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IKEA opening in Centennial: Budget decorators in Colorado celebrate

Laura Willard is a law school grad who has successfully avoided using her education for eight years and counting. She's a wife and an adoptive mom to two kids. Motherhood is the best job she never knew she wanted so much until she had it...

Colorado's first IKEA store!

IKEA knows how to gather a crowd! The Swedish home furnishing and accessories retailer opened its first Colorado store today. Some local residents were so excited for their new IKEA, they happily waited in line to enter the building -- up to three days before it opened. Crazy or totally logical?

IKEA-Colorado-grand-opening

IKEA is big, both in size and popularity. So big, in fact, that people are willing to camp out for nights -- yes, more than one -- in anticipation of its grand opening. Isn't that what people do when they want to see the President?!

The Centennial, Colorado, IKEA location opened this morning with quite the celebration. Northern Colorado 5 reported that IKEA was giving away free couches, chairs and other prizes in honor of the grand opening of the first Colorado IKEA retail store. We suppose that's worth three nights of sleep in a parking lot. Maybe.

For IKEA fans in Colorado, though, this is a really big deal. The two closest IKEA locations are in Tempe, Arizona, and Salt Lake City, Utah. That's a long way to travel with boxes of assemble-it-yourself shelves strapped the roof of your car.

The Denver Post noted the highlights of the celebration: Loud music, people in costume (no word on whether they were fans or employees) and an IKEA chef who spread the famous meatball love among the waiting crowd.

And, of course, there's the benefit to the local economy. Colorado State Representative Spencer Swalm noted, "It's great to see a newly finished building and know that 400 families will have a new source of income."

Have you heard of IKEA hacks? Find out what this decorating trend is all about >>

Why we love IKEA

If you've ever set foot in an IKEA -- besides the overwhelming feeling of "This place is huge! Where do I start?"-- you've certainly realized it's full of reasonably priced home decorating options. Whether you go top-to-bottom IKEA or take the more reasonable route of mixing pieces into your home, IKEA offers a lot of style bang for your buck. We're loving the following IKEA pieces right now.

Ikea-grand-opening

1Kilppan Love Seat

A pink couch? Yes, please. Nobody wants their family room to look like someone hurled Pepto-Bismol everywhere, but a small statement piece in an otherwise neutral room adds a sweet color pop. If pink just isn't your thing, check out the other color options, including red with while polka dots.

2

Mammut Wardrobe

Children love kid-sized furniture. Maybe I was just living my childhood dream of an awesome room that I never got, but I went full throttle Mammut when I created my two-year-old daughter and three-year-old son's room last year. The end result: Alice in Wonderland meets Dr. Seuss, pink and blue style. Love this series and especially the kid-sized but very functional wardrobe.

3Gronska throw

We might not be able to pronounce the name, but this bright blanket would look fabulous draped over the back of your couch or folded at the foot of your bed. Unlike many blankets, it's machine washable. In fact, the directions specifically indicate, "Do not dry clean." Couldn't be better!

4Dito flatware

Silver is for your grandma. When it comes to adding color to your kitchen, you can accomplish it with bright and inexpensive utensils. These fun forks, knives and spoons might not be appropriate for use with your best china, but then again, how often do you use your best china?

5Karit bedspread and cushion cover

One of the reasons we love IKEA is for the simple items that come in multiple colors. Is your guest room looking a little drab? Switch out the bedspread for this budget-friendly and bright option, which comes with a cushion cover. If the whole room needs a makeover, check out the coordinating accessories.

>> Tell us: Would you wait in line if an IKEA opened in your city? And what are some of your favorite things from IKEA?

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