How do you like Ikea furniture????

pinkcarnationJuly 26, 2006

I just got the new Ikea catalog and like some of the things I see. We have a new store in our area,......haven't been there yet..... and I am wondering what the quality is like, in the furniture. Is it OK for the price or not so great?? I am looking to furnish a spare bedroom and have a limited budget. Thanks!

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A lot of people are real fans of Ikea but I had some issues with them. I think you will get what you pay for. I ordered an Ektorp couch and chair from them in 2003. We had the chair for about 6 months and 1 of the legs broke. The couch we ordered is a mess, the pillows and cushions are misshapen and don't seem to "fit" the couch anymore. The couch and chair do get heavy use but still....

However, the thing that really left a bad taste in my mouth was the delivery. My poor FIL waited in our house all day and they never showed up. The next day, he waited all day and again they didn't show up. Finally on the 3rd day, we lost it. They ended up delivering the sofa at 7PM, though they had promised us a day before that it would come before 4. Again, I might have just had bad luck, but I don't think I'll buy furniture from them again. I'll buy accessories and accent pieces but that's about it. However I'm sure others have had good experiences.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 10:07PM
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I spent the day at their store about 30 miles from me. I saw some roman shades that were a good price, but they had to be hung by a very specific hook - that they were out of stock of. Never mind that they had seemingly hundreds of these shades. I was very excited to find them because they fit my non-standard windows. I looked all over that store looking for the hooks - because everyone I asked pointed me to a different location!

My son was looking for a two-drawer night stand. They had two. TWO! In that huge warehouse of a store. He didn't really like either one.

I was looking for a lightweight blanket and found a perfect thermal, in fact, lots of them in a huge bin. The only thing was, they had white and blue. I finally found one - ONE! - of a different color (that was, fortunately, sage, which was about what I was looking for).

My son was looking for a comforter. All we could find was wild prints in crayon colors and pink. They all looked like they belonged in a child's room. My son is 21 and was looking for something suitable for a young man's bedroom. In that whole huge warehouse of a store they had nothing.

My son was also looking for a shoe rack. They had TONS of shoe racks - all the same one, that was too big for the space he was looking to fill.

There was one fun thing, though - a complete 400 square-foot fully furnished apartment! It was fun to see how compact yet liveable a space it was. Although I'm not sure I could get used to the toilet so close to the fridge...

Anyway, all in all, I won't be making that long drive again. If I ever saw a catalogue I might thumb through it, but I really wasn't that impressed. Such a staggering lack of choice and variety for such a huge store, in my opinion.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 11:18PM
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I made my first visit to an Ikea last month (it's a 3+ hour round trip). Overall I wasn't really knocked-on-my-butt impressed - I know I'll get taken apart for saying so but the majority of the items I saw seemed very college-studenty or first-apartmenty, not very "grown up". I do think there comes a time when "paper-coated particleboard" (get it wet, it becomes fallaparticle board!) as a design statement probably ought to be phased out of one's holdings. I'll come right out and say that I am not a big fan of ultramodern/Scandinavian design, so most of their furniture doesn't really appeal to me just on a style basis. A lot of it seemed very cheap (not inexpensive cheap, stingy cheap) in finish and construction. It did certainly seem like "you get what you pay for" but if you're not interested in stuff you'll keep for more than a few years, it's worth looking at. (I do think there is a broad range between "disposable furniture" and "heirloom furniture".)

The cabinets are the main reason why I had a bee in my bonnet to get there when we were going to be in the area... they have a very good reputation as far as getting maximum bang for minimum bucks, and DH wants an officeful of built-ins which means EXPENSIVE. Expensive enough just with Ikea! We'll be doing his bath and office as the next major project early next year - Ikea cabinets (Adel or Applad white, most likely) and lighting (Cesium or Radium along with undercabinet lighting) in the office, Ikea cabinets (same as office), sink (Hollviken), and lighting (Sagan) in the bath. We would rent or mooch ;-) a truck and go get everything rather than diddle around waiting for delivery.

Their fully-upholstered furniture has an EXTREMELY poor reputation - I have heard the same things as iyyanks said I can't tell you how many times over on the Furniture and Home Dec forums. As in "don't even think about it".

If I were doing up a guest room and squeezing every nickel until the buffalo farted, I'd be watching Craigslist ( to find your local list), Freecycle ( for same), eBay, and local options like yard sales and thrift shops. What do you really need in a guest room? A bed, a bedside table or two, maybe a little dresser to put some extra blankets/towels/linens in or if your guest wants to unpack, maybe a chair for putting one's shoes on. Paint can do a great job of uniting disparate pieces.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 3:19AM
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Finding things that work for you is hit or miss at IKEA. I first shopped there 20 years ago and found some items that worked for the situation. The last time I was there, I didn't find anything that I liked. To furnish a spare bedroom on a budget, my first inclination would be to check out local thrift shops, consignment shops and yard sales. It might take longer, but there are a lot of great items and deals to be had if you have the patience to look. When I moved into my house I found a fantastic hutch which takes up nearly an entire wall in my eat-in-kitchen. It's a heavy piece and loads of storage which is what I needed. I paid only $300 for it at a consignment shop.

