Lost in IKEA

Youngjoo Ahn, Feature Editor

On a fateful day sometime last year, I discovered a hidden gem, hidden right under my nose. I had never been all that interested in furniture shopping mainly from terrible childhood memories. Many of my Saturday afternoons were spent sitting on a couch waiting for my parents to pick out just the perfect chair or rug. My suggestions for the tiny chairs or a butterfly lamp were never taken into consideration. The first thing I associated with furniture shopping was boredom, until my friends lured me into IKEA with the promise of ice cream and Swedish meatballs.

I had never been to IKEA but was immediately enthralled with all the cute little sets of rooms. People were everywhere, but yet there was always enough room for our group of five to play house (my friend is a huge 500 Days of Summer fan). Of course no fictional house is complete without a random stranger joining the dinner table. I was amazed at the fact that IKEA had taken the time to fill the cupboards with forks or the bedroom closets with real clothes.  We slowly made our way out of the room sets and into the sections for customizing one’s chairs and an array of similar beds that all looked slightly different.

“Haven’t we been here before?” I asked, as we stood in the children’s toy section. After two hours of walking around and observing Swedish signs, it was apparent that we were lost. IKEA is built like one giant maze and for someone with no sense of direction whatsoever (like myself), it can induce slight headaches. The answer to my question was to simply keep walking. After another half hour, we reached the dimly lit warehouse-like basement. It was a stark contrast to the rest IKEA. In the basement floors, we were surrounded by candles, cookie cutters, and aprons. I had never been so happy to see the long checkout lines. We had made it alive out of IKEA.

Although IKEA is notorious for its maze-like layout, it gave me an amazing adventure that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. Sometimes being forced to slow down and enjoy the moment is necessary to see what’s right in front of you. Furniture shopping has become one of my favorite things. I love exploring the little nifty tools like lemon squeezers and brightly colored spatulas.  Every place has the potential to be fun; it’s all about perspective.