We live about 90 minutes away from an Ikea, so I don’t go there often.  Maybe once every three or four years.  On Friday, my mom and I made the trek and spent the day “doing Ikea.”  It really is like a theme park.  Wear comfortable shoes, get your map, make your lists, so you don’t miss anything.  Make your plans, so you hit lunch at the right time.  It’s an event.

I went with a pretty sizable list of things I wanted, mostly for home organization projects I’ve been chipping away at when I have the time.


It’s the kind of store where it’s easy to keep throwing things in the cart, though, even with a focused list.  That’s just $5.00 or $1.50 and who knows when I’ll be back at an Ikea again, so I had better get it!


(Those woodland cookie cutters were totally an impulse buy, but I thought they were so sweet!)

I bought a couple of dispensers for my dish and hand soap by the kitchen sink.

mms-4482 mms-4484

And baskets for the pantry…


The pantry seems to be the hardest area for me to get and keep organized.  I think the key to a tidy pantry is freeing everything from the packaging…boxes specifically.  They take up a lot of space and, since they are opaque, you can’t see exactly what you have.  I’m still working on what system and arrangement works best for our family, but I knew I wanted some baskets!

Also on my list were utensil holders for my kitchen drawers.  I’ve had plastic ones that, in theory, expanded to fit the size of the drawers they were installed in.  The problem is that they would slide around, resulting in a messy drawer with shifting contents.  I tried putting rubber grippers underneath, but to no avail.

I measured my drawers and the bamboo utensil holders from Ikea would fit almost perfectly, with very little wiggle room.


In fact they fit perfectly length-wise.  That is, except for the screws holding in my hardware!  I had just splurged on these beautiful liners and I couldn’t get them to fit in my drawers!


well, I have power tools and I will not be foiled.


I used a drum sanding attachment on the Dremel and made space for the screws.


Now they fit perfectly.  I love how clean and tidy they look and they make better use of the space.


I also got them for my gadget and knife drawers.


I’m especially excited about the in-drawer knife block.


Even Jeff said, “This drawer has never looked so good.”  That’s high praise from someone who doesn’t typically get enthused about organization.

Another purchase I’m excited about is this wall-mounted bathroom mirror.  I am always leaning way over the vanity when I’m doing my makeup, putting in my contacts, tweezing my eyebrows, etc., so this is going to make my morning routine just a little bit easier on my lower back (even if it means seeing my pores at 3x magnification!)

 mms-4455 mms-4459

I crossed the finish line at the checkout with tired feet and an impressive puzzle of home goods wedge my cart.  It really was like a clown car when I was unloading the contents onto the belt!

Happy with our hauls, I think my mom and I can safely call Ikea, “done”.


  1. Pam

    Love IKEA! I don’t get there often, we still don’t have one near Raleigh. I have the same mirror and baskets. Their prices are so good for items like those. Your kitchen drawers look great, I need to go clean mine out!

  2. JoanMarie

    Drawer organization is on my list too and I LOVE the in-drawer knife block – such a space saver on the counter!

  3. Megan

    LOVE IKEA!! I always stock up on tea lights, tealight holders, hurricane vases, lanterns, candles, ribba frames and glassware which is great if you like to throw parties. You have glass instead of plastic to use but who cares if one gets broken or lost. There are cheap!

    The kitchen drawers look awesome. Reminds me that mine are in dire need of re-organizing….

  4. Christina

    I love Ikea as well. Even though I live about an hours drive from two locations, I still only make it about once a year. I’m trying to organize our kitchen as well. Yes, the panty is the hardest to keep organized. Love your finds. I need those cookie cutters. LOL

  5. Kimberly

    Please tell me the brand and pattern of your beautiful flatware!

    • marian

      It’s Repousse by Kirk Steiff.

      • Laura

        I just sent the picture to my mom, she has Rose by Kirk! Often confused with Repousse. 🙂

        I *think* you should have your knives sharp side up to prolong the edge on the blades.

  6. Tracey B

    I NEED that In drawer knife block. I get so tired of the bench top clutter. I really need to find a way to make the necessary stuff look nice and stop the rest of the family from using the bench as a drop zone.

    • Kaille

      Tracey B, another good option to keeping knives in a block on the counter or in a drawer is a magnetic knife bar that mounts to the wall. Saves space and is much easier on the blades.

  7. anne

    Drawers look great! I also love that flatware you own! Where can we find it?

    • marian

      It’s the Repousse pattern by Kirk Steiff. You can find it on eBay, Replacements.com, or new at stores you can find silver. I inherited all of mine.

