Money Poll #17: Shopping at Ikea

Over the weekend my family made our first trip to an IKEA store. We’ve been in the market for a relatively inexpensive, yet reasonably good table for our dinette, and we haven’t run across anything that we like (either in local stores, in the paper, or on craigslist). We live about an hour from the nearest IKEA, and we’ve heard a lot about it, so we thought that we’d give it a shot.

To make a long story short, it was a pretty interesting place with some decent deals. Perhaps the most interesting thing to me was the number of U-Hauls (and the like) parked in the loading area — quite a few people were making serious hauls.

While didn’t end up finding a table that we liked, we did solve one annoying problem in our house… We don’t have actually have a coat closet, although there is a recessed ‘nook’ near the front door. My wife and I have talked about framing that in and turning it into a closet, but that’s not a high priority right now. Still, we need a convenient place to hang a few coats, stash the kids’ backpacks, etc. Ikea to the rescue! We found a great wall-mounted hat/coat rack with small cubbies, as well as a matching ‘bench’ with six larger cubby holes beneath it. Both pieces are pre-finished and made of solid wood (no particle board), and the total came to a little under $150. We also picked up a couple of throw rugs in sizes that we haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

Anyway, that brings us to the question of the week…


9 Responses to “Money Poll #17: Shopping at Ikea”

  1. Anonymous

    I’ve been shopping at IKEA for 3 years. So many choices in furniture and housewares. Great prices too. I like the AS-IS section where someone has returned a piece and it is around 1/2 off. Never had a problem with any of their merchandise. They have an easy chair which is super comfortable and way cheaper than any other store.

  2. Anonymous

    In 1993 I was working in Pittsburgh on a very large report, and purchased a duvet and duvet cover at IKEA there. This was before European bedding was more available in the States – it was great! (I prefer the duvet to a top sheet ever since living in Germany and Scotland.) IKEA seemed to be a more modern and simplistic take on well-designed furnishings, and provided style and functionality along with higher-quality components than those found for similar prices elsewhere.

  3. Anonymous

    I’ve never actually bought anything from them, but during the interval after I started planning to seriously do the video business (and thus acquired a need to furnish a shooting space) and before I acquired a fiancee who already has a house-full of furniture, I went to the Chicago-area store a few times to look around. (There’s now two in the area, but by the time the second one actually opened, I wasn’t going anymore.)

  4. Anonymous

    I have some LEKSVIK bookshelves and a matching TV stand and coffee table from IKEA. They are solid wood which is what you want for bookshelves. Unfortunately they discontinued the finish I got, so if I need a fourth bookcase (the three I have are almost full) I have to buy ALL FIVE of those pieces over. I have no idea whether this is typical of IKEA, but it’s something I’d watch out for in the future. I suppose some other places would have discontinued the style entirely, which would have the same result. (I could paint everything, I guess, and then the new one would match, so I guess IKEA’s a little bit better.)

  5. Anonymous

    You can get fantastic deals there on occasion, and it’s only 5 min from my house if all the lights are green. Sometimes the quality and/or industrial design aspects of their products leave something to be desired, however.

  6. Anonymous

    I like IKEA quite a bit, although some of their more modern styles don’t appeal at all. Although I expect I’ll want nicer furniture eventually, at this point in my life it seems to be a good balance of reasonable prices for decent stuff, even if its not meant to last forever. We’ll be one of those people with a U-haul van or similar in a few weeks when we go to get bookshelves.

  7. Anonymous

    Ikea is great if you:

    a. Need to furnish a room quickly and cheaply.
    b. Don’t mind assembling your furniture.
    c. Are okay with the fact that for the most part you are getting disposable furniture.

    It’s a neat place to shop even with strange Bond movie/cult vibe.
    P.S. be sure to get a cinnamon bun on the way out.

  8. Anonymous

    I Love IKEA. Whatever anyone thinks about the quality, you can always find something to fit whatever weird corner of your house you need to put something into. A lot of their things are highly customizable, stack on top of one another, can be purchased in parts, etc etc.

    I bought a nice, small table out of the As Is section for $10 a few years ago. When I moved into my apartment and needed a dining table, we went back and bought a new table top for $20 because the legs were reusable.

  9. Anonymous

    I’ve never shopped at Ikea. I have no particular desire to shop there, but I also have no particular desire not to shop there. My fiancé has shopped at Ikea, and through various hand me downs and her we have a few pieces of Ikea furniture. It isn’t the highest quality stuff to be found, but it is usually a good cheap alternative.

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