I made a promise to myself — once Ikea opened its new Winnipeg location (back in November), I would avoid the anticipated insanity and mayhem these stores tend to cause, and wait until January before I braved the crowds and stopped in to have a peek. However (and not all that surprising) the willpower to stick to the plan diminished weekly, and ultimately, I caved. While in that city for meetings two weeks back, I dropped in. If you haven't had the opportunity to check out the famous big blue-and-yellow box, here's a bit of a spoiler for you!
If you've ever wondered what that new sofa, shelving unit, area rug, lighting fixture, and paint colour will look like before you've spent a dime, you've come to the right place. Not only does Ikea set everything up in the form of fully staged room vignettes, they provide endless inspiration with additional images and product placement for the same rooms and areas in your home.
I get a little giddy (and really, who doesn't) every time I waltz through their home organization section... rows upon rows of streamlined, minimalistic gadgets, shelving, hooks, baskets and bins: an organizer's paradise!
European design isn't afraid of embracing bright and bold colours! High gloss red, cobalt blue, lime green, rich tangerines... if you're looking for bland you won't find it here. The great thing about Ikea is that you can take a few home accessories and throw them into your existing scheme for an added jolt of design adrenaline, without incurring much of a cost at all. Something everyone can appreciate!
Colourful strainers, cutting boards, sifters, plastic containers, knives, spatulas, garlic presses, tea towels, placemats, peelers, cutlery, glassware... if you need it, Ikea has it. The funky design of all of their neat and kitschy kitchen gadgets doesn't hurt either — a fave of mine is their cheese grater/tupperware combo.
We're in the market for a complete wardrobe system in our master bedroom (closets in a century-old home don't exactly function well today), so I have to say I'm most excited Ikea set up shop closer to home for this very reason. The ability to stylishly create a customizable wardrobe closet, where everything has a place (and I no longer have to pile extra clothes on door hooks and the occasional wall sconce) will eat up a bit of floor space, but ultimately give us double — if not triple — the hanging space.
Be sure to set aside at least an hour and a half to make it through the maze of house wares and furniture — and if you get hungry in the process, make sure to stop in at their in-house cafeteria and score some famous Swedish meatballs!
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 26, 2013