Tuesday 31 May 2005

IKEA will be first up against the Wall when the Revolution Comes, Hopefully

I don't know if i should tell you this, but we went to Ikea on the weekend - and bought stuff. Yes, very bad. But wait, it gets worse: the wekkend before, not only did we go to Bunnings, TWICE, TWO DIFFERENT BUNNINGSES, we also went to Ikea that weekend - and bought stuff then also.

We ate Swedish Meatballs in the cafeteria. Dorian will probably make me take down this post when he sees it, so get your laffs in while you can.

I really must say in our defence, however, that we did our utmost to avoid purchasing the bookcases we needed from that place: before finally giving in we went around all the amazing bad furniture places in the northern suburbs, and though one's standards are always ground down low by a Saturday spent drifting from Dare to Early Settler to Sydney's Lounges and Bedding, we resisted the journey to Victoria Gardens until 5pm on Sunday evening. The house has now well and truly reached the absolute permissible limit of Ikea furniture, so any more books brought into the house will just have to stay piled up on the floor around the edges of the room.

Ikea furniture may be cheap and sometimes relatively inoffensive to look at, but it is evil just the same. The whole set-up is evil: the way you have to walk through the whole place and can't just go straight to whatever part you're interested in: the utter crappness of the materials; the devastating certainty the Ikea Mavens have that all us humble mortals are just dying to decorate our own places to look exactly like "Our 58sqm Home"; and the sad way so many of the people traipsing round stare hungrily at the chipboard kitchen cupboards and circular cotton bathmats. At the checkouts everyone is buying glassware or paper serviettes or scented candles or a set of cardboard magazine boxes, taking home a bit of that very special "Ikea Magic" to help them struggle through another gloomy week without a Klippan sofa and a Sultan innerspring mattress.

ugh! I feel dirty! But at least all the books and recordsz now have a place to live.


Anonymous said...

Shame on you. You will regret it. I have vowed never to buy from IKEA again.

lucy tartan said...

Oh well! another thing to be shamed by, at some unspecified future date. I already regret the meatballs, I regretted them straight away in fact.

Liz Miller said...

On the other hand, they make a couch that both me (4'11'') and my husband (5'10'') are comfortable sitting on.

No-one else can say that. NO ONE!

Scrivener said...

I have an IKEA bookshelf, it's right next to me at this very moment in fact. It's not beautiful or anything, but it was very cheap and it's made it through at least 6 or 7 moves and it holds the books just fine.

There's an IKEA opening here at the end of the month. I admit to some mixed feelings about it, but the fact is that some of their stuff is quite nice and I'll probably do at least a little shopping there sometime.

The meatballs, however, are always a terrible choice. For eating the meatballs, you probably should be ashamed of yourself.

R.H. said...

Listen here, don't speak for everyone. Okay? I've got an IKEA kitchen, and it still looks as bad as when I installed it ten years ago - hasn't got any worse. Okay?

BwcaBrownie said...

the standard young bohemian bookshelf of 1967 was those largish squarish hollowish grey concrete blocks, with a timber plank. endlessly adjustable and totally inexpensive.

re ikea - 1.still using the really great balloony wineglasses bought for 50c each opening day of the moorabbin store 20 years ago.2. don't lose your allen keys.

Mindy said...

Damn, we were thinking of an Ikea kitchen. Are they really that bad?

dani said...

Oh I so know that dirty feeling. I vowed never to walk in there again after having bought a few hundred dollars worth of stuff once, and you know how they don't provide bags for your stuff, I mistakenly left without picking up all my stuff. The couple of things left behind were items that especially went with the other things, like handles etc. And they amounted to all of around $20. Realising this on arrival home I immediately called them, and you know what I was told. Sorry, bad luck. And if anything is handed in we'll let you know. Of course I never heard from them again.

But where else do you get a bag of tea-lights for $4. And I really like the new cheese grater/storage thingo.

R.H. said...