Deb in PA

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 1:17PM
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I used to drive by IKEA on my way home every night, so I've stopped in there a lot.

I am suprised that roopooroo couldn't find any appropriate comforter covers (all their comforters are white). There are always dozens and dozens of them in all sorts of geometric patterns that seem "manly" to me.

However I am not suprised that jyyanks' sofa fell apart - the Ektorp is a $300 couch. I don't think a $300 sofa from any store would last very long. (Although I have to say I like the Ektorp very much and that $300 is the current price of the actual sofa at my local IKEA, not including slipcovers).

I personally own the following items from IKEA:
2 billy bookcases
1 TV stand
1 lateral file drawer
2 Poang chairs
1 kitchen sink
1 pull-out pantry
dozens of wooden coathangers
assorted kitchen gadgets and textiles

I've had the TV stand the longest, 6 years now, and have moved it 3 times. It cost $99. It is "medium-brown" laminate and it's in perfect condition. Yes, I would like to move out of the "laminate phase" of my life, but there's really nothing wrong with that TV stand.

Actually everything I have from them looks pretty good, but my favorite things are the Poang chairs. They are the most comfortable chairs I've ever sat in. I have back problems and when I've hurt my back, this is the only place I'll sit.

My 2nd favorite thing is the kitchen sink, but there were some problems getting it as it was backordered.

My other favorite thing is the wooden coathangers. They are a great price and extremely well made. They do have some cheaper wooden ones now, but they don't look like they're sanded smooth so I wouldn't buy them. I try to buy more every time I go, but DH stops me.

Anyway, my basic recommendation is that I would buy anything except upholstered furniture there.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 3:47PM
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Thanks to all for your wonderful input. I knew I could count on you ladies! jyyanks & jenthegreat, I was actually considering the Ektorp chair, but now I don't think I will take the chance.......gonna look for a comfortable, used chair I can re-cover or upholster. Johnmari, you are too the Buffalo quip! I too, am not a fan of the ultramodern style, but thought I could make the chair work. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 4:38PM
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How do you like your Billy bookcases? I'm looking at them for my spare room (office/library/craft space.

I like how they have the add on for an extra shelf. Plus I like the unit that's a smidgen less wide, as I'm not sure three regular size (width) book cases will fit on the wall I want to use.

Are they holding up well for you?

Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 4:45PM
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Ikea's textiles are iffy--they don't launder well at all. The colors run. I like their bookcases and tables very much.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 5:11PM
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My daughter has a couch from there, don't know the name. She bought it 3 years ago for $500. It's extremely comfortable, you can even sleep on it - in fact she uses it as her guest bed.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 5:59PM
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There's an Ikea store about 20 miles away. It's crowded ,has terrible parking lots,the store itself is badly arranged. It's like walking through a maze. You turn corner after corner trying to find the check-out or exit. I like their accessories and bookcases. Got a nice non-stick frying pan last winter. I consider Ikea one step up from build-it-yourself-furniture. They do provide extra parts and over- the- phone help with assembling if needed. Last time I was there, they had no catalogs in English, only Spanish.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 7:13PM
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I have the tall narrow Billy bookcase with an extra shelf. Every inch is filled and nothing is sagging so it's certainly strong enough. It fits perfectly against the side of the run of kitchen cabinets.

I happen to love IKEA. I love a modern look, the designs are often ingenious, and the prices almost always are phenomenal. However, these phenomenal values are available only because of mass production so IKEA is not the place to find unique furnishings, or fine materials. But it is a great place to find solutions to most living needs, especially things that don't take up a lot of room.

I don't have experience with fabric upholstered pieces but I have their leather chairs. I've been pleased with the smaller scale (I don't like overstuffed furniture), and they are very comfortable. One set is several years old and holding up well. I've also been pleased with storage pieces as well as lighting and kitchen equipment. My boys' IKEA wooden bunk beds were rock solid after years of use and abuse. And I've still got a dining table that was supposed to be temporary that is just too convenient to give up, even though I don't care for the color of the wood.

Also, to add storage to our small master bath, back in 1988 we installed IKEA wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling cabinets surrounding an IKEA sink. The cabinets are still in use and look fine. The faucet lasted 15 years (not bad, since an expensive Kohler faucet in the hall bath didn't last half as long). Last year, we decided to put in their new vessel sink. The different size meant we had to get a new countertop, but it fit right onto the old cabinets. With any other supplier, we'd probably have had to start over.

