Tag Archives: sofabeds

a visit to ikea

7 Jan

London
7.1.13 Monday

I decided to visit the ikea near Wembley.
Arrived at the tube station nearest my flat at 9.09am to Stonebridge park, and went to the bus stop there, arriving there at 9.55am just in time to catch the 211 to the ikea. It is a short ride.

There is a free bus shuttle laid on by ikea from that station at 00 and 30 on the hour. But I get free travel anyway so did not risk waiting for it as it might not be operative. It says it does not run during the school holidays and I am not sure if it is the school holidays now or not.

Anyway an asian elderly couple were waiting at that stop and they told me the 211 goes by ikea.

They were going there too, though they told me they were going to brent cross.

I did not see them at the breakfast queue.

It is a free breakfast, free coffee too. (coffee,tea is free mon-fri).

Breakfast was a 6 portion plate (normally £1.50 for ikea card holders) consisting of one egg omelet, mashedpotato, beans, one bacon strip, 1 sausage. Or u can ask for the 9 portion at £2.20, with 2 sausages, 2 egg omelets, 2bacon strips.

The website mentioned the 6 portion was free, but the old woman ahead of me who got the double portion did not get charged by the cashier. So maybe it being Monday, and first day of the offer, the cashier was not aware of it. I daresay from now on they will charge the difference.

The 6 portion one is quite filling enough.

There was this man ahead of me who was filling his coffee cup and milk and drinking it all before refilling it again. I laughingly said to him u must like the coffee very much.

He said he just came from the airport, on the night flight from Thailand, and he was hungry. I said surely they must have fed u well, he said no.

Later I saw him again with another tray of food. And again filling up his coffee.

He saw me as he was leaving and waved, and when he passed me, I said don’t tell me u went back for second helpings! He said u can queue again, they don’t check.

The queue later on in the morning was very long.

I said, that is really generous of ikea to do it.

He said have u read their profit report?

I said no

He said they are the 3rd most profitable company…but they have opened the first time in Bangkok, and it is not doing well.

I said I cannot imagine the thais would want to assemble the furniture. They are so used to being served and having everything laid out for them, by which I mean those who are rich enough to afford ikea prices.

And he said they can also get good quality workmanship to make furniture on order, and cheaper too so it is hard to see what would attract them to ikea.

He said he knows people working for ikea there and they said it is new, give it time. So maybe they will succeed there too. But I cannot imagine how the thais will cope with the instructions to construct the furniture.

I said maybe the ikea style will appeal to the yuppy types who are well travelled and aspire to international designs. They will have the money too, but surely having to assemble the furniture must put them off.

I see now at the ikea store all the furniture is displayed in the showroom and everything look so perfect, but we all forget that the whole thing comes as a flat pack and have to be assembled. That is a bugger to do.

I myself don’t really know why people are not put off by having to assemble the furniture.

I am put off by the very thought of having to assemble it.

Anyway, since I am not buying any ikea furniture new , that wont happen. I find the ikea furniture in the recycling areas.

I found a poang chair, and thought it would be about £50 new. But having seen the prices in the store, I realise that even though the chair frame is about £35, the cushions can range from £20 to leather ones for £140.

And the one I found is a light coloured leather cushion. So my find is more of a bargain than I thought. I should think it would be £175 when new. And to think that someone just threw it away… that is how I got it. Granted the cushion is very flat… and lost its bouciness. But still ok to sit on.

(that is why I don’t buy these things. They don’t last. For that money, I would expect the cushion to last a lifetime).

I found a collapsible single ikea chair bed as well. And the frame cost £60 new. And the bed mattress is £50. It is quite a thin mattress. There was no mattress with the one I found. I just use ordinary cushions.

The sofa beds of other designs in the showrooms are laid out so they readily allow u to open them and see how it works but not this sofa chair. The sofachair on show is completely covered by a chair cover that enfolds it right down to its legs. I wonder why they don’t want customers to operate the chair.
It has a real smooth movement that opens it out as a bed. Quite lovely to do and see.
I thought it would be a selling point to enable customers to play with it and see how easy it is to open out as a bed.

