Tuesday, January 21, 2014

IKEA - a Swedish Design

IKEA is the best and worst thing that has happened to me in Sweden. It is a store with endless opportunities of ways to recreate your kitchen, bedroom, foyer, dining room, living room, or bathroom with their ready-to-assemble furniture items. You can physically insert yourself into any of their display rooms and generate an imaginary life for yourself. Did I mention they also have a restaurant? Check out this scene from 500 Days of Summer for an inside look:

Luckily for me, the first-ever IKEA store was founded in Ă„mhult, a mere 43 minute drive from my new hometown of Ljungby. Rumor has it that Ingvar Kamprad, the 17-year-old founder of IKEA wanted to open the store in Ljungby - as he is from a small village just outside of the city, but was turned down as Ljungby already had a "similar" furniture store. Talk about your missed opportunity.

Daniel and I purchased a dresser, bathroom cabinet, bar-chair, small bedside table, and ceiling lamp for a grand total of $253.96. Upon departure with all of our new goodies, we were overly satisfied with our economical efficiency. So many great purchases for a fairly low price, and items we could keep and use for years. Then we had to assemble the pieces. There is no language in the world, except perhaps hieroglyphs that can help prepare you for and IKEA instruction manual:
The sheer frustration of this seemingly impossible task was breaking us. We managed to assemble the chair and the ceiling light unscathed, but the bathroom shelving unit was a real jerk. It seemed best for our relationship to call it quits after our 4th failed attempt to straighten the door of the cabinet. The next day, we awoke refreshed, and ready for our final piece: the dresser. A few minor hiccups kept us busy for the entire day, taking small fika breaks here and there to ward off any tension that may be bubbling under the surface. 

Dressers in our bedroom: both from IKEA
Bathroom cabinet

It's fair to say that IKEA brings more to the home than just the ability to create the perfect image of your dream bedroom or kitchen; IKEA helps solidify relationships. If you can make it through the carrying-boxed-items-up-the-stairs + the what's-the-word-for-Phillips-head-screwdriver-in-Swedish + Meghan-can't-read-pictorial-instructions, then your relationship is bound to last. Thank you, IKEA.

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