When in search of a new home or casually browsing apartment ads, many of us are often drawn to recently finished constructions. In these instances, some apartments come already furnished, despite not yet being inhabited. Ever wondered who takes charge of furnishing them? Sometimes, it‘s the interior designers who work at IKEA! Explore our most recent project – a living room with an integrated kitchen, that we have designed from scratch in an unoccupied apartment available for rent or sale.

Before the renovation

Rimantė, a real estate developer who specialises in furnished apartments for rent and sale, reached out to us with a specific request: to furnish the living room and kitchen in one of their recently completed apartments. The objective was to create an inviting space, ensuring that potential buyers or tenants instantly felt like at home upon entering.
“Furnishing an apartment becomes challenging when the future residents and their specific needs are unknown. In this project, we navigated this by seeking versatile solutions. The compact living room and kitchen were designed to be highly functional and adaptable to a wide range of needs such as relaxation, storage, cooking, and dining.”

Morta Bučinskienė
IKEA interior designer

Interior designer‘s advice:

  • To facilitate easy updates to your interior over time, opt for neutral colours on walls and floors when furnishing your home. This way, you won't need to replace or repaint them. Simply refresh the look with accessories.
  • Don't shy away from dark furniture due to concerns it may reduce the room space. In fact, vertical pieces in darker tones have the opposite effect, making the room visually taller. Take the black BILLY bookcase featured in this living room as an example.
  • When dealing with limited space that combines both the living room and kitchen, the same piece of furniture can serve for both areas. For instance, the BILLY bookcase multitasks as a sideboard in the kitchen and serve as storage for books, board games or other items in the living room.

A hundred shades of black and white

The living room, just like the rest of the apartment, features two dominant colours: black and white. The striped STOCKHOLM carpet made of natural wool adds warmth and cosiness to the place and matches well with other pieces of furniture:
  • the double-duty RIAN side table serving as both a coffee table and a laptop stand for productive work sessions,
  • the retro-style SMEDSTORP sofa with heigh legs that not only looks elegant but is also very practical, thanks to covers woven from cotton and recycled polyester, which reduces the risk of pilling and is less sensitive to stains.
“When seeking to refresh your interior, the simplest approach is to update your textiles: rugs, curtains, cushion covers and throws. It's so simple that you can even make changes twice a year—opting for fresh, light colours in spring and transitioning to darker hues, fur cushions, thicker curtains or rugs to add warmth during winter.”

Morta Bučinskienė
IKEA interior designer

The kitchen project without appliances costs 2 950 EUR.

Despite its compact size, this kitchen ingeniously incorporates all essential elements for comfortable cooking, while the METOD cabinets offer ample storage for future residents. We have also installed a dishwasher, which many people can no longer imagine everyday life without.

Due to its flexibility, the METOD kitchen system can be transformed as needs change, while the old fronts are easy to replace with some new ones whenever desired.
In tight spaces, maximising storage is a priority. This is where the VARIERA shelf inserts, a range of drawer accessories and the HÅLLBAR pull-out frames for waste sorting prove invaluable.
The dining area in this apartment shares space with the living room and kitchen furnishings. This is why, to optimise space, we chose a round dining table with a single leg, so it's easier to sit around it. Currently, four chairs surround the table, but it can comfortably accommodate six if needed.

The SINNERLIG pendant lamp above the dining table introduces an additional layer of in this area. The lampshade made of bamboo lattice gives a warm, welcoming glow and casts decorative light patterns in the room.
When purchasing a fully furnished apartment, the standard electrical setup often includes a single ceiling lamp at the room's centre. In such cases, it is worth adding decorative lighting. Each unused socket at home is a potential light source. All you need is a lamp with a plug and some efficient LED bulbs.
Transforming a small, dark and seemingly neglected corridor into a favourite spot is simple – just give it a bit of attention. Consider adding a mirror, placing a nice side table or framing some pictures. Our interior designer Morta painted the artwork in this apartment herself. You can embark on a similar creative endeavour too! This will make your home even more personal.

Meet the first inhabitants

Live plants can instantly impart cosiness to any interior, even if it has yet to be inhabited. Consider a combination of one large accent plant and some smaller ones arranged together on a plant stand. At IKEA, you will find a variety of live plants that cater to different styles – from modern and exotic to more classic.

Would use some help?

Let's work together! IKEA interior designers are ready to prepare the project according to your individual needs, can help you choose the most suitable furnishings and implement the project in any space, from residential buildings and rental apartments to corporate premises and more.

Have you missed this episode on TV3?

Watch it here, track all makeovers and get inspired.

What was done before?

In previous seasons, IKEA interior designers shared their tips on how to furnish odd spaces, adapt homes to changing life situations, and organise all belongings. We have organised kitchens, children’s rooms, and bedrooms, set up a home office in the living room, furnished a tiny one-room apartment, upgraded premises for family business, and so much more.

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box, 34x24 cm, white


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shelf insert, 32x28x16 cm, white

7 €

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pendant lamp, bamboo/handmade



side table, 50x30 cm, white


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bowl, 42 cm, stainless steel


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cabinet, 119x63 cm, white

119 €


rug, flatwoven, 170x240 cm, handmade/striped black/off-white

199 €

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shelving unit, 60x25x116 cm, metal/white

20 €


plant pot, 9 cm, white

Old Price 1,99


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plant stand, 56 cm, in/outdoor black



table, 103 cm, white/white

Old Price 199 €

179 €


2-seat sofa, Viarp beige/brown/black

549 €


side table, 71x50 cm, white


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mirror, 60x120 cm, black


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wall shelf, 120x20 cm, white/white


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plant pot, 24 cm, white


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mini chest of drawers, 31x18x32 cm, pine


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plant pot, 19 cm, white


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bookcase with glass doors, 80x30x202 cm, black oak effect

159 €

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cutlery tray/2 utensil trays, 72x50 cm, light bamboo

Old Price 45 €

31 €


base cab 4 frnts/4 drawers, 80x60 cm, white/Vallstena white

263 €

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table lamp, bamboo/handmade



mirror, 110 cm, black


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high cab f fridge/freezer w 3 doors, 60x60x240 cm, white/Vallstena white

212 €

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cabinet lighting, white/dimmable

10 €

Energy efficiency class F
Product information sheet

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base cabinet for sink, 60x60 cm, white/Vallstena white

64 €

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storage box, 16x24x15 cm, light bamboo


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waste sorting solution, 20 l, with pull-out/light grey

Old Price 39 €

34 €

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chair, Viarp beige/brown

99 €


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