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Late Nite: Ikea

I have conquered the mighty Stuva bench drawer combination.  It’s perfect for my kitchen and makes for beautiful banquette seating in the corner.

Stuva bench with Bestad drawer

I can finish my margarita now.  Ahhhhhh…

Speaking of Ikea, this has to be one of the funniest commercials I’ve ever seen.

You will never catch this on American TV because in the minds of the prime time censors, we are still sleeping in separate beds.  American Ikea commercials never feature S-E-X.

I like to visit Ikea every other month or so.  The nearest location is about an hour from my house and it involves the NJ Turnpike so I have to be motivated.  But I’ve heard that Ikea can trigger massive arguments in some couples.  I don’t understand that.  Is it the meandering?  The overwhelming marketing overload?  Ikea is the only big box store that doesn’t send me running to the nearest bathroom so maybe I’m their target audience.  Anyway, I can’t figure out what is causing the problem.  If anyone has any insight, let me know.

If I had to pick my favorite purchase from Ikea, it would have to be my Hovas sofa.  It’s as comfortable and well constructed as the Pottery Barn sofa that it replaced but cost half as much.  Not only that but the slip covers are $49 a set.  Also, very nice quality fabric.  At $49/set, I can afford to get a couple more sets in white and just dip them in Rit dye when it gets too hard to make them perfectly spotless.  So, one sofa, many colors, endlessly changeable.  Turquoise, I think I’d like turquoise today…

Not everything I have is Ikea.  Some of it is second hand, some refurbished, some Ethan Allen or Pier One or that funny unfinished furniture place in Lawrenceville.  But when I need something that will serve a particular function, some basic piece of furniture, I know I can usually find it at Ikea.  I just need to think outside the box.  And maybe that’s the attraction for me.  I like the challenge of repurposing.

Do you have any Ikea stories? Share them in the comments.

28 Responses

  1. I’ve only been to Ikea once. It was to the grand opening of the first one in the USA in Northern VA in 1988. Maybe 87. I enjoyed it. But, it’s a long drive and with one thing and another, I never went back.

    For some reason they’ve never built one anywhere near Kansas City. Maybe some day…..

    • I was really surprised to find that you have to drive 6 hours to an Ikea. It’s such a creative place. I’ll bet you would love it. And people can’t help living in Kansas.
      I’ll bet you’ll get one soon.

  2. I forgot to mention that half the fun of Ikea is putting stuff together. Like the bench tonight. It came with instructions and tools. The instructions are just pictures. You just follow the pictures and figure to out as you go. Generally, everything turns out alright, although, when it comes to things like Stuva, you quickly see why things are so inexpensive. Some pieces are made of particle board and you know that saying, “If it doesn’t fit, force it”? Yeah, well, almost every shelving unit or boxy furniture piece from Ikea involved a little force. The Expedit in the basement was a royal pain in the ass but totally worth it in the end.
    Anyway, it’s a challenge. Fun and frustrating at the same time. I feel like I’ve accomplished something when it all goes together. Even the sofa was assembled on site. Those Swedes are really clever.

  3. This is totally off topic but, does anyone know if there’s a way to see some of the Olympic events not covered by NBC? Or to see stuff in real time? Is it on the Internet someplace?

    • Dunno. NBC is the pits. But it’s almost impossible to see it covered in any other place.
      Are you tired of the Up Close and Personal spots and nothing but American stuff too? I thought it was just me. We must be in the minority because it’s the same s^&$ every four years. The last two summer olympics, I gave up altogether. It just wasn’t worth it to me. When I was Brook’s age, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world but it seems to me they did a better job of covering the games. Was that my imagination?

      • Not just that up close and personal stuff but, the random stuff — athletes that don’t have a real shot at anything but they’re just there. Camera angles that aren’t right in the athlete’s face or feet or arm…. I like a nice long shot. Make it clear but, give me some context.

        “R” told me that there’s an event called extreme trampoline event. Is this a joke? He says that NBC won’t show it. There are whole events that we won’t see.

        How can NBC keep this from us?

        • Marketing.
          You know that saying, “First we kill all the lawyers”? They hadn’t invented marketers in Shakespeare’s day yet.

          • There HAS to be a way to watch this stuff. You Tube maybe? It wouldn’t be live, of course. Maybe BBC?

          • I just remembered that there’s an iPad app that let’s you pick up British channels. It’s inconsistent though.

    • I’m in Minneapolis; my sister & I are driving “up north” today to watch the live CBC coverage of the Opening Ceremonies. Yea, my dislike of Matt Lauer is that epic. Plus, road trip on a gorgeous day!

      Unfortunately, neither CBC nor BBC is live-streaming the Games online, at least from what I understand.

  4. Two olympics ago, I was lucky enough to live within range of live Canadian TV. Their coverage was excellent – lots of Canadians, of course, but more of other nationalities than American TV ever had.

    And the announcers were excellent. I would be forced to dash back into the room for -swimming- races. Swimming!

    It’s probably too late for this round but if not, CBC is available via subscription.

