/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » ikea and me

So we dropped a chunk of change at Ikea on Saturday afternoon–what I anticipated being about 2 hours at the store turned in to about 4.5 by the time we were done. I figured out why their furniture (for the quality) is so darned inexpensive…you have sweat equity in your purchase even before you leave the store. πŸ˜‰ Pick out what you’d like, then pluck (or pull, or hoist, or heave…your choice) it off the shelves and truck it through the store and pay for it. Then, if you’re taking it home, schlep it to your vehicle and load it up. If you’re going to pay for delivery, stand around, fill out paperwork, and then watch your things be counted, listed, and readied for palleting. Oy. And that’s before you start assembling anything.

Seriously, it is hard work putting all these things together. The boxes are heavy (it is real wood we’re dealing with), and there is a (seemingly) never-ending twisting of allen wrenches to complete the furniture. But as we were finishing up a dresser last night, I remarked that although it’s work (hard and lots of it), it’s quality furniture. We are such a Wal-Mart nation and generation that we’re used to inexpensive things being crap (and expect it, in most cases). The differences between Ikea and Wal-Mart are numerous, but the one that stands out is that this stuff is *solid*. It’s furniture that we love (beyond the price, the style and simplicity of it is very much “us”) and that will last us a long time. :)

So I’ve assembled two chairs, one sofa, one footstool, and a partial bookcase. And my hands know it. Each morning, they ache a little and seem swollen just a tad–mostly, I think, from the effort I use in pounding, twisting, and otherwise gripping tools as hard as I am. The back to the bookcase was damaged in the box (I couldn’t tell until I was taking things from the box), and the bookcase itself provided me with several hours of grunting, griping, and complaining at it, but it’s coming together. The holes on the bookcase don’t *quite* line up the right way, and I think someone at the factory where it was built was having a bad day when this particular piece was worked on. But, through finagling some angles and through sheer willpower, I managed to get it together.

Mark has assembled two beds, one headboard (with corresponding shelves), and one dresser…and we have one more dresser, a desk, and one TV unit to go yet. πŸ˜‰

I do have to go back tomorrow or Thursday to exchange the damaged back to the bookshelf and return something else; we ended up buying a bed and headboard for our room (first time in nearly 12 years of marriage that we have had a bedroom suite), but Mark discovered that we had one headboard and TWO sets of shelves. So I have to return the extras (and claim the money that we were charged) and procure one more footstool in the process. πŸ˜‰ The loveseat we bought for the family room is great, but it really needs a footstool to make it perfect. πŸ˜‰

If you have the opportunity to buy from Ikea, I highly recommend it. Especially if you like clean, modern design with an eye to space conservation and useful storage. The Swedes know how to design and build it; they live in much smaller spaces than we do, and they really have a great way of using the space they’ve been allotted. πŸ˜‰.

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  • http://360.yahoo.com/housetreen Sarah

    Jealous. SOOOOO jealous. drooling jealous. but on the bright side, i found out that we are getting an ikea in West Chester (suburb of cincy) in Spring 2008!

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    Of course, you COULD just drive up here and visit US and go to the Ikea here…bring the truck, girl! We’ve got a guest room now!! πŸ˜‰