Wednesday, 31 January 2018


Last weekend the death was announced of Ingvar Kamprad [aged 91] Aged just 17, he set up his own furniture business- naming it with his own initials, plus the initials of his family farm, Elmtaryd, and the nearby village, Agunnaryd. And that gave the world IKEA
Ignoring all the criticisms [and there are many] the fact remains that in almost every street in the UK, you will find a home containing a piece of IKEA merchandise. The idea of inexpensive flatpack self-assembly furniture has proved very popular- with students, first time buyers, landlords, parents of growing children...
The Guardian carried an article about the 'top ten' products.
I decided to see how many of the ten are in our home.
#1 The Frakta Bag - oh definitely. Very useful - flexible, waterproof, long lasting, easy to carry, and packs away neatly.
But I decluttered on of the larger versions last week - by filling it with goods for the CS..

#2 The Malm bed. We have four - one here, and three at Cornerstones [where they have matching bedside tables] It is estimated that 10% of children in Europe were conceived on an Ikea bed. Ours are all very comfortable and practical. 

Our first Malm bed was a birthday gift from Liz and Steph in 2005, when Bob was being treated for sleep apnoea. 
#3 Poang chairs- we have the brown leather one, with footstool [Bob's 55th birthday gift from Liz and Steph]

#4 Ribba picture frames- we have a dozen of these in a box in the loft - in Kirby, they were displayed artistically on the lounge wall, as they show all the members of the family, dating back to great grandparents.
#5 Billy Bookcases - counting the narrow CD/DVD units I think we have five of these. So strong, so sensible for bibliophiles like us.
#6 Frosta stools - two of these in Cornerstones- extra seating, temporary coffee tables, sspace-saving stackable design
#7 Meatballs. Great product- serve them with potatoes and lingonberry sauce, sling them in a casserole, poke them on skewers to make kebabs, cut in half and stuff into a burger bun...Thank you Rachel, for pointing out that you can microwave them straight from the freezer, when there is a hungry family demanding food in a hurry.
#8 Fargrik Mug. No, we don't have any of these at home. But we have lots in the kitchen cupboard at church. They stack safely too and they are a cheap way of buying crockery in bulk. But I am old enough to remember Ovaltine Mugs with that sinister face on the side, so I don't really like them.
#9 Klippan Sofa - again, not at home, but two at the back of the church so parents can sit in comfort with children and babies and there is an area for them to play safely and happily during the service.
#10 Lack Table. Never had one of these- but I did have the very similar Habitat Parson tables back in the 1970s. They were plastic, not wooden. Other family members have no lack of Lack though.
We are clearly an IKEA family. But we are not "buy it cheap and then chuck it" people. We love sites like IKEA hackers which give great ideas for personalising and rebuilding the products. My pantry is shelved with a repurposed Gorm unit, and Bob turned a piece of Expedit shelving on its side to create a great DJ desk for Jon. 
With hygge and lagom still remaining the buzzwords in the lifestyle section, and Scandi-crime on BBC4, I suspect that Ingvar's influence will be around for many years yet...
But talking to friends, it is a bit like Marmite - do you love or loathe IKEA?


  1. I've never been to an Ikea store or have anything in our home. However I have seen some of their furnature in use and it looks pretty sturdy and I liked the unfussiness of the design

  2. We loved Ikea in France, and had two of their kitchens, which were brilliant. Sadly our nearest one is in Bristol so I haven't had a chance to follow the footsteps round a shop for a long time.

    1. But Martha says you will have one in Exeter soon!

  3. Love it, love it, love it and Marmite too. Other things to either love or hate are cats, Maths. celery and cucumber.

  4. We LOVE Ikea. I dread to think how much money we have spent just wandering round with a trolley - especially in the Marketplace bit. AND the good news is that, all being well, they open in Exeter in April. Hurrah!!

  5. I was in one store while traveling (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.) I found the stores to be overwhelming and mind-boggling. But then, I wasn't looking to buy any particular item. I am attracted to the clean simple lines of their actual merchandise.

  6. I loathe GOING to IKEA! I get claustrophobic a bit like Puddleglum in The Silver Chair. But, they do some good items. I had a very good single bed from there that was very high so I could fit my plastic boxes of clothes under it. We have 2 Billy bookcases too which are crammed and more robust than the Argos one we bought at the same time. We also have a Hol chest which we keep camping stuff in.


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