  5. Hey RD, while this may not be the answer to your question about why the store triggers arguments in couples, it does show you just how seriously IKEA takes the problem. 😆

    • Too funny! How hard is it to just write everything down?
      Actually, I made a mistake with one of the Stuvas I bought. There are two drawer styles right next to each other in the bin and I accidentally picked up one of each. So, I must go back and return one. The one thing I don’t like about the Elizabeth, NJ Ikea is that sometimes the service is inconsistent. The last time I went, I chose a self checkout register and of course one of the items wouldn’t scan. The register wouldn’t let me proceed without assistance so I called the self-checkout assistant. She fixed it and then went back to her chair. About 30 seconds later, the register did it again on a second item so I had to call her over again. It took me awhile to get her attention and then when she finally came over she snapped, “I can’t just stand here and help you. I have other customers.” Yes, she did, and I was one of them, I told her. If she didn’t help me, I couldn’t buy the item BECAUSE THE REGISTER WOULDN’T RING IT UP! Then she did it but wasn’t nice about it.
      It’s not the only time there have been problems. At the food area last time, Brook and I stocked up on Almond Torta but there was no one at the little counter to check us out. We had to get in line at the cinnamon bun and coffee lane and were about the 20th pair of customers with groceries to check out. Behind the counter? 4 employees, some not doing much of anything. Well, that would make sense, most people in line didn’t want coffee and cinnamon buns. They wanted to buy their packages of lox and tortas and get the hell out. And yet, not one of those 4 people bothered to go open up the grocery counter about 10 feet away. It was bizarre.
      So, training is a bit of a problem.

  6. Re The Olympics, having at several occasions watched The Olympics in the US I both em- and sympathize with you. And I recall watching footage of the US media transmission 4 years back of the amazing opening ceremony from Beijing. The commenters never stopped yapping! Not only was it painful, it was boardering on criminal towards the viewers.

    So if I had the option to chose between NBC and BBC I would definitely go for the latter.

    And one thing I can most certainly do without when watching just about any sports transmission these days is the ‘muzak’ blaring at any given chance. What’s so wrong with just natural sounds … or even silence?

    One more thing: I wish producers would make it a rule to delay the showing of audience (which can be so much fun: People watching) just enough so the people don’t have a chance to detect themselves on the big screen, become selfconscious and start waving frantically – always at the screen, never the camera – till after the camera has ‘moved on’.

    • So, I can watch BBC channels on my iPad but the transmission stops after about 90 seconds. Lovely. Comcast probably has something to do with that.
      The Olympics are the one thing I would actually pay my provider to see. If they had 4 channels available and charged me $10/channel for the duration of the games, I’d pay it, as long as the Roman gladiator music was toned down to a dull roar and I got to see a whole event from start to finish without commentators yapping away about the inconsequential single American. But we don’t ever get a choice like that. it’s NBC’s way or no way. So, if they don’t think you’d be interested in curling, you don’t see curling. If there are no interesting Americans in the biathlon, sucks for you biathlon fans. I used to love kayaking but I can’t remember when that was last shown.
      And it’s like NBC throws up a big fence around the internet. If you live in the US, you are not allowed to see the Olympics on any other site. The providers in other countries are forbidden from giving you the content, which makes me wonder what other things Americans aren’t allowed to see but don’t know about.

      • This should be a post. It’s a travesty. And it’s gone on long enough that a whole generation of Americans think it has to be this way. I remember getting up in the middle of the night to watch the Olympics. And staying up forever. All live. Boring/fascinating … all wonderful.

    • Pips – that’s a great idea about the camera delay!

      And your comments about the sports-casters reminds me that we often put our TV on mute during events like the Olympics. It makes a HUGE difference.

      … I remember – most recently we muted the sound for that guy who did the tightrope walk across Niagara Falls. The commentary never stopped! It was maddening. But, once we turned off the sound, we could appreciate the wonder of it.

      • What’s really maddening is that we Americans complain about this every fricking Olympics but it never changes. What happened to that infamous free market?? Aren’t we supposed to have choices, even if those choices come from NBC? But noooo, it’s a very communist world when it comes to the games. It’s a one size fits all Americans, nationalistic, jingoistic, ad cluttered, special interest story with an occasional event thrown in. When I think about how many short track skating races I had to sit through because Apollo Ohno was going to win a gold medal, I want to pull my hair out. You’d think the entire games was about Ohno. Well, after the 2004 Olympics, I just gave up. It wasn’t worth the aggravation. Now, if something truly amazing happens, I’m unaware of it. Pretty sad when I think about how my family used to watch the games together all through the summer when I was a kid in the 70’s. We’d even watch Olympic trials on ABC’s Wide World of Sports while munching popcorn and eating ice cream sundaes with homemade elderberry syrup.
        It’s just not the same.

        • Exactly.

        • I never found short track skating neither interesting nor fun to watch … except for this episode. One of the funniest of memorable Olympic memories. And truly unexpected too, lol.

          • Me neither. It’s just not that interesting to watch. It’s like roller derby on ice without the jamming. Who cares? But the last couple of winter olympics it’s like all short track all the time. I wanted to see more skiing.

        • It sounds like a deliberate media effort to build and maintain a Berlin Brain Wall around the American audience mind. It lends support to my emerging Govermedia Stupidustrial Complex theory.

    • AFAIK, the yammering announcers are found in all US sports programming. They seem to fear that if they stop yapping for one second, we’ll change channels, since we couldn’t possibly be interested in the actual sporting event, you know. We just tune in because we can’t get enough of the sounds of their voices. 🙄

  7. Ya know what I like about that IKEA commercial?

    The amorous spouses look like normal people. She’s not some half-starved supermodel with silicone tits, and he’s not ripped to his tits on anabolic steroids.

    Normal people can have fulfilling and inventive sex lives, too! What a concept!

    Oh, speaking of sex and IKEA: 😈


  8. In my humble experience, RIT dye often enhances stains rather than covering them up. If you want to dye something, do it while it is still nice and clean.

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