Monday, November 2, 2009


I've done it! I made the obligatory pilgrimage to IKEA...I mean, if this company was brave enough to come to our (depressed) state, there must be something to it, right? Well, let me say this. The place is impressive. It's huge, and the color theme matches the University of Michigan. Not sure if this is their color scheme around the world, but it certainly works in southern lower Michigan.

The place is huge. But, my sister, who travels quite a bit more than I, has visited several other IKEA stores, said as size goes, this is not one of the big ones. There are multiple-storied IKEAS in larger areas like Chicago. WOW. My feet would not survive it. If my feet didn't kill me, then think I would die of overwhelming inventories and the maze-like layout would have me running like a white rat trying to find my way OUT!

Since we had just come from the Holocaust Museum and it was late in the afternoon, we decided to run right up to the cafeteria to eat. We grabbed our trays and moved through the line and chose our entrees. I would rate the food as mediocre. Perhaps we just hit it on a bad day, but the food was not hot and nor especially good or unique, but it was fast it was food, so we weren't hungry anymore, know what I'm sayin'?

I'm using my small little digital I keep in my purse, so because of the flash, the pictures aren't the best
. My niece, Katie, in the photo above, took a lot of these photos.

This nursery is so cute...all little mice on the curtains and bedding. I loved the whimsical cuteness. I liked the children's area the best and bought some cute stuff for my new grandchild to be...

There was furniture and bins of pillows and accessories everywhere. One of my favorite parts of the store was all the little "apartments" they had set up around the perimeter of the upper story. The furniture seemed small to me, or somehow off scale, or too low to the ground or something. I can't say exactly but I felt like it might have been on the set of a movie called "Honey, I Shrunk the Furniture".

I find it puzzling that this furniture for Swedes is so small (IKEA is a Swedish company). My son-in-law has quite a bit Swedish blood in him and he's six four. I don't picture this furniture suiting him or his size.

I guess we Americans are used to livin' large or something, but I saw a man tip up one of their sofas with one hand....and that wouldn't happen with any of our American-made sofas here at home.

Luke was fascinated with all the storage options, and I learned that day that he prefers MODERN furniture to all of my OLD stuff....sniff!

I can certainly see why a kid likes all this's bright, modern, different, and would be neat in a dorm or your first apartment or first home. But I just decided there was NO WAY I could possibly have as much fun in IKEA as I would in an antique mall, and I don't have to read a foreign language and push a four-wheel drive shopping cart in an antique mall...(really, all four wheels turn on their shopping carts!)

Lovin' those stripey chairs, and sitting in them you've got to get low, low, low, low low, (shorty).

Fake orange leather anyone?

The black and white area was monochoromatically wondrous. It was my favorite area and the most traditional in looks and style.

Their kitchen set-ups were neat looking. I'm just curious if their sinks work with our plumbing? I was surprised that they sell appliances, too!

Luke checks out the fridge that matches the cupboards in one of the kitchen set-ups.

Who wouldn't like to have all those shelves in their all white living room?

Well, it's an exciting place to visit, but it won't ever be a serious single destination for me. It's just not ME. Most of this stuff would look just plain silly in my humble little country abode.

I enjoyed looking, just for fun and I bought a few baby items and a neat fold out towel bar, and will go back when I have more time to look all over the place without a teenage son whose feet hurt! I wouldn't mind buying the pretend kitchen and the dishes and food for a grandchild someday.

Do YOU like IKEA?
(Or, like me, did you find it made you feel slightly off-kilter or like you were in another dimension?)


★Carol★ said...

I've been to IKEA a few times, with my 20 year old daughter, and she definitely enjoys it more than I do! Call me old-fashioned, but it's too big and too modern for me! Rarely does anything modern come into this house. The food was actually pretty decent, but the portions were tiny. I guess that's the way they eat in Sweden, and I'm sure it's better for you, but I like to leave the table with a full belly! All in all, IKEA is not for me!

Sue said...

IKEA was good for furnishing kids rooms and their first apartments. I have purchased shelving there and odds and ends in the marketplace. Agree that the scale of chairs is WAY off. My husband can't understand it as he works for a Swedish Co. and all the Swedes he has met are tall. I did buy a headboard and footboard for a guest room but we did not go with their system of rails for it.

Shari from Big Yellow Farmhouse said...

Wow, I didn't expect it to look like this! I've heard all the hoopla about IKEA and wished there was one closer than hundreds of miles away so I could check it out. Now I know not to bother! Definitely not my style and I don't like big box stores at all. I'm with you - think I'll stick to antique malls and estate auctions!! I just like things with a bit of history to them!! Thanks for sharing these photos!

Anonymous said...

Oh I am with you I was not impressed at all. It was way to big and drove me nuts. I really think things( maybe not all things) are not the best quality:) I love the olders stuff it is made so much better. Antique malls for me. Elma

Sharon said...

