Do you love it or hate it?
Is it world domination yet?
I wonder if West country homes are fast filling up with all-things Ikea since the latest store finally opened its doors in Exeter in May. Until now we've all had to drive up to Bristol and that really sorts the stalwarts from the can't-be-bothereds. Offspringette and I went about twenty years ago and ended up buying so much 'stuff' that we hadn't really given much thought to how we'd get it all in the car. It was a long-wheelbase Shogun which possibly demonstrates just how much I mean by 'so much'.
Bookhound then spent three days 'compiling' a set of bedroom furniture whilst declaring that 'IKEA', screamed very loudly, was actually a Swedish death wish plea for deliverance. In fact the furniture has stood the test of time, bar two drawer knobs falling off. Its white Nordic lines and plain wood tops still please me no end.
Anyway, we decided to give it three months for the crowds to dwindle before setting foot in Exeter, but in the end we couldn't resist. Well I couldn't, and Bookhound came along for the meatballs and just to restrain the hand that was reaching for all the things I didn't know we needed just because they were 50p each. He said he'd had enough after half an hour with little clue that he actually had about another three hours to go.
'Never mind,' I said, ' we'll be in Lighting soon and you know how much you like it there.'
We are, of course still miles away from 'Lighting' so I keep him engaged with the Billy bookcases because we'll be needing a couple of those soon.
In the end I would suggest that this was a bit of a lightweight visit...set of new glasses for 50p each as we were down to our last two, new bath mat because I liked the colour, a few other bits and pieces which I didn't even know existed but of course we needed. Oh yes, and a new desk chair for Bookhound (at my insistence) which he hasn't had a minute to 'compile' yet, but you'll hear him when he does. It was also quite comforting to look around the shop and see the Ikea staples, the things that Offspringette and I had bought on that last trip, still being sold unchanged and still going strong on our house... the floor lamps, the plain white mugs, the steel grid that sits by the kitchen hob, the steel container with holes that sits in the sink, the wastepaper baskets. Less said about the shoe cupboard the better maybe, but generally things have lasted and we have kitted out many a student room and flat accordingly.
And so we went back again last week, because on this return to the Ikea fold we were in search of a sofa. We sat on them all (even the ones on shelves that you are probably not supposed to), before making our final choice and then placing the order. 'Yes please,' we'd like it delivered.' we said, thinking it would be weeks and weeks, but no, 'Is Sunday morning alright?' said the assistant. In fact as you read this it could well be that Bookhound is laying out all the bits in readiness (because even sofas come flat-packed) and is about to enter the seventh circle of hell where screaming will follow.
So are you 'in' or 'out' on the whole Ikea thing...