My memory is not what it used to be. Things are sketchy when it comes to remembering things from when I was a kid. I think my brain hit a reset button when I moved from Pennsylvania to Indiana after I graduated from high school. I do however recall something that could explain why I can spend a whole day in a store like IKEA and be perfectly content.
A lot of my growing up years were spent living with my Grandparents. They liked catalogs and magazines and had a tendency to save them. I’m pretty sure there were 20 years worth of TV Guides (remember those? 🙂 and National Geographics in their basement. (The pack-rat nature my kids have…they come by it naturally.) My favorite as a kid was the 3 inch thick Sear’s catalog. It wasn’t so much looking through it and dreaming of owning all those cool toys, it was the furniture. I liked to cut out the pictures and create ‘dream’ rooms. It was like paper dolls (I had those too) only for a house. The dream lives on friends!
In preparation for our trip to IKEA, I measured our basement and drew it to-scale on paper. I then used the website and catalog to make the furniture I was hoping to purchase to-scale also. It was like a puzzle! Can this couch fit? Should we put a twin or full size bed in here? I loved it. I even typed up my list complete with item numbers and the aisles and bins in which they could be found (OCD much??) A quick lesson on IKEA shopping: almost all their items come packaged flat in boxes that you have to assemble yourself. They have something like 45 aisles with as many ‘bins’ in each where you find the boxed items. Talk about puzzles! If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be overwhelming. Good thing I’m an IKEA expert 😉
We did indeed spend the whole day yesterday at the IKEA in Schaumburg, Illinois. They had a great deal going where if you ate in their cafeteria, that cost would be deducted from your $100 or more furniture purchase. And we went way, way over $100 (yeah for ‘free’ food!) Add to that the fact that when you pay with your debit card you get 1% of your total purchase back in the form of a coupon for another purchase. All in all to work the system, we shopped the as-is area first and found one of the book shelves we were going to buy for $80 less. Thing is those are floor models and already put together. So, we bought the shelf and another storage box thingy (for $20 off normal price) and pulled the van up to load them. I parked the van again and we were back to shopping. The second round we ate lunch and filled two carts with the extra stuff. Like these pillows, Rebekah’s new bedding, storage to match, more storage boxes (that match my pillows!), and a frying pan. Then we loaded two flat carts with all the boxes (here’s Bekah’s new bed and side table and dresser.) That was purchase number 2. And that one hurt the most since we bought some major items, like a huge corner sofa.
In all my planning I failed to take into account that the sofa probably wouldn’t be packed as flat as say, the bookshelves. We’d even taken both of our vehicles up there (my minivan with all the seats stowed, and his Trailblazer.) Even with that space, the sofa wouldn’t fit. Not even close. Phil wasn’t completely sold on it anyway (I love it though.) He didn’t like the look of it, so we returned it and used the 1% back coupon on a new desk. We went through the same lane each time, and I’m pretty sure the check-out lady thought we were stalking her. She was kind though and even found a coupon for us that we didn’t know was available. Sweet! Although, when purchasing 2 rooms of furniture, $2.00 off your Swedish meatballs is a drop in the ocean.
So here we are today and we have a garage full of furniture that needs to be assembled. We have a basement that’s not fully cleaned out where said furniture needs to go, and we have no couch. This saga is not yet over. We have to do some serious looking around for a corner sofa we can agree on that fits within our budget. I’m sure it’s going to take us months to get the downstairs what we want it to be, a family room and bedroom for Bekah, but in the meantime, I’m having fun with it. I can see the finished product in my head, and let me tell you, it’s a beautiful thing!
How do you handle remodels? Where do you buy furniture?