Ikea - yay or nay? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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We adore Ikea. We happen to live 5 minutes from one, so we will just go for snacks . DS will usually get the apple cake, and I'll get a Daim torte or an almond torte. If grandpa comes he gets the salmon plate. Snacks at Ikea are a huge bargain, and there is a play area right in the cafe, so DS can play while I sip tea and knit . They also sell some Swedish groceries.

The great thing about a lot of Ikea furniture is that it is modular. I love being able to set it up to specifically fit my needs and space. My den has a huge Ivar set up in it that fits our needs exactly. It is mostly low shelves that stay under the widows and are filled with toys, but it has a tall corner shelf. It also has a desk in it, just where we need it.

You can often add drawers or doors to bookshelves, and buy the exact number of shelves you want. Upholstered pieces often have slip covers you can buy several of so they can be taken off and washed regularly.

Though not every single piece is the very best of quality, it is pretty comparable to much more expensive furniture (I have a Thomasville sofa that was thread bare after a pretty short time.) If anything breaks, they will take it back quite a long time after you bought it. MIL took back a chair that broke 2 years after she bought it.

Check out the As-Is sections to find bargains on assembled furniture.

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#32 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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Some stuff I like, Some not so much. It's a mixed bag. But it's really fun to go there and shop.

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#33 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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Love it.

I must say, it doesn't stand up as well as my grandmother's antique furniture. But otoh, it also isn't as heavy, and can be easily broken down for a move, and is a lot more small-space friendly. I have a bookshelf and a hutch that have traveled with us and I love them. ETA: I forgot the boys bunkbed is IKEA too. It has held up very well to all their bouncing around, and is great to move--it breaks down into a pile of wood and comes together into a nice bed. The mattresses are *amazing*. My dad likes to take naps on the lower bunk if his nap time coincides with it being unoccupied.

If we ever buy new furniture, it will be from Ikea, because we move frequently and tend to live in small spaces.
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#34 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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I think we have this bed too. It looked like a box of match sticks. And yes, you are building it yourself. It took all day for me to do but that sucker is sturdy and fun for the kids.
That sounds like the one! As you said, though, once it was together, it is sturdy as anything, and much better made than the bunk beds I was looking at in the Ashley and similar stores. I'm sure it will be in great shape still when the boys grow out of it, and they are not easy on their furniture.
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#35 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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We have a few pieces from Ikea: two Expedit bookcases and baskets that fit in them, pair of night stands for one of the guest rooms, a bed frame for another guest room and a play kitchen. Everything has held up well.

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#36 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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I love Ikea! Love it, but not everything they have is well made. You have to be choosey and what is really nice is you can see, sit on, test out pretty much everything they have in the store.

I have found that their solid wood furniture is really awesome. I love the Trofast kid's storage stuff as well as their shoe storage cabinets. The super el-cheapo furniture is super el-cheapo for a reason.

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#37 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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Mod note: Moving this over to The Mindful Home!

On topic: I adore Ikea. Yes, some of the furniture is not the best made stuff. But, on a budget or for kids or guest rooms, it'll certainly do in a pinch. I think, for the most part, their housewares (kitchen stuff, lamps, textiles, organizing stuff) is really good, especially for the price. We just moved into a new house and the nearest Ikea is 3 hours away and I'm totally bummed.

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#38 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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I just have to say I'm dying of jealousy that some of you live near IKEAs. My mom does and I have to hit it up every time I go there-but that's 5 hours away.

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#39 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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Anyone thats ever been to my house can say that I<3 IKEA Our entire house is furnished with IKEA furniture, except for our sofa which is from Costco. I'm even planning IKEA kitchen cabinets for the house we are moving to this winter

~Rebecca~
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#40 of 60 Old 07-28-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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It also depends on where in your house the item will be. I have a lack side table (about $8) that I don't regret buying because it's in a corner and the kids usually don't go near it. Now, I also bought a lack coffee table that I threw away after about a year. It's particleboard and it chips easily. My kids were constantly dropping toys, so it got chipped and dented soon after we bought it. And then the kids spilled liquids over the chipped parts, which caused the particleboard under the chip to swell. So the finish wasn't so nice anymore.
I'm going to be buying a new bedroom set in October, and as much as i love Ikea, I will be buying elsewhere, because I know in my house, with my kids, it just wont last.

