Welcome to our ‘Mad About IKEA’ product review website. We invite unbiased reviews from anyone who has bought IKEA products in the past, or who has previous experience of them.
IKEA is without doubt, the most well known furniture brand in the world. It appeals to a younger (at heart) customer base, as it makes value for money furniture and home furnishings with loads of choices available to those just starting out in their new home.
IKEA has many enthusiastic fans, but however, there are many who do not like the thought of IKEA furniture. To be fair, both sides have valid viewpoints. High quality and/or antique furniture it isn’t. However IKEA furniture is certainly great value for money, and its stylishly attractive look provides a base to be quite creative with your interior decor, as you can buy unfinished furniture to mix and match to make your own customized look.
IKEA is not a newcomer to the ‘furniture scene’. It was formed in 1943 in a small village called Agunnaryd in Sweden. IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad was only 17 at the time. The first two letters in IKEA come from the initials of the founder’s name, the next two from Elmtaryd, the farm that he grew up on, and Agunnaryd, his village.
Ingvar originally started out selling home accessories and knicknacks at bargain prices, moving into selling furniture in the late 1940s. Now the company is the major international furniture and home furnishings brand and has operations around the world.
At the time of writing there are over 300 IKEA stores in 37 countries and they are easily recognized by their blue and yellow logo. Most IKEA stores are owned by the company, but there are a number of franchised stores as well.
IKEA has quite rightly been referred to as a “cult brand” by BusinessWeek, and the British design magazine Icon voted Ingvar Kamprad as the most influential tastemaker in the world.
IKEA Furniture – The Good…
There is a lot going for affordable furniture which is also stylish. With IKEA, it’s possible to fit out an entire home for a comparatively small amount of money.
Also, there is always something new at IKEA, although some old favourites just keep on going! The Poang armchair is a great example of this, starting at 79.99€ in Spain and £55 in the UK. The Poang is made from a layered and glued (plywood) bentwood frame of birch. The chairs are really comfortable, and we have 6 ourselves. You can buy a good variety of cushion styles and these are available in fabric or leather with varying prices.
Lack Side Table – Photo © IKEA
Lack side tables and coffee tables come in many different finishes. These have also been popular for many years. The side tables sell for about €6.99 or £8 in the UK. Again we have a few of these as they are great for eating, watching the television. Billy bookcases, another massive favourite, have been around for years. They come in many sizes and finishes and start at €20 or £27. It is possible to buy a complete bedroom for under £500.
There is a wide range of choices for all the rooms in a home: dining furniture, living room furniture, home office furniture, and furniture for children’s rooms is all available at different price points and quality.
Some IKEA furniture is relatively easy to assemble and some is very definitely not. We recommend you employ the services of an expert if you want to get the most from your furniture, particularly if you are not a ‘tools’ person. Efficient packaging makes some items easy to transport in a car, however the larger items will need a van. Again, we recommend the services of experts in this field. There are professional shopping, delivery and assembly services which take care of all these problems for you.
There is a huge selection of lighting, rugs, bedding, , bathroom, textiles and general home accessories to complement your furniture purchases to ‘jazz up’ your home. Another thing IKEA are excellent at is providing a large array of efficient, well designed storage solutions for the entire home.
For the bargain hunters out there, there is an “take it as you see it” section in most IKEA stores. Here you can get bargain priced furniture that has suffered varying degrees of damage from the ‘almost impossible to see’ to bashed in drawers and part built returned goods. We recently picked up a three seater Ektorp sofa saving over €80 on the deal. Other than some dirt marks on some cushion interiors, there was nothing wrong with it, and it was ready built!
IKEA Furniture – The Not So Good…
When you buy furniture at IKEA, you must not expect to buy high quality furniture which will last for generations. To be sure, most of it is affordable but longevity is probably not one of its major qualities. Largely made from particleboard, IKEA furniture most often does not stand up to years of use. Taking apart and moving furniture can also shorten its lifespan if not done correctly. Ask your local Professional Shopping, Delivery and Assembly Service for advice.
Shopping for Furniture at IKEA
IKEA tries to present a similar shopping experience at all their stores. However, our experience is that they all vary quite considerably. IKEA Malaga for instance, is much smaller than IKEA Murcia. The Malaga store serves a much larger population however. Also, the stores are laid out in reverse order to each other, which is strange as you would expect a ‘one layout fits all‘ approach. It’s hard to miss an IKEA store. They have a distinctive blue and yellow colouring on the outside of the building (see above picture) and a large logo’d triangular sign which can be seen for miles. Once inside you can spend a lot of time just looking around without being bothered, but they do like you to walk in the flow of arrows, painted on the floor. This is really annoying if you know what you want, and just want to go straight there and get it. To be fair, there is no pressure to follow the arrows, but it does mean there can be a lot of ‘traffic’ walking against you, if you buck the trend. A single store stocks pretty much everything to furnish and fit out a home, from furniture to kitchen cabinets to lighting down to brushes for washing dishes.
The displays at IKEA stores are excellent and it is easy to visualise how your furniture will look once you have got it home and built.
IKEA provides paper measuring tapes, pencils and notepads to write down descriptions and product codes, including the aisle number and shelf number to make it easier to locate their furniture in the self-serve warehouse.
To find your local IKEA store in the UK, visit the IKEA Store Locater.
To find your local IKEA store in Spain, visit the IKEA Store Locater.
If there is no IKEA store in your vicinity, or the packages are too large to fit in your car, you may shop via a professional shopping and delivery service. You will find advertisements on this site.
IKEA provides good priced, stylish furniture for someone who is just starting out or fancies fitting out their home economically. It gives you a chance to bring out the interior designer in you and we highly recommend you take a look!