Ikea stores reopening: Our top picks from the furniture store

Louise Whitbread
Since the retailer has advised visitors to come prepared, we've shared our shopping list to help you create yours: Ikea/The Independent

Ikea stores across the UK shut their doors at the beginning of the lockdown in March, but the retailer recently reopened 19 stores in England and Northern Ireland from 1 June. Stores in Scotland and Wales will remain closed, while two stores in Ireland reopened from 11 June.

Until now, lockdown measures meant that customers could only shop with Ikea online from a selection of products available for home delivery.

The 21 stores that have reopened are Croydon, Greenwich, Lakeside, Wembley, Tottenham, Norwich collection point, Birmingham, Nottingham, Belfast, Manchester, Warrington, Gateshead, Leeds, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Reading, Southampton, Bristol, Exeter, Ballymun and Carrickmines.

There will be strict safety measures in place to ensure social distancing, the retailer has said.

These include implementing a staggered entry system, restricted car parking and only one adult and one child per household permitted in-store.

Customers have also been urged to come prepared with ready-made lists of what they want to buy and their own bags, while anyone who wants to return items will be encouraged to do so at a later date.

Inside stores, play areas and restaurants will be closed, but the retailer's food market will be open for customers.

If you’re growing tired of looking at the same four walls in your home, looking to do up your garden for summer or have a DIY project you want to finish off, now is your chance to stock up on scatter cushions, desks, bedding, storage solutions and more.

Ahead of its reopening, here are the items on our shopping list to get you inspired.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Soft furnishings

If you’re renting, limited on space or simply don’t have the budget to splash out, it doesn't mean you can’t give your space a makeover or find the perfect finishing touch.

Cushions, rugs, throws and bedding are perfect for injecting colourful prints and patterns into a room to truly make it your own.

This gracios rug (Ikea, £30) is ideal if you want to revamp a room without investing in larger furniture.

Rugs can switch up a room if you're looking to change your interior style without splashing out on furniture (Ikea )

It’ll feel snug beneath your feet and is made from stain-resistant synthetic fibres, so if you spill any red wine on it, it’ll be easy to clean.

If you have a garden and are planning some alfresco dining, outdoor cushions are perfect, whether you’re using them for padding on chairs or on a picnic blanket such as the funkon cushion cover (Ikea, £6.50) which comes in two colours, orange and pink. They are perfect for brightening up your patio.

Brightly coloured cushions are an instant update both indoors and outdoors (Ikea)

Lamps can be both fashionable and functional, and this boja table lamp (Ikea, £25) ticks both boxes. Rattan continues to be a popular interiors trend and this is a mix of modern design and traditional handicraft that adds a chic finish to your dining table.

Light up a room, literally, with a modern bamboo table lamp (Ikea )

Furniture

Bamboo is also a sturdy material for larger items, and this satsumas plant stand with five plant pots (Ikea, £35), makes the most of it.

A vertical plant stand will free up floor space which is great if you're limited on room (Ikea)

It’s minimal effort with maximum impact that’s also brilliant at allowing you to grow your plants vertically, saving on floor space while ensuring you can get your green fix. Find our guide to the best house plants that will improve your mood here.

If you’re just getting into gardening while in lockdown, pick up this grasmaro three-piece gardening set (Ikea, £3) which has all the essentials you need to get started. It comes with one trowel, one hand rake and one bulb trowel all on one ring, so you’ll never lose them.

This gardening tool trio has all the essentials you need to start planting bulbs and seeds in the summer months (Ikea)

With the majority of the UK working from home for the foreseeable future, it’s a good idea to invest in a desk if you haven't already, so you can separate your work day from your downtime and have an organised workplace.

This kullaberg desk (Ikea, £100) works as both a dining table and work desk, depending on whether you mount the cross at underframe edge or in the middle. If you want to keep it exclusively for work, mount the cross by the underframe’s one edge, but if you need room to sit on both sides, mount the cross in the middle.

While working from home, get a good desk and chair that will help your posture, help with productivity and separate your work life from your free time (Ikea)

There’s also a matching swivel chair (Ikea, £50) with adjustable height, back support and a metal ring underneath for you to rest your feet on.

Storage solutions

With more time at home, you may be racing through your reading list, or getting round to finishing that book you were too busy to before. Keep your books dust-free and safely stored where you can see them with this bergshult/ pershult wall shelf, costing just £15.

Whether you're storing books, decorative accessories or work documents, this shelf can hold up to 10kg of stuff and look good at the same time (Ikea)

It can hold up to 10kg and you can mount the brackets above or below the shelf, whichever style you prefer. Fill it with books, a nice candle, photo frame, small plant or all of the above.

This grey-green raskog trolley, (Ikea, £39) is great if you’re running short on cupboard space. It’s a sturdy design and fits in small spaces thanks to its compact style, so you can fill it with spices and cooking utensils for easy access in the kitchen or keep it in the bedroom for a portable make-up and skincare kit.

This trolley is a portable storage solution for the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen or living room (Ikea)

Baskets are also useful for storing magazines, laundry or plants, working as both a decorative piece and essential for keeping your space free from clutter. This handmade krallig basket (Ikea, £10) can be displayed with the handles up or down, depending on whether you what its contents to be visible or not.

A braided basket means you can keep your space tidy while making the most of any floor space (Ikea)

Decorative accessories

Let’s face it, most of us own furniture from Ikea, which says a lot for the retailer’s universal appeal, but it can often lead to your home looking the same as everyone else.

Stock up on faux plants for all of the joy of greenery without any of the hard work (Ikea)

To make it more unique, use home decor for finishing touches such as this invandig artificial terrarium (Ikea, £6) which being faux, is low maintenance but adds a green touch. It wouldn’t look out of place on a coffee table in the living room or as a bedside accessory.

If you don't want to commit to plants, real or faux, in your home, try this ceramic set instead (Ikea)

For another take on a plant-filled space, this sjalsligt decoration set (Ikea, £15) is the perfect addition to your home. The three ceramic cactuses are a no-brainer for those small spaces you have yet to fill.

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