So I think it’s time already. I mean Ikea has officially been open for months now. And anyone who wants to has had the chance to go visit the store. Which begs the question – what did you think? Did it live up to the hype? Or was it a major bomb?
In years past my husband and I have popped into the occasional Ikea while in other states and I’ve sort of refined my list of those things which I will purchase there and those that I avoid like the plague. So when the KC store opened up, I was first in line to snag my go-to’s and speed past all the Ikea newbies in line for meatballs.
Here are six Ikea things in no particular order that I have in my own home that I’d buy all over again (and again and still probably not pay what I would have had to pay anywhere else…)
1. The Soare Place Mat. Not a ton to say here. This is no show stopping piece. But it’s cheap. It’s classic. I love the natural fibers. It’s soft enough to not scratch my dining room table (pictured above) and did I say it was cheap? In fact, I found 5 or 6 in the reduced room at Ikea and snagged them for 99 cents a piece. Boom.
2. The Cowhide Rug. The picture in the above graphic is actually of the cowhide in my own home under my husband’s piano. I lurve it. It’s essentially the same shape as the piano. Like they were meant for each other. At $199 this is not one of Ikea’s down and dirty steals. It’s an authentic, natural cowhide so the price tag ain’t shabby. But it’s a lot better than you can do at a slew of other stores for the same thing. And because they’re real, you get to sift through and pick your most favorite favorite while you’re at the store.
3. Pax Wardrobes. Glory, glory, hallelujah. This wardrobe has saved our marriage. We recently ate up our whole master closet by relocating our laundry machines in its place (you can read more about why I love laundry on the first floor here). For months we more or less went closet-less. And then, praise God, Ikea opened. And we waited in a line of cars with both our children in tow for an hour, my friends. You heard – an hour! Finally we had arrived at the turnoff. But alas, the parking garage was full! So we did what any faithful Ikean would do…we parked at KMart and were shuttled over like a bunch a bandits headed for an invasion. One kid tucked beneath each arm, shuffling through the hoards of people on opening weekend. We must have a closet! We must not surrender! A full parking lot wouldn’t stop us. We were in it for the win. We brought snacks for the kids. We came armed with games on our iPhones. And money in our pockets just in case the wayward child decided to throw a fit in the Closet Planning section. Kidding. We don’t bribe our children with money. Only suckers. Yep. Our pockets were full of suckers that fateful day.
Anyway, the above picture is the style, color and layout we went with times four. Sing it with me folks….glory, glory, hallelujah!! From piles on the floor to rows of beautifully hung clothes in just one day. Can’t beat it!
Would I rather hire Scovell Wolfe to build a custom closet? Abso-freaking-lutely. But sometimes you just need something quick, cheap and on the fly. The options are super limited. The dimensions are what they are and you hope they fit. The wood is….not really wood. Shhhh! And the assembly is a nightmare. But for this season in our lives, the master closet is where we chose to skimp and Ikea allowed us to do it and still look mighty decent. Plus Pax wardrobes are one of the most hackable things Ikea sells. Just google Pax hack and see what you come up with.
4. Ribba frames. First and foremost a moment of silence. Because Ikea inexplicably and unashamedly discontinued the birch finish of these frames. And now, another moment of silence for our dog Griffin pictured in the above photograph of our bedroom. Did Griffin die? Nope, just ask our daughter Annie. She’ll tell you. Griffin is at a birthday party. He’s been there since…last January. It’s a really, really fun party, ok? And dogs do it right. Their faraway “farm” birthday parties last until toddlers grow up and forget the first half of their lives.
But back to the frames. Ribba frames are a little tricky. The smaller sizes have fantastic prices and they come in white, black, lacquered grey and walnut. They’re nothing but great. But the larger sizes (like ours in the above graphic) come with a plexiglass front in lieu of real glass. Ikeas prices are what they are for a reason, friend. So do I ultimately recommend a large Ribba frame? Not for your living room. However the frame with Griffin’s picture now lives in our playroom and I couldn’t be happier than to not have shatterable glass hanging above my children’s rowdy heads.
5. Microwave. Ikea really nailed it with their microwaves I think. Ours is actually stainless steel. We were able to build it in to our kitchen island and we love the look. The fact that we aren’t Swedish and can’t decipher the foreign symbols and are thus restricted to using the one button whose icon we recognize is ok, too. Who needs anything more than the +30 button anyway?? Not us.
6. Godmorgon Mirror Cabinet. Like just about all of Ikea’s products, it’s all in the finishing you choose. I try to steer clear of their pre-fab materials and buy things with real mirrors, real wood in the Ribba frame, real stainless steel on the microwave, a real cowhide, etc. So while the Godmorgon series offers medicine cabinets in various finishes, I highly prefer and recommend going with all mirrors. I’m too vain to show you the inside of our medicine cabinet and it appears that so is everyone else on the internet, because I couldn’t find a single shot online either. But the inside is honestly pretty beautiful. The entire thing is covered in mirrors…the shelves, backing, doors…it’s all reflective and it really classes the joint up. Ours is a bit smaller than the one pictured in the graphic because we don’t use it as our primary mirror, but simply for storage on the opposite wall. But for $170, I’m in love…
So that about wraps it up. I’m still more than willing to try new stuff from Ikea, but these are old faithfuls that have either stood the test of time in my own home or are new to my home but have rave reviews across the web.
What about you? Anything you swear by at Ikea? Or anything that was a major flop?