I love to go and look there but it is different!!

Farmgirl Cyn said...

I think anything kitcheny would be right up my alley, but the other stuff is way too modern for me! And there is so much old stuff out there that needs a new home, I would rather just shop at the local thrift stores and rescue the vintage!

Suzanne said...

Most of it is just-out-of-college-first-apartment stuff The bookcases are terrific though. Our entire in-home library is made up of the Billy bookcases shown in the last photo. Also, that chair on the left in the last photo.... the Poang chair... is very, very comfortable.

- Suzanne

Anonymous said...

We have tried the food but it isn't very good. Couple of things we don't like are the long, long lines at checkout (which don't improve even during the week as opposed to the weekends)- and now they won't give you any plastic bags unless you pay 5 cents per bag. The last two times we visited and tried to buy items when we went to the storage area both items weren't in stock. We have bought some DVD storage unit and they were ok. I wouldn't buy any furniture like sofas or chairs from them. They aren't much on customer service.

Teacup Lady (Sandy)

Kay-The Rustic Cottage said...

I love IKEA! We have a big one right across the bridge in Portland, OR. Although I'm sure it's not as big as the one in Chicago or Seattle. I can get lost for hours in the kitchen gadgets department. My next sofa will be from there because I love having the slip covers that can be changed. The meat balls are to die for too!!

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

At first I skimmed this thinking that we were within spitting distance from each other this weekend - then I realized you were in Michigan --
I No-Like-Ikea I mean, it's fun once every three years but the stuff leaves me cold. It is a good place to get cheap silverware and light fixtures and stuff though...OK, I take it back - though practically never a destination for me - It does serve it's purpose...but the whole "check your kids in" while you shop gives me the creeps!!!!

The Retired One said...

Hello, fellow Michigander!

I saw on Sue's blog that you left a comment that you love to come up to the U.P.....and love its beauty.
I hope you stop by my blog, I think you would like it. I take many nature photographs of places in the U.P. where I live. If you stop by my blog, go back to some of my older blogposts too, I think you will like it.
It is at:

Sue said...

It was neat seeing the pics of the place, but I don't think IKEA is for me. I'm a primitive pine antique gal....this stuff is too modern for me!

aimee said...

I like IKEA but can understand why some people wouldn't. Things I like there: the cookie cutters shaped like forest animals, the Dala horse cake tins, wood bowls and some kitchen cabs/countertops.
The furnishings are of the modern style--but I am not surprised considering Scandinavia is known for that style. I can appreciate some but not all of it. The food was good but not gourmet like; they do have some Nordic items which I tend to like though:)
Not liked: crowds, full parking lots and the impression that they seem to have problems keeping certain items in stock.
May I say how much I have enjoyed your beautiful autumn photos???? They have been amazing!!

KathyB. said...

I LOVE IKEA! We have one in our state, close to Seattle. It is a destination for my husband and myself. We have also found the Swedish Meatballs with lingonberry sauce to be very good. Maybe it is the Scandinavian blood in us. There is a documentary about IKEA that explains its' mission and goals regarding what they make, how and why, it would answer a lot of your questions about size, etc.

We have found IKEA does have a good selection of more traditional furniture and some nifty storage ideas too.Plus, they use real wood , not particle board, on a lot of their furniture...but they do have a lot of modern stuff I pass right by.You really can't make a trip to IKEA quick though, or shop there with someone eager to get out as soon as they get in. I especially like the little apartment style set-ups walking through the pages of home decorating magazines.

Bloggin bout my Boys said...

WOW I almost blew my once-a-year sister day going there this Saturday THANKS for saving me the trouble. Not surprised my thoroughly modern nieces love it. I have never bought stuff just "cause it's trendy. I like a good ol' thrift store and a diner ANYDAY!!!

Kathie Truitt said...

I HATE Ikea. That's all I'll say.

Donna said...

HERE YOU ARE! I have Not been able to get onto your site in Months!! Some Advertising would pop up and would Not let me onto the site!!!
Thanks for popping back over and not giving up on me Girl!
Congratulations on Voting!! Well Done!!hughugs

Donna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I'm not a big fan either, I guess I expected so much more after hearing it built up so much. But to me, it all looked flimsy and cheap.

Mary your sis said...

Some of the stuff at IKEA seems flimsy, but the prices are very cheap, too, so it's a trade off. I'd like the slipcovered more traditional sofa's for the convenience of tossing the slipcovers into the wash. But, mostly what I like are the storage solutions. Some of their lighting is pretty unique especially for a teens room. I'd like to go sometime when I can just browse the storage area for a better way to organize my craft room... but NOT on a Saturday. It is overwhelming enough with small crowds and with large crowds it is frustrating! Thanks for taking me though, I had a good time and it was fun to see Luke's reaction to the store!