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Swedish Furniture Store

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Affordable European furniture and a design inspiration

  • Mar 2, 2009
  • by
I am an Interior Designer - yet I can't afford the designer furniture that I would specify for a client. That is where Ikea comes in, they give you great design for a fraction of the cost of look-alike items from expensive furniture stores. Like another reviewer mentioned, you can choose the quality of the item according to your budget. You can buy the solid wood wardrobe for $600, or one that looks similar but is made of pressed particle boards for $150.

I was very excited when the Stoughton store opened in MA, a one hour drive from my house - the previous closest store was a 2.5 hour drive. In the past two and a half years I have been there about 10 times, I try to keep a list of Ikea 'needs and wants' (I highly recommend a list so you don't end up spending your entire paycheck, the prices seem low but it adds up fast) so that I don't forget anything the next time I go there. Out of furniture I have a bedroom set, dining set, kitchen island/cart, and bookcase from Ikea - and countless accessories [including the  8 rice paper lamps I used to decorate our wedding ceremony and reception] . I am very satisfied with everything including the quality you get for the price you pay.

Every time I go I pay a visit to the cafeteria which reminds me of the public cafeterias we used to have in Russia when I was young, the same concept. The portions are European sized (just how I like it, that way you get to try a little of everything), but the prices are very low as well. This is also a very kid friendly store, the caf has a children's play/dine area, and they have a place at the entrance where you can leave your child while you shop.

  • Choose the quality of furniture you desire according to your budget.
  • Get inspired by the design of a myriad of complete room vignettes.
  • Unique design comparable to high end European furniture stores.
  • A fun place for the whole family with an affordable cafeteria.
  • Stroller and wheelchair friendly.
  • Will not swallow your wallet (although that is entirely in your hands).
  • The low prices are partially made possible by the 'help-yourself' warehouse where you pick up the furniture in convenient flat packs yourself. 
  • You will fall in love with the way the kitchen cabinet drawers close.
  • You can take a nap on any of their mattresses before you buy one.
  • Low prices deceive you to believe you can buy this, that, and little bit of everything [and then you are at the checkout with a heart attack].
  • Parking is tough on the weekends, try to go on weekdays when it is a lot less crowded.
  • The 'help-yourself' warehouse is where you might need some help if you can't lift heavy things and are buying bulky furniture.
  • The fact that this furniture is so widely recognized you are likely to hear "Oh, I have one of those too" or "That's from Ikea, right?"
  • Be prepared that some of the really cheap items at the Marketplace are just that, cheap, not always great quality.

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July 14, 2009
I love IKEA too. I don't have a ton of furniture from there, but almost ALL of my drinking glasses and plenty of picture frames, utensils, framed art and other things in my home come from there. Nice review from a designer's perspective!
July 14, 2009
Yeah I have many accessories from there too, much more than furniture. My latest find is this handy little Grossby Night Light.
May 31, 2009
I absolutly agree, we have a large Ikea store in Reykjavik which is very popular with Icelanders. All my bookshelfs are Ikea and they vere in fact the most practical I could find from any maker. I use them not only for books but also my CD collection which is over 2000 items, and also my DVD´s . My bed, and rug and lamps and some small items here and there, all from Ikea, all for a good price, often only one fourth of the price of similar items from other makers. Some of the Items from Ikea are perhaps not top quality but still the quality of many of the items are really good, my bed is still in top form and it was bought in 1988.
March 02, 2009
There's the one pictogram with IKEA instructions that shows a piece with a crack in it and the little cartoon guy crying...I take that to mean, "Don't break any of these flimsy pieces AS you're putting em together, and you'll be OK!"
March 02, 2009
I'm with you on the paying for quality concept. They've got everything for pretty much anyone with any budget, and I wonder if that factor alone has contributed to their success. And I won't lie, my number one favorite item at Ikea is the Swedish meatballs. So good!
More IKEA reviews
Quick Tip by . October 23, 2009
I always looked forward to going to IKEA.....more than a store, it's an event with much to look at and buy!...excellent quality and prices!
Quick Tip by . October 23, 2009
I can dig it. You really do get the best bang for your buck furniture here. Love the products & set up!
review by . July 16, 2009
Ikea BESTA & INREDA storage system
Ikea is famous for their low price furniture, easy to assemble, and equally infamous for the lack of quality and durability in that low priced furniture. As weird as it may sound, Ikea is one of those places where you must buy from strategically. Though I quite a bit of furniture from Ikea, I would never buy furniture I used on a daily basis from there. Case in point, my sister bought an Ikea bed while we were in college. The mattress was supported by only a few wooden slats. A few months after …
Quick Tip by . September 18, 2009
posted in City Lifestyle
I just bought a breakfast in bed table for $6 and I now surf comfortably in bed. If that's not an unbeatable bargain, I don't know what is!
review by . December 11, 2008
I love IKEA. There's a wide range of products and quality.. so you can purchase a $100 bedframe... or go for the better quality $400 one.    There are both plusses and minuses to the way that all the stores are set up. I do love that they dedicate an entire floor to "set up rooms" .. it gives you inspiration on what you want to buy (if you're looking to redecorate) and what kind of trends/themes you're looking for. However, if you already know what you want, it tempts you to …
About the reviewer
Anastasia B ()
Ranked #22
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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About this topic


IKEA is a furniture company founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 in Sweden.  Currently, there are 315 IKEA retail stores mostly in the United States, Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia.

Most IKEA stores are two stories, with the top level as a showcase of already decorated rooms typically found in houses.  Tags with details of the product can be found so that customers can find the product easily once they go downstairs to the warehouse.

In addition to picking up furniture (which come in boxes and need to be self constructed), the downstairs usually offers decorative items such as photo frames, art and lighting in various designs. 

IKEA is well known for its modern chic look while keeping the prices reasonable so that consumers from all ends of the spectrum can find something to fit their needs here.

Ikea USA web site (official site)
Ikea Fans web site (user community)
Ikea Hacker (blog)
Ikea Hacks (Instructables blog)
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