I pretty much don't buy new things. Mostly it's because I'm cheap, but when I'm making some pretense at self righteousness (usually when trying to justify the purchase of yet another thrifted chair to the Hunny), I say that I'm saving the earth. Pretty much single handedly. Ok, Karly helps, too. However, we're remodeling our kitchen, and gosh darn it's hard to thrift built in cabinets. Plus we're furnishing/decorating a nursery, and used sheets and rugs for le bebe just won't work for me. This newfound taste for uh, newness, has resulted in THREE trips to Ikea in the past week alone. If you've never been to an Ikea store, just know that a) there is never one conveniently located by your house and b) it takes hours just to navigate the showroom labyrinth.
You see, Ikea's "floorplan" is actually a nefarious plot designed to keep you trapped within the store for the longest possible time without actually causing brain damage. But I can tell you, it comes damn close. So today, I'm going to shower you with all the Ikea knowledge I've gleaned over the past few months of epic trips, in the vain hope that I might spot some goodies for you and prevent Ikea overload should you ever step into the store yourself. Even so, it might be best to tie a rope to your car, all Poltergeist style. Just in case.
First of all, what in the world have I bought there? Well, this corner of our nursery (yes, there is a bed in our nursery, but don't worry -- there's a crib, too) features a Ludde sheepskin on the rocker ($49.95), the Stockholm nubby throw ($29.99), a pair of black Jorun pillows ($14.99 ea), and linen Aina curtains ($49.99 for 2). Sorry, Le Tigre is not available at Ikea. I have to say that of all these items, I think the curtains are a steal. They're linen, 8 ft tall with rod pockets in the back and faux pinch pleats in the front. Good deal.
Additionally, I've bought a bazillion dollars worth of kitchen stuff there, including Abstrakt white cabinets and Nexus brown black cabinets. (You can read all about my obsession with both in this post.) I've been shopping for some kitchen accessories to go with, and I think these Asker egg shaped cups on rails are pretty swift. They also look nice in this cute office, which is sadly marred by that creepy "Hello." Link via Apartment Therapy.
And, of course, I love my giant wicker beehive light ($89.99 for the biggun) that hangs in our dining room, which currently looks nothing like this. At all.
In addition to all these purchases, my pinched pocketbook lusts after -- but will probably not buy -- the following items:
Blob lights! Ok, I might actually buy a pair of these bad boys because THE HUNNY LIKES THEM. This does not happen. Ever. Ikea Jonisk, $49.99. Awesome proportions -- it's big.
I would also lurve to have an entirely new patio set... alas, I am broke. But if you're shopping for a giant umbrella, Ikea has some super fantastic ones. This cantilevered badass is HUGE. Ikea Karlso, $129.00 for 10 feet of shade.
Ikea also rolled out these new deck chairs for the summer season. Brommo has all the elements of a classic: clean lines, decent construction, and it's comfy. Plus you gotta love a good rope chair. $59.99.
You could always imitate the effervescent Ione Skye and buy these lounge chairs for your outdoor wonderland. Karl Skrona is kinda pricey at $169, but if it's good enough for ex Mrs. David Netto... (Netto, what were you thinking, anyway? Ione is adorable!)
Anna from Door Sixteen has the Karlstad couch, and I have to say that sucker is super comfortable! Another friend has the same sofa in a sectional configuration, and I am sorely tempted to sell my leather sofas and buy one, too. It's that squishy good. Do yourself a favor and buy the best fabric they have. $599 for gray wool flannel.
One of Ikea's greatest strengths is probably their textiles; the rugs in particular are priced well considering the materials and patterns. Clockwise from top left: 1) Admete, two sided cotton runner, $19. 2) Flatweave Jorun, two sided wool, $179. 3) Tarnby, braided jute $99 (much nicer in person -- very thick). 4) Stockholm, wool, $229.
Ikea's other greatest strength is its straight up cheapness when it comes to the basics:
Remember my last post about Blobs where I waxed hateful on Damien Hirst and how damn much money he makes for "designing" things like the light configuration in this home? Well, eight Ikea lights later and you've got your very own Damien Hirst design. Left: Lillholmen, $9.99. Right: Fado, $29.99. Boo ya!
So, in closing, I would like to summarize all the things I like about Ikea: 1) It's cheap. 2) Sometimes it's cool. 3) They have great customer service, as in they will take ANYTHING back. Are you listening muthereffing Target? I'm also in love with tiny Bob, the kitchen designer at the Austin store, and Kumar, the most excellent customer service dude, ever. 4) They have this new deal where using your debit card nets you a 3% credit on your next trip. Yay! Free money! 5) They only have reusable bags -- no disposable plastic nasties. 7) "Ice cream" cones. 6) Occasionally they give their products very funny names, like this corkscrew:
But it's not all sweet smelling rosy stuff. There are things I hate about Ikea, too. 1) It's far away. 2) It's really far away. 3) The zombies:
If you've ever been to a brick and mortar Ikea store, then you know eactly what I'm talking about.