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Old 08-10-2010, 10:36 PM
5,702 posts, read 16,576,135 times
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I personally love IKEA. No, I am not a spokesperson, just a rabid IKEA shopper. So here are some tips.

Get there early. I have been to IKEA stores that have been in business for years and it doesn't matter. The place will be a mad house every weekend. I like to go on Tuesday's. The store opens at 10 but the cafe opens at 9. I go at 9 and get the cheap breakfast. Its a decent meal for 1.99.

Take your catalog. The store is much bigger than you can imagine and if you have something specific in mind it will be easier to show the staff what you are looking for and you will be overwhelmed when you get there. I have gone many times to get something specific, get distracted and end leaving the place without the item I went there for. Grab the little blue map when you first walk in along with the pencil. The map will help you and the pencil is there so you can write down item numbers (on the back of the map) because when you get to the basement everything is organized in a warehouse type fashion and set up by the item numbers.

You assemble everything. I have had decent luck. The instructions aren't bad but my complaint is there is no words. Its all pictures and I actually like to read. There is a phone number to help you if you get stuck but I have never had to call. At the customer service desk in the basement there is a spot where you can grab parts for free. I have a little stash at home because a few times I have had missing parts.

Like I said the store is huge. The top floor is set up with the displays. Mini living rooms and kitchen set ups. Everything in the displays are for sale and each will have a tag. This where you will get overwhelmed. You will be like wow look at this, or wow look at that! Its like all of a sudden you get a major case of ADD. If the store is busy it can be exhausting and frustrating. My husband would rather put a fork in his eye that go shopping there. I personally do not care for the lay out of the store. It has a path and its basically one way. My husband said its like trying to leave a concert. One flow of traffic and people that stop dead in front of you. It is true and that is why I like going during the week. Less busy. So after you make your way through the top floor it is now lunch time. Go ahead and eat again at the cafe. It has a lot of healthy and good food choices. Then you make your way to the basement. Again, its like entering another store.

Down there is house goods and everything you can imagine. To be honest, by the time I make it to the basement, I am almost spent energy wise. When you get through all that, then you enter the warehouse portion and this where you will find the items you are looking for. This will be the bigger items like furniture. You will be amazed that the large coffee table you want comes in such a small brown box. Look at the item number on the box with what you wrote down.

There is a scratch and dent area by check out. There are some good buys in there. Some are just discontinued items, displays or ding and dents. You can talk the staff down a little on the prices. I have done this before. They are as-is non returnables though, so make sure what you buy is something you definitely want. Also IKEA does not take checks. Cash, credit or debit only. I learned the hard way on that one. They charge for bags. They are about .10 cents I think or you can buy one of their blue re useable IKEA bags. They are maybe .50 cents. Can't remember now. I usually just take an IKEA bag or just don't bag at all.

The furniture is decent and IMO as long as it lasts me 7 yrs I am good. I like to redecorate and furniture usually goes out of style at 10 yrs anyway. I have made some great purchases and then some bad ones. It depends. I have two dressers. They are both sturdy. I have no issues with the bottom dropping out in the drawers. I have a teenager that stuffs his dresser more than he should so I can contest if he hasnt knocked out the bottom, no one will.

The beds are sturdy. I have bought two. I have not bought IKEA mattresses though so I can not say much about that. I have bought several desks and office chairs. The office chairs I bought sucked and were a waste of money. I also did not care for the small tv stand and coffee table we purchased. The tv stand bows and the coffee table was very complex during assembly. It has a glass top that slips and well it just wasnt a good buy. I love my billy bookcases and all the organizational boxes I bought. So I have had good experiences with the quality. Do I think the stuff will last me 20 years? Probably not but then again I don't beat the hell out of my stuff either. BUT the stuff does not move well. I agree with others on this. We have moved 3 times. My bookshelves did just fine but I wrapped them with shrink wrap. The desk I bought my son got pretty loose. I did tighten it but it got nicked up. The black brown furniture will show dings if you move it around a lot. I bought a furniture marker to help with this. But I can really expect a 69 dollar desk to hold up during 3 moves? No

Have fun. Wear good sneakers! Its a fun store and you wont leave the place without buying something including the cinnabons at check out. The smell will lure you.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:52 AM
4,502 posts, read 12,163,618 times
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Hi Fallingwater!

Excellent post and lots of great info!!! I plan on going during the week and will definitely get there early in the AM and go to the Cafe first.

I'm looking for a dresser so I'm glad what you told me about the bottom of the drawers not falling out -- that was actually my biggest concern. I'll probably end up buying a bunch of other stuff (how are their lamps?)

Thanks again for the great post!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:00 AM
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
1,917 posts, read 6,522,134 times
Reputation: 1966
We have solid pine bunkbeds for our boys and they are very sturdy.
We painted them and they look great. In fact, I am planning on getting a bedroom set for my almost teen son since he's too big for the bunk now
I don't know about buying a mattress there though. Most of the labels for the cheaper mattresses say polyurethane and we can't stand that smell. I'll post pics of his room once we get it done.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:07 AM
5,702 posts, read 16,576,135 times
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Originally Posted by omigawd View Post
Hi Fallingwater!

