Monday, June 2, 2008

I made it out of Ikea on $150

I knew a few things about myself going in:
1) I knew I would need a guide. because I am not above driving an hour to some giant warehouse of everything I need and leaving because people stood too close to me or the Musak was unnerving.

2) I knew I can not buy something better than anyone I know (see above) and that I should warn my guides that this might happen.

3) I knew that I lack basic spatial understanding and will -- without fail -- buy the wrong size fill-in-the-blank no matter how many times I measure.

4) I knew I never return merchandise.

5) I knew I will use something for the wrong purpose for years until it disintegrates rather than buy the actual item.

6) I knew I once promised myself I would no longer buy furniture you had to assemble.

Remember Service Merchandise? In 1988 the Baroness drove up to Chelsea, where I had no car and no furniture and took me to Service Merchandise where we bought everything, somehow fit it into the Orange Omni, and spent the weekend putting it together. I still have that kitchen table (see rule 5) but I was ready to get a sleeker work surface and a comfortable chair that didn't require an Allen wrench duct taped underneath it for convenience.

The Fellas came out to help me, so good natured, kind, and patient. So mean about my giant tape measure. GIANT. I was not informed that the clever minds of Ikea would have tape measures for you.
I did not know how to work Ikea, so let me educate you, in case you have no Fellas.

Like Jordan's, you will follow a primrose path through the assembled rooms -- from dining rooms, to living rooms, and bedrooms, and home offices, and ooohh... oat cookies! and the media centers and marketplace -- Honey! those nesting glass bowls you like! in an attempt to make you buy so much more.

Like Service Merchandise, or Brookstone, you write down the part numbers on your pad and load up your cart with 600 $1 things that are just so awesome.

Ok - true confession. I fell for this at the Container Store, and came out with silly-shaped ice trays and a container perfectly sized for bologna.

Like any other furniture store you will sit on absolutely everything. What I experienced for the first time was design envy -- not because it is particularly attractive (because it really truly is not). It's just so... smart Like Jerry Mulligan's apartment in American in Paris.

One dinette was designed in such a way that when you pushed the chairs in, they form-fit to the table to keep the footprint exactly the same. And man, was that table moderno-ugly.

We sat in Lucite chairs, blaze-orange chairs, Naugahyde chairs, chairs that seemed very small for Swedes to build, and didn't fit any of our seat-pans. Is that word, seat-pan? Did I make that up?
One chair was felt. Like a scratching post. Totally stupid -- amazingly comfortable.

We determined that Scandinavians spend a lot of time indoors and have learned how to make it work.

I chose a desktop (4 ft plank of varnished wood) and adjustable legs (telescoping poles) and a chair that looks like this. It had a name I could pronounce. Though the Klappe and the Skruvsta were inviting.

I realize I could have gotten this at Home Depot. But I wouldn't have, don't you see?
Speaking of Home Depot, at the end of your cinnamon-scented shopping adventure, you will enter the warehouse pictured above and locate all your parts. They expect you to get it wrong and to bring it back. To consume more cinnamon buns and purchase more dish towels when you do.

My niece has agreed to totally helping me, like, put it together. I think so she can use the power tools.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you found me!! I've checked in on your blog a few times - I've been meaning to touch base. Isn't that terribly stalker-ish of me.....
    Amen to avoiding Florida like the plague. In fact, I think you can catch the plague down there. I've been trying to get Mom and Dad back to Auburn, but I think Mom has too much stuff stockpiled in that house of theirs and moving it all is too daunting to her. She'd prefer to leave that job to Carrie and me someday.
    I enjoyed your frequent use of the word blog - very Diablo Cody of you. :)
    Stay in touch - I love your blog. Caroline Bender is quel magnifique!


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