When opposites attract

Smiling, thirty-something woman and man standing affectionately together; clothing and accessories on a rack behind them.

When opposites attract

Lovebirds, yes. Identical tastes, no. How do you create a place to call home when you’re two grown-ups moving in together? Interior designer Mia Gustafsson helps out.

Black-and-white, face-focused sketch of IKEA interior designer Mia Gustafsson: smile, short hair, glasses pushed up, scarf.

Meet the designer

Interior designer Mia Gustafsson took on the challenge of creating a home for a couple that just moved in together – two people very much in love but with different ideas when it comes to interior decoration.  “I wanted to create a space where they both feel at home – where their two styles and individual stories come together.”

Maximizing storage

A mix of open and closed storage makes it easy to keep your treasures on display and hide the rest behind closed doors. “This couple plays around with their storage solutions, and use everything from large cupboards to transparent picture ledges and small baskets. They maximize storage in a personal way”, Mia says.

The precious space in-between

The cabinet in the living room isn’t just great for displaying treasures behind glass doors. In here, it also doubles as a surfboard stand and as the best place ever for a collection of fab hats. “Utilizing in-between space is a great way to optimize a home, and to make it more playful.”

The power of a calm backdrop – and of bright surprises

Mia Gustafsson has used rich colours as a calm backdrop that ties this eclectic home together. But there are exceptions, like the bright coral door frame leading into the bedroom: “Don’t be afraid to add a contrasting colour somewhere. If it doesn’t turn out the way you hope, or if you get tired of it, it’s easy to repaint”, she says.

Side-table with a combined WiFi speaker and lamp. Decorative storage in several small cabinets on the wall above.

Furnish with sound and light

Creating the right atmosphere at home isn’t only about rugs, furniture and art. Light and sound are powerful mood boosters that can easily make the difference between a grey Monday and a great one. “I’ve used three SYMFONISK WiFi speakers, one in the bedroom and two in the living room. They blend into the home seamlessly, offer great sound, and can be controlled all together or separately – perfect when the two people living here want to listen to different things in different rooms”, says Mia.

Function with a soft touch

Both the kitchen, protected by brass-coloured wall panels instead of classic tiles, and the walk-in closet, with wall paper and floor tiles in different patterns, bring something unexpected to the home – while still being super practical. “Take the PAX wardrobes, for example. They have sliding doors which is perfect when space is sparse, and although they are the same on the outside the interior is customized to be exactly what each person needs.”

Schematic illustration, like a blueprint, of the apartment acting backdrop and props for the other images in this piece.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior designer: Mia Gustafsson
Photographer: Martin Inger