The downside to this worldwide phenomenon is that their stock comes in from all over the world by the cheapest shipping methods. It took us two months to get all the pieces for the original bathroom. However, custom cabinets would have taken at least as long, and the IKEA cabinets fit our bath like custom at a fraction of the cost.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 12:12AM
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I love Ikea. I like their store here and how it's laid out. Sure you walk through a maze to get to the check out, but the thing is a warehouse and that's what you get at a warehouse store! I LOVE the way they set up all those rooms in their display area. It gets the creative juices flowing. Their little gadgets and fun stuff downstairs are addictive (OK, sometimes too addictive). But yes, when they don't restock on a regular basis it is frustrating (6 months and waiting to re-stock a curtain rod is REDICULOUS!)
I have had Billy Bookshelves for 13 years. They look almost new. I love them!
My biggest beef with Ikea in this last year? They seem to have lost creativity in design. Many of their new pieces are small hybrids of contemporary/classic style furniture. Much more of the country and wicker style pieces...far less wacky and way out molded plastic and fantastical colors which is more my taste. Two or three years ago they had way more variation in styles, and I appreciated that. I want you to be able to buy your fluffy beige, soft sitting chair and me to be able to get my neon pink fiberglass injected bucket seat if we so choose...


    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 12:29AM
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I have never bought any upholstered furniture from IKEA but I do have a lot of other things. My DD's room is done completely in IKEA furniture. She has a metal loft bed, a large bookcase with doors and a Malm dresser. The furniture is three years old and all still looks good. The dresser drawers have held up to her overstuffing them. We have a Lesvik TV stand with glass doors in our living room and have had no problems with it. I also bought a really cheap wooden dinette set there. It has a rectangle table and 4 chairs, was about $159. It has held up too. I also have IKEA mattresses on both the kids beds. They are very comfortable. I did not buy the cheapest mattresses though.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 12:01PM
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I am happy to hear so many of you like the Billy bookcases. I have been considering them for my living room. As I have not seen them in person, are the shelves interchangable or stationary? It is difficult to tell from the pics in the catalog.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 12:33PM
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I'm an Ikea addict. Furnished my house and got my new kitchen from them, at very reasonable prices. Quality and style seem great, and I like that they use healthy/environmentally friendly finishes and fabrics that don't out-gas formaldehyde and other noxious chemicals.

Purchases to date:

kitchen: all cabinets, some countertops, island, chair, lighting.
Love it all. The room gets compliments constantly, cabinet innards are super functional, everything looks brand new after two years of constant use.

dining room: table, chairs, curtains, rug, curio cabinet, painting, lighting fixture.
Love it all, especially the handmade thick wool rug.

living room: sofa, chaise, lamp.
The sofa has held up well, but isn't as soft/cushy as a Pottery Barn sofa. But for $600 (including machine washable slipcover) I can't complain.

master bedroom: upholstered chair, huge closet system, shelves.
The closet system is awesome. My neighbor (who's in the middle of a high-end remodel) thought it was custom carpentry and asked who built it for us.

spare bedroom: bed, lighting fixture.
Bed has sharp corners that bruise my thighs if I'm not careful, but that's more of a style issue (footboard in small room) than an Ikea problem.

music studio: shelves, several storage cabinets.
All great.

mud hall: storage benches, artwork, planter.
Stylish, functional, durable.

Plus lots of picture frames, lawn chairs, etc.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 12:58PM
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"I like that they use healthy/environmentally friendly finishes and fabrics that don't out-gas formaldehyde and other noxious chemicals."

As of last year they were not using formaldehyde-free MDF/particleboard - I wrote to them and asked because we were considering Ikea cabinets for our bathroom. Offgassing can be managed by making sure every single bit of surface area is painted/sealed/covered by laminates, veneer, or other materials that completely encapsulate the MDF substrate, but that can be a PITA with premanufactured products. I did suggest that if they were going to push the "green" thing they should consider switching to a formaldehyde-free particleboard.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 3:08PM
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I have a bunch of things from ikea. My kithcen all of my great room, and many other things. My couch in my great room fit exactly. I have found that the best thing to do it go for pieces that aren't teh cheapest. There are a number of items that are not cheap. I also like the pieces that are more traditional. In fact last night I just got two bookcases that basically look like built ins . White with crown moulding and lower doors. The were expensive for Ikea but simular pieces would be twice or 3x as much. There are pieces I will not buy there. I just went and got a new mattress and box spring. I looked at the Ikea ones but none of them seemed supportive enough for my back so I got it at a mattress store. Too bad they done have a rebate program like REI. Given my kitchen last year and everything else I got with it I would have a big rebate.

Here is a link that might be useful: lots of ikea in my little house

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 7:25PM
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Thanks for the input on the Billy bookcases!

I just settled on my little townhouse yesterday, and measured the wall I want the books on, and a Billy combination will fit perfectly!

Do you guys mount them to the wall, or are they ok freestanding?


    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 9:12AM
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Make sure you buy enough Billy bookcases :) A friend who buys tons of books was extremely disappointed when IKEA discontinued the cherry color. He seems to prefer leaving the books piled on the floor to buying a non-matching bookshelf.

