Wow! Ikea!

Okay, so Ikea is a new thing for us country bumpkins. In fact, there isn’t one in the great state of South Carolina, so we had to pile into the van and drive through the pouring rain (with threatened sleet) to Charlotte to see this wonder. (KneadtoKnow, before you get all superior about it, keep in mind how you don’t have any Publixes.)

We’ve come to the point where we’ve decided it’s either get organized or die trying, and we’ve been tackling our two worst rooms and come to the point where it’s time to get some furniture. (Organizing from the Inside Out has really been working for us, if you’re interested.) Our couch is getting kind of ratty, too, so we thought we’d explore couch options. And stuff, you know. Plus we wanted to get a look at this place. We drove a hundred miles to gawk at a new store - what can I say, there’s not a lot of entertainment round these parts. There was a story in the paper when the state Christmas tree showed up all ratty that quoted a couple from Pelion, which is not an inconsiderable distance from here, saying they’d come all that way to get a look at the tree because they heard it was kind of pathetic. The quote was, “We have a tree that we run over with our car a lot and it looks better than that.” Yeah.

Okay, so I’m not a huge fan of that kind of design, but we filled up an extended panel van entirely. We had five carts by the time we left. My back feels like a lake troll has been stomping all up on it. It reminded me of when I was a kid and every time we went fishing my parents would almost get divorced over the boat ramp. The nice helpful Ikea people were not there to help us unload our new friends Karstad, Detolf, Alve, and Expedit (especially that motherfucker Expedit.)

But how beautifully designed! How thoughtfully laid out! How ingenious, that all the boxes fit on all the carts! That all the smaller things fit on the checkout belt! That everything fits everything else and is so conveniently thought of and oh hell why not it’s only five bucks! That Expedit is friends with Lack but also with three other box-shaped things! That I can get Karstad as a loveseat, a sofa, or stick a chaise on either side and put on whatever cover I want! Which are all dry-cleanable!

That there were meatballs when I needed them most!

Seriously, it’s rare these days that a big store like that puts a lot of thought into the shopping experience and efficiency for the customer. Also, the bathrooms were pristine. Yay, Ikea!

Ain’t much different over here except nobody but the kids eat the meatballs because everyone makes 'em better at home. But glad you had fun with it all!

I immediately had to go to the Ikea site and look up photos of your friends. (And if anyone else wants to do that, it’s “Karlstad,” with an L.) Hubba-hubba!

I sure hope you share some before and after pictures.

I plan on using the Ikea bathroom cabinets when I get around to remodeling my bathrooms. They are the only ones I’ve seen the look like I want them to look. I am curious to find out how well they hold up to moisture.

I would love some of their bookcases, like the Expedit, and those cool entertainment centers with the sliding doors but I am too broke right now.

Huh. I went just last week and had to wait in one of the three open checkout lines forever, or around 30 minutes. But I continued to wait, because I must have my Lingonberry jam, or Sylt, as they call it. Love that stuff.

I haven’t darkened the door of their enormous pile on the edge of Dublin yet. Since I don’t own a house it doesn’t seem necessary, yet.

Just by coincidence, I was there on Wednesday, loading up on Markor. No mobs, no lines.

For anyone thinking about making a trip, try to go on a weekday. Ikea can be off the scale crowded on a weekend.

Really? Because we were thinking maybe it was all a big joke Swedish people were playing on us before we got done picking out a couch. “I like the leather Ektorp best but the dog would be mad.” “I don’t see what your problem is with Kramfors!” “Kramfors is ugly. Kramfors looks like something in a snooty lawyer’s office.” “I like Kramfors! I think we have radically different tastes in furniture that are only now being revealed.” “Well, fuck Kramfors. Kramfors sucks.” “What about Vreta?” “I hate the armrests on Vreta. Why don’t we like Ektorp again?” “The dog.” “Oh, yeah.” “What’s wrong with Karlstad again?”

Don’t even get me started on Tylosand. The boyfriend thinks it looks good and I think he has lost his mind. I think it looks like a sofa they’d sell at one of those weird ghetto furniture stores where all the accent pieces have giraffes and zebras and stuff.