Maybe they are closing down that design type and so do not want to advertise it too much.

It is a very good design and the movement to unfold the chair to a bed is very smooth and do not take a lot of strength to operate, but maybe it is expensive to produce. There are little wheels that support the bed as it opens out, the mechanism to return it to a chair is very smooth even though the mechanism looks very complicated but it must be well balanced to be able to do so without any effort.

So maybe not so profitable for them to sell. It is all metal and costing only £60, with mattress that is about the same cost.

There is a double bed of the same design but again all covered by a wrap. And it’s cost is not much more than the single bed. I would imagine more people would go for the double design than for the single one.

It is interesting that this type of sofabed is not featured in their 2013 catalogue.

I saw their unscented candle being sold at the mark down price of 49p and actually took it to the payment counter with the intention of buying it . The tills are all at the end of the long meander through the factory.

Before the tills, u are walking through a huge warehouse like space with shelves and shelves towering over u of the items in their flatpacks.

But when I got to pay at the self service till, I found that it only accepts debit or credit cards, no cash; so I have to abort the whole thing, even though with the ikea family card they give me 10% reduction on top of this reduced price.

And I was told I have to go to the manned tills to pay cash. when I saw the manned tills and the long queue there, I decided to put the candle back and leave. I can always come back another day.

There were scented candles. Only the set of 3 green candles of rising sizes was reduced from £7 to £3.50. The other ones of different colours presumably giving out different scents are not reduced.

I think the scented candles might be a better bet as I want the smell to hide the mustiness in my flat.

So maybe just as well I could not buy the unscented candles.

When I got home, I tried to light up a candle and see if I put a lavendar oils on it, whether it might scent the room, but I found there were no matches in my flat.

Considering simon smokes, we should have matches galore in the flat, but there was nothing to light the candle with. He normally leave his lighter hanging around the flat, but , as is usual when u need something it is not there; today it was nowhere to be seen.

So I will have to wait to find out whether putting oils on the candle will scent it and the room.

It was very pleasant to go to ikea for a free breakfast and coffee and to sit in their sofas in the restaurant reading the metro, a free newspaper that they distribute at the tube stations every morning.

I shall go again, maybe on Wednesday and this time I shall bring along my debit card.

The free breakfast offer lasts till 11jan and before 11am.

there was a showroom featuring the two bedroom flats that ikea has acquired in east london near the olympic site which they are using to rent out.

It shows how to furnish them with ikea products.

Walking in the space i thought it is rather a small flat, 50sq meters, or about 600sq ft. but by clever use of shelves and furniture they make it appear quite roomy.

But i could not help comparing it with my 2bedroom flat and realise my flat is really very large. no wonder i am so happy in my flat because there is lots of room to move about and i dont feel cramped whereas walking in that space i felt a bit cramped. the second bedroom is small, and can take only bunk beds, though they put a double decker bunk bed there , meant for kids.  

The living room has to share with the kitchen, which really makes the living space very small. i am real glad i got a separate kitchen and living area. and my living area is double the size of that in the showroom.

To be fair, they were trying to put in as much of their products in that small space and they succeed and what is more make the space seem roomy. i only felt it cramped because i was able to compare it to my flat.  

I was browsing wordpress to find what other bloggers have to say about ikea, and this one is funny.

http://underachiver.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/ikea/

She mentioned the pencils, jokingly saying that must be the reason why ikea is so popular; and it is true u can get them free, and I like pencils. It was only by accident that I saw them, they were by the toilets. i took one, and they write really well, the lead in the pencil making the words come out very clear. 

She mentioned their funny system of buying things there. I did not know u cannot just pick up the furniture from the showroom, u have to note the name of the furniture and then go to the warehouse and pick the flatpack yourself and then try to carry it through the tills. And then try to carry it back home. And then have to assemble them. truly, it must be the free pencils. haha. and the free coffee/tea.