Wednesday, October 21, 2015

the ikea experience

hello there

this is one of them consumer action group sort of posts, look you see, written in the earnest but possibly pointless hope that the comments will be of passing use to anyone considering buying stuff similar to what i have. or, in this instance, similar to what my (considerably) better half purchased and i mostly put together.

under the intense yet eco-friendly spotlight today is the wonders of ikea flat pack furniture. it would seem that this is the furnishings of choice in England these days, which is weird. when i left England for my jolly adventure in the Africa of the South, ikea had just come in and was mostly dismissed as a novelty, dumped on the geordies of newcastle with good reason.

the concept of ikea, for those that do not know, is you basically purchase some high quality furniture that has a substantial warranty on it (they don't want their broken products out there in the world, that's dedication to brand management), with the trick being that you have to build it yourself.

as we required some new furnishings for our new home, my (considerably) better half took to the ikea site on the basis that they offered damned good prices and were prepared to name a delivery date and stick to it. here we go, then, with a rundown on what we got and what issues i experienced (if any) in assembly.

dining table and bench - yes, i know you can see a chair or two too, be patient.
if i had built the table first, right, i can promise you that this blog would feature an awful lot of swearing about the swedish in general and ikea in particular. as i've mentioned before, anyone who says they hate ikea and will not have them again has, you can be sure, had to assemble one of their tables.

the dining table is magnificent, but a nightmare to assemble. which is weird, as theoretically it is the most basic design. the parts that come with it, in particular the corner metal support things, are sharp, lethal affairs that i cut my fingers on. the bolts rarely align correctly, and the instructions might as well be picture of Bennie and Bjorn. if you want a very, very smart looking dining table off of ikea, i suggest you bung them the £20 or so that they apparently charge to build it for you.

a sort of similar story with the bench - wonderful idea, should be a pretty basic design, but the bolts and screws are not a pleasant experience. be sure to have a long necked screwdriver at the ready. 

dining table chairs, or if you like chairs that are to be used as dining table chairs and i do not really care what the swedes had in mind for them
my (considerably) better half elected to do all four of these, quite possibly on the basis of all the swearing i did about the table the day before she did them.

these were a doddle, apparently. the first one took her 14 minutes to make; by the fourth one it took her around 10 minutes.

you would think the intention is to varnish them, or at the least add a cushion, but in honesty they are smart as they are. they can handle the challenge of my weight and size of arse, at the least, and it's a comfy sit.

for the benefit of those that do not know me too good, when it comes to DIY and all that sort of thing i am most usually banned from doing it. i wouldn't say that i am the worst in the world for building and assembling, but i do have a distinct lack of confidence, and in fairness one or two slight mishaps in my history of having a go at this. the idea, then, of building all this ikea stuff was an interesting one. in a worst case, i figured i had access to a massive drill, a hammer, some nails, a saw and the telephone numbers of people that could probably sort it all.

hey ho, all done now, so onwards to the next, which happens to be the first that we built.


fancy desk with backing whiteboard, shelves and a cabinet and that

my (considerably) better half invested in two of these, one each for the boys, and we soon clocked that it would make life easier to do the rest of the stuff in peace if we sorted the desks for the boys out first. so we did.

quite, in light of the above, a confidence boosting experience. it's this sort of thing that people love about ikea, i imagine - it's a fairly complex, multiple feature item, but the design and assembly instructions make it an absolute breeze to put together.

some slight drilling is required into the wood in order to put the holes where you want them to screw the whiteboard and back shelf section to the desk. that's if you go for the optional extra of that. i would imagine that a life in which i was expected to just assemble these desks all day, every day would be a most pleasant and happy life indeed.

a quick break from the world of ikea for a bit of a gander at some flowers? surely.


these were purchased for a harvest assembly tomorrow. in total they cost me 50p less than what Spiros spends every week on three lame daisies that a bloke steals from a memorial left by a lamppost or kebab shop, shoves in a brown box and delivers with a crappy poem and some poor lifestyle advice.

but hey, back to the world of ikea for you.

some sort of clothes hanging device that's a bit like a wardrobe, only without sides, a top, a bottom, doors or easy access to a magical land where lions and sh!t talk to you.
i have absolutely no idea what is involved in this as my (considerably) better half did it all. i am not convinced that it is supposed to wobble by design as much as it would seem to by default, but far be it from me to question her skill and prowess at following the instructions to build.

yes, indeed them are some of the blue jeans i bought so that i may perfect my cowboy look. it is a cowboy look that may well, look you see, return tomorrow. well, it's all that harvest assembly business, so why not mark the occasion, whatever it actually is (sounds like it might be Neil Young related) by bringing about a revival of one of the most controversial fashion statements i ever made.

would i suggest or recommend that you, dear reader considering some smart stuff off of ikea, get one of these? yes, if you need something to hang clothes on or from and the idea of a wardrobe, like, totes offends you, doll. it's quite nifty and handy, and i am learning to live with the rocking and the swaying as i select a pair of strides of a morning.

super massive couch that's way too big for our lounge (it's funny what happens when you measure after you order) with a gaylord, nancy boy French sounding bit on the end of it, a chez longue or something like that
the idea of building something this massive filled me with fear and dread, dear reader. i mean, look at it.

yes, Dad, that's that Tigger toy on it, and no the cat is not real.

as it turned out, this was by far the easiest and simplest of the ikea items what i built to build. it was mostly all hinges and that; from what i remember the requirement from me was to put in 6 or 8 bolts and screw in the legs. i think it took longer to force the cushions into the covers than it did to build the actual frame.

it weighs a lot, mind, and does need some turning and tilting to assemble. heed the bit in the instructions where it says you need a second person with you to get the job done.

much of the above applies to the below, which shall make sense when you see the image.

smart fancy armchair
as per the couch, in truth. as i just said. this was an absolute breeze to put together. i think 10 minutes in total, and that's including allowing William to have a go at screwing the legs in.

so, that's my ikea experience. for now, at the least. there has been some talk of bedside tables off of them, and possibly drawers so that i may house my extensive wardrobe all the better.

my thoughts and feelings? mostly genius, brilliant stuff, but whoever the swedes left in charge of table design and parts is an utter nutter that likes the idea of people hurting themselves. maybe it's an Abba thing, or anger that the nation cannot claim a-Ha as their own and get away with it now that people can look up Norway on the internet.

as i said fairly close to the start, and well done you for reading this far, hopefully this is all of some sort of use to someone somewhere!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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