I grew up going to IKEA regularly with my family.  I used to get so excited  about all the bright colors and kooky plastic crap.  In fifth grade I took an ugly spill in the self-serve warehouse area and earned a scar on my forehead that’s still visible to this day.  By the time we were in high school, mine and my sister’s rooms were completely outfitted with white veneer particle board desks, dressers and night stands, and obscenely bold duvet covers and pillow cases.  In college, those white IKEA dressers slowly disintegrated one by one after being hauled from dorm rooms to apartments to ratty row houses.  But they could always be replaced, and for cheap.

…unitl I moved to Knoxville.  No IKEA in a 200 mile radius for the first time in my life.

In trying to (very basically) furnish our rental house here two years ago, we had to turn to Target and Walmart for cheapskate furniture.  We got two bookshelves and a desk from Walmart and a TV stand from Target.  It was all essentially the same quality level and price as IKEA, but all seriously lacking in design.  That’s the thing about IKEA.  You can get cheap furniture from a lot of places, but you can’t get cheap, well-designed furniture anywhere else.

When we moved in to this house earlier this year, it became even more obvious that IKEA was the missing link.  It’s not that I want rooms that look like they were spit out from an IKEA showroom.  That’s too easy, and most of the time too boring.  But those inexpensive, easy pieces that you can get there really do help a lot.

I just so happened to be in the Baltimore/Washington area for a visit this past week, and I just so happened to take a detour to the College Park IKEA store to get my fix.  Oh and it also happened to be a weekday morning which is the BEST time to go, if you have the opportunity.

So here are the basic items I toted home with me.  Here you can see the two BENNO CD cases, the ALVINE RUTA rug, and the ALVINE PÄRLA/HEMMA floor lamp combo.

Who the hell buys CD shelves in 2010?  Okay, let me explain.  I have a lot of CDs that I’m not prepared to part with, even if they’re all on my computer, ipod, and now iphone.  In years past I spent a lot of money and time collecting and enjoying them, and I just don’t want to give them away.  Not even the jewel cases.  But since about 2005, I haven’t had a way to practically store them.  They’ve been haphazardly stacked on shelves or book cases.  So now that I have a house and a place to put them out on display, well I just feel like it.  Alright?

Plus the tall shelves add some height to that side of the room.  The re-upholstered chair will go right in there between the shelves and the floor lamp.  I really do love that shade.  It’s got some lovely embroidery going on.

I was also on the prowl for a new desk chair.  I have an extreme aversion to rolling wheel, ugly office chairs.  Even the kooky plastic IKEA variety.  So I was looking through their dining chair options and found the SOLVAR chair.  I like it because it’s comfortable, and has the modern lines but the wicker style to make it a little more down-home.

Overall, I think it was a successful excursion.  And even with the extensive impulse buys not pictured here I didn’t even spend that much.  Oh also, did you know that IKEA now sells fabric by the yard?  The patterns are incredibly cool, and it’s all basically $8 or $9 per yard.  Check this one out that was calling my name:

Some serious progress is being made on the office this week.  Working on some more furnishing items, and some serious organizing of shit that’s been in boxes for over six months.  There are also a LOT of blank walls to be creatively filled up.  But we’re getting ever closer.  Progress!

DISCLAIMER: Sorry for the marginal iphone photos today.  The regular camera is out on the road right now, workin’ for the man.


6 thoughts on “IKEA Loot

  1. Ikea used to sell fabric ages ago, too, but for some reason stopped for a while. I got the best, craziest, brightest snake fabric for my bedroom curtains there when I was in grade school.
    Culver says Ikea is Swedish for disappointment, but I whole-heatedly disagree. I just got the BJURSTA table, it expands, too!

  2. I remember all your cds and their awesome arrangement in your philly apartment. The new shelf looks great.
    And i love that Ikea sells fabric now! I bought a kitchenaid cover off of etsy and it was made from one of the ikea prints!

  3. I’d never gone to an Ikea before moving into my own apartment out here. It was well worth renting a car for the trip, especially after checking the thrift stores here and realizing they charge like 3$ per plate. Stupid picked-through hipster city thrift stores.

    I will totally miss having one if we ever have to furnish a house in Hawaii.

    Did you indulge in any 50 cent hotdogs or cinnamon-buns?

    Also, if you ever get bored, I got sucked into this website for a while once. Have you ever seen it? http://ikeahacker.blogspot.com/

  4. I finally understand your obsession with IKEA…it’s imprinted on your face, for cryin’ out loud! But, hey, my white IKEA furniture from highschool is still hangin’ in there.

  5. Pingback: Shopping in the ATL « escape from brooklyn

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