Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Theme Park that is IKEA

IKEA is loved by many.  There is a website, IKEA Hackers, dedicated to projects made from modified IKEA items.  Though I generally prefer to buy second-hand solid wood furniture, some items, such as wardrobes, are difficult to find.  With big closets in most American houses, freestanding wardrobes are rarely needed and thus scarce in US-based stores.  For the wardrobe/armoire I wanted for my living room, IKEA was the best source.  

Also, my house has almost no hardwired lighting.  Lamps that stand on the floor or sit on a table are easy to find; lamps that attach to the wall or hang from the ceiling... not so much.  They are scarce (and pricey) online and nonexistent locally.  Having been to IKEA stores, I know they are THE place to find those types of lamps.

One small problem -- the closest IKEA was Salt Lake City, 550 miles away.  But luckily for me and the other 2.5 million residents of the metro Denver area, IKEA announced it was opening a store in the Mile High City.  With much fanfare, that store opened about six weeks ago.

I was planning to postpone my visit until January, by which time the epic crowds would hopefully be reduced.  But I experienced a bout of temporary insanity and decided to brave IKEA today.

What was I thinking!? ;)  The place was like a theme park!  Event staff guided the line of cars into the parking lot; shoppers queued up to take the escalator.  And then it was a huge mass of people slowly following the arrows on the floor as they stared in wonder, mouths agape.  Clearly, most of them had never seen anything like IKEA before.  I found it hard not to laugh out loud.  I dodged around the mesmerized people, picked out some lamps, loaded up a wardrobe, and was at the checkout in 45 minutes (receiving three "where did you get those awesome boots?" compliments on my New Rocks in the process -- FashioNation should give a discount for all the referrals!).  More event staff guided us into the elevators, an IKEA staff guy helped me load my car, and I was back on the highway, headed home!  Success!

Naturally, I have no intention of just putting together the armoire and placing it in my living room as-is.  Oh, no... it needs some GIY first. :)


  1. I really love Ikea, and I think the theme park metaphor perfectly captures it. When I have lived abroad I would go to Ikea when I felt homesick. The signs maybe in different languages, and the people may be different, but they are otherwise pretty much the same everywhere.

  2. It's a fun store. I will definitely go back in a few months -- after the hordes have passed through -- for some proper browsing.