Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Decorating Inexpensively - Part 1, Furniture and Stuff

There seems to be two kinds of people in the world.  The ones that love IKEA.  And the ones that hate IKEA.  Unfortunately, we have one of each in our household!  But when you're looking for furniture for a rental apartment, and you really don't want to spend much, it's a great place to go. And as we noticed when we were looking at furnished apartments, IKEA seems to furnish the majority of apartments here!  This is a country the size of New Jersey, but it has 7 IKEAs!

Did you know the first IKEA store opened in 1958 in Sweden.  The founder was Ingvar Kamprad, owned a farm Elmtayd and he was from Agunnayrd, a nearby village - get it?  IKEA?  It's not a Swedish word!  They've gone from humble beginnings to a company that distributes 2.5 billion wooden dowels (you know, the ones that hold all their furniture together) a year!
But I digress.  We needed to find living room furniture for our new living room.  We didn't want to be sitting on the dining room chairs for too long!  Something apartment sized, that will be comfortable, but with a bit of style.  We looked all around and finally settled on this chair.  Hmmm.....doesn't it have an amazing resemblance to the one from their 1950's store?  I guess you'd call it timeless!  
We decided on the Ektorp sofa - the ultimate inexpensive sofa - with a linen cover that includes nice detailing.  

And I couldn't resist this mantle clock.  The yellow doesn't really work for me, but spray paint is easy and cheap 

(please don't tell our landlord I painted this on the rooftop deck.  I have a feeling that wasn't allowed in our Dutch lease).

Amazingly, IKEA was able to deliver the same day!  But I was disappointed they were able to get everything up the stairs.  You see, in Amsterdam, the staircases tend to be so tricky, they usually take the window out and hoist the furniture up the outside of the building.  Ever wonder why those hooks hang out of the top of houses here?  To mount a pulley for hauling.  

And for more sophisticated movers, they use this ladder like thing that has a hydraulic lift to bring things up and down.  
4 Floors of Home Furnishings!  What a mall!
Next we needed some side tables, lamps and accessories.  I heard about a mall devoted entirely to home furnishings - and could hardly believe my eyes when we arrived.  My poor husband was worried we would never get out of there, but thankfully they had this cool restaurant to provide sustenance on our extended shopping trip.
This restaurant appears to float in the middle of the mall!

We found a great coffee table and some nice accessories.  I keep gravitating to these Dutch house decorations - we definitely need a few of these!
One of the biggest challenges in the apartment is what to do with these 4 lighted curios cabinets.  With 5 shelves on each one - that's a lot of accessories.  The cute Dutch houses will help, but there will be more shopping to do!

Of course we have more to find - but this gives us a nice start!  It will start feeling like home soon - at least once we get everything assembled.

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  1. I think we need video proof of the assembly process! :-D
    Those little houses are precious - great choice!

  2. When we moved from the UK to SoPo, we had to wait a few months for our furniture to arrive in the container. If it wasn't for IKEA we would have been lost. For the price you can't go wrong in my opinion. Love that chair, I will have to add that to my next IKEA shopping list.


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