Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ikea Do's and Don'ts

I came across this early this week on Yahoo!  I thought it was kind of funny for a couple of reasons.  First read through it and I'll tell you why.

What Not to Buy at Ikea

offers sleek, modern design at such reasonable prices it’s no wonder that the average customer in the United States drives 50 miles round trip to shop the inspiration rooms (and inevitably dine at the equally impressive smorgasbord of cafeteria food). While we’re huge fans of the Scandinavian design behemoth's trendy home accents, chic wall art, graphic rugs, and highly functional accent furniture, there are certain things not worth the trip. Here are five items you’d be wise to re-think:

1.    Mattresses

When it comes to mattresses, the saying you get what you pay for rings true. And because getting consistent good nights’ sleeps is crucial for your health, opting for a quality mattress is a wise investment. Ikea offers mattresses at a price range from $80 for a simple, twin-sized spring mattress to $649 for a king-size foam mattress. While the latter promises pressure-relieving and temperature-stabilizing technology at a seemingly reasonable price, the price structure is a bit misleading. To walk away from Ikea with a complete bed set, you’d have to purchase three more items:  A bed base, foundation, and at least one mattress pad, adding almost $500 more to your total cost. What seems like a good deal on the surface, actually turns out to be what you’d be spend  for a full set at any other mattress retailer, such as Mancini’s Sleep World or Sleep Train. Furthermore, you don’t get the free delivery and set-up or the ability to negotiate payment plans like you would at most mattress-specific retailers, which are constantly offering promotions and deals in an effort to stay competitive.

2.    Imitation Wood Products You’ll Use Every Day
Ikea is full of products that look like wood but are actually made of laminate or pressed wood—or wood particles glued together. These pieces are generally of lower quality and won’t last as long as the real thing. While purchasing accent furniture or bookshelves in this material might serve you well, you might find yourself replacing that laminate coffee or dining table within a year as the daily use will cause the laminate to peal away at the edges or become stained or scratched.

3.    Dinnerware

If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills dinner set, Ikea's $25 set of six plates, side plates, and bowls, might fit your needs. But you’d be able to find a similar set at Target or other retailers for the same price. And if you’d like your flatware to make a bit more of a statement, Ikea’s selection is lacking. While the Scandinavian purveyor offers more than enough ways to add flair to your pad at a reasonable price, their specialty is not stylish flatware. We recommend filling your Ikea cart with tabletop accents or fabulous wall decals, but scooping up china flatware when department stores like Macy’s offer sales because you’ll have much more inventory to choose from.

4.    Quality Cutlery
Any professional chef or avid home cook will tell you that a quality set of knives is essential. And unfortunately, quality requires investment. There’s no way the $10 set Ikea offers will provide the ease, precision, longevity, or efficiency that a professional knife set promises.

5.    Things with Complicated Assembly Instructions

Unless you’re a natural handyman (or know someone who is) or simply must have that bookshelf that comes in a gazillion pieces, be wary of some of the items that require a huge amount of DIY assembly.  Purchasing a fully-formed bookshelf elsewhere for a bit more might be worth what you save in time and sanity.

Okay, first why would you buy a mattress from a store that is known for cheap furnishings?  Most of us know that the adage you get what you pay for certainly applies to a mattress.  Oh wait, and to furniture made from "wood products"  otherwise known as pressed wood, glued wood chips, etc.  Now, don't get me wrong, they all have their place.  If that is what you can afford, then by all means that is what you get and you are satisfied and content with it until you can afford better.  Believe me, I have been there.  There are two chairs in my living room that were given to us when we got married, in other words they were free, and we still have them 9 years later.  I would guess they are at least 30 years old now.  We will probably still have them for a few years to come.  (they are pretty comfy too!)
Next, the dishes, I thought that was good, I didn't realize they had a minimal selection cause I've never really looked at that kind of thing at Ikea.
Now, the cutlery, again, you get what you pay for, 'nuff said.

On to the one that made me laugh.  "Things with complicated assembly instructions".  Is this not anything that comes in a reasonably sized box from Ikea?  I have yet to see anything that comes from Ikea that needs assembly and isn't complicated.  Anyway, I guess it was a slow news day, and they nothing else to write about....hey wait, that sounds like this post!  Yeah, I didn't have anything for you, sorry after 5 days of rain, I am going crazy, and not getting much done.  I did think this was one of those ironically funny stories though, and I hope you all got a chuckle!

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