Thursday, July 21, 2005

My Moving Experience or An Ode to Ikea

Sagnik's blog about his experience reminded me of my own experiences a month back. Infact the preparations for the move had started much earlier. After finalising the apartment, we started looking for some decent furniture. A few afternoons spent walking around various conventional furniture stores were enough to send us back to our first love, Ikea ( I should make a mental note to dedicate one whole blog to why I love Ikea later on). Then we spent some more weekends walking around Ikea with those little pencil stubs, plastic tapes and that sheet of blue paper that Ikea supplies oh-so-thoughtfully to its customers. Some more evenings spent this way discussing the finer aspects of the Tovik line of furniture as compared to the Malm, over plates of Daim Torte's and cups of Lilberg Coffee and we had managed to finalise our order.(Wait let me put in a quick plug for my all time favourite Ikea meal -a plate of 15 swedish meat balls (the person behind the counter actually meticulously counts them I suppose!!!), with red potatoes, loads of gravy, the piquant lingonberry sauce and a side salad - mmmhhh...heaven).
So where was I...yeah we finalised the order and then went around to the corner where they have the couches to place an order for the Fagelbo. I almost broke down when the guy said they did not have any in stock. He gave us the estimated arrival date for the next stock and yet I proceeded to hound those poor people like the persistent pest that I am with phone calls every day till they told me they had one in store. We drove down immediately and ordered it, picked up the other furniture from the self help aisles (if you have never been to an Ikea and are quite clueless by now- then shame on you!!), marched gallantly through the cashier onto the home delivery section and set up a deilvery date...phew!!!
We waited with bated breath as the delivery day (for the furniture off course!!) arrived and on the appointed day the good people from Ikea drove up in their big truck at the appointed time and delivered our stuff. Yippee!! we had some furniture (only they were all in cardboard boxes). We were soon to discover that the sofa had a rip and Subhamoy hated the idea of sending it back while I....needless to say after a brief squabble, some sulking and some more of "You ALWAYS do..."a phone call was made to Ikea and they said they would replace it. Good! matter settled and we moved onto assembling the other pieces. It was great fun....look at the grin on my face as I assemble a chair in my kitchen.


As we moved on to the bed we realised something was horribly wrong with the headboard. The pre-drilled holes were too small. Since the headboard would fit into our car we drove off to Ikea (it pays to live so close to that behemoth) and exchanged the faulty part for a new one. I dreamt of my new bed all the way home and started assembling the whole thing again the moment we reached back. Horror of horrors, the new part had the same problem...but this time no amount of cajoling would make Subhamoy go back and return the piece. He reasoned we could prop the head board against the wall and it would take care of the fact that the side boards were not properly attached to it. I agreed halfheartedly and we finished making the stupid Malm bed (in birch if you need to be specific!!) and then realised our bed box wouldn't fit it. It was the ugliest thing ever. And the fact that Subhamoy kept coming up with more and more silly ideas to make it look nice just didn't help...finally the next day a phone call was made (again!) but this time to the boy to tell him that the bed was being returned.

You don't need to know all the details of what followed, but rest asssured that I got a nice metal frame bed and new sofa delivered the following weekend. (I should probably take this opportunity and apologize to any Ikea associate/salesperson etc. whom I drove up the wall that week)...and yes the boy is very pleased with both the bed and the sofa. Infact he has perfected this little routine where he pirouttes( dunno if that is a gender specific term) around and does a little demonstration of how his beloved Fagelbo turns into a bed and shows off the hidden storage to our guests.

And before signing off, here is a picture of how my house looked during the assembling period and if you want to know how it smelled for the next few days - just walk into your neighbourhood Ikea.


8 comments:

Sagnik Nandy said...

wow! you actually managed to get one of those do-it-urself stuff right :O me and my room mate tried with two diff pieces - a wooden bookshelf and a chest of drawers and while the former is now a wooden rectangle the latter is more like a chest made by nuts (if i may daresay chestnut) :)

M (tread softly upon) said...

I am surprised that you can manage to write an ode to Ikea even after going through the "temporarily oversold" and things that don't fit and parts that are missing experience. Ikea appeals through its inexpensive, look good lines but it leaves a lot to be desired as far as service goes. You really are a die hard fan :))

Anyesha said...

Sagnik: We actually managed to put together quite a few pieces. But it certainly is not as easy as they make it out to be.

M: Why is it an Ode and not an Lament...well inspite of "not in stock" pieces, misfitting parts the overall service was amazing. They did bend over backwards to entertain my outlandish requests and in most cases I rang them up to be doubly sure of something that had already been taken care of. From what I have heard from friends about conventional stores where pieces might take upto 2 months to arrive...I have no regrets. Okay I have to admit I really am a die hard Ikea fan!!

Anonymous said...

We bought a Malm bed last Sunday. It's Tuesday and we haven't finished building it yet! Ugh! It is the most difficult to assemble thing that I've ever bought from IKEA. After returning to the store to get a new headboard (first one was chipped) things went well until we hit the metal railing doo-dads inside the frame that hold up the mattress. After an hour of struggling with little tiny bolts that have to be inserted from the bottom up with no real nut on the other end to receive them, my girlfriend figured out that if we ditched the instructions and just did what seemed to work things would move along a lot faster. Tonight I have to drill pilot holes so we can attach the nightstands to the headboard. I have never had to open my own toolbox to put together IKEA furniture before this point in time. I'm starting to see the value in real furniture that cost ten times as much but comes to your door in a truck full of burley furniture assembling men.

Anonymous said...

You have to use a mallet to get the headboard and footboard onto the side rails. The holes are too small for a reason-- when you mallet them in (we just used our hands and it worked) they will be very snug...

Anne said...

It's not easy at all to assemble some stuff from them. I am a big fan too... in fact that I love it too much, I become a IKEAn.

Anonymous said...

You're much better off without the Malm - it's almost impossible to make without losing skin from your fingers! The mattress fits down so tightly inside the frame that you can hardly put fitted sheets on without using a crowbar to lift the mattress up high enough -- it's a freakin' disaster

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