I think that any bookshelf is safer when mounted to the wall, but I don't think the IKEA ones are any more likely to tip than the even cheaper particleboard ones I have, which despite being overloaded with textbooks, have not yet collapsed or tipped.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 9:43AM
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lizdc, I love those bookcases you just got, but they won't fit my your coffee table it sturdy? Your home is just lovely!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 1:42PM
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I like Ikea for my teen bedrooms. My 16 yr old boy and my 20 yr old both have their top of the line mattresses and they are super comfy for them (with the pillow top add on). The 15 yr old also has one of their beds. I find Ikea excellent for tween and teen (young adult) bedrooms.

My only beef with them is that their peices are very hard to find. Half the time they don't have the pieces to all the furniture stocked and you're wasting time trying to find it. The warehouse employees are usually "hidden" away somewhere in an isles miles away from where you need help!

Also, when we went to pay for the large pieces we thought it was very funny that we could not go over the "yellow line" for insurance purposes. Only those who have safety boots could pass over that line. Mind you this is in the store proper, in front of the warehouse area. Meanwhile, they are asking us, the customer, to pull down large heavy boxes that are sitting overhead of us on a shelf as we search for each piece of our purchase. Does anyone see the irony in this?? Heck, I'm actually hoping something falls on my foot when I do my next warehouse search (I'm seeing dollar signs! LOL!)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 2:27PM
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An update I just got put together two white bookcases Liatorp with lower doors. They took forever to put together. But they look great. I haven't been able to take pictures but here is a link to what one of teh book cases look like. The pieces put togther as if they are one piece. It ends up really looking like a built in for my house. I couldn't be happier. For Ikea they were not cheap but compared to pieces that would look the same would be 3x as much.

Here is a link that might be useful: new bookcases from ikea

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 12:36PM
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" * Posted by brooksiefan (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 27, 06 at 17:11

Ikea's textiles are iffy--they don't launder well at all. The colors run. I like their bookcases and tables very much."

The sheets for my kids beds are from IKEA. They are navy blue and launder beautifully. My guest bed ones are too but they have only been washed a couple of times. I did notice that there were three or so different qualities of sheets when I bought them and I bought the more expensive ones.

My kids had one of their toddler beds -- a pine one, it is now on its !fourth! child, ten years old and still going strong!

I think some things are made well and some are cheap and cheerful. My kids have a bunk bed from them and while it is now about five years old and still going, it isn't made as well as the toddler bed for instance.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 3:42PM
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I never cared for retro style furniture so I don't shop at IKEA. Most of my furnishing I find at garage sales and I redo them.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 12:39PM
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We have 2 Ikeas near us and go every couple of months - dd is crazy for caviar, and they have the best prices. She also loves their meatballs.

I have the Leksvik bookcases and coffee table. The coffee table has nooks that are a good size for toy bins, so it is a play table that sits in the corner of the dining room. I like the Leksvik stuff because it is one of their few lines (Markor (sp?) is another) that is made of solid wood (pine, but at least it is real wood.)

I agree that they don't seem to have much selection for the size of the place. I went last time looking for picture frames and was really disappointed. I did pick up a huge fruit platter for about six dollars.

They have some good deals on large plant pots - again, not much selection. I also have some large baskets that I really like - would get more but they discontinued them.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 4:25PM
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Does anyone know how or where to get different colors of POANG cushions without having them specially made? (kinda defeats the purpose of buying IKEA in the first place, dunnit?). We wanted to get 2 chairs today but were so disappointed that they had nothing in green! Lots of bed and bath stuff in green but no LR or DR stuff! The grey-green they have just doesn't do it plus they were out of stock anyway. ebay has nothing either. any other sources around?

Just to stay on topic, I'm liking their furniture overall, it has a light feel to it and we're trying to get away from overstuffed heavy furniture now that the kids are gone. I appreciate the input on the stuffed furniture....we really liked the EKTORP line, but maybe we need to look further.
I can't wait to get the kitchen done, I love it all!!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 4:38PM
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We've found that their cupboards for clothes do not reassemble well if taken apart and moved. I have a rod iron chair that is still looking like the day I bought it. Likewise upholstered furnitures stands up to wear poorly.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 6:53PM
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Here are the pieces we have
2 bed side tables these are the particle board with foil but are holding up well

This dresser is solid wood was 99$ and will eventually go into a bedroom

This is my favorite piece will work perfectly in my dr once I get everything else done has two large drawers and a shelf with 2 great baskets

All this stuff in our master dh loved- I gave in because I figure by time we get to decorating the master I can paint and put molding onto these and really change them... the size and storage capacity and price were perfect for us.

All our stuff assembled easily and is holding up great.

