Gotta Love The Swedes!
Just because it's inexpensive, doesn't mean it's cheap. Know your IKEA. Love your IKEA.
Say what you want about the massive warehouse of a store, but there's no denying that the Swedes just "get it." They know what we want and need in shopping life and they've presented it to us in one amazing Mecca of a place.
We're so not rich
Of all the reasons to love IKEA, the most important one is their pricing. We all remember our first apartment in college. Between the hand-me-down TVs and curb-alert couches sat plenty of bright new furnishings, too. IKEA helped us find our first styles without breaking our banks.
Even our budgets are on a budget
Typically located off to the side just past the warehouse and before the registers, their markdown section contains awesome pieces for further slashed prices. Best find: $100 coffee table marked down to $27 because of a tiny bump in the veneer on the bottom, unseen shelf.
We want to see how it looks in use
Those arrows keep our under-caffeinated bodies on track as we wind past room after room of IKEA furniture set up in functioning vignettes. No more guessing if that lamp will look OK on that table. Witness it firsthand.
Sometimes we come unprepared
For most of America, coming to IKEA requires a few hours of driving first. When you're getting up at the crack of dawn to go shopping, you're likely to forget things like tape measures. Luckily, IKEA has paper tape measures hanging everywhere and employees who know where to find even longer versions.
We want options
Needing a room with 40 different sofa styles, 100 versions of the office chair or 60 different dinner tables is a completely reasonable request. Right?
And color choices
Once we find a style we like, we also don't think it should be too much to ask to see it in multiple colors. Better still: the bare wood and various DIY staining options.
Traditional styles are cool, but we like sleek too
For years, no one has done "modern" and "simplistic" like IKEA. Over the years they've started to incorporate more traditional styles into their collections, too. And we especially love when they put the two options together.
Shopping makes you hungry
OMG. The meatballs! We also love the fancy desserts, cool tray carts, kid-friendly serving ware and the microwave stations for DIY moms. Best part: just like their furniture, lunch won't break the bank.
And once we have yummy eats, we want to bring 'em home
While we may not want to relive shopping at IKEA on a weekly basis, we wouldn't mind partaking of their yummy food more often. Their grocery is stocked with their Swedish meatballs and that delish sparking lingonberry juice.
We're not all carpenters
Who recently put together an entire desk with drawers in under an hour? You! Nearly all their furniture comes easy to assemble and usually all you need is the included Allen wrench. Need more tools? The box will let you know and the store sells inexpensive tool kits that include those screwdrivers and a hammer. Warning: Once you own a real hammer, you're officially an adult.
We care about the environment
There's nothing as wasteful as getting a blender that comes in a box three times its size. IKEA seems to have special engineers who focus only on packing things into the most discreet and environmentally friendly packaging possible. Bonus: it makes it easier to get that new table home in your tiny Fiat.
We can't shop and play cruise director
We love our kids. Really. But most toddlers just aren't made for shopping. That awesome supervised play section is mommy's savior and little Timmy's favorite place ever. Now we can redecorate without getting a migraine. Holla!
They know how to throw a party
...and they want your bestie to go, too! No one puts on an event like IKEA, and they're showing you what we mean on March 8. The Bring Your Own Friends (BYOF) event will have exclusive savings for you and your friends, gift card giveaways, coupons for free breakfast and free IKEA bags, as well as lots of activities throughout the store. Visit their website to get more info on your local event.
Are you ready for your IKEA shopping adventure to begin? Grab the kids and your wallet and get on the road. Maps are available by the elevators but not at all necessary. Just follow the big arrows on the floor, and you'll be set.
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Photo credits: IKEA