March 13, 2012

Hello, Ikea

Believe it or not, the most economical way for us to travel down to Mexico last week was to first drive up to Washington D.C. where we'd fly out of Reagan National Airport. Taking an early morning flight out of D.C. Sunday meant spending the night in a hotel Saturday and the opportunity to spend some time in the area most of Saturday. Both Tim and I have been itching to visit the Woodbridge, VA Ikea and this was the perfect excuse!

It's a multi-level warehouse filled with mostly home furnishings, decor and accessories. We steered clear of any furniture purchases since the quality of materials seemed a little lacking, but didn't escape without a load of the following cute and colorful home accents and accessories:

1. Lillabo 20-piece train set. 2. Smaska training cups. 3. Tekla dish towels.  4. Vilmie figur decorative pillows. 5. Plastic heart shaped ice cube trays. 6. Bastis hook. 7. Sanela decorative pillows. 8. Curtain wire & hooks. 9. Elly dish towels. 10. Drommar pastry cutters.

We've been in need of new decorative couch pillows for years now but arriving home to one of our old ones being ripped open with feathers all over everything by you know who mid week before vacation was kind of the breaking point to finally shop for new ones. Of course we couldn't leave with just pillows, though everything else we picked up happened to be mainly impulse purchases.

We picked up the train set and training cups for my 3 nieces and nephews to use and play with when over at our house — the kids' offerings at this Ikea were pretty incredible. I could have spent an hour in that section alone. For example, check out this adorable pop up play tent (we did not get):

Speaking of things we didn't get, here are the finds we passed up this trip in order to take measurements at home and give them a little further thought:

1. Double bowl sink.  2. Long mirror.  3. Barometer floor lamp. 4. Hanging planter.  5. Square mirror. 6. Greenhouse.

I have this personal shopping rule for "larger" purchases (tell me I'm not alone). Here goes — when I see something I really like but for whatever reason something's holding me back from buying right away, I apply the rule: after leaving the store, if I/we are still thinking about said item 3 days to 1 week after then I know it's OK to get. Usually I simply forget about things once I get out of the store — if I don't then I know.

The farm sink and the barometer floor lamp have been sinking in with us the most, but once we measured we realized the double version of this sink would be way to big for our kitchen space. This one might work, but again, this would be a project for down the road. The lamp on the other hand is probably something we'll pick up on our next visit, whenever that may be, if we don't snag it online first.

One thing we learned from shopping at Ikea was that in a large warehouse setting, products appear much smaller in scale than they are in real life — kind of like Christmas trees. Once we got home after vacationing, the pillows were literally double the size I had imagined they would be in our own home setting. They still look good, but they are definitely larger and in charger than we originally thought.

So tell us, are you a fan of Ikea or in the camp that has sworn it off? Do you have personal shopping rules that only make sense to you?


  1. I've still never been into an Ikea! I've never really lived near one so I just don't think about it much.

    As for large purchases, it's very rare that we buy something on the spot. We generally come home and discuss it for a week and it then becomes evident if it is something we really do want or not. This rule also applies to my kids and toys they want (or think they want) :)

    1. I totally get it - I might "think" I want something in the store but once I leave it's usually out of sight and out of mind! It's a good test though.

  2. Oooh I LOVE IKEA. I have purchased their famous DIY furniture and it's really sturdy. I mostly buy their shelving units and I have one of their entertainment centers. Each one has lasted (and still going strong) various moves and normal wear and tear. Their bedding is the best around too. I've done more laundry in the past 11 years than the What To Expect books ever stated and IKEA's duvets and cover's have held up awesome. Target's fell apart within a year...however I still love Target too.

    1. Angie, we are so glad to hear this. We kept avoiding the furniture from horror stories, so maybe next time we will take a second look! We love the design.


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