a few clear glass KORKEN jars with lids on a kitchen worktop.
                A corner of a room with beige and black items of clothing hanging from a wall next to a red stained PINNTORP chair.
                  Learn more about wood
                  A lit bamboo MISTERHULT pendant lamp above a BJÖRKSNÄS bedside table and bed in an ÅKERFIBBLA duvet cover with 2 pillowcases.

                    Wasting less, enjoying more

                    At IKEA, we try our best to make sure as little goes to waste as possible. Some of our pieces are made from materials that would have been discarded, such as certain rugs and this lamp made from bamboo offcuts.

                    Learn more about bamboo