ikea on a wednesday
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It’s hard to fathom now, but I didn’t know about IKEA until I was in college. Growing up in Oklahoma, the closest IKEA (at the time) was in Chicago. I was a freshman in college and taking my first introduction to architecture course. We were discussing good (and bad) product design when my professor first opened our eyes to such Scandinavian joy. After that, I ordered a catalog and spent many a night in my dorm room thumbing through its [...]
It’s hard to fathom now, but I didn’t know about IKEA until I was in college. Growing up in Oklahoma, the closest IKEA (at the time) was in Chicago. I was a freshman in college and taking my first introduction to architecture course. We were discussing good (and bad) product design when my professor first opened our eyes to such Scandinavian joy. After that, I ordered a catalog and spent many a night in my dorm room thumbing through its pages (because that’s what all college students do, right?). Online ordering wasn’t available then but I did order a couple of items over the phone and had them shipped freight to my parents’ house.
In 2001, Kyle and I (along with several of our classmates) took a road trip up to Pittsburgh for an architecture student conference during winter break. It was a part of the country I hadn’t yet seen and my first experience with truly frigid temperatures. I will never forget sitting in an unheated school bus going to see Fallingwater. The northern kids seemed unphased but I was certain that frostbite was imminent.
Anywho. One of the highlights of that trip was a quick excursion to IKEA. I coaxed our friend into letting us borrow his car and then twisted Kyle’s arm into coming with me. Yes, I also made Kyle take this photo of me in front of the store. I was 21.
Fast forward 11 years and I’m now an IKEA veteran. I go at least once every couple of months, sometimes more. It’s a calming experience for me, no matter how crowded (weird, right?). I also have a ritual – after parking in my secret spot, I go through the exit, grab coffee, then back out and through the main entrance. I spend about 20% of my time getting what I actually need and the other 80% browsing and brainstorming. These days, IKEA is more like a hardware store to me – I look at products as supplies to some bigger DIY project. I also take notice of the store’s displays and the way they hack their own products.
Sadly, I had not been down to my favorite Swedish megastore since we bought the sleeper sofa shortly before Avery was born (one of the rare occasions when Kyle was with me). Today, that was remedied.
I think she had fun!
My shopping list only had a couple of items on it, but so much had changed in those 4+ months that I purposefully lingered in each department (while taking photos with my iPhone and trying not to be too much of a creepster). The highlights:
I usually skip the side tables, but today I was excited to see these nesting guys from the PS 2012 collection.
Another gem from the PS 2012 collection, I kinda love this (especially for a kid’s room). Never mind that $550 price tag.
As I approach the kitchen/dining department, I try to keep my gaze straight ahead since I really, really do not need or have space for more kitchen things. But today, I gave in (but remained strong, only succumbing to a $2 scrub brush).
And these trays!
And perhaps a holiday cocktail in these glasses?
Ok, lighting. For me, IKEA can be really hit or miss in this department but I found a few things to keep on my radar.
I love these quirky reading lights. I’ve had several clients ask for recommendations on inexpensive reading lights for kids and these JANSJO LED ones seem like a great option.
I remember seeing an image of spray-painted IKEA pendants a long time ago on Pinterest and it seems like they took the hint. These FOTO pendants are fun and inexpensive!
Ok, let’s keep moving.
Well, well, well…looks like everyone’s favorite GRUNDTAL line now has fancy hangers!
I’ve bought lots of solid color sheets from IKEA in the past, but have always had lukewarm feeling for the prints. But I don’t know…these gray and white polka dots and red and white stripes could change my mind.
This rug (another PS 2012 item) reminded me of some of the felted products I’ve seen at craft shows and on Etsy. It’s big and bold and funky!
Finally, I saw this sliced wood graphic on a few different products and decided that I could go for it in gift wrap form. Naturally, they were sold out.
Avery made it about 20 minutes before passing out but I guess the first visit can be a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry little one, I see lots of Småland in your future.
[Yes, I was originally going to also look at desk options for the basement office but now I'm thinking it might be easier to work on the main floor. It won't be a dedicated office, but still a multi-purpose puzzle to solve.]