after researching their website all week (yes, i'm that girl) i had a list, a pinterest page, tons of great ideas and a wad of cash ready for our trip to ikea. let me preface this by saying that ikea is over an hour away from our house. so, it isn't like target where i can just pop over there for a quick stroll through the office supplies section when i'm having a bad day... this was serious.
i recently decided that i am going to re-do our "office" space - the word office sounds really official, like we do important paperwork in there and type really fast. we don't. right now, "office" means "room that is for storage of things that nobody knows where to put and have no purpose but we are keeping them just because." i hate it. so i sold some stuff and took that money to ikea for a full on play day extravaganza with my mom.
we got there at 11am and it i could see the sunlight and furniture covered rainbows beaming out from inside the store. it was a massive magical warehouse. in reality it is just a huge building with a completely crowded parking lot and a lot (i mean, a lot) of people all excited to get their hands on some cool cheap stuff. you go in and get your cool mini cart and put one of their massive yellow bags over the handles so you have place to store all your goodies. then you go upstairs for the first part of the store.
when you get off the elevator, you walk into a giant showroom of sorts. there are mini rooms decorated and set up for you to look through and get ideas. so you start with like 30 different living rooms and each thing in the room has a tag on it with the info you need to find it. so, say you really like the shelving unit on the wall - you go over to it and check the tag for the aisle # and the bin # - so that when you get to the last part of the store (the overwhelming warehouse part) you can find it and pick it up. you write all of this info down on the paper they give you when you get there. same goes for pillows, rugs, etc. but those are found in part 2 of the store..we'll get there.
|dream kitchen action. i'm in love.|
so you go through all the living rooms and eventually get to the offices, bedrooms, kitchens, closets and bathrooms. each section flows into the next and they even have handy little arrows on the floor in case you get lost. each section has everything you could ever need for that type of room. so when you get to the kitchen section (one of my favorite sections!) you can pick out your counter tops, cabinets, flooring, faucets and even your sink! they literally have everything, including the kitchen sink - housed so neatly in many drawers that you pull out until you find your dream sink.
|the sink section. obviously.|
my mind was blown. the last part of the showroom section was the kids section and even without any children of my own i wanted to buy everything. many times on this trip i had to remind myself that i was there on an office mission and that the rest of the house would have to wait for another day. it wasn't easy, friends.
|more of my bright white dream kitchen. it's just so clean|
after you get through the showroom section you can go grab some food in the restaurant (which we didn't do because of time but they totally have swedish meatballs and chocolate cake- so we are stopping there next time!) or you can take the elevator down to the first floor for section #2: the marketplace.
|lights galore in the marketplace!|
in the marketplace you pick out all the little do-dads and accessories for your various rooms. so - dishes, pillows, rugs, wall decor, etc. we grabbed an extra cart as we entered this section and i don't know what we would have done if we hadn't. once you get in - going back for a cart would be a task. it was hard not to grab everything in sight because it is all so awesome. i needed everything in sight, naturally. my favorite part of the marketplace was the "home organization" room. i mean, shelves, boxes, binders, dividers, drawers, bins - i love a good organization section and this one was seriously top notch. once your carts are full to the top (or in our case - 2 carts full to the top) you go into the warehouse.
|there are no words.|
the warehouse is not for the faint of heart. it is serious business in there and its totally overwhelming. floor to super high ceiling of cardboard boxes. each filled with a awesome piece of furniture likely consisting of ten thousand tiny pieces. lucky for matt - the things i bought don't require too much assembly.
|found my aisle, found my bin... now what?!|
so once you are in the warehouse- you take out your notes from the showroom section and find the aisle and bin that is for your piece of furniture. if you don't know that - you are totally screwed. there is no rhyme or reason to this mega warehouse section and you will get lost if you don't have good notes. i'll be taking much better notes on my next ikea adventure because i was obviously not prepared.
|all smiles here! i love ikea!|
once you get your furniture, you head to the well-oiled machine that is the checkout section. i almost shed a tear when i saw the massive lines ahead of us - i was tired, hungry and cranky by the end of all this (its hard work!) and the last thing i wanted was to spend an hour in line.. luckily ikea has done this before and we only waited a few minutes despite the huge crowd. so i got my stuff, paid the lady and then panicked because they don't give you bags! no bags for items to carry to the car. so, it took more time reloading my cart with each item - each tiny individual item - than it did to wait in line and pay.
|mama and our cart of goodies!|
|checkout aisle mayhem|
as you leave they have a little shop with swedish food items. most of the items looked a little scary or were some type of herring fish soaking in weird liquid. not my thing. but they did have chocolate - and i never say no to yummy chocolate, so i got myself a bar and one for the hubbs, cuz i kinda like him.
|car full of new office goodies!|
overall - ikea was as magical as i thought it would be. it's obviously crowded and at times overwhelming, but i think that's part of the magic. in case you are heading to ikea soon, i decided to help you out with a list of tips and tricks. you're welcome.
i can't wait to get started on our new office and show you all how it turned out! seriously, this day was one of the best days i have ever had and i loved seeing all the amazing possibilities ikea has to offer. go explore and have fun reworking a part of your house that makes you a little sad. it is so worth it! my new space is going to be so great and organized and functional. hooray ikea!! have you ever been to ikea? was it awesome?