Alfonso Cuarón's "Ikea"



The most terrifying thing about this is that the horror doesn’t end even when you get home.

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Just to avoid IKEA and any of its competitors I live in a ready-furnished appartment. Interior design is for masochists^^

Interesting euphemism for prison…


:smiley: I just love my cosy prison… especially because of my lovely inmates :wink:

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I went to an Ikea once. I left through an emergency exit, after wandering around getting agitated for a while. I do not get it. I can get cheaper things at a thrift store, it doesn’t smell any better than a thrift store in there, and then even if I did figure out how to buy something and get it home I’d have to build it… and everyone would see it and say “oh, you must shop at Ikea.”


Have you tried ordering from them online? I have some sympathy, but Ikea isn’t really set up for the ‘In and out’ shopping experience…

I loved Ikea when I was a starving student.

But as the years passed I came to hate it more and more. Just about everything about it, from the sometimes ridiculous amounts of assembly required (just try buying a bed: you have to pick up a bunch of different assembly-required packages from the warehouse, assemble them, then assemble the assemblies – I declined to buy), to the piss-poor quality of many items, to almost universally inconvenient store locations, to that one thing you need always seeming to be out of stock on the one day you schlep all the way out there. The video doesn’t really ring true to me, because store layout is the one complaint I don’t have. I’ve always found the sprawl relatively logical and well organized.

In any case, it took a while for love to become hate, and I eventually had tons of Ikea stuff, until the breaking point came and I swore off entirely. It has taken years, but I’m finally rid of almost all of it (even mediocre furniture will last a few years)… but even now, I still can’t entirely escape this junk in my own home. It is amazing how pervasive this place is or was, for some of us at least…

Sounds more like a praise.

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I don’t get it. It’s like complaining you can’t find something in a store you don’t visit that much… I don’t frequent Ikea that much, but I have a pretty good sense of where most of what I might want would be located. Besides if you don’t follow the path you can literally walk right through the store to exactly where you want to be.

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Yes, I could have been clearer: I meant low quality and have edited my post accordingly.

As I have gotten older, I, too, have gotten to dislike Ikea and similar products. Instead of using my money to invest in some good yard sale items of decent quality, I purchased this put together crap and basically threw my money down the drain instead of having a sturdy item I am recycling. Because one year later, my spiffy looking insert tab a into tab b bookshelf always looks like crap.

People keep telling me the higher end stuff is worth it, but to me, that’s a lot of money for chipboard. If I have $800 to spend, maybe I can just find something lovely on craigslist that will not look so much like a cardboard box.

I recently went to Ikea and as much as I wanted to like the shelves and find something I’d put money into, I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t even like their Swedish meatballs anymore. But my daughter did get some cool paper lanterns, so, I guess it still meets its target audience’s needs well.


The experience at Ikea is at least on par with other big box stores, if not better. I absolutely dread ever going into a BestBuy because you can’t go five steps without someone in a blue shirt asking if they can help you find something (interpreted: push for the up-sell). Or a traditional furniture store where a sales person will follow you around and push for the hard sell. Or a Wal-Mart where every single employee is basically a zombie.

I’ll agree their floor layout is manipulative but once you find what you’re looking for getting out of there is easy. Just go grab what you want off the shelf and pay for it and move on with your day.

As for the quality of their stuff, just stay away from the particle board (which is good advice for life in general). They sell a lot of stuff in pine and you can make some decent furniture out of it if you take the time to stain it. The modularity is a big aid for customizing to your space.

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OMFG - that is freakin’ hilarious. I mean, terribly terribly sad. No, hilarious.

I assembled an IKEA wardrobe with sliding doors this weekend. It’s great! About 6 hours for a 2 x 75cm, 200cm tall wardrobe.

The assembly required child evacuation - too many screws and bits. But if you stop, think Swedish, and do exactly what the instructions say, it works.

I was impressed. In the past, the instructions were fairly awful. Now they appear to be good.

Caveat: I couldn’t stand the idea of going to IKEA to buy it. I ordered it online, which took some figuring out, but when you get it, it works.

I’m impressed by the logistics and engineering capabilities too.

So … the gear is good, the purchase experience is not, the assembly is improved, the wardrobe is excellent.

I can come and build your stuff too - $250 per hour, plus travel expenses (from London). Just don’t come near me while I do it.

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That was great, but I felt that it needed more 3D to make me feel like I was really there.

I’m going through a very weird phase in my life, generally, but also furniture-wise. I’m either too poor to buy any (even from Ikea), or feel like the money would be better spent elsewhere. The consequence:

A not at all unappealing setup where I use an closet door on some bar stools as possibly the biggest desk I’ve ever had. I use a plexiglass square with graph paper underneath as a blotter that doubles as a desktop dry erase board. I have old (white) Christmas lights for ambiance lighting and a jury-rigged under-cabinet light for a desk lamp. I’ve learned there is almost no Ikea furniture that I can’t replace functionally with just a little wood-working and electronics know-how. Everything else is sortable in stacking bins and hanging file folders.

The effect is actually kind of appealing. Everything matches because it was all made by the same hands and the improvised aesthetic creates its own feeling which at least I enjoy. More importantly I’m a lot happier assembling things. I turn into a real asshole when I’m putting together furniture from instructions, even when I’m actively avoiding it. It’s so strange, and I don’t get that effect when I’m putting something together myself. Anyone have any insight into the “no body likes helping me assemble things” phenomenon?


I don’t get how you can get lost in IKEA; follow a single path- with dots on the floor- and you’ll eventually hit whatever you want. I absolutely hate shopping and most stores give me a pounding headache within minutes, but IKEA I can manage. It’s still a store, but it’s better than a maze of esoterically-labeled aisles (like in most department stores).


Getting lost is one thing. Feeling like you’re dying of exhaustion is another. In a hazy confused moment of insanity, you see an illusory oasis through a gap in the displays (I think of these as Disney tunnels, but out in the open), and dash through. Only to lose your bearings and realise you’re back at the meatball counter, again.

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I really don’t get the amount of hate for IKEA. It’s true that it’s a big place and specifically designed to suck you in, but most people should know by now that it’s better for people who are trying to set up an entire apartment with matching furniture rather than getting a single item. In that sense, it probably saves you time you could be spending going to half a dozen stores and a restaurant. If you’re lost and can’t read the map, follow the arrows and you’ll get to the exit in 20-30 minutes. If that’s too long, you’re in the wrong store. IKEA furniture really isn’t difficult to put together - I mean, most of it is a lot easier than a mid level Lego model, and should be fairly straightforward for anyone over age 10. They don’t make the strongest furniture, but for their price range it’s at least as strong as anything else out there. Nowadays you have to get pretty high end before cabinets aren’t made out of chipboard. You can get better stuff cheaper if you buy second hand, but it’s good value compared with new furniture (which can be really expensive).

On the positive side, it’s got pretty good design and easily replaceable parts (that are easy to find once the first ones wear out). It encourages creativity as the items are usually not overly specific and can be used in different areas of the house for different purposes. There is a good range of prices for the same kind of item, so you can be pretty sure that you’re getting what you pay for rather than overpaying for poor quality furniture. More thought is given to effective use of space, so IKEA furniture often works well in small apartments. It’s not the best thing in the world and many people move on from it after a while, but it definitely beat other stores in the area when I was starting off in my early 20s.