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#41 of 60 Old 07-29-2010, 05:29 AM
 
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I love Ikea for rooms that get a lot of living..it serves a purpose really well, providing attractive reasonably priced things that are good quality. It is great for kids rooms.

We just got new bookshelves from there for my study, which look awesome. We also bought a CD storage unit, and also a shelf for the laundry about 12 years ago from Ikea...the CD unit is still going strong, but the laundry shelf is coming apart at the seams...however it has had a lot of use!

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#42 of 60 Old 07-29-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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I have Ikea stuff from the '80s!

I also have items from the 90s and 2000s.

The key things to keep in mind have already been said, but I think they are worth repeating. My personal criteria when shopping at Ikea:

~ Location: Where will the item be used?
~ Purpose: What will it be used for and by whom?
~ Materials: Know what you are buying. Does it fit the intended location and purpose?
~ and no drawers (unless high-end).

One of the things I really love about Ikea is how fun it is to shop there and how I can test each item I am considering myself and see what life in the store has done to it already. I do keep in mind that store life is harder than my house, but the items don't stay out in the store as long as I want to use them so it evens out in certain respects and is valuable information for me. I try to go to Ikea by myself because my family doesn't enjoy the experience as much as I do. I only bring them along once I have things narrowed down or the item is for one of them. Our Ikea is five miles from our house and is in the same shopping center as Costco, Lowes, and one of our public library branches (and a long row of small stores/restaurants). It is easy for us all to go together in one car and then split up and come back together.

Before this location existed, I would stop at one of the Ikea stores on any drive to/through the LA area -- timing it during open hours, of course. Before those existed, I would visit Ikea when I visited my family in Northern VA. I don't recall a time before that Ikea existed!

Another thing I love about Ikea is how DH & I were able to purchase every piece of furniture in our family office over a period of ten years from Ikea and it all looks like it came from one store at one time. Instead, it came from various lines at various times, but the finish is the same on each piece. While I love the desks we chose, I do not love the drawers on them. They are annoyingly short (front to back) and get caught if you don't open them just right. Mid-priced line. OTOH, we paid for the high-end lateral filing cabinet and configured it to have a storage cabinet on top with doors. That drawer is top-notch and still works like a dream after 8+ years. Seeing as I have purchased items for ten years specifically for this room all in the same finish, I can tell you without a doubt that the quality of materials has declined in that time -- especially in the finish in the last 3-4 years. The last two pieces we've purchased are slightly different than the rest. I can tell, but visitors cannot because those pieces are in the darker corners of the room and it isn't noticeable at all.

Every room in our house has at least one item from Ikea in it, except maybe our master bathroom.... Although, the shower curtain rings may be from Ikea.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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#43 of 60 Old 07-29-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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We shop at IKEA too. As others have said, it's not heirloom quality, but it's good enough. IKEA tends to be kind of funky and trendy anyway. I don't imagine we'd want a lot of our IKEA furniture to last twenty years.

IKEA stuff usually has a good resale value too. It's easy to find a home new for your IKEA purchases when you're done with them.

One thing about IKEA though, is that it's easy to go and start out looking at the cheap stuff only to get sucked in by the more expensive stuff. And by the time you're looking at their more expensive stuff, you could afford to be shopping somewhere nicer.

We love their expedit line. DH took three expedit 2x4 units and built a "custom" built-it entertainment unit for the media room in the basement of our old house. We got great feedback from everybody who came through when we sold.

We actually have the IKEA catalog pretty much committed to memory. DH and I love to play "spot that item from IKEA" when we watch tv and movies.

