Friday, February 21, 2014

A Muse: IKEA Showroom Exploration Inspiration. Organization Ideas Aplenty.


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.
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17 comments:

  1. Very cool! Thanks for the tour. I've never been in an IKEA-- the audience gasped. Not too sure about that headboard; I'd probably conk my head on the shelves. Love the simple furniture designs.

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    1. Haha, I did think of that. I'm very clumsy. VERY. Glad you enjoyed the tour as an IKEA virgin, they're out there.

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  2. I love Ikea! We're actually going to the one in Burbank on Sunday and I'm super excited. Like you, there isn't one especially close to where I live so getting to go is a rare treat. We're on the lookout for a display case for the house, but I have a feeling I'll have to restrain myself from buying everything! Good thing I'm broke! Ha ha.

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    1. It's hard. I balked at my bill when I went, I know the expedit/boxes were expensive but damn, adding a couple of extra things alone really bought it up. Dangerous place, be brave!

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  3. I could spend all day wandering around Ikea gathering ideas.... :) Even if I don't have a place to decorate, even if I don't want to do it hah!

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  4. Yeh, I do believe it would be a fun pastime even if I didn't have a need for it. I think this means we need more art galleries.....to the Dali Museum!

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    1. Ooh, we love the Dali Museum! I love all museums, really. :)

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  5. I just got the metal cart you've seen *everyone* has now. But to say its a game changer would be a understatement. I got all my crafting supplies on there (And I have a lot of crafting supplies) my crafting room has stayed clean for an ENTIRE WEEK and I can roll it from room to room. Best organizational tool I've found yet! I've considered the shelves with the desk. Did you think the desk was on the chintzy side or looked like it had quite a bit of room?

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    1. I love that thing! May have to invest in one if the vintage powers don't bring another one to me in my hunts one day. I spread out and destroy while I work but I'd say that table still has a good amount of work space. It would especially be good, as it was designed, for a tiny apartment or room. I like it as a room divider too but would go against it because I tend to spread out and destroy a room working, I wouldn't station myself there, I know it ;p

      The expedit unit itsself though, life-changer! It's holding nearly all of my vintage merch, my tool, craft supplies, art supplies (all in one box, even with my art supplies and I have tons), and looks good while doing it.

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  6. Oh how I love Ikea! When we stay at our apartment in The Netherlands, there is always an Ikea within a 45 minute drive. The closest one to us here in the US is in Houston (3 hours), but just 6 miles from our son's house. Always ideas, and the cheapest duvet covers are the best! Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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    1. Agreed on the duvet covers. When a giant hole ripped in mine I replaced mine with a simple IKEA one. Love it. The old one was turned into an un-used cat bed. ;D

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  7. I must admit it is fun to look at room sets that designers have mocked up, it's a bit like going in a show home. Not sure i could see myself living in one but they are somehow entrancing.

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    1. Always fun to look for ideas/design inspiration, but yeah, not always liveable.

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  8. I heart Ikea. It took a while to grow on me, but grow it did. We are lucky to have one about 20 minutes' drive away. We recently bought the sectional sofa in your third photo, the same color even, dark gray. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. So comfortable and roomy, but it doesn't overpower our small room because it's so simple in design. Such a great midcentury vibe, I'm really inspired to decorate the rest of my home in midcentury instead of the mishmash we will, I fear, always have. :)

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    1. Same here on trying to go mid century all-the-way. My mom's helping me custom make some furniture that I'll have DIYs for in the coming weeks. :D So we can all do it on the cheap!

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