If I haven’t outgrown Ikea by now, I never will

Can you remember the first time you visited an oversized, bustling Ikea showroom?

I can.

It was the 1990s and I was living in Long Island in my first really nice apartment – and saving to buy my first home. We had plenty of hand-me-down furniture from family members, but we still needed to buy a few things of our own.

A new Ikea had opened up in Hicksville, NY and it was the perfect place for a couple of 20-somethings to find affordable, cute furniture that fit our budget and aesthetic.

I loved wandering through the showrooms upstairs playing house and gathering ideas – or browsing and shopping in the warehouse downstairs.

Many of those Ikea pieces have long since been donated or given to friends, but we actually still have the bed that I bought in those days. The wooden posts have been clawed by cats and gnawed by puppies over the years, but we’re told it still makes for a comfortable night’s sleep in our guest room.

When I moved to Ohio and had a bigger home, once again I needed some supplementary furniture – and wouldn’t you know, there was an Ikea in Cincinnati that we would road trip down to from time to time.

Then, several years ago, we got our fabulous Columbus Ikea which made things a lot easier. In fact, the children’s play area at our local Ikea was a fabulous addition to our weekend routine with a little one. Especially when our visits ended with an Ikea cinnamon bun – yum.

If affordable furniture is kid stuff, then consider me a kid forever. I’m perfectly fine with still having Ikea furniture in my home after all these years.

Ikea may have a reputation for being LEGO for adults and using pressed board instead of real wood, but the furniture can hold up to several moves and the test of time. We’ve moved several times and many of our Ikea pieces are still hanging in there.

The home office in which I write this has one full wall that is floor-to-ceiling white Billy bookcases from Ikea. They started out in Z’s nursery (photo above), evolved with her room’s aesthetic for years and then ultimately were passed off to me when she decided she no longer wanted white furniture in her room.

When I recently decided that I needed a new desk, I instantly looked online to see if Ikea has anything that will coordinate with my beloved Billy shelving units. I have my eye on a new Malm desk now.

So yes, while we prefer gorgeous, heavy Crate + Barrel real wood furniture for our rather grownup and glamorous kitchen or living room, I’m still perfectly okay with using Ikea pieces in my little home office. I want something light, easy to move around and that doesn’t take up too much room – or break the budget.

Bottom line, I don’t know that I’ll ever completely outgrow Ikea and I’m okay with that.

Long live Sweden and their cute, iconic design aesthetic!

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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