      • Danielle

        How do you maintain the finish? Are they silver or silver plate? I would love to use my silver but it’s plate. As careful as I was with the washing by hand, they still started to tarnish & loose the silvering. So back in the china cabinet they went and out came the not-so-lovely stainless set.

  8. Vicki

    Your silverware is beautiful! And organized! I just think you probably even enjoy opening an organized drawer! I live over two hours from an IKEA so I have not gone to the one closest to my home, but have visited my daughter’s IKEA. I really enjoy it, but can’t take anything I want home on a plane! Maybe that has been a good thing! Lol!

  9. Emily @ 11gables.blogspot.com

    Marian,Those baskets come in handy! We use them in our pantry and absolutely rely on them! I have one for spice mixes, one for granola bars/snacks, one for cake mixes, one for baking items, one for nuts, etc. etc. Here is the link to my pantry so you can see more. Once you get the hang of using the baskets, you will love them!! We live three hours from Ikea and I like to go at least twice a year! xox, Emily http://11gables.blogspot.com/2014/07/eleven-gables-butler-pantry.html

  10. Paige.Rose

    This must have been an IKEA type of weekend!!! We made a little trip too & picked up some goodies! I swear it’s the best place for staples! I just love your home, Marian! You could make anything look great & then add in your gorgeous photography…ahh #love hehe!

    Happy Monday friend!


  11. CoCo

    I love the way your organizing everything, it looks really good. Love love love IKEA but the one closest to me is 3 hrs away. Reading this post makes me itching to go. Hope your day is a fun one, hugs, CoCo

  12. Gail

    Thanks, that is what I need to do today. clean out my silverware drawer.

  13. Alice R

    Love Ikea, but don’t get there much. I love their paper napkins too. They come in white, colors, or patterns, but no embossed designs. I hate those embossed napkins!

  14. Danielle Kabos

    Wow – great work. We’re the same and always come away with a bunch of random stuff (and a big new blue bag to match the 29 other big blue IKEA bags we already have but didn’t take because we weren’t planning on buying a bunch of random stuff).

    My latest IKEA love is the Socker mini glass houses I have in the kitchen with my seedlings in them. I was hating the thought of having trays of brown plastic on the counters by the windows for a few months so they are doing the job nicely. A few little mini-blackboard markers to show what seeds I’ve planted and they’re looking pretty cute.

    And how do they do those mini-cinnabuns for 50 cents? Add a free coffee with your membership card and a smug look to match. Happy shopping and happy shoppers.

    • Dorka

      The same here with blue bags, very funny 😀

  15. Gina

    I adore IKEA but my nearest one is three hours away. I go crazy when I do get to go and I love all the wonderful ideas and products. I discovered IKEA when we lived in Germany as a military family and was thrilled to find them in the US. My dream is a slipcovered couch for my next “big” purchase. I also love their lunches and plan the day around a meal and some relax time to re-energize for the next round of shopping/walking! Looks like a great day! The drawer organizers are awesome……

  16. Mary Beth Leiby

    IKEA is the best! Anything and everything to organize your home. We recently got a Container Store here in DE. As I strolled through the very impressive aisles, I couldn’t help but think that I could get almost everything in that store at IKEA for about half the price.

    IKEA’s food storage containers are awesome and stackable! Ditch the boxes and bags and use all three sizes of these containers for a well organized pantry with everything in plain sight. For things I regularly keep on hand (noodles, grains, pasta, etc.), I clip the nutritional info and cooking instructions and either tape them on the outside, or just drop them in the bottom of the container (facing out) for easy reference.

    Also, their drawer organizers go way beyond the kitchen. The Alex drawer unit is a crafter’s dream. I added their various drawer organizers to beautifully organize all those little craft items (beads, ribbons, paints, you name it!). Love me some IKEA organization!

  17. Carla

    I live very close to an IKEA but I don’t go very often because it is just too easy to come home with a lot of stuff I don’t really need and I really need to purge not buy! But I do love’em.

  18. sunny

    Wow – I need that drawer knife block!

