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Saturday, June 27, 2009

A trip to Ikea

I don't know why but sometimes I just need to go to Ikea. What is it about Ikea that makes me feel relaxed. It's like a mini vacation.
For those of you who have never experienced Ikea, it is a giant furniture warehouse/showroom/import store and I believe it is a Swedish based company. It is not the highest quality furniture(most pieces are made from pressboard) or the most attractive but it is economical, trendy, and space efficient. It's great for dorm room decorating, children's rooms and people on a tight budget with limited space!

My mother and I discovered it many years ago on Long Island. When we moved to Florida, there was no Ikea. Few years ago the giant Swedish furniture warehouse decided to grace Central Floridians with their presence.
When you go to Ikea plan to be there for a while. You will enter on one side of the warehouse and begin your journey. You go up the escalator and begin following the arrows. As you wind around the showroom you encounter lovely little vignettes of kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. If you are paying close attention you will also notice that there are entire showrooms devoted to complete living spaces. For example, you will walk through a 537 sq ft living space, complete with kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom. How do they squeeze all of that stuff into such a small space and make you actually feel like you want to lived there!?(think vertical space) There is even a 250 sq ft space complete with bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. I guess that would be considered a luxury apartment in Manhattan or maybe Sweden!
As you wind around to the end of your upstairs journey you smell the lovely aroma of Swedish meatballs. Yes, there is a cafeteria at the end of the road! Aren't you hungry? I hear they serve free breakfast Monday thru Friday, from 9:30 to 10, so get there early. They serve eggs, bacon and hashbrowns!

After you stop in for a bite to eat(we didn't) you go back downstairs. In order to reach the exit you must walk through the accessory portion of the warehouse. This is where you can find, lamps, dishes, artwork, rugs, towels, curtains, bedding, mirrors, baskets.... It 's a giant import store! At the end of this road you will reach the warehouse, where all of the lovely furniture displayed in the showroom above, is packaged in large cardboard boxes, ready for you to pull off the shelves, ring up yourself, at the self checkout and load into your car, to take home and spend hours assembling. Ah -but before you leave, Wouldn't you love a nice warm cinnamon bun? It smells so good you just have to have one!(We didn't)

The person that designed this place is a genius! There aren't too many retail stores that you would walk into and voluntarily relinquish one to two hours of your time just to browse and maybe pick up a five dollar lamp and a cinnamon bun.

I always see things that I want to come back and get, but once I leave, I forget what I saw. So this time I took my camera. Here are some of the things that I spotted on my journey.

I like this collection of casual white furniture. The low console with the baskets would look nice in the familyroom with our flat screen tv on top. The low coffee table was interesting, with a giant shadow box drawer, that pulls out, to display artifacts or pictures. I also, like the wood tables, only $99 each. Two or three of these against the wall in my dining room would be a great place to store and display chalkboards!
I also saw some great storage pieces for my art studio. All very reasonably priced. I even like the folding barstool. Only $24 each. I need three!!

Here's a great example of using vertical space. This narrow storage unit would be perfect for a small narrow bathroom. The drawers open on an angle and act as narrow deep bins, great for storing shoes, toiletries etc... $99 each! The small dresser is great for a little boys room. The colors are neutral and slats, to pull the drawer open are a unique design and safe.
Here are some odds and ends that caught my eye. The headboard is pretty but I know I can paint that on the wall with cast shadows and make you believe it's really there:). They sell fabric and frames to make your own wall art. I love that giant bin on casters but they weren't selling that. How I would love to roll that around the house picking up laundry. I might even be able to get the kids to do it.(Yeah, who am I kidding? They would throw each other in there and zoom each other around the house) And the wooden lazy susans would be perfect for setting up circle painting parties
I love baskets for organizing, too! Those little ones at the top would look great in any room. And I like the one that looks like steps, to hang on the wall, for mail sorting.

Well, there's my trip to Ikea! What are your thoughts about this store, love it? like it? hate it?

Mine is a love/like/hate relationship.

5 comments:

Amy said...

I sure do love to shop.

Hayley said...

Whew...exhausted from the read, but enjoyed every minute. Of course, your tour was quite different from mine a week ago. Jenny and I went last Friday. They just opened one in Ybor City. I think it must be differant. Perhaps you should come to Tampa and take a walk with me!

Maybe we'll even buy something.

Pajama Mama said...

HI, I popped over to look at your chalkboard. It's so pretty...and I love the name of your blog, too. This post caught my eye...IKEA. We went in our first one (Atlanta) a few months ago and it was FANTASTIC!! I found so much cute stuff...my fave thing I bought was a serving tray with lime green and aqua elephants. Darling!

Enjoyed your blog!

Jeannie

Natalie said...

Ohh my goodness IKEA! When we lived in Burbank we were walking distance from one! I love their cinnamon rolls, but the instructions for assembly drive me insane. I understand that they want them to be universal, but those pictures can be so confusing. I'd say it's a love/like/hate relationship for me too.

I have a feeling when I have a place of my own a lot of my furniture will come from Ikea, it seems like it would be good to start out with.

alessandra said...

Love, love Ikea, however is far from us, so I only "live" in their catalog, and dream.