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IKEA - mixed feelings
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:22 am
I like some of the things from IKEA but some of the stuff looks kinda cheapy. Some stuff looks sturdy, sleek and of good quality. Often, high prices imply higher quality. Is this theory true in IKEA's case? Is their stuff of high or low quality? I have bought stuff from there but usually picking and choosing the items, depending on their use. For instance, we needed a cheap and temporary tv stand and got it there. After a while it starts wobbling. Another example, we bought a light fixture that is brushed finish and glass globe - works fine and looks cool. I have seen modern homes featured in magazines and the article mentiones furniture or accessories from IKEA.
So I guess my point is trying to figure out where people stand on deciphering the quality of IKEA stuff.
The way I see it
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:45 am
IMHO you have answered your own question. Some of IKEA's stuff is quite nice while some is glorified dormitory furnishings. The quality does seem to be commensurate with price, but I suppose that is the case with most everything. It also tends to look better in photos than in reality, but again that applies to most everything.
I think Joe said it best when he wrote that a couple of IKEA items are fine, mixed in with some good vintage stuff. I have a couple which I bought used. They will eventually be replaces with better, vintage MCM items. That does take time (and $$$$) though.
IKEA is great for college grads who are not yet flush with cash and must furnish their first residence away from both the dorm and the parents. But do it right and it can work. Hell, my Mom still has a Kmart tv stand blending in with all her antiques. And it works, believe it or not.
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:49 am
I have a love/hate thing with IKEA. For the most part I like their stuff alot. You can get a nice MCM look for very little money. They have knocked off some classic designs ie: the saarinen white tulip table which looks great and is only $150...I got one for my kitchen and looks great with some vintage tulip chairs I found...it looks like a set.
I have alot of their stuff mixed in with the vintage stuff throughout my house and the right pieces look right at home.
If you get the new Atomic Ranch Magazine, a picture of my condo that I just sold is on the "home" page and there is a mix of IKEA and vintage...I even mentioned it in the blurb.
As far as quality goes....You pretty much said it...higher price = better quality, for the most part. The other thing is that, most of the stuff is done made with MDF and veneer, so if you want real teak or walnut, you have to go high end or vintage.With IKEA, you have to be select in what you get there, but it IS the only place to get MCM looking stuff on a budget.
The hate part is the assembly part...their instructions SUCK and alot of the stuff doesn't assemble very easily. Parts break, screws strip etc...it's cheap, so you have to be careful when you assemble it.
The real upside is that you can do a whole room for low $$$, then change it in a year because you didn't spend alot, so it's no big deal. If you like to change things around alot, then it works out great.
There are very few mid priced MCM style store out there...Design Within Reach has amazing sruff, but SOOOO expensive. West Elm has some nice stuff for decent prices, but if you're not into Espresso colored wood or white, then you're outta luck.
Overall I vote YES on IKEA, just be selective.
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:50 am
I think Ikea's metal furnishings are much better than their wood stuff. Anything they try to disguise as made of a different material should be a red flag to you. Their particle board stuff is of lesser quality, in my opinion. But hey, $400 for an Ikea shelf vs $800 from Blu Dot... hmmm...
Re: IKEA - mixed feelings
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:51 am
Re: IKEA - mixed feelings
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:02 am
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:42 pm
When stuff breaks they can be very nice about giving you replacement parts and they keep the nuts, bolts and tiny allen wrenches coming. I've had good luck some of that wood stuff. Though a large cabinet I've had for about 5 years is now creeping towards the east and the doors don't quite close all the way....
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:43 pm
I have quite a lot of IKEA in my home. When I first moved out on my own during college, it's all I could afford that still had a modern sensiblity to it. Now that I'm in my mid 20s and have been out of college for a couple of years, I am itching to get some new and vintage pieces to replace my IKEA stuff.
It fit my needs well at the time. I have some issues with quality on some of the items I have, but that is to be expected.
I like IKEA overall, I think it's great that they fill that void that is out there for affordable modern. I would hate to think of what I could of found in my price range if IKEA wasn't there.
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 1:18 pm
Does anybody find the whole IKEA shopping experience dizzying? I mean literally? I get dizzy walking around in there.
However, I do have a few IKEA items mixed with vintage, as well as, precise replicas from Modernica. I do like my door mats from IKEA and a brushed nickel lamp that I found is pretty cool too. And, yes when I bought my house I did buy a temporary TV stand there, now it's in an extra room.
I'll put it like this ... I prefer IKEA in the guest room verses my own...
For what it's worth, the SVEDISH MEATBALLS are good!
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 1:29 pm
I once assembled seven small Ikea drawer cases for a hair salon -- with all those cam fasteners I was glad I had my screw-gun with the appropriate hex-drive tip! I've also assembled a pine kitchen table and chair set, and a couple of tall-door cases.
A common vexation of any door cabinet is that the doors don't align properly. This is usually a levelling problem; raising a front or rear corner with a shim will correct this immediately. If an Ikea knock-down piece begins to loosen up, the first remedy would be to unload it and re-tighten all the fastening hardware. Allowing the wobbling to continue will eventually result in an unfixable cabinet or furniture piece.
Many Ikea pieces are "foil"-covered particle-board (the skin is a printed plastic film). This blonde-colored core material is relatively crumbly and acts like a sponge when wetted. MDF is a darker-colored substrate which is of better quality. Unfortunately, there is often no way to observe in an asembled piece what core material is used; a peek at the rear or bottom edges will sometimes reveal this, however. The knock-down cam hardware eventually loosens in particle-board; less so in MDF and possibly never in solid wood.
Welded metal, solid wood and plywood Ikea pieces are likely to be sturdier and longer-wearing. The foil-covered pieces usually can be identified by a too-perfect printed wood-grain surface.
