If photos of an IKEA showroom are mundane to you, consider yourself lucky! Some of us have to drive hours to experience one, like a pilgrimage to colorful inexpensive furniture shangri-la. I recently made the journey to purchase my life-saving merchandise-storing expedit unit and love to explore IKEA for storage idea solutions. Until somehow magically in the future my city's population grows to support one I'll console myself with the fact that not having one near me forces me to be creative and find unique pieces second-hand.
For anyone who's still an IKEA virgin, the store's insidiously brilliant floor plan is designed as such; you take an escalator upstairs when you first enter and explore a massive "showroom" divided into little living room/dining room/bathroom/bedroom/craft room/office and kitchen vignettes where everything is staged using their furniture to paint the picture if your mind of how gorgeous your home could be if you bought something. A kiosk with a giant shopping bag, map, pencil, and paper measurer is handy before you enter so you can write which pieces you want and measure to ensure it fits in your home.
Granted these rooms are designed by pros and the chances of your home looking as gloriously balanced are slim unless you've got an eye for it, I still love to explore for ideas. It gives me an idea of what to keep an eye out for while I'm thrifting for furniture for my apartment or pieces to sell.
European houses (IKEA started in Sweden before it unhinged its jaw and swallowed the world like an evil, greedy snake) are much smaller than American ones, often devoid of closets. This gives IKEA the edge on any American retailer I've visited on the sheer diversity of attractive storage solutions. An artist/crafter/hoarder/indie business owner's dream. I could hunt down and decoupage 200 shoe boxes for "free" but time is money...and look, they're right there! Beckoning!
The other selling point for IKEA is the repo-mid century modern style, which mixes perfectly with authentic finds for interior design projects. When you strive for years to find the real thing, IKEA can fit the bill. I'm looking for chairs (possibly a table?) like that because they're kitty-proof for my Yuko. My current chairs stubbornly retain her fur.
So clever how the designers carve so many different useful niches in a tiny amount of square footage. Tis one has a living room, office, library, home entertainment center, dammit you're good, IKEA.
My expedit unit in action (far right) with the awesome attachable work table I could return for one day. IKEA furniture is very adaptable, many with the ability to come back for ad-ons (casters, table, glass front doors, etc.) to completely change its purpose.
I -really- like that headboard. Exploring IKEA gives me ideas of what to -make-, too. Expect a DIY on some IKEA/Mid Century Modern inspired bedside tables soon. May attempt this awesome headboard someday, love how it's a bedside table/keepsake shelf/focal piece in-one.
Above is the night stand in question. We can do that! Gentleman, we can re-build it. Stronger, faster...
I love their office/retail space solutions too. Would love glass front cases like this for displays in a future shop.
I always leave with at least 40 photos taken and a lot of inspiration for interior design, organization, business planning (their plan, so brilliant, so evil- I LOVE it), layout, and making ideas. Nope, I swear, not paid to endorse this place, (HA, like they'd need my endorsement) just a place I enjoying going for inspiration once a year or so. At least I have plenty of photos to look back on until I return someday.
Edit: Forgot to add this hilarious Yuko shot. After the two hour drive home I laid my new IKEA bathroom rug on the floor and Yuko immediately happily rolled all over it. She still prefers the rug to the cat bed we made her, as cats will do.