NOTE their 365 stainless steel iron clad bottom pots and pans are FANTASTIC

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 8:27AM
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DH put up black Billy bookcases in our dining room, which - like most rooms in a smaller house - does double duty (it's also a study). They give the appearance of a built-in wall unit, at a much lower price. The simple lines of the shelving go well with our mission-style furniture. We intend to get a Pax closet system for the bedroom, as right now we only one tiny closet in the room.

My opinion is that Ikea's shelving and storage units are a good option for those of us who are on a limited budget. Their furniture (what's the term - "case goods?") is another story - most of it seems really cheap (including the white corner computer unit that we got for the bedroom, because it's the only thing that will fit in the space). I do, however, know some folks who have Lack tables that will probably last through WWIII!

Warning: Ikea's directions are awful. And be prepared to drive back there for the hardware and other pieces will inevitably be missing from the packages.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 2:25PM
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I love Ikea! We have a pretty basic Ikea policy though - we only (okay, almost only) buy their solid wood furniture, not the particleboard stuff. So far, this has worked out great, although we did buy our first (particleboard) Billy bookcase last weekend.

We own 2 Leksvik bookcases, Leksvik dresser and wardrobe, Leksvik corner TV stand, Hol coffee table (to be complemented soon with Hol side table), Poang chair (hubby's favourite place to sit in the house), Lack side table (best $25 I ever spent), 1 Billy bookcase, Bjorkudden bar table, Levanger mirror, 2 Kryssbo wall lamps and a large selection of curtains, lighting, mirrors, plant pots, frames, etc. I have 4 sets of Ikea curtains in various colours and some of their bedding and bath rugs and have never had an issue with how any of it launders.

In the near future, we are hoping to own a couple of Ektorp Tullsta armchairs, potentially an Ektorp corner sofa for the basement, some Ingolf bar stools, the aforementioned Hol side table, the long, low Markor bookcase and some of the other Markor stuff, a set of dishes for Passover and I am coveting the Kongsvik bed frame if I can convince hubby. Oh, and we are planning to do our closets in Pax wardrobes (the solid wood ones) and to redo our kitchen in Liljestad (also wood).

For anyone looking for missing Ikea instructions or info on kitchens, wardrobes or other stuff, check out the forum - loads of Ikea-lovers on there.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 10:08AM
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Ranae - do you know the name of your china cabinet? (Silly how all the furniture has names!!) I can't find it on the site and it looks very nice.
Thanks! Amy

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 12:55PM
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About the names: I find it easier to refer to the large pine object in my living room as "Ivar" rather than "entertainment center" :)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 6:24PM
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Amy I'll have to dig around for my old catalog it's in there I don't remember the name off hand and couldn't find it at the site either- maybe it's discontinued.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 6:08AM
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I have quite a bit of IKEA furniture, mostly bookcases. The ones I have are solid pine and are rather well made and sturdy. I also bought a LARGE entertainment center. I hated the laminate masonite that was the backing for the whole thing (navy blue) so I took the pieces to a good lumber yard and had them cut matching veneer 1/4 inch plywood which I sanded and clear coated to match the rest of the unit. Huge improvement.

I think it is good for somewhat disposable kid's room furniture. And I love the cheap dishes and glassware. If it gets broken by kids, I can just shrug and say, "guess we need to make an IKEA run!" I also love the salmon meals and the apple cake and the view of the San Francisco Bay from the dining room in Emeryville, CA.

I would never buy any of the upholstered furniture, it is obviously poorly made.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 10:41PM
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Like gwendolynne, we have some of the solid pine pieces from the Leksvik series, as well as office-y pieces from the Effektiv (professional) series.

Both lines are very sturdy. We've had Billy bookcases, but they shelves bend over time.

I would stick with the solid wood and professional-grade stuff. Some people use the kitchen cabinets (rated well by Consumer Reports) to make furniture pieces (buffets, etc.).

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 4:26PM
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HI Amy the china hutch is Tunhem it was in last years catalog shown without glass door but at the store they had glass doors. I can't pull it up on the ikea site so I do imagine it is not offered anymore.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:53PM
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Have Water Buffalo hide leather sofa we bought 10 years ago because it felt so GOOD with jeans on everytime we visited Ikea ! Ikea in Potomac Mills, Va (around 55 miles away from our home)we only paid 700 for it.
It lasted 10 years & then springs on both sides broke. We cut the bottom lining & looked at it from underneath unit was made from cheap particle board with 'z' frame springs (made in china) stapled to particle board frame & covered with foam. Stapled with leather outside cover.
Talked to upholstery man about fixing, he told me it "wasn't worth it.!"
Bought Entertainment center (two level) that looked good from the front nice design with Wood solid cherry doors lower and Cherry wood frame glass doors on top, but also made from black painted particle board sides and paper board backing in rear . Had to bolt unit to studs to keep it & a Sony 32"TV from tipping unit over.
Spouse has found that any more than 10 lbs of books will NOT be held up in this unit. Have had screws tear out of ten possible shelf locations in upper part of unit. Still given the fact we only paid around $1100 for unit/doors (piece meal) and assembled it ourselves. It was better than buying a furniture store Veneer over particle board bookcase for 2300-2700! We looked at others everywhere ( Farmville, Va too); before buying this. We were young & house poor at the time. Now that house is undergoing a renovation and additions we are getting custom -made real wood bookshelves built in to hold our books. Ikea doesn't make ANYTHING to that level of quality.
Except for the butcher block dinette table (top only with one leg) that is either hooked to the wall or in my case I put it over a 42" tall corner kitchen cabinet placed on the floor. Unit works as intended and this wood has held up AFTER I polyurethaned it twice first before we ever used it.
We also bought black dining room table & chairs to go with japanese pieces we already had. We then bought piece of Tempered Glass & placed it on top of Black Table ( Best Decision we ever made too) Table is still standing beneath our skylight and has not disclored nor does it show signs of wear. Chairs only lasted 5 years , we had to get more but table w/ top still hanging in there 12 years later.
All in all you get what you pay for and learn how to take Preventative measures to try and keep it before the wear comes.

