I was first introduced to the giant blue box at IKEA-Paris. I was a senior in high school, but I was in love with the giant blue box, the colorful fixtures, the good eats (a requisite in France) and the overall feel. Nearly 20 years later, I still have the same feel-good reaction to IKEA. As you know by now, I go fairly often with the kids, but these outings do not usually include the whole family. But today, I dragged The Dad with me to IKEA.
The purpose of our visit was to try out kitchen chairs. We only have 4 right now, which leaves an odd bum out. Plus, they are no longer made (they were a circa-1999 California Cost Plus purchase), and The Dad has been complaining about them since we moved to Chicago. So after The Boy and The Girl were happily ensconced by Smalland, we sat in kitchen chairs.
We were both quite fond of the padded IKEA Stockholm chair, but at $99/pop, it's a bit steep for our needs at the moment. Plus the oak finish doesn't go with our blonde wood and veneer Scandinavian kitchen table, and while it should be replaced, getting a new table isn't in the budget plans right now. I can't really see buying another table for small children to destroy. The Ingolf was another option on The Dad's list. Although my American Foursquare is not even remotely modern in design or function, I also quite liked the Tobias and Jakob chairs.
For the first time ever (probably because The Dad was with me), I walked out of the store buying only dinner (mac & cheese and mashed potatoes for The Girl, chicken tenders and fries for The Boy, meatballs and mashed potatoes for The Tot, meatball platter for me, and chicken Caesar salad for The Dad), ice cream for the kids at the end, and some fabric for my bags. It was quite crowded when we got there just before 5 p.m., but by the time we left around 7, the place was practically a ghost town. This confirms what I already knew: the best time to go to IKEA is on an early weekday afternoon or a Saturday night.