Nuts and Bolts, anyone?
I feel like I have a special connection with Ikea, as my Mom came from Sweden. Many of our Swedish relatives have Ikea kitchens, and they have been served well. As Americans without an Ikea, we idolized the megastore. When we would visit
When you tell a contractor that you want to install an Ikea kitchen they usually look at you with pity if you’re lucky, or disgust if you’re not. Some even look scared. The reason? They will tell you that the quality of the products is sheer and utter crap, but I think that there’s more to the story. I think that they are intimidated. Yes, intimidated. It is outside their comfort zone as they are not often asked to make cabinets from scratch- that’s what cabinet-makers do.
Each item comes boxed flat and in pieces, with all of the hardware in a little plastic bag. It’s like putting together a puzzle and definitely challenges the brain. Part of the reason it can be tough is because there are no written instructions. You heard right. No words of any sort appear in the several-page long “instruction” pamphlet. Considering the fact that Ikea now exists in several hundred countries, I suppose they just gave up on the idea of the written word (what is the Swahili word for dowel, anyway?), and opted for little drawings instead. You really have to pay very close attention to these rudimentary sketches however. One small detail overlooked, one screw in the wrong place…and you’re, well… screwed.
There are little wooden pegs, metal fittings, screws of different shapes and sizes, and nails, lots of nails. They do not give you spares so heaven forbid you lose a single piece. The exception is the nails- they give you twice the number you need- what’s with the nails?
There is something inexplicably satisfying about putting the little circular metal fittings into the perfectly matched holes- you feel like a Pre-Schooler who’s about to graduate with honors. And the wooden pegs are fun to whack into place with a hammer. I even enjoy installing the screws- especially with an electric screw-driver. I feel like the woman on the “We Can Do It” poster when I have a power tool in my hand.
Personally, when assembling the products, I like to take my time and “read” the pictograms carefully. My hubby, on the other hand rushes on the scene like a whirling dervish and starts an assembly line, finishing one cabinet before I’ve completed the chosen toddler-maneuver of the moment. I will, however, admit to you that I did take a certain smug pleasure when he discovered that he put the first cabinet together with the parts backward. Heh, heh.
This photo has nothing to do with Ikea cabinets. It just cracks me up when they go to sniff the camera... Samantha- my silly goose!!
I would not recommend Ikea for the DIY sorts of people who are hard on their furniture, faint of heart, or like to read directions (what? does anybody really read directions?!). But for anyone who is somewhat handy with a screwdriver who wants to save boat-loads of money on a project, Ikea can be a really fun place to give your home a facelift.
Another bonus...their meatballs and lingonberries rock the house.
In an upcoming post I'll show you have we've been "roughing it", yet we're still managing to eat really well (even without a kitchen!)
Question: Have you put anything together? Are you a DIYer? Do you know what DIY is? Bonus: What is a spirit level?