Haven't been in store in years but have seen their catalogue, nothing in it interests me anymore. Think they lost some of their design team; It shows.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 4:26PM
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Make sure you bolt your Billys to the wall. I had a bad experience once with one.

Overall, I think you get what you pay for with Ikea. I'm slowly riding my home of it 15 years post college. The only thing I have kept all these years are the Billy bookcases. I have a line of them in an office.

However, now that I have toddlers that are growing out of their nursery furniture I'm thinking of getting some Ikea kids things. Their children's line is really cute there days.

BTW, this is pretty funny.. look at the dog on the cover of the new catalog. I think it's on the cover. Either that or an inner page. I got an email about it today. It's a pic. of a family laying on a bed with a Greyhound. I don't want to give away the details but it's pretty funny when you look closely at the dog. Ikea says that they didn't notice until the catalog went into production and that it wasn't doctored. *shrug*

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 10:25PM
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Oh. Moy. Egawd. (To quote a Californian friend of mine.) That is TOO FUNNY! For those of you who can't figure it out the pic in question is on the inside front cover fold-out, and look at the dog's hind leg. Easily offended folks, just don't look. :-) I finally got my catalog and got rather irritated that it's a 3+ hour round trip because I wanted to Go Shopping! I don't even LIKE modern design, but there were a surprising number of things I liked in this year's catalog.

ANY tall furniture should be secured to the wall behind it to avoid tipping. Don't bother screwing/bolting through those thin backings, use an L bracket or an "earthquake strap" attached to the top, and use a very heavy duty wall anchor if you can't attach to a stud.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 10:55PM
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I have to admit we haven't bought any Ikea furniture recently, but we've always been happy with our selections ... perhaps their quality is slipping?

We've had a pine table and 6 chairs and our sons' bunkbed for at least 12 years and they're holding up very well. Have had our queen-size sofabed (I cannot remember the name, but it's a traditional style) for about 14-15 years and it, too, is holding up well. The covers on the seat cushions are worn, of course, but the cushions, padding and frame are as good as ever, so I have a slipcover over it ... which seems to the "the look" anyway, and who buys a brand new couch with two 16-year-old boys in the house? Love many of their kitchen and home decor items, the kids' department was always full of great and different things for the children, and the comforters and covers we bought for the children (we have four) held up well through much use and many, many washings. Oriental-style carpet, drapes, shelves, wardrobes and wicker chair have also held up well. We've had no trouble assembling their products.

I do like their display rooms. Some years ago I was desperate to bring order to my twin sons' room so we took everything out except the bed - everything! We then went to Ikea and I asked them to just stroll through and tell me which rooms they liked - didn't have to be a bedroom, just something they liked. They happened upon one bedroom display they both really liked and I asked them to tell me what they liked about it. It took some questioning, but they identified what they liked about the room: the taupe walls, navy drapes, big red chair, narrow shelf around the perimeter of the room near the ceiling (for books, Pinewood Derby and soccer trophies, etc) and so on. We got what we needed and recreated our version of that room, with some modifications (like a wicker chair with red seat cushion - their room and my budget are both too small for a $350 club chair!) - wardrobes, bookshelves, cubes with drawers for the little stuff that kids always collect, drapes, carpet, nautical-looking rope tie-backs, a few pictures, magnetic white-boards, floor lamp, new quilts and covers, a few toss pillows. Once the room was painted and everything was installed (yes, I had the boys help assemble the furniture), they began bringing in their "stuff" and putting it all away - but everything had to have a "home" ... if something didn't have a place, either it or something else had to go. Surprisingly, without a word from me, they took notice when the room began to fill up and they got very choosy about what came back in. That was some years ago and I think we need to go through that empty and replace exercise again, lol.

