LUV - Oh god, I love IKEA. It’s like actual proper furniture you can buy in Heal’s or Habitat but, because the frames are made of packed sawdust, and the pillows are stuffed with foam, and because you have to make all the furniture yourself, it’s about 30% cheaper than Heal’s and Habitat!
It’s like a dream!
Here are five additional reasons to love IKEA:
1. There is a chair called Robin. It’s uncomfortable and made of plastic and probably not Health and Safety approved for long periods of use, and it’s spelled the wrong way, but THEY NAMED A CHAIR AFTER ME, LOOK!
2. Mugs are like 2 pence. TWO ENGLISH PENCE! Probably.
3. If you’re a child (or, say, a miniature adult), you can buy a giant fabric LEAF to put over your BED! Which is useful when you’re playing I’m an Ant and/or Fairy.
4. Once you’ve negotiated a) the Temptation Chicanes without bankrupting yourself on mirrors and ugly cushion covers, and b) the shelfy Avenues of Flatpack Disappointment without driving a curtain pole through someone’s jugular, you get your prize. And what a prize! Dime bars and hot dogs and reindeer sausage for everyone!
5. Ladies and gentlemen, cast your eyes towards the image at the top of this post. That is to say, scroll up. That right there is the Ektorp armchair. I lust after it. I love it because it’s the plumpest, puffiest, armchairiest armchair you could ever imagine. One day it will be mine and I will snuggle on it with an enormous book and a giant 2p mug of Earl Grey (and perhaps an ugly, flammable yet reasonably priced throw) while the rain pounds the windows and on that day, ladies and gentlemen, my life will be complete.
IKEA, you complete me.
- Robyn Wilder
HAT - Anatomy of an Ikea visit, a warning in four parts:
PART ONE: THE STORE DESIGN - The psychological games begin as soon as you enter Ikea. Sure, it starts fun - hey, look at the armchairs, ooh, we needed some cushions, didn’t we? - but this is just Ikea lulling you into a false sense of security. Slowly but surely your resolve will be worn down by the labyrinthine store design. You’ll follow the taped-down arrows, just like everyone else, but soon you’ll begin to lose focus. You’ll appear to walk past displays that you’ve already walked past, twisting and turning past yet another Glurpo storage solution and Bfurj wardrobe set until you’ve become totally disorientated. Eventually, after what seems like entire days have passed, you see an exit. ‘SELF-SERVE AREA’ it says. You’re so exhausted and grateful for a way out that you don’t stop to comprehend exactly what this means. You fool. You’ve walked right into Ikea’s trap.
STAGE TWO: THE SELF-SERVE AREA - This is where you’re ostensibly supposed to pick up your furniture, but in reality it’s where Ikea will ruthlessly tear you apart. Ikea’s self-serve area is like divorce purgatory. You’ll see hundreds of couples there, trudging along - some hollow-eyed and beaten, others juddering with barely-contained rage - pushing trolleys that don’t work up and down satirically huge corridors full of identical cardboard boxes in a hopeless search for one specific code. Maybe it’s their third time around. Maybe they’re unsuccessfully trying to balance an entire sofa on their trolley. Maybe they only realised that their product came in two parts when they got to the checkout, and they had to go back and start all over again. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you are about to become one of them. It’ll begin with a muttered “I can’t tell if you’ve written a 1 or a 7 here” or a “Well, it might be nice if you helped for once” - but the bad feeling will grow and grow until you’re both festering at the frayed end of your tether, pushing each other closer and closer to the edge. Before you know it, one of you will have stormed off to cry behind a fully-loaded trolley that’s been abandoned by a poor soul who just couldn’t take it any more, while the other tries to push their own broken-wheeled trolley around, muttering swearwords and making mental lists of all the different ways they’d like to kill themselves, their partner and anyone else within a 50-foot radius. But it’ll be the crying baby that’ll send you into a full-scale mental and emotional breakdown. Because there is always a crying baby in Ikea. And it will never stop crying. And who the fuck brings their fucking BABY to Ikea in the first place? A fucking arsehole, that’s who. FUCK.
STAGE THREE: PAYING AND LEAVING - By now you will have spent around two hours locked into most ferocious argument of your life with the person you love most in the world; an argument that’s dredged up years of lingering resentment, and has been exacerbated purely by the fact that you even exist, and has been so bitter and wounding that your relationship will never fully recover from it. You’re emotionally exhausted. You’ve developed a twitch. You feel like you haven’t slept for a month. And, to make matters worse, some dick in front of you has incorrectly loaded his boxes onto his trolley so it’s taking much longer than usual to scan them.
But all’s not lost, because - look - there are fizzy drinks just beyond the till. Heavily subsidised fizzy drinks. It doesn’t matter how harrowing your visit has been or how much you hate your shopping partner. You just have to pay for everything and then you can have a cheap fizzy drink. And you can relax. Maybe you’ll even rehydrate to the point where you’ll repair your fractured bonds and, you know, laugh about it all. Yes, you’ll laugh. And all it’ll take is one sip of that delicious cheap fizzy drink that keeps beckoning you over like a beautiful siren, and everything will be OK again. So you pay. Somehow, you ignore your exhausted body and broken mind for long enough to push your trolley over to the drinks section. You bring the cup to your lips, knowing in your heart of hearts that everything’s about to be better again.
And the drink tastes like rancid battery acid. You cunt, Ikea. You absolute cunt.
STAGE SIX: ASSEMBLING YOUR PURCHASES - No, I can’t. It’s just too painful.
- Stuart Heritage