Ikea – Not as bad as I thought it would be

I have been doing research for my lil sis’s kitchen. She doesn’t want it to cost too much as she’s rather spend her hard earned cash on gorgeous dresses. My first choice would be Wentworth Kitchen’s because I know them – we have kids at the same school and I’ve had many a coffee morning in kitchens they have fitted so know that they have quality products do an amazing job. I visited their trade outlet in Hitchin to get a ball park figure and was really impressed with their trade ranges too. But in the interests of fairness – and because lil sis had seen one that she liked in a magazine – I have broken my vow to stay away from Ikea and their ubiquitous furniture forever and ventured to Croydon.

There are three reasons I had sworn off Ikea:

  • They are really hard to get to by public transport and I hate driving (flashbacks to walking along the North Circular to get to their Neasden branch still make me twitch)
  • Last time the website said the cupboard I wanted was in store, the computer on the shop floor said it was in store, the empty space on the shelves said it was not in store – and I’d borrowed a car to get there.
  • Back when I used to watch EastEnders I was disturbed to find that the Slaters had the same wardrobe as me, then I started to spot Malm furniture in every soap and advert – a generic hell that goes against every fibre of my design aspirations.

Despite my misgivings the kitchens have had good reports and my sister was almost getting excited. So off to Ikea we went – on surprisingly pleasant and convenient public transport – a tram from Wimbledon. It was a bank holiday weekend (aren’t they all at the moment) but the store wasn’t heaving and we were able to look at some very lovely and clean room sets which got lil sis a little bit more excited. We’d both grappled with the online planning tool and given up (no chance on a mac and still tricky on a PC)  so she has decided to pay the £50 for a planner to come round. Most kitchen companies offer this service for free, in fact Wickes make their brochures so complicated that it is impossible to work out their kitchen ranges without a fully trained member of staff! But one thing we all know in life is that nothing is free and the cost will be in someway absorbed by the customer.

Filling out the form to say exactly what products we wanted really helped to focus the mind right down to the handles and everything was available to look at and open which was great for the kitchen novice. We tried the Metod/Nodsta but found that although the concealed handles made them look sleek and gorgeous they were so shallow you couldn’t open them without knocking your knuckles on the worktop. As an alternative we’re looking at the Metod/Ringhult in a glossy white with brushed metal handles to keep it modern and bounce a bit of light around.

I’m looking forward to the designer coming round – at the very least they’ll check my measurements! – I’ll let you know how it goes…

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