Let’s Play House!

I am one of those people who love IKEA. Since we moved into our house (almost 10 years ago now), our house has slowly, but steadily been accumulating IKEA furniture. Maybe it helps me entertain my (year9) aspirations about becoming a builder (mega fail due to enemy-status with maths and/or lack of buildery-characteristics), but now, since my latest purchase of a bed, I am sensing that there may be more hiding behind flowing blonde Swedish locks much like those from the Pure Blonde beer ad where everyone wears white/sparkles and of course goes home to their shiny IKEA-furnished houses next to that glistening lake.

The IKEA website tells me that ‘The name IKEA is formed from the founder’s initials (I.K.) plus the first letters of Elmtaryd (E) and Agunnaryd (A), the farm and village where he grew up’ (oh dear, research on a non-uni day).

However, smart Amanda thinks this possibly could be a lie.

Ingeniously Knocking Everyone Around? I’m Knowingly Entertaining Aristocrats? Innovative Kit; Evil Assembly? Interestingly Kitsch ‘Everyday’ Accessories?

Something is asunder!

They cleverly draw you in and then spit you out the other end, struggling to hold onto various items you definitely will find use for in the future. Definitely. I mean, that new gadget goes rather well in that new IKEA box that you specifically bought to hold ‘what’s-this-thing-do-again?/I’ll-use-this-at-least-once’ items.

What I have come to realise, is that they have turned what are traditionally negative things, into positive ones! Flicking through my (much-read) IKEA brochure, a key concept is ‘we have prepared the IKEA store for you to shop on your own’. YOU choose and compare items, YOU attempt to find helpful staff member, YOU find said item in warehouse, YOU pick it up and lug it to checkout, YOU attempt to get large products into small cars, YOU then assemble said product.

‘Customer service?!’ old Coles lady crows at me as I ask her to take her crap out of her basket. I bet she never shops at IKEA. (and I doubt my golf would love to have a flat-packed shelf/set of drawers perched precariously on top of her roof)

one way to get your package home

that's right, TOO EASY!

Anyway, recently I ventured into IKEA to purchase my lovely new bed. There is something magical about the prospects of shopping at IKEA for me. I love wandering through all (because it’s one long route you must take unless you find the sneaky shortcuts to exit (or for some, escape)) the display sections looking at everything and picking up random gadgets/kids toys/cool kitchenware on the way. There are also those people who, like in that movie ‘500 days of summer’, are pretending they live in beautiful IKEA-furnished house, turning on the taps and making comments like ‘I don’t know how to tell you this…but there’s a Chinese family in our bathroom’(har har!) etc

Upon reaching bed destination, I already had some idea about what I was looking for. Seeing all the beds made-up so neatly gave me hope as I sat, and then lay down on a few of them. Suddenly, I had turned into Goldilocks. ‘What about this mattress?’ my mother enquires, pointing to a much cheaper one than the one the website suggest I was suited to in their ‘mattress-test’. ‘Too hard’, I protest blatantly ignoring the significantly lower price. ‘This?’ ‘Too soft’.

And there it was. Pushing others out of the way, I made my way to lay down on the mattress the website suggested – the Sultan Herand! (Why would I ignore such sage-advice?). Win.

Noting down the location of all the separate pieces to make the bed as well as where to find the mattress, we tried our hardest to make it past all the other cool stuff we thought we could use to spruce up the house (including another blue glass orb (because who doesn’t need two of them?)), and made it to the ‘yes, (unfortunately) we need delivery’ desk.

The bed arrived promptly a little after 10am the following day. Realising that I had severely overestimated the size of the bed in relation to my bedroom (read: study), this required more re-organizing of my current IKEA furniture (and one drawer still can’t open the entire way, lol), to create the space to build the masterpiece.

Matching all the little screws and pieces to what was shown in the work, getting out the screwdrivers and laying down the pieces of wood, we got to work. A couple hours down (and trying to push the fact that I was bed-building instead of starting my essay), we reached step 9.

‘What’s this?’ my mother asks, pointing at a picture in the instructions. ‘The mid-bar thingo?’ I reply, sitting in the middle of an unfinished bedframe. ‘Where is it?’

Mega fail. Oh IKEA, you have misled us!

Frantically searching through obviously empty boxes we come to the realisation that it was an EXTRA piece we just didn’t pick up at the warehouse. When I had asked the packing guy if we needed the three bed frame pieces, plus the slats he said yes.

Clearly he meant to say: ‘Why yes, you need this bed-head thing here, and these are the sides, and this is the foot-end. Oh, you’ll need these slats here, plus this mid-bar thingo which is actually a little way over here, hiding amongst other furniture. Here! I’ll help you get it on your trolley, because, despite noting that you are in possession of a rather powerfully-built physique, chivalry is NOT DEAD (smiley face)’.

Anyway, to cut a long story somewhat shorter, a mad rush back to IKEA to attain said ‘mid-bar thingo’, a few more hours and some bruises later, the bed was finished.

Aaaaand, Amanda is one step closer to achieving an IKEA showcase room despite that issue of the drawer… The bed is rather lovely – only enhanced further by the two blue glass orbs and the blue dog toy.


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May 2011
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