Surviving IKEA

Logo of Ikea. Drawn by Mysid on a PNG original...
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I’m moving into my new apartment on Saturday and since I’m an expat who brought nothing with her but a suitcase, I need to buy everything I need to set up house.  Therefore a trip to IKEA was in order.

I love IKEA.  I usually go to IKEA and come out with at least 10 items I never intended to buy, but going to IKEA in a country where you don’t speak the language and knowing that you must buy certain items, well it is a little overwhelming to say the least.

My first mistake was deciding to brave IKEA alone. Bad, bad idea. It was a bad idea because I don’t have a single bone in my body that knows how to decorate or what goes well with what colours.  Then there’s the always present and frustrating language barrier.

I officially failed to find anything to go in the living room. Well, that is not entirely true, there is a sofabed I’m debating about, but it is a little more expensive than I had hoped.  I will probably cave and buy it as it is the best one I’ve seen.  But I couldn’t find an entertainment unit I liked nor a bookcase.  Well, I have a bookcase in mind, but I don’t know if the colour will work with the dark red-brown colour skirting boards and I refuse to buy white furniture.  Does black-brown wood go with dark red-brown wooden skirting boards?  And now you all see why it was a bad idea to allow myself to go to IKEA alone.

I did however, find a bed, drawers and a wardrobe and to hell if the black-brown wood doesn’t go with the dark red-brown wood skirting boards.  I really liked the style of the furniture so I brought it. If it is a decorating disaster, who cares as I’m the only one whose really going to see it.  I just hope it all fits.

Then it came to actually ordering some of the stuff, picking up other bits of it from the warehouse, paying for it and organising for it to get delivered.  I managed to track down people along the way that spoke English. Bless them.  But by the time I got out of there, I was in serious need of a stiff drink or two or three.  IKEA is the most confusing place ever for actually trying to work out what stuff you need to pick up yourself and what things you don’t pick up cause you are getting it all delivered and working out who you need to talk to about it all.  Also the bed head and footer of my bed wasn’t actually in stock so I have it on reserve but it may or may not arrive in time to have it all delivered next Saturday.  Hello logistical nightmare.

But I now have the system down, so the next time I go to IKEA (and yes there will be a next, probably quite a lot of next times), it won’t be such an ordeal.  I should probably take someone with me though so they can tell me if what I’m buying will actually go with those damn dark red-brown skirting boards.

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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9 Responses to Surviving IKEA

  1. Kim says:

    Yay! It sounds like you did just fine! IKEA black/brown goes with almost anything; I know from experience. And good for you on arranging your delivery and all the rest–that stuff’s hard enough in one’s native language.

    • Riayn says:

      Good to know that the black-brown goes with everything. I’m counting on that :) I agree that IKEA is extremely confusing to navigate even when you do speak the language. That place should come with its own user manual.

  2. I swear, you never cease to amaze me!

  3. wodenhausen says:

    Congrats on braving that task on your own! We just bought furniture, ourselves, and we couldn’t bring ourselves to actually go to IKEA and ended up doing it online. How lazy is that? I’m sure everything will look great. Doesn’t IKEA stuff just kinda go with other IKEA stuff? Can’t wait to hear how the delivery and set-up goes.

    • Riayn says:

      If I wasn’t someone who needed to see and touch stuff before I buy it, I’m sure I would have brought everything online as well.
      It’s not the furniture going with each other that I’m worried about, but my apartment has these gorgeous red-brown wooden window frames and skirting boards & I have no idea if the black-brown of the furniture is going to clash with it or not.

  4. Andrew says:

    My first trip to Ikea in Germany (and I had never been to one in the US, so really the first trip ever) I went the wrong way through the store. I walked through the checkout and through the warehouse then backwards up into the display floor. I agree its confusing. You were more successful than I though for the first trip.

    • Riayn says:

      To be honest, I just followed everyone else, so there was no sense of direction on my part. However, I had also been to IKEA in Australia many times, so I knew what to expect in terms of layout since they are all essentially the same.

  5. Fiona says:

    I’m useless at colours, one day I’ll amke it to IKEa

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