Our kids don't even know that IKEA sells furniture. They think it's a play place that sells ice cream.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#44 of 60 Old 07-29-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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It's ok, although not the greatest. You really have to check for particle board, which most of it is. But not all of it.

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#45 of 60 Old 07-29-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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I agree with pp's that it depends on what you are buying & your goals.

Personally I wouldn't buy another one of there beds ever. Ours was junk from day one - the slats kept crashing through & I had to modify it myself to keep from falling to the floor in the middle of the night, every night. Then the leg snapped in half while moving it & to replace it we would have had to buy a whole new bed.

But, we purchased all of our kitchen cabinets & countertops from IKEA & LOVE them. They are good quality & solid - comparable to others we looked at from a variety of places.

Their accessories are generally pretty reliable but I wouldn't trust the furniture to be too rugged - especially if you want to move it frequently.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#46 of 60 Old 08-01-2010, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We went. We saw. We bought....

Thanks everyone for the input. And I absolutely see what you mean re: some things are high quality, and some are... not quite so.

Stayed away from the particle board/fiber stuff, bought some hardwood items.

Speaking of - OMG! The toy storage!! Ack! I bought toy organizers for my toddlers room.. I wish to god I'd seen their stuff when I was pregnant - soooo cute!! Ack!

We're going back to Toronto next month (off topic - to see Tegan & Sara/City & Color in concert!!!) and I'm going to buy more decorative stuff - rugs, lamps, end tables, etc.

I think I'm officially hooked.

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#47 of 60 Old 08-01-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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Speaking of - OMG! The toy storage!! Ack! I bought toy organizers for my toddlers room.. I wish to god I'd seen their stuff when I was pregnant - soooo cute!! Ack!



I think I'm officially hooked.
their storage, in general, is soooooo awesome!

we bought a huge shelving unit with a bunch of basket and such for our old house and it transformed our kitchen.

love their storage solutions.....

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#48 of 60 Old 08-02-2010, 08:42 AM
 
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What about cribs?

Are they sturdy? We have a 1.5 story house with small bedrooms and I want the crib to fit with one end against the short wall but most cribs I've seen are flimsy cheap (walmart) or heavy and expensive (everywhere else).

ETA: I meant the smaller/shorter ones are cheap/flimsy where the solidly built cribs are all HUGE and expensive. I want solid and small, and yes, baby would sleep in it at some point.

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#49 of 60 Old 08-02-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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What about cribs?

Are they sturdy? We have a 1.5 story house with small bedrooms and I want the crib to fit with one end against the short wall but most cribs I've seen are flimsy cheap (walmart) or heavy and expensive (everywhere else).
Are you planning to use the crib as a place where your small baby will sleep regularly, or do you just need it for show and occasionally so you can put the baby somewhere safe?

I wouldn't use an Ikea crib as a regular sleeping place, they just don't strike me as sturdy enough. However, if I was going to cosleep but needed a crib just so I could say I had one, then I would be fine with an Ikea one.

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#50 of 60 Old 08-02-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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What about cribs?

Are they sturdy? We have a 1.5 story house with small bedrooms and I want the crib to fit with one end against the short wall but most cribs I've seen are flimsy cheap (walmart) or heavy and expensive (everywhere else).

ETA: I meant the smaller/shorter ones are cheap/flimsy where the solidly built cribs are all HUGE and expensive. I want solid and small, and yes, baby would sleep in it at some point.
We have an IKEA crib. I can't remember the name of the model (starts with an H, I think), but we have really liked it. It seems sturdy enough. I guess we didn't use it that much when DD was little since we co-slept most of the time. But she is currently using as a toddler bed, and it has been just fine.

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#51 of 60 Old 08-07-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA. I love the style and price, but hate that they use so many synthetics. We have learned a lot of lessons. Bought our kitchen cabinetry there, the bases are particle board and they are falling apart, and for a long time off-gassed formaldehyde. Bought some "all wood" dressers, assuming that "all wood" meant "all wood." The drawer bottoms were particle board and made me so sick we had to replace them, and that was a major pain. They're also not the sturdiest things. But, I can't complain too much because there is no way I could get that style anywhere else for a price we could even remotely afford.

