We use cookies to improve your online experience. Take a look at our Cookie Policy to learn more and change your preferences. By continuing to use our website we assume you are happy to allow the use of these cookies.

You have disabled your cookies which means the IKEA website will not remember you as you browse through the site. Find out how to enable your cookies for a better experience

Oops! We’re sorry, there was an error loading this page so some information may not be up to date. Please try again later to ensure that the correct information is displayed.

A responsible home part 1: jeanette’s furniture philosophies

28 March 2016

Jeanette, Peter and their daughter, Eja, rent a home surrounded by nature in the Swedish countryside. They’re dedicated to living a life at home that’s responsible and healthy. In a series of posts, we’ll share what we’ve learned from Jeanette and her home.

A living room with sofas
A family photo of a mother, father and daughter

Jeanette says her interest in living responsibly probably goes back to her German roots and learning the value of making do with what’s available. As a consultant, she’s also traveled a lot and seen how actions in one part of the world create environmental damage elsewhere. ‘Coming back to this beautiful environment we live in makes you really want to fight for equality on earth and a better life for all of us on this planet.’ Here’s what we learned about her approach to reducing the furniture she buys and reusing as much as possible instead of throwing things away.

A living room with a grey and yellow sofa

LONG-LASTING MATERIALS AND TIMELESS STYLE are important when Jeanette buys furniture. ‘If it looks like it won’t last or that I’ll get tired of it, I don’t buy it.’ She likes to keep pieces with emotional, family value and mix them with flea market finds. Her two IKEA sofas are at least 12 and 15 years old, but they look new. She dyed the cover of her KARLANDA sofa grey to give it a longer life and an updated style that matches with everything.

A bedroom with a bed on tall legs

‘BECAUSE WE RENT OUR HOME, we don’t do things we otherwise would like change to solar power or geothermal heating.’ They still reduce their energy use in other smart ways. The second-floor can get pretty chilly, especially the bedroom that shares a wall with an uninsulated closet. Jeanette made a padded headboard by covering an old mattress in fabric to help block the cold air (if you're not into DIY and want the same effect, check our range of headboards). The high bed legs put them closer to warm air that naturally rises. The fabric as a bedskirt? Pure personality.

A curtain made from a bedspread and binder clips

TO HELP PREVENT WARM AIR FROM ESCAPING OUT and cold air from coming in, Jeanette made her own curtain solution. She turned old, thick INDIRA bedspreads into curtains. Big binder clips clamp the bedspread to the curtain rod. Thin strips of leather are threaded through the clips and tied across the bottom to raise and lower the curtain.

A child’s bed with striped and dotted textiles

THERE’S A LOT OF REUSED FURNITURE in six-and-a-half-year-old Eja’s room. The polka dot cover was the fabric bumper from Eja’s crib, and the leafy LÖVA bed canopy is also from her nursery. Behind the bed, Jeanette covered a mattress with old sheets and colourful fabric strips.

Close-up of an old roller blind on top of a white blackout roller blind

‘EJA’S ROOM GETS A LOT OF SUN in the summer, so we needed to block it out a bit. I made the roller blind more personal by taking apart a curtain that Peter had in his childhood bedroom. Then I glued it inside a TUPPLUR white block-out roller blind.’

A play room with storage made from spice jars and a magnetic board

WHEN THE FAMILY MOVED FROM AN APARTMENT 5 years ago, they kept as many household things as possible. The SPONTAN magnetic board and GRUNDTAL stainless steel containers held spices in their old apartment. There wasn’t a space for it in their new kitchen, so Jeanette turned it into storage for Eja. ‘It holds hair clips, arm bands and other little things that tend to disappear somewhere.’

“It feels wrong to me to throw away something that can actually still be used. Nothing is waste, really.”


Flowery fabric hanging on the wall

EVEN LITTLE ACTIONS CAN MAKE A BIG IMPACT, like this metre fabric that Jeanette turned into a wall hanging at the top of her staircase. ‘I bought it 10 years ago because it made me happy and had all of my favorite colours. I thought it would be a shame to cut it, so it always finds a new place everywhere we’ve lived.’ When she wants a change, she puts up a different fabric from her collection instead of buying new paint or wallpaper.

empty space


Your home is where your heart is. Give new life to old pieces that are filled with emotions and old memories. What meaningful things do you have tucked away in drawers that could be reused in some way?

Look around your home for furniture you replace often or areas where you lose the most energy. Could you reuse the furniture in new ways? Could you use things you already own to reduce energy loss?

Consider the style and material of your next furniture purchase. Will you appreciate its style in the future? What is it made of? Will it last for years and years?

Ready for more ideas to bring home? Check back for Jeanette’s kitchen ideas and food philosophies in an upcoming May post.

Made by

Copywriter: Marissa Frayer
Photographer: Johan Månsson
Editor: Linda Harkell