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Saturday, 9 February 2019

Lost in Ikea-Land



The other day Mrs H and I visited Ikea looking some inexpensive odds and ends. Ikea is a place we generally avoid as a tedious tat maze, but when quality and durability are not at the top of the list it can be useful. Some of it is good value, some of it isn’t.

As we trundled around the Ikea-Land room layouts I remarked to Mrs H that I’d forgotten who I was and she understood exactly what I meant. It's the cloying, commercial, controlling atmosphere of the place. 

No windows, no respite from masses and masses of cheaply made and cheaply sold household wares. All those Scandinavian names which add nothing to the experience. Maybe they did a few decades ago, but today they too are merely tedious. GĂ„SPA.

Ikea-Land is a world where bleak thoughts flit around the back of the mind. What is it all for? Are we merely consumers? Why are they even looking at that cabinet - it's crap. For Ikea-Land is a world where even the cynicism comes out bland and banal.

7 comments:

The Jannie said...

The school where I worked had the idea of creating a senior pupils' common room. The genius in charge of buying the furniture went to Ikea. The little treasures trashed the trash in a few weeks . . . .

Sam Vega said...

My wife actually likes IKEA, and a Swedish bloke we met at college says it is part of his happy childhood memories and his sense of national and cultural identity. Me, I can't stand the place. It definitely has deleterious effects on my thinking, and God only knows what it must be like to work there. I told my wife I would only go there again if I could plan the trip like a commando raid - in fast, make the purchase, and then extraction. I find odds and ends and packaging around the house called "Smegma" and "Wankur" and the like, so I assume that she buys stuff from there and they deliver it. That's a big step forward. Once it's in your house and out of the packaging it's just standard cheap rubbish. It's the whole social-democratic sunshiney tolerant amiableness of the stores that gives me the cold sweats.

Michael said...

My saddest comment so far today, is that I have never set foot in an Ikea!

They seem like quite nice cars though, shiny, with a little black badge saying what it is!

Demetrius said...

Once it was Erik The Red, now we are subject to Ikea The Bed.

A K Haart said...

Jannie - I'm not surprised it was trashed a few weeks. Much of it seems to be made for short term use such as a flat where you don't intend to stay or people who just need something now knowing they will replace it in a few years.

Sam - a nephew of ours worked there in his student days and from what we gather they went to some lengths to make their staff feel part of the Ikea family. That was years ago though, so it could be different now.

Scrobs - never set foot in one? You don't know what you are missing with those collapsible wooden seats and wipe-clean melamine bodywork.

Demetrius - and fortunately for Erik MDF hadn't been invented.

Woodsy42 said...

Personally I quite like Ikea. My computer corner desk, under this keyboard, is an excellent blend of cost-effective simplicity and practicality and I have billy bookshelves here in my 'office space' (ie indoor man cave/spare room) that again were cheap, and are practical and tidy for books and miscellaneaous stuff. Our holiday cottage, when we could afford one, was mostly furnished in Ikea stuff. The shops are of course a pain in the arse but nevertheless ideal for those of us who need walking excercise but hate bad weather, we found that even french ones serve fish and chips in their cafes.
You don't go there to buy family heirlooms or anything intended for hard wear, but horses for courses as they say.

A K Haart said...

Woodsy - yes it is horses for courses. A chap we know recently bought an Ikea chest of drawers and added some bracing to the drawer bases so they won't fall out when he puts things in the drawers. Ikea quality is very finely judged and some people are okay with it while others are not.