We have a halogen lighting fixture in which we've only had to replace two of the bulbs in five years. Amazing. I bought some large metal storage bins -- I despise plastic. I mean, where else can you find metal storage bins? So while I wish they would find a way not to use so much plastic and chemicals that make people sick, I do appreciate that they at least make an effort with some of their products.
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#52 of 60 Old 08-08-2010, 09:55 AM
 
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We've only been once and were not too impressed - much looked junky and much was MIC (at least the kitchenware). The items for children's rooms and playrooms, like colorful rugs and storage, looked cute and were inexpensive - wished I hadn't already furnished those areas and might revisit IKEA when we redecorate the children’s rooms. (e.g. For our playroom, they had inexpensive large colorful shaggy rugs; prior to our IKEA trip I had a piece of red shaggy carpet bound from the carpet store that looked similar and cost much more.)

Maybe based upon all the positive reviews, I need to take another trip to IKEA.


Regarding furniture, although we purchase much new I love buying used from Craigslist. We just purchased a solid wood and mahogany veneered kidney shaped desk for $75 and a mahogany buffet for $300. Both need a little work and are older styles (around 1930/40's) but they are solid, well made and no new trees were cut and the old furniture isn't thrown away. It is difficult to find more modern clean-lined used furniture; but I've noticed many beautiful contemporary styled Heywood Wakefield pieces on Craigslist lately.
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#53 of 60 Old 08-08-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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My issue with Ikea is that you can't replace pieces.

For example, right out of college we bought a small dining room table and 4 chairs. I love, love, love the chairs. In the 18 years since then we have obviously had our needs change. BUT, I couldn't simply buy 4 or 6 more chairs to match our new table. They no longer sell them. The items are often only sold for 4, or 6, or 24 months and then they move on.

(So, if you come for dinner, you'll see the 4 tripp trapp chairs for the kids, the remaining two chairs I love, and a bunch of mismatch chairs. How can I buy new chairs that I don't love? )

Also the same with glass ware. I'll buy 24 or so cheap glasses (.17 a pop!) that I know will get broken over time. But I can't just buy another 12 to add to the remaining few, I'll have to start all over with whatever the current style is, kwim? Currently I have one remaining glass mug with handle, 2 10oz juice glasses, and 4 of the ceramic sort of stacking glasses left for the kids. All of them were purchased in sets of 24. Maybe I should just switch to plastic.

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#54 of 60 Old 08-08-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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We had an Ikea crib and our DD slept in it every night from 4 mo to 22 mo. She wanted nothing to do with my co-sleeping plans after 3 weeks. Between 3w and 4m, she slept in a borrowed bassinet. She started crawling and rocking the bassinet at 4 mos, so we moved her. At 21-22 mos, we slowly moved her to a mattress on the floor because we were going on a long vacation to visit various family and those were going to be the sleeping arrangements. She did great, so we gave the crib away to a friend expecting twins. She then used the crib as a "downstairs" crib for her three youngest kids (ages 14m and twin newborns). When she was finished with it a year or two later, she donated it to a battered women's shelter. It still had plenty of life left in it and they happily accepted it.

I consider that a good return on our $99 investment.

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#55 of 60 Old 08-09-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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We had an Ikea crib and our DD slept in it every night from 4 mo to 22 mo. She wanted nothing to do with my co-sleeping plans after 3 weeks. Between 3w and 4m, she slept in a borrowed bassinet. She started crawling and rocking the bassinet at 4 mos, so we moved her. At 21-22 mos, we slowly moved her to a mattress on the floor because we were going on a long vacation to visit various family and those were going to be the sleeping arrangements. She did great, so we gave the crib away to a friend expecting twins. She then used the crib as a "downstairs" crib for her three youngest kids (ages 14m and twin newborns). When she was finished with it a year or two later, she donated it to a battered women's shelter. It still had plenty of life left in it and they happily accepted it.

