Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Trip to IKEA

Our apartment, as do many apartments in this part of the world, comes fully furnished.  Glad we were that we could move without bringing furniture and we got a great apartment with great furniture.  After getting our printer, we realized we needed some kind of desk or table for our computer, printer, and office supplies.  Our first setup wasn't quite working.

The printer, manuals, and printer paper on a footstool and the floor
What a mess!

The printer, sitting on a footstool with printer paper piled on the floor beneath wasn't a long-term solution, so we needed something bigger.  In Iowa, we would have just gotten in the car and driven to a thrift store like Goodwill for all of our furniture, clothing, and junk needs.

In Dublin, charity stores are great, but we have yet to find one of the cavernous warehouses like a Midwestern Goodwill store.  All of the charity shops we have found here have a great selection of clothing, but not as much room for furniture and junk.  Besides, we don't have a car, so we rely on the Dublin Bus for getting around town.  Thus, we can't gamble that any given charity shop will have what we need on any given day.  Having no choice, we had to go new...

"Where can we get new furniture at low prices?"  Of course the answer, especially in Europe, is IKEA.  I had never set foot in one of the colossal temples to consumerism, even back in America.  I had no idea what I was in for.





We set out first thing on a Saturday morning.  The IKEA store in Dublin is 18km (11 miles) from our place, so walking is out.  To save some bus fare, we walked to City Centre to where we would have had to make a bus transfer.  We arrived at City Centre before the crowds had grown too large, and caught the bus north to IKEA.

We had packed a lunch for the long trip, and were glad we did, because we arrived at IKEA just about lunchtime.  We decided to eat lunch before we went in just so we weren't tempted to get Swedish Meatballs once inside.

The main IKEA logo seen from the outside of IKEA in Dublin, Ireland
The Dragons' Den
As I said, I had never been to an IKEA store. For those who have also not yet been, let me explain from my observations.  The store (is "store" the correct word, here?) has a showroom with all of the furniture and other housewares on display.  Small items like plates, silverware, etc. are stacked up to be collected on the spot.  Furniture is on display but the take-home pieces are not in the showroom.  Each piece has a warehouse location displayed on the tag.  The shopper records the location in the warehouse with a provided pencil and paper to collect in the warehouse later.  The showroom is a one-way path through living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, children's rooms, studio apartments, closets, and rooms I had never heard of.

My problem came (probably) not from the setup, but the intense crowds of a Saturday afternoon.  The one-way stream of appraising shoppers gave me a distinct sense of being trapped.  It is impossible to turn around because the crowds are pushing behind you and impossible to move faster because the crowds are touching the sheets and discussing at length their various attributes.  

Also, I noticed a startling number of young children.  I have never seen so many kids in a less kid-friendly place.  IKEA is full of small, fragile objects at kid-grab height, with innumerable bouncy chairs, beds, and other pieces of furniture.  I fully respect each parents' right to choose what to do with children, but I was just surprised at how many large families brought the whole clan along.  I have to respect the men who came along with the wives and all the kids.  In America, I would imagine many families would leave kids home with Dad while Mom goes out to shop.  Maybe they have evolved beyond those kind of gender roles here, and maybe we were just out and about before the hurling match began that day.

I swallowed my agoraphobia as best I could, and we made our way through the showroom.  We found a TV stand that would fit our needs and our budget.  We took down the warehouse location and moved on.  We picked up a few more household things, including two black boxes to act like desk drawers before we got to the end of the showroom and arrived at the warehouse.  

The crowds thinned in the warehouse, so I calmed down enough to find our TV stand in a flat, manageable box near the end of the first aisle.  We checked out and emerged into the bright sunshine at last.  Luckily, the next bus was just arriving as we came out the front door, so we hurried to the bus stop and caught the bus home.

Below is a photo essay of the assembly and setup of the TV stand.



Home made pizza dough, basil leaves, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese.
First, dinner!  Home made Pizza Margherita, beetroot salad, and extra sauce

Getting ready to set up the LAIVA TV stand
Opening the box

Hardware for LAIVA TV stand from IKEA Dublin, Ireland
Opening the Hardware

Instructions for LAIVA TV stand from IKEA Dublin, Ireland
Instructions that transcend language barriers.  They are told only in
images, no words.

Assembling the Legs of LAIVA TV stand from IKEA Dublin, Ireland
Assembling one of the legs

Assembling LAIVA TV stand from IKEA Dublin, Ireland with a special tool included with the kit.
Driving in a screw with a special tool included with the kit

Assembling LAIVA TV stand from IKEA Dublin, Ireland with a screwdriver from a bicycle repair kit.
Screwing in a peg with a real screwdriver.  The screwdriver
is part of a bicycle repair kit we received as a gift.

LAIVA TV stand from IKEA Dublin, Ireland
Finished!  After just a few errors corrected.

Black File Box from IKEA Dublin, Ireland
File box (after assembly, yep, assembly)

LAIVA TV Stand from IKEA Dublin, Ireland with file boxes from IKEA Dublin, Ireland
Watching Parks and Recreation with the printer and file boxes.



5 comments:

  1. The first set-up reminds me of my system @ grad school in Chicago this summer.

    The latter one is pretty sweet. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was nice to find something in our price range and that would fit in our space. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
    2. It was nice to find something in our price range and that would fit in our space. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  2. Please. Please tell me you still have those instructions. =S I've scowered the internet for them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just scoured our collection of manuals. We don't have the instructions for it. We must have thrown them out. Sorry I couldn't help you, best of luck.

      Delete

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