Thursday, May 11, 2006


I went to Ikea yesterday during lunch. For reasons I haven't come to terms with, I cannot let go of this place. I see their signs boasting fully furnished rooms for three dollars! and then I envision my fat wallet laying on a beautiful coffee table in a perfectly decorated room that cost me less than I generally spend on lunch.

And then I see the furniture. Ikea furniture is generally attractive, but it is also generally, very clearly, indisputably: Ikea furniture. And that's where the problem begins.

I feel iffy. Somewhere along the line, someone decided that if you are north of twenty-five, you really shouldn't be plunking down cash for furniture that is made of the same materials as your napkin holder. I am supposed to be seeking solid wood with dove tail joints and a requirement of two to three men to lift it. I am not supposed to be buying a dresser that I can lift with one hand, hoist on my shoulder and skip into the house with, because it's all in a flat box. I'm not supposed to be spending an evening with that scary looking little mini-me wrench, irritating my tendinitis while trying to count the number of particle board sides this bookshelf is supposed to have.

Yet I cannot help myself! I fell victim to the perfect in store lighting and purchased two nightstands. In the store, they looked like aged, beach house, white nightstands made of solid wood and begging to display a collection of seashells and ancient books.

At home, they were the color of tube socks. Ultra white, ultra shiny, and practically singing of cardboard. I spent an hour putting them together, and then another hour or so sanding them down so they wouldn't look quite so Malibu Barbie Dream House. I still like them, but I do wonder if it was really worth the trouble.

So, yesterday, I once again convinced myself to drive over to Ikea during lunch, and look at espresso stained dressers. One thing Ikea does not do well is dark wood. They can fake the funk with white, and their honey stained stuff is great. Their dark wood looks exactly like the stuff book covers are made out of, and I'm pretty sure no one ever expected a book to support my wardrobe, a couple of vases and the occasional butt. I looked longingly at the price tag: sixty nine dollars. SIXTY NINE DOLLARS. My left pant leg cost more than the furniture in front of me. But I passed. There was no sense in buying a piece of furniture I would only be buying again next year.

It's really enough to make a grown woman weep. If her sofa is strong enough to withstand the moisture. Sigh.


Liz said...

Ikea is so enticing! I've got one by me and I'm like, wow! a 16 person place setting for $20!!!! Mind you we only have seating for 6 people, but for 16 plates - that means I would have 8 days worth of dinner for two people! :D

DCSportsChick said...

You're right- they do some stuff really well, and other stuff- not so much. I like their basics (i.e. kitchen utensils, glasses, etc.) since they're cheap and easily replaced.