Tuesday, September 10, 2013

my first voyage to the motherland: ikea!

for any of you who have a knack for interior design, organization, home improvement, or shopping, you've probably already learned all about the awesomeness that is ikea.  well, (waaayyyy back) in april, mike and i took our very first trip to the closest ikea to where we live in new massachusetts, south of boston.  we got up early, drove over two hours, and when we arrived, i seriously felt the ikea-ness immediately.  

if you have not been to an ikea store before, just follow along.  i'll tell you how we managed to make it through the day without having to rent a uhaul.  (we were thisclose.  for realz.)

i'm sure most ikeas are set up similarly, as those swedes are pretty methodical, but i'll tell you about our first trip through the largest store i've ever set foot in.  

first:  floor plan.  you enter and you're upstairs (whether you know it or not.  we did not.).  that's where ikea has about 283,459 displays of their products.  from full size replications of mini apartments to complete room designs, the upstairs is full of inspiration with all of their products on display in real-world settings.  

want to know if a couch is comfy?  have a seat.  put your feet on the coffee table.  imagine you're watching the real housewives of miami from the comfort of your own home.

not quite sure what size light fixture you need?  they've got about 384 that you can choose between and when they're on display it's so much easier to feel spatially aware.

need a new piece of art, but don't want to spend an arm and a leg?  they've got a lot of lovely art, as well as framed posters and pictures.  there's something that suits everyone's style and price range.

interested in how their kitchen cabinets all puzzle themselves into an amazing, organized chef's space?  you can do it there.  they even put silverware in the drawers and plates in the cabinets.  (i mean, they sell that stuff, so it's gotta be on display!)

the options are really limitless when you consider every individual person's style and what they use to put together a room.  we were on a mission for an expedit, but i'll get to that tomorrow.  

today, let's just look around...  (please don't mind the iphone pics.  between the phone, my excitement, and not wanting to look like a crazy person taking pictures of everythinginsight, they aren't the best, but you get the idea!)
looks fancy!

$99 for a cute, comfy chair you can recover?  love!

i love the locker-esque feel of these credenza.

have a shelf.  or fifteen.

curtains.  curtains, galore!

looks comfy!  and it's the light fixture from YHL's master bedroom in their 2nd house!

add some funky colors!

i love these sinks!

mike demonstrating the uber-organized closet.  complete with clothes!

tight on space?

i wanted this.  i should've bought it.

so many pieces of furniture.  so many shapes and sizes!


love the color!

$50 to help you get organized?  sounds like a deal!

great little command station!

mike demonstrating this shoe rack.  i wanted to take it home.  i have too many shoes.

casters make everything better.  especially tables.

bar cart anyone?

plan your own living room!

i love colorful art.

simple and pretty.

low profile coffee table.


see...lots of art!

YHL's light again!

the expedit tv cabinet.  we will have this someday (in white)!

casual denim chair.

this is perfect for a playroom!

here she white!  can't wait to have an expedit tv cabinet!

dining table options?  there are many.

love the plant holder!

love these chairs and stools.  same fabric, different pieces.

wanna plan an ikea kitchen?

and as if all the ikea furniture, room ideas, lighting, rugs, etc. wasn't enough...once you go through their entire 'showroom', you enter the cafeteria!

swedish meatballs?  yes please!

mike and i ended up walking around the showroom again before heading downstairs.  little did we know that downstairs is where everything is.  yeah, everything is upstairs, but when you go down that big flight of stairs, you enter the land of all things holy.  it's where you feel like you're in a real store with lots of merchandise calling your name.  (it's where the real shopping happens.)  posters?  got 'em.  frames?  got 'em.  straws, spoons, and shelves?  got 'em.  tables, chairs, and pillows?  got 'em.  whatever kitchen gadget you're in need of?  got it.  have a small budget but want to revamp your room with little more than paint?  ikea's got what you need.

so, grab a cart and fill it up!

after you go through the downstairs shopping area, you enter the warehouse.  


this is where you pick up any furniture pieces.  almost every piece of furniture that ikea sells requires assembly, so you'll most likely have to get at least a couple boxes to get a complete set of whatever you're buying.

good thing we took my honda cr-v, because anything smaller and we would've been in trouble.  we drove home with our seats moved all the way forward, straight upright, and jammed in with our ikea boxes.  snug as a bug in a rug. 

and that is a little photo-filled recap of our very first visit to ikea!  i'm looking forward to going again...once we have a house so we can get organized and make it our own.

tomorrow i'll be back to show you the piece of furniture we bought (spoiler alert:  it's an expedit), how we assembled it, and what it looks like in use!


  1. so now that I want to go to all the photos! The art is really cool.

    1. we'll definitely have to make a big trip sometime. i think it would be fun to rent a van and head down with friends. =)


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