Perhaps you've heard: Ikea has introduced a new line of more refined, higher-quality pieces called Ikea Stockholm. I paid a visit to the Emeryville Ikea today to peruse the selection. Some make the cut, some I'd give a pass (a few of the wood pieces have an Icestorm-ish 70s-Danish-modern gestalt). Here are my picks:

The winner is the Stockholm oak-veneer serving cart; sleek, stylish, bears up under scrutiny. And at $229? Go to ikea.com to view. 55929_pe161242_s4.jpg

A close second is the Stockholm Easy Chair, nicely proportioned, comfortable, good for smallish spaces. And a steal at $399. Go to ikea.com for specs.

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Surprisingly more appealing in situ is the Stockholm 3 1/2 sofa (go to ikea.com for specs); comfortable, streamlined, nicely proportioned, down-filled cushions. At $1,399, an excellent value. Seemed more like a real couch and less like an Ikea placeholder piece you tolerate until you get your act together.

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