ikea kinda scares me

Monday, April 24, 2006

swedish stylingOk... it's true... Ikea kind of scares me...

I just got back from my first up close and personal with the Ikea Experience... and it's not so much the products, as the store I guess... and how full it was... and the fact we were in the store for three hours...

Granted the store only opened on Thursday of last week... and granted it's the day between a weekend and a public holiday... and granted it's also school holidays... and granted we showed up about half an hour after the store opened for the day... but it was SO full of people, it was just disturbing...

I was very good though, I only had two mini breakdowns, one because of the people and one because Ma permanently trails about 10 steps behind me when we're out shopping and it just gets on my nerves after a while...

Even getting into the store was a drama... first there were "traffic marshals" waving traffic around to where there were empty carparks... which was a little annoying, but did mean we got a park not that far from the entrance with little or no drama... then, when we made our way to the entrance, there was basically this "maze" in the way, to control the rate of people flooding into the building... you know the ones, the kind they have in cartoons about theme parks and bank queues... where you go all the way to the left... turn... all the way to the right... turn... all the way to the left...

Fortunately this one was actually moving pretty well otherwise I think we would have just chucked the idea in and gone elsewhere... I did say that I thought maybe they only had the maze there to see if we were actually stoopid enough to fall for it and follow everyone else through it, which got a laugh from the couple behind us.

When we finally did make it into the store we went up the escalator with all the other sheep... sorry, customers... and then started to follow said sheep... sorry, customers... through the store as commanded by the almighty floor arrows and Ikea signage... until I got bored with that and decided that I didn't want to be a sheep (the aforementioned first mini breakdown) and follow everyone else and get more and more annoyed (since that was what was bound to happen), but instead Ma and I turned tail and went the OPPOSITE way to all the signage... which actually worked really well... we were moving against the tide of people instead of trying to force our way along with all the other sheep... so it was kind of easier to get where we were going. Plus we also cut through a couple of the displays at one stage, avoiding the sheep on the walkways.

I actually heard one man, there with his wife and grown up daughter (well, she we in her late teens, early 20's anyway) say "We have to go this way, because this is the way the arrows point" while looking at one of the store maps... SHEEP!

Overall I don't mind a lot of Ikea's stuff... sure, a large amount of it is blonde wood and some of it is a little scary, but there's a lot of interesting and innovative little ideas... like using plastic for cupboard doors or wardrobe inserts instead of glass... or letting you mix and match your choice of table top and table legs...

But at the same time a lot of it just looks very much the same, that you could end up with a lot of people who's houses all look fairly similar. And then there's the whole "flatpack/build it yourself" thing, which I've never been a huge fan of.

We had planned on hitting the Ikea restaurant... having some Swedish Meatballs, maybe a little Princess Cake (I kid you not... it's called Princess Cake, it's bright green, and it actually looks pretty fabulous... no idea how it tastes though)... but like everywhere else in the Ikea store, there were about a billion people in the restaurant... not only sitting and eating, but also lined up to get food... so we decided against that as a plan.

On the plus side, the two different staff members I asked about the locations of things were polite, knowledgeable and eager to help... I wonder how long it will be before that wears off...

Current Mood: a little tired and footsore, but mostly okay


electro^plankton Tuesday, April 25, 2006 6:40:00 am  

This is your first time at ikea? Man, you're a nOOb. :)

yaniboy Tuesday, April 25, 2006 10:09:00 am  

Yep... totally an Ikea nOOb/virgin... but they say you never forget your first time... and I'm pretty sure I wont... :P

Doug Tuesday, April 25, 2006 10:20:00 am  

I have bought some stuff at Ikea but it really is kind of cheap crap. Every once in a while I like to go to remind myself of why I don't!

Muse Wednesday, April 26, 2006 10:30:00 am  

When it first opened here it was a madhouse, the hype died down and now it's not a problem. if i go, i at the first to arrive when the store opens. No madness.

Cheap hotdogs, holy crap their food is cheap. I don't care for the furniture, but I DO like the grundig lamps, which I have one. Soft luminating light, i hate that i have to buy swedish lightbulbs for it. I also bought a canvass painting which is AWESOME. But I wouldn't decorate my whole house from there.

They have great gift items tho, last year I bought a shitload of candleholders and candles for next to nothing and decided i'm doing that every year.

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