Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Pilgrimage to IKEA: Retailer of Legend

I traveled with mom on a two hour pilgrimage to the massive IKEA shopping center in Orlando. The international retailer lived up to its legend. The cafeteria featured succulent and affordable grub, the downstairs daycare was immense and colorful. The second floor was a labyrinthine wonderland divided into more showrooms that I can count, each one a perfectly staged bedroom (with attached bathroom!) kitchen, dining room, or office.



The prices were striking. I can see why IKEA is renowned and featured in nearly every design publication. The furniture was sturdy and affordable, I've encountered plenty of thrift stores with higher priced items. It was truly Disney World for interior design lovers.


I wish I could take you with me.
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44 comments:

  1. Isn't Ikea amazing? We are lucky enough to have one only an hour away. I still don't get to get that often...love it though!

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  2. oooooooo love your blog so much!! i'm a new follower from the wednesday blog hop. stop over & see me sometime, thanks :)

    cheers-
    suz

    http://welltodoyou.blogspot.com/

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  3. Ooo I love Ikea, I've got one about 40 minutes from me in Philly. I got my craft table there and it's great!

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  4. I always feel like such a mainstream consumer when it comes to Ikea. But then I actually get there and am hypnotized by the slick, Swedish design. The bold colors, the textures, the showrooms that are catalogs with a pulse! It's too exciting. In my bedroom I have an Ikea mirror, an Ikea bookcase and an Ikea scoop chair. But then I balanced it out with a thrifted chest of drawers and a thrifted bedside table.

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  5. I loooooove IKEA. I discovered it years ago while visiting my ex in-laws in MN. I fell in love.

    Following you from Welcome Wednesday. You can find me at http://thasuburbanhousewife.blogspot.com

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  6. Jackie: I felt some of the same guilt. One thing I hate about retail shopping is how it can turn people's homes into ubiquitous bland "showrooms".

    Yet I know when thrifting can't give you the perfect bookshelves or the right sized picture frame, IKEA can provide the right solution for cheap!

    I bought fabric (allowed according to my "Buy Nothing New" exceptions) for curtains. I've been thrifting for a year and haven't found the right curtains or curtain fabric.

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  7. Half of our house comes from the Orlando Ikea. We used to travel an hour and a half to visit it. Now we live 20 minutes from the Tampa Ikea. I don't know how I ever lived without it.

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  8. I am not an Ikea fan. We are lucky to have one a few minutes away. I just do not care for the lay out of the stores. That you have to walk a mile to get to the kitchen areas. Most of the time when I shop I know what I want, I want to get it and get it without having to walk through all of the store.
    I do think the child care center is wonderful. I love their return policy. I just want to be able to go without having to spend an hour or more...

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  9. I think they are building one in Denver colordo and I cant wait to go!

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  10. hello newest follower from the hop
    love the pic with the t.v. over the lady bug cute decorating ideas from ikea
    http://everydayproductsandmore.blogspot.com/

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  11. We've had an Ikea here in Essex, UK, for many years now. You really can't beat Ikea for value, and suprisingly for such amazing prices, style, quality and durability too. It's easy to spend a whole day in there and not get bored!
    Px

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  12. Oh and the Swedish meatballs are yummiliscious....

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  13. Dont hate, but on my lunch break from work I drive about 10 minutes over to Ikea and walk around :) I get an ice cream too of course!

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  14. I'm with Anon. Ok hate is a strong word. I think its when you live by one and you go quite a bit. For one, I've noticed the well priced items typically break and do not stand the test of time. The mid range items and higher are definite quality but EXPENSIVE! It's rare to get a good deal on a great piece, unless you shop the scratch and dent area and even then. Its big REALLY big and when you just went to pick up some silverware it gets really obnoxious very quickly. Don't buy their lamps the light bulbs are impossible to find anywhere but Ikea and EXPENSIVE! This last time I went I only wanted storage boxes. There prices were idiotic and they charged you for the box AND the lid. WTH??!! Who does that??! I'm mad at them right now (I might get over it but I can't help but feel they are the evil step sister to Walmart!). But they do have the best meatballs in the world.