And you guys, Charlotte has a snow plow. At least one. Can you imagine a bigger boondoggle? What exactly would have to happen in Charlotte for there to be enough to plow but yet everything isn’t closed? It was the newest, shiniest looking snow plow I’ve ever seen.

Was that in english? (Okay, swedish)

Says the guy in the great midwest ikea-free zone. :frowning:

The names of the products are the names of towns in Sweden. Map of Ektorp, Sweden

We have an Ektorp – the cloth one which has the covers that are entirely removable and machine washable!! Really convenient for pets… we’ve washed the whole thing a couple of times. And the Jokkmokk tiny kitchen table and 4 chairs, made of solid wood for $112 is just perfect for our tiny dining space

Me and my mom were there recently, looking for accent cushions and some other items, and just squeeing over the kitchens, with their clever little slide out drawers and modular organizers.

By the way, for those of you with small children, the IKEA wooden train set you can get for $9 intertracks with Thomas the Tank Engine and Brio sets.

There’s an Ikea about…oh…a mile from me. We dropped 1600 bucks in there and came out with 9 pieces of furniture and a leather couch.

(TV stand, 2 wide bookcases, 2 narrow ones, 2 shelving units, a desk, and an office chair)

Ikea’s food is pretty solid. Fun storyabout our local Ikea.

Nope - got the 2010 catalog right here in front of me and located everything you mentioned in your dialogue straight away. (And I like the Kramfors, myself. Good for crashing on.)

Hello Again - not everything. Town names are used, but not every Ikea product name is a town name. Billy, for example.

Learn something new every day! The Wikipedia page breaks down the naming system.

I apologize to the people of the no-doubt fine town of Kramfors. But I think your couch is ugly.

I love Ikea and many of their designs. But then, I also think that boxy modernist buildings are more comforting and inviting than classical architecture. Go figure.

I still remember when my coworker decided to renovate her home, replacing most of the furniture inside with Ikea furniture, especially her sons’ rooms. She spent all day collecting furniture and she wound up being the last customer being rung up that night. The cashiers were gathered around her station placing bets on how much her total would end up being. The receipt ended up being something like 2 feet long and totaled…I want to say $11,000, but I honestly don’t remember.

See, the things I like about Ikea are how the rooms they set up in the store and catalog aren’t awful cold boxy modernist. :slight_smile: I like a good mix, I guess.

No one has mentioned the cool Ikea Christmas wrapping paper. I haven’t seen it this year, but in other years it has always been really pretty.

I also like that they sell good quality stainless steel cookware at very affordable prices.

And lamps! They sell some truly weird (and for me, that’s cool) lamps.

I talked my brother and a group of friends into going to the DFW Ikea shortly after it opened. They were very much humoring me because I was so excited to have an Ikea. I even saved $200 out of my budget to buy stuff I didn’t need.

First thing, in the parking lot, I twisted my ankle and went down. After hobbling in, I asked the person at the front desk if they had a first aid kit so I could wrap my ankle. They not only had a first aid kit, they had a handsome, muscular, well trained young man in charge of the first aid kit. He strapped my ankle, wrapped it with a cool pack, gave me a spare, laughed at my lame jokes, and sent me on my way.

I couldn’t wander as much as I wanted, but I enjoyed the store very much. My friends went crazy. My brother, who’d lightly mocked me, ended up spending over $100 on stuff he needed but hadn’t been able to find elsewhere. The friends spent something like $300 and made plans to return the next month for more stuff.

Me? Much as I enjoyed the store, I couldn’t find anything I really wanted, so I went home empty handed. Still, Ikea rocks.

Ikea maintains a good sense of design, aesthetically. But as someone who’s used a great number of their products over the years, be forewarned: they cut every possible corner on quality, and their furniture is built like crap. Buy your linens and kitchenware from them, but not your furniture.

I’ve also used a fair number of Ikea products, and the quality has been fine. I still have the Billy bookshelf I got some 15 years ago; chairs, tables and other stuff over the years, and I can’t complain.