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:18 pm
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:39 pm
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:40 pm
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:43 pm
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:38 pm
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Re: IKEA - mixed feelings
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:38 am
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:39 am
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:51 am
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:08 pm
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:47 pm
Apu, in reference to Homer's temporary employment: "He slept, he stole, he was rude to customers; still, there goes the best darned employee QuickyMart ever had. . .!"
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:57 pm
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:02 pm
Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:01 am
I like IKEA, but it seems like they used to have more better quality stuff, and more colors available.
We have a futon couch bought at IKEA for $300 about 10 years ago and it's still in great shape. Unfortunately they don't make any that are nearly that sturdy (frame or futon) anymore.
I saw a modern house in the L.A. Times Home section awhile back where they had used several round rugs in different colors from IKEA like indoor stepping stones, but they only carry those rugs in gray, blue, red, white, and the dreaded hot pink now.
I found these on sale the other day - not my favorite thing in the world and I can see that fabric not lasting more than a couple years, but they're fairly comfortable, fit under my windows, and the fabric is similar to the orange couches we had when I was a kid. At $50 off I couldn't resist.
I like some of their lighting. The "Fado" is my cheap substitute until I can afford some Flos Glo-Ball lamps. The "Trettiore" reminds me of the torchiere my parents had (albeit theirs had a wood pole) in their Danish modern living room. And rice paper lamps always give off a warm ambient light (even with fluorescent bulbs).
For the price, I've always liked the Lillberg sofas - a friend has had the two seater for about five years now and it's still in good shape.
And the Lingonberry sauce is delicious. Anyone tried the Princess cake? ;)
Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:12 am
Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:20 pm
Some Ikea stuff is classic and durable, and some stuff is really rather disposable. My Expedit wall unit was purchased in 1999, has been moved twice and supports over 1200 LP records. I used carpenter's glue on all of the little wood dowels when I put it together. It was made with maple veneer; it looks like they only have them in fake wood now. My billy bookcases (in birch) have held up really well, and the wood is mellowing to a beautif golden color. On the other hand the little metal computer desk bit the dust early on, their floor lamps are always pretty wobbly, and I have never found any of their seating to be very comfortable.
Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:52 am
I agree with the general discussion here. IKEA is good for temporary, decent-looking MCM stuff until you can get the real thing. It has worked extremely well for us over the last four years since moving within driving distance of an IKEA. If it weren't for them, we would have nothing to sit on. We have the simple and amazingly durable Klippan sofa and are on our second slipcover - a fabulous retro chartreuse type green that is a near exact match for our Nickelodeon Sponge Bob Tiki Green living room/dining room wall. The other walls are pineapple yellow and the perfect diner turquoise. We also have the new Lessebo daybed/sofa in the black. It looks fabulous up against the pineapple yellow wall.
We had to have the Klippan sofa delivered when we bought it three years ago, but we are proud to say that we brought the Lessebo daybed home in our 2004 Honda Civic 4-door. We opened the box and crammed the individual pieces into the car (it has a pass-through from the trunk to the folded-down back seat). We had to leave the trunk partially open and tied it down - and pushed our seats forward a bit. I drove while my husband twisted his left arm sideways and held onto the frame for good measure. We had also bought some other stuff at IKEA that day and got it all in there as well. It was a real hoot. Everyone else was pulled up to the loading area in pick-ups, minivans and SUVs. They stared at us like we were nuts. We drove home on streets (instead of the freeway - just for good measure) from Costa Mesa to Lake Forest. We were pretty impressed with ourselves thaty day.
And for any of you living in this area - the Costa Mesa IKEA is a very nice shopping experience. It's way less crowded than most IKEAs from what I hear. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law tried going to an IKEA once in the Bay Area and apparently they hated it and vowed to never go back - it was so crowded they could barely move and didn't enjoy it at all. They came away with a very negative review. We can't convince them to try again and come with us to the Costa Mesa store.
Lake Forest, CA
Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:17 am
IKEA Burbank is HELL on the weekends, just pure HELL. The trick for me is to go during normal 9-5 hours. Because I work at home, I can do that.
I recently bought a really great framed picture from there, which under normal circumstances I would never do (buy IKEA original art), but this retro-on-purpose photo of a busy street in Denver, CO circa mid-60's, replete with TONS of amazing signage and great cars was too cool to pass up. It sits perfectly on my kitchen wall...and the aluminum frame matches all the stainless in the kitchen perfectly. We also bought a few of those bamboo room divider thingys that look great as we have a serious tiki fetish, and have that running throughout our house.
Sometimes IKEA ca really nail it, sometimes they miss.
Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:25 am
tikiyaki - we've got the same picture! Eric and I both spotted it at the same time. I immediately focused in on the old cars, my husband saw the signs. He was a sign painter 16 years ago when we first met. I saw cool old cars, he saw sign painter's heaven. We had to have it! Normally we wouldn't buy something like that either. He has a degree in fine art and I am a graphic artist/designer. We try to stick with our own original artwork and designs, but that picture is fabulous. The aluminum frame looks great on our tiki green living room wall, right next to the silver starburst clock that Eric built using an IKEA clock for the center portion.
Oh, and I did a little research. I think it's downtown Albuquerque, but feel free to correct me. I want very much to know what city it is. Although the license plate detail can't be seen very well, the colors match New Mexico's - they are yellow with red lettering. There is also a Carlisle street in downtown Albuquerque. The street might possibly be Broadway. The signage is amazing isn't it?
We do Tiki also. Some in the kitchen, some in our South Pacific themed bathroom. Hubby is thinking about carving a Tiki mask for our living room. He is a very good sculptor also. He just needs to find the time and we have many projects in the works, in our continuing retrofication home improvement quest.
Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:10 pm