Dear Miss Mindy, I should tell you, R.H. never lets the truth get in the way of a good joke.
The truth is, Ikea kitchens are marvellous value. Ours has been put to the limit by myself, three dogs, and two nightclubbing ladies. Nightclubbing ladies are always in a hurry, as you'd know. Everything gets slammed shut, especially when they're on their way out, and especially when they get back home. And especially when I've said something that's given them the shits.
But my little white kitchen has stood up well. The hardware in particular (hinges, etc,) are excellent.

Ben.H said...

Don't be shamed by those trendies who pretend to dislike Ikea just because it's popular. Ikea rules d00d! Like you, my books and records demand lebensraum and no amount of quaint, stylish antiquities will compensate for cheap, adjustable shelves that stack flat into a car.
Never mind the meatballs, get there early for the $2.50 breakfast!

Ben.H said...

By the way, I just got your home page for the first time ever with zero pictures of Basil.

Anonymous said...

The great thing about IKEA from my POV is that they pioneered a lot of stuff, like good adjustable shelving.

Before them, in Australia, as Brownie points out, there was only bricks, or - for the true nerd - DEXION.

Their cardboard stuff is v. useful as well. They do a crap line in office chairs, awful wall units, and FANTASTIC STORAGE IN KITCHENS.

Our leedle rent-your-past deco flat reminds us every day how important good storage is, since we have none, and that modern invention, the fridge, throws the whole kitchen design out so we live in geometry hell. So I go to IKEA to perve on their kitchens.

The tinge of sadness about IKEA is that their key customer, apparently, is newly divorced. They have a little money and they are starting again.

- barista

lucy tartan said...

the "tinge" of sadness, David? c'mon!

I wish I knew who stole my copy of Ways of Seeing: there is a bit in that book about the dismalness of accepting wholesale any "package" deal on personal reference points, style, whatever, and that the only way to humanly survive and retain integrity in the world of mass production and endless reproduction, is to be a magpie, and make a collection of disparate objects that add up to something individually meaningful. As I recall the example given in the book is a pinboard with postcards and pictures from all kinds of sources all juxtaposed in a patchworky, bits and pieces sort of way.
The thing I really object to about Ikea, all jokes aside now, is that it is totally set up to iron out the personal kinks and idiosyncrasies and send everybody home to identical identikit lives. Which is a terrible Orwellian nightmare. I know it is very snobby and elitist to think this, since it requires money, time, and other things not available to the lower strata of society to achieve a certain level of domestic comfort; and actually, I care not a bit what other people do to their houses. But, walking round the display rooms, which are evidently meant to inspire attacks of covetousness in me, only makes me think about why Northern European culture is so adept at the art of misery.

boynton said...

be afraid

Mindy said...

Don't worry Laura, I can stop at a kitchen. Really I can. Well, maybe a sofa or two...

But really, even if I filled my house with Ikea it would look like a house where someone had opened the front door and thrown the furniture in. I think when God was handing out 'knack with putting things together' I was too busy pushing on the door that said pull to get mine.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Hmmm. There are no IKEAs within 100 miles of me. I just dream of having the luxury to say snarking things about IKEA... while I try to find some place to shove my @#$&%* books.

R.H. said...

We've got personal kinks here alright, but it's nothing to do with the furniture.
Most of our furniture is very interesting. Old. And philanthropic. A lot of it was bought secondhand. That's the only way you get anything good. Modern stuff is rubbish, machine-made and mass-produced. If you've got a spare five grand you can get a handmade table from Dattner. But why bother?
Yes, and aesthetics are charming, very nice, but I'd rather sit on a foam rubber couch than a Louis xiv chair. Especially if I had to sit through Star Wars.
So don't sling off at my IKEA kitchen, I'm the only person I know who's got one, and I'm very happy with it. You'd be battling to find a modern kitchen that isn't chipboard anyway.
And don't imagine IKEA purchasers are Orwellian, the real Orwellians are those dupes boxed into modern apa-a-a-a-rtments.
Suckers. My place might be falling down but it's surrounded by garden, not sky.
People have never been so manageable, so credulous. Just hand them the right bullshit and they'll do anything.