Excellent post and lots of great info!!! I plan on going during the week and will definitely get there early in the AM and go to the Cafe first.

I'm looking for a dresser so I'm glad what you told me about the bottom of the drawers not falling out -- that was actually my biggest concern. I'll probably end up buying a bunch of other stuff (how are their lamps?)

Thanks again for the great post!!!!!
You are very welcome. The lamps are decent. I have bought three. A small glass lamp for the bedside, a floor reading lamp that is bendable and lastly a floor lamp for my art room. Lamps are very affordable at IKEA. The floor lamp I have in my art room was only 7 dollars and then you buy a shade. I got a cool shade that has the city of Hong Kong on it. Its fun and funky and the whole thing only cost me 11 bucks. My mother bought a chandelier for her bedroom for 29ish. Its super cute.

Now IKEA sells their own bulbs. It does gives the impression that their lamps only work with their light bulbs. They do work with standard bulbs in other stores. BUT it may not be what you are expecting. I bought a side table lamp and did not buy an IKEA bulb. When I got home I had no idea what kind of bulb to use. I almost ordered them on the IKEA website when I realized on the box it gives you the code for the IKEA bulbs and the code for standard. Turns out my little side lamp uses a appliance bulb at the regular stores. So some of the lamps can be odd that way. They work great and I have no issues but just keep the bulb thing in mind. The floor lamps and the chandelier my mother bought use standard bulbs which you can tell just by looking at them. Ya know the run of the mill light bulbs that you can pick up anywhere.

The dressers I bought were the Hemnes in yellow (they dont sell yellow anymore) and the Malm (in black brown). I like the Hemnes better and I used that in my guest room for my mother. To me it has a more classic style. The Malm I bought for my son's room. He wanted something modern looking. I actually have pictures of my house and can post them later so you can how I incorporated IKEA stuff in with other things I have.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:29 PM
5,702 posts, read 16,576,135 times
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IKEA buys

Guest room. IKEA bed, Hemnes dresser, bed side table, Duvet cover and shams. This room is for my mom when she visits. She likes things floral and bright. I furnished this room for under 500 dollars.
Attachment 66651

Family Room. Billy bookcases and lighting. The backer board does not last over several moves. I took it off and anchored the bookcases to the wall with some 2.00 brackets from ACO.
Attachment 66652

I also purchased an Ekorp sofa in white but since I posted that pic before on CD it won't let me post again.

Last edited by fallingwater; 06-11-2011 at 01:12 AM..
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:48 AM
Location: North Texas
24,435 posts, read 33,828,005 times
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If you can afford better than Ikea for furniture...then don't buy furniture at Ikea. Most of it is pretty terrible. Yes, there are some good quality pieces there but they sell those at about the same price you would find at a normal furniture store but with a lot of extra hassle.

I like Ikea for some things...home accessories, kitchen gadgets, fabric, duvet covers/shams for guest rooms, etc. I pretty much refuse to buy furniture at Ikea at this point because almost everything I have bought in the last few years has been utter garbage and has fallen apart quickly.

When I go to Ikea I skip the furniture galleries and go straight to the "marketplace". Makes life easier.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:01 PM
48,509 posts, read 85,480,390 times
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Ikea is basic furnoture for those who can;t afford better or will be of limited tiem usage such as people who move alot;college kids or for childs furniture. It is what it is cheap furniture for a aimed market of people who want basic livable furniture and nothing more.Most i know use it for office or workroom furniture and cabinets.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:03 PM
45 posts, read 128,376 times
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We have 3 Ikea dressers (styles: hemnes and malm) and have had no problems with the drawers falling out. And my kids are rough on furniture. Like many posters have said, go and look at the items you think you might like and check the quality. Occasionally I have avoided a piece because it seemed flimsy, but have been happy with evrything that I actually purchased. It may not be what you want for your living room but it's great for kids and teens.

We used their office furniture in our small business offfice space and it is incredibly sturdy and in great shape after 5 years. It cost us about half the price of office furniture and has a more modern look.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:07 PM
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 6,663,485 times
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If you are buying a dresser from IKEA it is a good idea to glue the pieces together as you are building the dresser.

Yes, this is going to require you to BE SURE YOU ARE PUTTING IT TOGETHER CORRECTLY!!!

My daughter's dresser came from IKEA, was over $350, and I wish I had glued it because some of the screws come loose on a few drawers. I'd even go so far as gluing/clamping overnight if possible.

It is a great dresser though, with 4 large drawers on bottom (2 on left and 2 on right) and 4 smaller drawers running across the top. Just perfect for her.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:42 PM
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 45,239,079 times
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Great tips fallingwater!! I like IKEA also.

They have lots of stuff in the store that you won't find in the catalog. It can be an exhausting (and maybe even a little frustrating) of a shop the first time you go. Keep it simple and just look around at everything. Only when you are sure of what you really want, and all the parts to go with it, is it time to start filling out your order sheet.

NOTE: Make sure to purchase all the needed tools or you'll have a big surprise when you get home. They will also deliver for a fairly decent fee.

.....bring extra cookie money......
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