    I live two hours from the closest IKEA and go about three times a year. My friends and I have the routine down pat. We meet at a local coffee shop to grab caffeine at 7:30 AM. We make the two hour scenic drive and arrive between 9:30 and 10 AM to a mostly empty parking lot and select a spot next to the building or a row over,. Since restaurant opens at 9:30, we head in and go up to the top floor where the restaurant is. Then we start browsing, and I take a cart – and if something catches my eye, I toss it in the cart. We work our way down to the bottom floor within 90 minutes to two hours, I go through my cart and remove anything I changed my mind about – now that I have all the items in front of me. (I know what budget amount I had in mind and those items need to match it or be under the top amount!). (The employees point out the big bins near the register that are for items we change our minds about.) We pay, pull our car around from the lot next to the building, load up, and catch lunch at a favorite restaurant in the area. We enjoy the drive back and are home by 3 or 3:30 PM. Hmmm..time to visit IKEA again. Maybe this weekend!

  19. Eileen

    I have an in-drawer knife block and have divided all my utensil drawers into categories. I even used my label maker to label, spoons, ladles, spatulas, etc. initially to help myself, but it’s been a great help when visitors are helping out in the kitchen. They don’t have to keep asking where stuff goes or put it away in the wrong spot. Bonus!! I recommend a label maker to Everyone!!

  20. Laurie

    Drawer organization really helps! These look great! I bet it brings a finishing touch to your kitchen.

    I think you also could have countersunk the screws [into the wood drawer fronts] to make the organizers fit.

    I love that mirror!

    IKEA does sell some things online if you didn’t know.

  21. Patricia

    an in-drawer knife block! who knew? Perfect solution to a completely annoying mess.

  22. Gilda

    Marian, what is your countertop made from? I see it’s wood…is it standard butcherbock?

    • marian

      Yes, it’s walnut butcher block from Lumber Liquidators.

  23. Chelsea

    I absolutely adore your silverware! They are so pretty with the embellishments on the handles.

  24. Lesanne Bohannon

    You have my silver:) My grandmother gave me one piece for every holiday beginning when I was in elementary school! We lived in the Philadelphia area at the time.
    Wondering how and where you got yours!

    • marian

      I love the pattern! I have pieces from my mom, grandmother and great-grandmother.

  25. Kay

    My daughter took me to Ikea for the very first time just last week. I bought an Ektorp chair so I could determine if I really liked it as much as I hoped I would. I kind of rushed through it since we had a two year old along. Actually she did fine. It was certainly an amazing place to go. I hope we can make it at least an annual trip!

    ..and I came home and ordered the rest of the pieces. We had to take it out of the box to fit it in the car, but we managed all our purchases and still had room for the two year old.

  26. Jenny B.

    Love the in-drawer knife block! I’m so tired of the one we have always being out on the kitchen counter. Our kitchen drawers are really narrow, and most organizers don’t fit. It’s frustrating. The nearest IKEA is 4 hours away, and I’ve never been there. I have been to the one in Dallas, which is 6 hours away, but only once. It really is like a theme park, especially if you’re a decor enthusiast. 🙂 I am looking forward to going again one of these days!

  27. PJ

    Mother daughter time is the best. I am not a shopper, but I love shopping with my daughter.

    As I am looking at your purchases, I find it hard to get past how fabulous your counters look!

  28. Kris

    IKEA is about 3 hours from me, so I’ve never been. 🙁 Would love to go sometime.

    You may not appreciate your 3X magnification mirror now … but you will …. trust me!

  29. Sada

    You’ve inspired me to tackle my pantry!!! Once and for all!!! Thank you Marian!

  30. Liz

    Your solution for the utensil holder is genius. Love the mirror. I think a trip to IKEA is in my near future!

  31. Christine

    The little things 🙂
    I love IKEA. Also a trip for us. One my husband does not like to undertake! We ordered something big online, my husband would rather pay the shipping, than spend half a day driving out there, etc… However, I hate to miss out on these little things in abundance around the store…

  32. Marlene Stephenson

    My Ikea is 4hrs. away and i have never been but i dream of going there some day.Your drawers are the greatest.

  33. Maureen Provost Ryan

    The best thing we ever purchased from Ikea is our kitchen island!!! We highly recommend it — there’s shelving on one side and room for bar stools on the other side and a butcher block top. Ikea is great!!!

  34. Pat Walcott

    Is that sterling silver pattern Repousse by Kirk Steiff? Are you really using it for everyday & keeping in a wooden box. Luckily I have the pattern & it’s nearly 100 years old & is kept in a lined silver box.

    • marian

      Yes, it is and yes, we do! I kept it in a silver chest for years. They are pieces from my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and I absolutely love them. My grandmother used them everyday and I finally decided I would do the same. They are just too pretty to be in a box 363 days of the year.

      We do hand wash them and I give them a polish about once a year.

