Where do you stand on the IKEA debate?
I know that some people can’t stand the place and avoid it all costs. And bizarrely, some people have never been to Ikea! But I love it. Today I went to IKEA in Southampton, and stayed there for three hours! I’ve not had such a wonderful day for a long time…..
IKEA is an institution. It’s a bit like walking round a museum, where you follow a set route, but instead of dusty exhibits, you look at everything to do with furnishing your home. My main tip is to never go with your husband. He will not appreciate you fondling cushions, or you salivating at different sized dinner plates. He will not have an opinion on whether a blue or red handled colander is better, and will not care whether your prefer the vermillion rug or the terracotta runner. So leave him behind…..this is solely a woman’s day out.
It was over three years ago that I last went to IKEA, so I was determined to make the most of it. From the minute you choose your trolley (should you go for large or small?) and you pick up your bright yellow huge shopping bag which is equivalent to a wire basket, you are sucked into the IKEA experience. Shoppers walk round and wish they lived in a house so wonderfully decorated. Well I do, anyway….
I turned the first corner and was assaulted by a myriad of colourful cushions. Further on, I actually salivated when I saw the huge display of saucepans of every size imaginable. Only women will understand this….. By the time we got to the utensils, I was stroking and fondling the potato mashers, salad servers and can openers with unrestrained delight. When we got to the lighting and candles section, I literally couldn’t breathe. Some items are so cheap that you just have to have them. A large glass vase for only £1? Put one in the trolley! A bright red bathmat for £2 – in it goes! A lamp for £4? Yes please! And you will see items that you didn’t even know you needed – a set of stacking baskets, some coloured egg-cups, a heatproof mat, the choice is endless. Then you see things in a different colour to what you already have – hand towels, photo frames, lampshades. Pile them in the trolley!
All items sold in IKEA are given a Swedish name.
If you want a laugh, look at this website which has put together a list of some of the silliest IKEA names….
One thing I have never experienced is the IKEA restaurant. I just find it too large and overwhelming, as you have to queue up at different counters for different items. Yes, I know, I’ve let the side down. I’ve never ever tried a legendary IKEA meatball….. I’ll just have to go back another time!