I ramble ... a long way of saying Ikea's presentation and products have served us well; it's sad if their quality has, indeed, slipped so badly as some reports indicate.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 4:00AM
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I don't think that the quality has slipped per se, but Ikea quality is not, nor has it ever been, consistent across the board. They sell some stuff that you shouldn't expect to last more than a couple of years, unless it sees very light usage. And they have other items (such as their kitchen cabinets) which have a 15 year guarantee to hold up. Price is not necessarily a perfect indication of quality at Ikea, but it's not a bad place to start.

13 years ago, I bought some beech (solid tops, fronts, legs, sides, various materials for the guts) bedroom pieces and they are now in the guest bedroom. Although the tops should probably be refinished due to various spills, etc., I've never had a problem w/ them. Five years ago, I bought a few pieces of their cheapest storage shelves/cabinet system (pine), stained it to my liking and we dropped a 30" tube tv on top (which I can't lift on my own.) It also holds all the various media and stereo components and all the CDs. Hasn't warped at all (and I honestly expected it to.)

That said, I have throttled some of their other pieces which weren't as well constructed. I think that Ikea is a decent choice for bang v. buck, but w/ the caveat that you should think a bit about how an individual piece is constructed and the type of use it will get. It also helps if you like clean, modern-ish lines.

Di - I think that was a brilliant solution to your sons' clutter dilemma, esp. letting them be part of the solution. I'll have to remember this!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 9:41AM
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My tall Billy bookcase came with some kind of anti-tipping piece. Because of the bookcase location, instead we used a screw through the side into a stud, so I don't remember the details. All tall furniture should be secured, even if you don't live in an earthquake zone, because small children climb things and adults have been known to bump into things.

I too have a neat IKEA-related memory. We had to schedule way in advance to get time from our busy handyman to install wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling IKEA bathroom cabinets (not quite as impressive as it sounds because the wall is just over five feet long). Since he couldn't commit a lot of time, the arrangement is that we'd assemble the cabinets and he'd install them. Then, just as the scheduled time was coming up, we were notified of the earlier-than-expected arrival of our newly adopted sons, ages seven and just-turned six and who spoke no English. I figured that we'd just have to assemble the cabinets after the boys were in bed, probably not a bad way to deal with our stress. The kids couldn't sleep (aside from everything else, Korea is 11 hours off from our time zone so they also had to reverse day and night). They got out of bed, took one look at what we were doing, and joined in. They amazed us with their mechanical and tool-handling abilities. Our first family project!

Fast forward to now. Our (same) handyman is even harder to schedule, but we rarely need him thanks to our very capable sons. And they are absolute geniuses at assembling IKEA kits.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 11:57AM
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Livingthedream, what a delightful story ... a wonderful start for your new family. Sounds like everything turned out as it was meant to be. Wishing continued success and happiness to all of you!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 12:28PM
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Actually, the quality of Billy bookcases is better now then it was around a decade ago when my boyfriend (now DH) bought me a white one for my birthday. The new black ones we bought a few years ago have particle board for backing. The old one had cardboard.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 12:59PM
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We got a lot of furniture at IKEA for my daughter's first apartment where she goes to college. We gave her $1,200 to furnish the apartment. She had a bed, sofa, and 2 living room chairs already.

At IKEA she got a TV table, 2 end tables, a coffee table, a dining table with 4 chairs, a desk, a bedtable, a bookcase, a dresser, a couple of lamps, a comforter, a chair, and various odds and ends. She had enough money left over to buy a 27 inch TV.

You can get a lot of stuff for little money there.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 7:09PM
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I have a great time with IKEA stuff. I love that I can buy a couch and not feel as though I'm making a life long commitment. I have an IKEA couch in the basement and just got one for the family room. I'm going to make or have washable covers made for the family room couch. I like white and want a sturdy fabric that I can bleach when necessary.
The basement slipcovers fit really well - much better than the ones I purchased recently for the family room. Navy blue slipcovers- wash cold water, hang to dry - they turn out great.
This is not furniture that will last forever, but I do appreciate its clean, simple lines and really low price.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 8:44PM
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This thread is great because I read it before we bought 3 Billy Bookcases and a Poang chair last month.... and helped us in our decision to add these items to our ikea collection... love them.

The Billy's were easy to put together, easy to attatch to the wall and look fabulous and the poang chair was easy to put together and is soooo comfortable we plan on getting leather ones for the living room. We also plan on getting a little bar height kitchen table and two stools for our kitchen before the end of the year.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 10:16AM
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Marcia Thornley

I have a sofa bed from Ikea. It is good looking and very comfortable. We,ve had it for 5 years in our guest room. The only thing I dislike about their upholstered furniture is that most of it is covered in Cotton. It will fade if you don't keep it out the light and cotton is extremely difficult to clean. I wish they offered more upholstery alternatives.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 7:23AM
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here is our new additions

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 10:47AM
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Sunny NE,
I have a great time with IKEA stuff. I love that I can buy a couch and not feel as though I'm making a life long commitment.