  35. Sindy Anderson

    unfortunately Ikea is only about 35 – 40 minutes away from me~ I figure if I get out of there for under $600 I’m doing well~ ugh~LOVE that place. in fact, the hubs and I are re doing the apt downstairs at the beach house~ guess where I’m going soon as I hit Atlanta on Tuesday~ Yep, they carry kitchen countertops~ Imagine that

  36. marylisa noyes

    Ikea is one of those places that you need to set aside a day because its just a candy store of such goodies for every part of the home…

  37. Dee

    Love IKEA…and I live 90 minutes away too. So, in November, I now make an annual trek for my Birthday… complete with their amazing chocolate and fresh brewed, deep roasted coffee. Who could ask for anything more?

  38. Naomi S.

    Yeah, those magnified pores are a downer! But it’s really nice to have the eyeliner where it belongs! A trade-off!

    I do have to ask, tho’: were the wooden spoons a gift for someone? Other than you? Okay, that’s what I thought! Ha, ha! But it’s okay; you’re allowed an addiction or two.

    • marian

      Yeah, totally busted on the wooden spoons! My mom shook her head as I put three in my cart. They were $1.79/each and I couldn’t resist!

  39. Dee at the Carlton

    Our nearest Ikea in the UK is a mere 30 minutes away & friends & family who live further from one always add it to their ‘to-do’ list when they come to stay.

    Ikea is great for uni students because you won’t mind if things go astray or get broken or left behind.

    My friend & myself popped out to Ikea on Friday night – my trolley was mainly candles & soft furnishings because they have lovely cushions & bedding if you are like me & like to change your style often.

    I also love their seasonal bits & some of their crockery is very pretty. I have some fun green & pink patterned plates & bowls that I mix up with my really good white plates & it looks so fresh for Spring.

    And … their frozen cinnamon buns are really good ….

  40. Ann

    I too was fortunate enough to inheritate a full set of Repousse. Do you have the ice tea spoons, I especially love those. My grandmother used the silver as her every day flatware and one day as a small child I commented on how beautiful I thought it was. Many years later just before she died she remembered that comment and made sure the silver was passed along to me. It’s one of my most cherished possessions and I use it on a regular basis too, thinking of her every time I do.

    • marian

      Yes, I do have the teaspoons, too. Since the pattern was collected by many of my family members, we have a lot of great pieces like the water pitcher, the asparagus serving fork, baby utensils, ice cream forks, a nut/fruit spoon, etc.

  41. mary m young

    I call it nickel and diming myself up to the cash register! I usually give my daughter a big
    fat check to do a spree a Ikea for er birthday.. What fun. Something for everyone. So glad we don’t have
    one around here because we would be in the poor house!

  42. Cindy

    That sounds so fun! I need to take a drive to Charlotte and go to Ikea! I love the knife block too!

  43. Carolyn Kellam

    Great finds! I do love those infrequent trips to Ikea also! I got some of the same faux plants like the one you show in your basket and then your bathroom last time I was there and I love them. I always enjoy seeing how creatively you do things!

  44. Donna

    I just loved this post, thank you. Quick question – I need a good drill / power tool that I can use (not my husband). Can you recommend a brand? Thanks!

    • marian

      We are big fans of Mikita and I feel like they fit in my hand well.

  45. Maggie T

    I love a trip to IKEA! It’s an all day trip for me which is probably a good thing for our budget!
    When I read this post it brought back a memory of my late father-in-law. When we cleaned his house out after he passed away we found that he had screwed right through his utensil holders into the drawers so they wouldn’t slide around! 🙂

  46. Eva Contreras

    Great finds, Marian! I particularly love the bamboo trays and your problem solving skills 🙂

  47. Sara

    Do you by chance know the exact length of the flatware tray? I checked online and it says 20″, but my drawers are 19.5″, so I have my fingers crossed that they trays are a bit shorter than listed.

    I am so glad that you decided to share your IKEA finds. I love all of your posts, but generally, they involve a market on the other side of country I will never make it to. But IKEA, I can drive three hours for one of those!

    • Caroline

      I’m wondering this as well, and hoping Marian pops back in to let us know the length. 20″ is just a smidge too deep for my drawers.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      Yes, my drawers are just shy of 20″ as well. The measurement of the tray is 19 3/4″, so they fit.

      • Caroline

        Awesome, thank you so much!


    Hi Marian! I just discovered your blog and I find it beautiful! Your home looks amazing! 🙂 and great job with the drawer it looks terrific like that!
    Have a very nice day!

  49. Melonie

    I am online at IKEA right now and looking for the hand soap dispenser. I can’t find it can you help me ?


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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