A Memoir To My Favourite Furniture Shop
A place where the names are peculiar, sometimes unpronounceable and very Swedish. IKEA is by far my favourite place to get lost and the best place to discover all of those home wares that you never knew you needed (yet find them slipping into your shopping bag anyway). Pretty much everyone has been to this iconic homeware shop and if you haven’t, I highly recommend getting yourself there to see what you’ve missed out on all this time.
Popular for their flatpack furniture and meatballs, IKEA is the home of all things simplistic, beautiful and good value for money. Most people just visit when they need new furniture, when they’re decorating or moving, but for the last 3 years, Luke and I have been visiting IKEA probably a little more than the average person. We lived 45 mins away from our nearest store while we were at uni and even now we’re home, it’s still around 30 minutes. Not exactly on our doorstep but we’ve always enjoyed a drive so if we were bored and fancied it, we always went. I had to check while writing this and we have decided between us that it’s been around 20-30 times. Whenever we’re in the mood, as soon as we decide we need just one little thing such as a photo frame or a lamp, anything, we get in the car and go. However, it’s very rarely that either of us (or anyone for that matter) can go in there needing one thing and come out with just that. Sometimes we’ll get there and just go straight to the market place to mill around, picking up mugs, candles, whatever takes our fancy. Other times, it’ll be the full walk through the showrooms and all of the furniture, wandering through multiple ‘homes’ and of course partaking in the usual commentary on whether the layout or items would be something that we’d want for ourselves.
Thinking about it, who doesn’t appreciate a well designed interior? All of the combinations and different styles that are achievable throughout every home fascinates, inspires and makes me very impatient about the time I have to wait until I get to design my own space. I have always enjoyed seeing what people do with their homes, I went through the typical phase during college of pinning lots of ‘interior inspo’ on Pinterest, despite it being (just a few) years away. These boards would mainly consist of images or light spaces and white washed rooms with books, plants and ornaments placed on surfaces to make them just the right amount of ‘busy’. IKEA is one place for me that is the go-to for plants, mugs and a large variety of bargain scented candles. My favourite IKEA candle has always been ‘Sweet Vanilla’ and is what I always go for, these are inexpensive and although they aren’t very pungent, after a little while they do give off a delicate smell and of course they look good when lit. Totally worth it for the small price of £1.75. Admittedly, I still sometimes light my Jo Malone candles at the same time, there’s zero competition between them scent wise buuut you pay for what you get and these are a fraction of the price!
One of my favourite items from here has to be my indoor tree, around my birthday last year I still had no idea what I wanted from Luke and every time he asked me I told him I didn’t know. I’m someone who really doesn’t like asking for things that I might go off in a few months time such as clothes or other spur of the moment items, I like to be able to keep them and enjoy them for a long time with that memory attached to it. So on one of our many trips we were in the plant section, and I’m a sucker for plants anyway, I saw a Mexican Money Tree and I was completely set on it. I see it every day and like it just as much as before. One thing I can’t wait for from this tree is for it to grow, we have one upstairs in our house which has grown to be ridiculously tall, it has spread out and now has to be tied to a beam on the vaulted ceiling where it gets bigger year by year. The tallest leaves on mine so far are my height which is around 5’3, so I’m looking forward to seeing it grow over the years as our other one has.
The versatility of this brand throughout the world is quite something, with stores in 36 countries, IKEA’s branding works and is suitable for a huge range of people from many different backgrounds. You are able to go to an Airbnb halfway across the world to find yourself sat looking at a bookcase or even a cushion that’s familiar from back home. Overall, the whole experience of IKEA is one that you can’t really get in another UK store and thats why I love it so much and if anyone knows somewhere that is up to par or that can beat it, please let me know!