In January 2010, I wrote an open letter (that in retrospect is a little ridiculous but was early in my blogging career) to IKEA outlining why they should open a store in Memphis (and I'd like to think they listened to me): http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2010/01/open-letter-to-ikea.html
In December 2010, I made a polyvore collage in anticipation of my New Year's trip to Atlanta: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2010/12/trip-to-ikea.html
And then, after our post-Christmas trip to Atlanta, I blogged about my experience: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2010/12/atlanta-ikea-experience.html . We still have the dog tails and that huge canvas in our den.
In July 2012, I posted twice about IKEA - the first time I did a "browser window shopping" post using the gorgeous eye candy that is IKEA's website. Their catalog-esque interactive rooms are drool worthy and I highlighted my favorites: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2012/07/browser-window-shopping-ikea.html
The second July 2012 post was about my design inspirations on the showroom floor and my purchases at IKEA during my trip to Atlanta: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2012/07/shopping-ikea-2012.html
For Easter 2013, we went down to Atlanta again and so naturally I blogged about our experience: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2013/04/shopping-ikea-adventure-2013.html . We ended up getting my beloved kitchen bar cart on that trip, as well as a duvet for our guest room among other things.
So rumors began flying Monday and were confirmed via press conference on Tuesday morning of this week that indeed, Memphis is getting an IKEA (*pending all legal approvals) in fall 2016!
Obviously I'm overjoyed, not only selfishly because I love those crazy Swedes and their sleek, inexpensive furniture and accessories, but also because it is a great move for our city from an economic standpoint!
So what kind of advice do I have for a novice IKEA shopper?
1) Be prepared - scan the website inspiration pictures to get an idea of what you are looking for
2) Bring a list of "must buys" so you don't forget those things in the amazing chaos that is IKEA
3) For your first time, plan to spend 2 -3 hours. The showroom (2nd floor) is eye candy and a magical experience, if only to get inspiration. A lot of the accessories and furniture pieces at IKEA do require some imagination because of the various configurations and it is nice to see them in action. Additionally, if you like the furniture you see, make sure to mark down the location in the warehouse area so you can find its home and get yours.
4) For subsequent visits if you're in a hurry you can skip the showroom and just go to the first floor (the shopping area) where there is a maze of home goods and then a warehouse area with all the furniture in their happy boxes. The way the home goods maze works is that it is designed to make you walk through all the departments but there are short cut doors if you know specifically what you want and don't want to get distracted.
5) Expect some major assembly. Like ridiculous amounts.
6) Not everything is best to buy there and sometimes you have to weigh the cost versus expected outcome. For example, I love their furniture but some of it isn't top quality. But you've got to think about what you're paying for it, how long you expect to use it, etc.
What kinds of things should you buy at IKEA?
These are my personal favorites...
- picture frames
These turquoise metal vases were gifted to me by my Atlanta hook-up and have gotten miles of use:
Hanging racks for the kitchen renovation, with what were going to be mini herb gardens but turned into little flower displays:
Magnetic spice rack and another hanging rack for the kitchen:
Kitchen bar cart:
A huge city scape canvas from our 2010 trip:
Can't wait to have our own IKEA in Memphis, even if it does mean we have to wait a while. What are you excited about most?
In meatballs and tiny allen wrentches,