LOL I have a sofa I purchased 7 yrs ago at Ikea. Spur of the moment as I was looking for a wooden box to hide fireplace kindling in. Paid a whole 199 canadian plus tax for it.. The sofa will not die. Egads. I thought maybe last winter when we brought the new puppy home and he kept mistaking the 4 loose cushions on the back as the place to do his stuff we would finally get to redo the living room since I only bought this thing for temporary. lol Needless to say the material has held up to many washings and never once did the the puppy pee soak into the pillow. The cotton material just repelled it. The two dogs and two cats now line up, one on each pillow, fluff it and sleep on it. DH claims the seat part and lays down to watch tv. I dont know if I can get rid of it now just because of the pets and DH.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 3:28AM
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I haven't bought any Ikea furniture yet; from what I saw at the store, some looked cheap and some looked really good. Like everything else at Ikea, I think you just need to shop carefully. Not all pieces there are created equally. I plan to check things out when the Portland store opens here, and hope to find a few treasures.

That said, I have an Ethan Allen couch that WON'T die. Paid over 3,000 for it 17 years ago. At year 10, I wanted to re-upholster it - not because the fabric died, in fact, that damned thing still looked nearly new. But the blues didn't fit in anywhere. Turned out it would have been cheaper to buy a new couch. Custom slip covers won't be cheap either; so I am reduced to getting some kind of one size fits all cover. This thing will outlast us - it appears to have a half life. I have never spent that again on any kind of upholstered piece. I figured out that with that kind of money per piece, I could buy new every so many years instead if I needed to or wished to.

Speaking of which, we are installing our Ikea cabinets, with their 15 year guarantee. I hope they last much longer; however, if my cabs do last only 15 years, then the best case scenerio is that I will only have to buy 2 more sets of Ikea cabinets in the rest of my lifetime (that last set would wear out sometime in my nineties). That works for me.

Realistically, I may not even be in this house when these wear out in 15 years, or when the next set blows (30 years from now). I see buyers anxious to rip out a kitchen and make it their own. When I am buying a house, I can't imagine letting someone else's crappy kitchen stop me from buying an otherwise ideal home. Besides, I am older now. I don't want to spend any time guessing what kind of kitchen some future mythical buyer will be most likely to pay me top dollar for. Same motto for color, design and layout of this house. Future owners don't have a say yet:)

P.S. I most emphatically did NOT feel this way when I was young. I had an obsession with getting things that would "last a lifetime." Now that I am more financially able to do so, I have changed my mind. I don't get why, but there you go.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 1:41AM
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LOL My DH reckons I should have them in to photograph the house for their inhouse magazine, we have so much Ikea. The funny thing is, few people believe me. Like so many of you said, you get what you pay for, so the cheapest doesn't always last, but if you get the higher range stuff and the "real" stuff, the quality is fine. I had a classic pine coffee table for over 20 years that eventually got passed on: it had been sanded and resealed and was solid as a rock despite being in my possession from my early teenage years through 3 kids... My knack is that I mix Ikea with other stuff that is a bit more eye-catching, maybe that is why our house isn't so noticeably Ikea. Also I have been buying there for nearly 25 years so people have forgotten that some of my stuff was ever for sale there! I am lucky to live close by and often go by to see what is available - it is sometimes hard to go with expectations and things are out of stock, but if you can be relaxed, I find plenty. Some nice accessories never even make it to the catalog and sell out if you don't happen to be there in the few days/weeks they are selling them. I am happy with most things from there, the beds last forever, the wardrobe is awesome (it was the only store with closet systems that were low enough for our 250 yr old house ceilings!), our oak table beautiful, our last and present dining chairs indestructible (my mom inherited the last set when she moved), the kids' stuff fun and nothing can beat Billy shelves. I have used them everywhere for continuity, some with doors on the lower half, some with glass shelves, some with tall glass doors. My only problem is that they have discontinued some sizes of Billy and Lack, which is very annoying. They also change the colours available according to the "fashions", so oak is unpopular in this area and not available.
I have certainly had no trouble with upholstered goods. I had the cheap version of the Poang chair over 16 years ago and often picked up a new cushion for it in the cheap range when pets ruined the old one or I wanted a different colour, though they are also washable. Now I splashed out on a leather cushion for it, it is so comfortable and still looking as good as ever. Also my Ektorp sofabed has been used a lot and squeezed up the narrow stairs of this house and is going strong. I have 3 sets of covers for it, they wash well, haven't faded or worn and I can put them on slightly damp and they need no ironing. What more could I want?! Each season I check to see what new colour covers they have in case I need a new set, as they are not expensive. In this country, no other store has sofas with removable covers, it's a great novelty for my friends and neighbours that I often change the covers!
All this is why I am a fan, not everyone agrees, though...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 10:33AM
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hOW ARE all these old posts showing up as current? Am I lost in the time warp? No current post showing to bring it forward. 2007 is pretty old.....

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:57PM
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good grief! I have no idea how that happens.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:56AM
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