IKEA-The Quintessential Swedish Experience

It wasn’t my most brilliant idea, drive to IKEA using a GPS that can’t speak Swedish. Oh my! Once I started onto the freeway system, there was no turning back—three freeways, two interchanges, tons of construction; I felt it a tender mercy from God I only made three wrong turns.

I swore when I left Europe the last time, I’d never go back to IKEA (Like ever!). During our 9 years of living overseas I’d put together one too many closets, beds and desks with that thingamajig that comes in every box. You know what I’m talking about, that metal bar that ruins your fingertips, and you can only hope and pray that after you turn and turn and turn the screw actually fits?

On my way there, I was having flashbacks of the time Cooper and I put together an entire closet from IKEA, to discover later it wouldn’t fit past our bedroom door. Duh? To be fair, we were functioning on very little sleep and it was late at night. But honestly, does anyone’s brain work like a Swedes? I mean, they can make a table that turns into a couch that turns into a toothbrush holder, (that might be stretching it.) But you have to agree, IKEA is some astounding design—functional and at the same time (usually) attractive.

This wasn’t around last time I was in Europe. IKEA is moving on up.

Colorful and Functional.

And most of the time you find what you’re looking for, including things you don’t even know you need…like the cool metal cart I bought that sits by my kitchen stove to organize my utensils and spices. I figure it can double as a trivet, and should I need to pass a heavy dish of meatballs, no need to lift, just give the dish a shove and let it roll. (On second thought, that could end in disaster). But it is kinda fantastic, don’t you think?

So as long as I’m taking pictures in my kitchen, why don’t I show you our garbage can built into the stainless steel counter top? Pretty awesome, ah?

Right by the sink, no bending for the trash under the counter.

I also bought some things at IKEA I actually needed, hangers for instance, I couldn’t find them anywhere, but of course they were there. And so were towels and a carrot peeler and plants to make my “temporary house” feel like a home. I bought candles, a box of 30 white tapers, (the smallest amount they sell them in). Swedes burn a lot of candles (a lot), especially in the winter, so I’m certain we’ll use them up, plus with our new candle holders to display cool stuff, no reason not to have candlelight every night for dinner.

Check out our collection of pinecones displayed in the holders from our nature walk. (More on our nature walk later.)

No matter what you’re shopping for, a trip to IKEA wouldn’t be complete without a lunch of Swedish meatballs, mash potatoes with gravy and their signature ligonberry jam. Yum! (Here’s what else you could eat.)

Swedes love their shrimp. Shrimp on rolls, on lettuce, on avocado…

Maggie saved room for dessert so I bought her an ice cream cone, not just any ice cream cone; this was the work of a Swedish mad scientist genius. You place the cone in a machine, along with a token, that activates the dispenser to swirl the ice cream on top…how fun is that? The arcade-like experience kept Maggie in slack jawed wonder. (Now if it only tasted like Dairy Queen life would be perfect.)


I’m glad I gave IKEA a second chance. We had a lovely time and I made it home, which was all the better. And just ‘cause I didn’t want to be selfish, I brought home frozen meatballs, gravy and jam for my family too. (Never mind I didn’t have to cook dinner:).

P.S. One last inside tidbit, you know all those IKEA names of furniture none of us can pronounce: Hogsatra, Lidingo, Skarsby, Malmo…they’re all towns in Sweden. Who could have guessed?

One Comment on “IKEA-The Quintessential Swedish Experience

  1. Hmmm – I’m thinking I need to plan a trip to Ikea. I haven’t been in years. Thanks Lana!!!!

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