I consider that a good return on our $99 investment.
Thanks! Now I just need to figure out if it's worth it with shipping... or if I can talk my parents into bringing us to the big city for a shopping trip.

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#56 of 60 Old 08-09-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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Personally, I would want to see it in person before purchasing. Ikea cribs are not the same as the Babies R Us (et al) cribs, so you should know that going in and really get a feel for the differences. It is a no frills crib, at least ours was. As I stated above, it worked great for us and another mom we know and an unknown mom. Not everyone appreciates simplicity, though.

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#57 of 60 Old 08-11-2010, 05:38 AM
 
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The only things I really like from iKEA are my huge metal mixing bowl and the cheap scrub brushes...I think my last apt. I installed some good wall hooks too.
So nope, not a huge fan of them.... Fell for the whole IKEA thing once and won't fall for it again.

DS had some cute pop up hampers, they lasted about 2 years... He also had circle rugs that looked cute but didnt hold up to weekly vacuuming and normal kid play- those were gone w.in a year. I may have gotten him a tinker toy type thing from there that he liked.

Lunch is always good and its close to the mall that has our only 'LEGO' store.

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#58 of 60 Old 08-11-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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We went. We saw. We bought....

Thanks everyone for the input. And I absolutely see what you mean re: some things are high quality, and some are... not quite so.

Stayed away from the particle board/fiber stuff, bought some hardwood items.

Speaking of - OMG! The toy storage!! Ack! I bought toy organizers for my toddlers room.. I wish to god I'd seen their stuff when I was pregnant - soooo cute!! Ack!

We're going back to Toronto next month (off topic - to see Tegan & Sara/City & Color in concert!!!) and I'm going to buy more decorative stuff - rugs, lamps, end tables, etc.

I think I'm officially hooked.
I'm just adding my vote for I Love Ikea!!!

We're about 40 minutes from an Ikea, but I grew up about 10 minutes from one - so we went a lot. We've got probably 4 Billy bookcases, a Billy cd tower, a Poang armchair with footstool, a desk (table top and legs purchased separately) and a few other pieces. I have a (particleboard) computer desk that has lasted 8 years so far. My parents have an Ikea rocking chair that has lasted about 25 years so far (from back when Ikea had a nice/comfortable rocking chair).

Glad you enjoyed it! If you didn't pick up a catalog, make sure to visit their website and order a free catalog by mail.

I also LOVE to check out the As-Is section whenever I'm there. Oh, and I highly recommend the Lingonberry sauce.

(Can anyone else almost smell the hotdogs as they're reading this thread?)

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#59 of 60 Old 08-11-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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I am thinking about heading to Ikea for lunch today....Swedish meatballs, potatoes, Lingonberry sauce....Mmmmmm.... And, the library is next door.... just under five miles from our house, too......

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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#60 of 60 Old 08-15-2010, 02:17 AM
 
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I HATE Ikea!!!! Every time we go they are out of what we went for. Every. single. time. We have two Ikeas close to us and it's the same at both. Last time we went they actually had the kids' table and chair set we wanted, but the chairs were out of reach and refused to get them down from the top shelf for us. Then they told us they couldn't be sure when they would restock them. When finally managed to get them on another trip one of the holes was drilled too deep and when we put it together we ended up drilling into our floor.

So we only go to Ikea when we can't avoid it. As much as I hate shopping there they have a wide variety of things at decent prices and a lot of their furniture works well in small spaces. If there's something we like we always look on craigslist first. We just got a leather Ektorp sofa that hadn't ever been used for half price. Most of our stuff is second hand Ikea because it's easy to move and really cheap when it's used.

I'm also really disappointed that all their Scandinavian food is Ikea brand now. My husband and I both lived in Scandinavia and really looked forward to picking up our favorite treats. Now they don't sell them anymore
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