I heart IKEA

You know what, I REALLY like building IKEA furniture.

A change of circumstances recently means that I have furnished a two-bedroom house from scratch, and almost all of the contents have come from IKEA.

The experience of building IKEA furniture has a lot in common with building a Lego set or Tamiya kit:

  • The quality of manufacture is exceptional. You almost never get a faulty component or a missing part. I can think of only two items that have caused me trouble in 15-odd years, an “Aspelund” wardrobe mirror and bed frame, both of which are still in use today after a few tweaks and three house moves.
  • The packaging is ingenious. It is much more than just a set of parts. Just as much thought goes into the packaging materials themselves, and even the design of the furniture itself to allow it to be flat-packed. As a single example, the “Kallax” drawers use a one-piece folding hardboard insert to create the structure for the drawer runners.
  • There is a unique design language. You can always tell a Lego set from brick-a-like alternatives, and you can always tell a Tamiya kit from the rest. IKEA’s designs are frankly weird at times, but somehow it emboldens you to try something different. More often than not, the weird design works.

By way of contrast, the Argos TV stand I bought was little more than a set of boards and some dowels.

It may seem strange to say this, but I would happily build IKEA furniture all day long!

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