The mythical realm is Phoebe Tonkin’s second home. After getting her start in the teen-turned-mermaid television series H2O: Just Add Water, the 25-year-old actress went on to join a witch coven in The Secret Circle, and now inhabits the world of vampires and werewolves in The Originals, which will begin its second season this October on the CW. “It’s become very normal for me to spit out supernatural jargon,” she says with a laugh. She’s certainly not the only one who’s grown accustomed to the occult—this Vampire Diaries spin-off is part of a substantial canon of recent shows and films about bloodsuckers. But anyone who’s seen The Originals understands its special appeal. “What I like about it is how it’s a bit darker,” explains Tonkin. “I can’t even remember the last time I did a love scene. It’s really about family, loyalty, and war, and I think that’s what sets it apart.” Indeed, thrill-seeking viewers are excited to see what’s in store for season two, after a battle-heavy season one finale in which Tonkin’s character, Hayley, is revived from a gruesome throat-slitting demise. Filming these upcoming episodes has landed Tonkin in Atlanta, where she recently found a new apartment. And while the born-and-raised Aussie remembers her life in Sydney fondly, she’s become quite attached to her new city (“I love Vegemite—but the food in the South is so good,” she concedes). And it doesn’t hurt that her co-star pals have become her new neighbors. “The cast is all living in the same area and it feels like this weird, long episode of Friends,” she jokes. So these days, Tonkin spends her spare time settling into her new abode. Here, she offers up some tips for the dreaded task of assembling Ikea furniture.

 1. Get into the Swedish state of mind with some native music like The Knife or Peter Bjorn and John.
Although nothing beats Abba for assembling a new media console.

2. Save those Allen keys.
You never know when you’re going to need a new Ramsätra to go with your Vittsjö.

3. Invest in some Bulleit Bourbon.
Building Ikea furniture is perhaps the most stressful experience of anyone’s life. Whiskey is imperative to calming those nerves and keeping your eyes on the prize (the prize being a Billy bookcase).

4. If all else fails, lure your more crafty and patient friends over with the promise of a housewarming party, but then assign them a box to assemble upon their arrival.
Turn up “Dancing Queen,” sit back, relax, and watch your buddies do all the work. This is where those Ikea frozen meatballs come in handy.