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  15. Beautiful pics BTW, are those from a point and click?!

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  16. Amanda: Quiet, you! My "Buy Nothing New" pledge would be in so much trouble if an IKEA was near my work.

    Miss P: So many people recommended the meatballs and I forgot to get some down there! Welp, next time!

    Anonymous: You would literally have to run at full speed to attempt to get in and out of that maze in a hurry. It encourages an all-day shopping experience. The marketer in me was in slack-jawed awe of a job well done.

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  17. Dhamma: I'd imagine I would have a different opinion if this wasn't my first visit...and we didn't drive 4 hours total just to see it. They may be an evil step sister of Walmart, but they're also the hot sister. Gorgeous graphic design and fabrics! Damn their evil souls.

    I gave away my point and shoot cameras. Instead, I tote my big-ass Canon SLR with me...everywhere! It's a Canon Rebel T1i and it takes amazing photos. I use an inexpensive fixed focal length lens when I go out, it has amazing depth of field.

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  18. I love Ikea and I'm lucky enough to live 5 minutes from the New Haven, CT store. The maze does have shortcuts, you just have to frequent it enough to know where they are.
    Sure, it is a mart store. But sometimes you just need stylish storage options for cheap.

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  19. Hi Van! I have to know if you make your own lentil soup. We always eat the Amy's canned version but I would kill for a good copy cat recipe. :)

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  20. I'm going to school for interior design. I wish i could just live there.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love thrifting :) and your blog

    Ali

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  21. My absolute favorite place of all time! LOL We have one less than an hour away - the best of all is our "as is" section! Just found discontinued backsplash panels - a whole box! - for $18. OMG - hubby is starting to install today. Can't afford new counters or tile, so this is a great change for cheap!

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  22. When I lived in las Vegas, people would seriously trek too to go to Ikea! Luckily there's one close to my parents' home in southern california. They have so many beautiful things, I just wish some of the furniture would hold up more. I just figured now to not buy any more of their particle board furniture, everything else is good!

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  23. Ikea is a trip! Really and I love the bright colors and designs.

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  24. Can you believe I've never been to an IKEA? I can't. There's one about 90 minutes from our house, but we drive a crappy sports car crammed full of baby, so a trip to IKEA seems more like a practice in torture. I'm not sure that I'd be big on their furniture, but I would love to raid their fabric department!

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  25. Thursday: The fabric department was my favorite section. Amazing designer patterns, so much to choose from, great quality.

    I am going to drive 2 hours back there just to check out the fabric. (And to check out Orlando thrifts :)

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  26. I'm super intimidated by Ikea. It's just so...much. That said, there are definitely things for which it can't be beat.

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  27. Gawd I LOVE IKEA! Furniture porn LOL

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  28. I was wondering if you were able to stick to the compact. Good thing you can buy fabric, because they do have some great prints!

    We don't buy much in the way of furniture from ikea, but we do get most of our bookshelves there, which are fantastic in my opinion. For the heavy usage furniture (couches, dining chairs, etc.) I consider their stuff to be about 5-10 year furniture because it tends to fall apart after about that long.

    Because we live within 30 minutes of an Ikea, I find a lot of their products at the thrift store, too. Though, sometimes the thrift store prices it higher than it is new at Ikea.

    We love the food and childcare, too! Yay for frozen yogurt and meatballs!

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  29. IKEA is definitely a day trip! I have one about 20 minutes away and I have to gear myself up for the voyage every time.

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  30. I love IKEA. I wish I could just move in.

    I'm a new follower too :)

    www.youngnester.blogspot.com

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  31. my closest Ikea is 6 hours away... WHY oh why won't they hurry up and build one in St. Louis!!! This is seriously making me want to drive six hours to see it!

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