Samantha and I ate lunch at our favorite spot yesterday, the IKEA cafeteria*. Because we were at IKEA primarily to eat, I spoke those words that are so often said, but so not often lived by, “we’re just going to look; we’re not going to buy anything″. We made it all the way through the showroom, the newly remodeled marketplace, and the warehouse with not one single thing to purchase, but right before we got to the registers, we found these.
I’ve always loved these chairs. I wrote about them last year and even planned to buy some, but I didn’t because I thought it an extravagance. I tend to have a figure in my head for how much something should cost. Twenty-five dollars for these chairs is below (almost too below) that figure for me, so I felt pretty good about laying three of them in. They are the real deal – made from beech wood in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At this price, the wood is not finished, but it’s smoothly sanded and you could certainly finish the frame if you chose to do so. The slings are OK – the thread tension isn’t right on the stitching, but I’m not sure whether that will really matter. Eventually, I plan to make my own slings, so the frame quality was more of a concern for me. The slings are secured to the chair with a wood dowel in a casing that fits through a slot in the frame. Remove the dowel and it’s very easy to remove (and change) the sling. The slings also come in an orange and white stripe.
My only objection to these is the plastic part that is attached to the frame to make for a more secure connection. It disrupts the lines of the chair, but I think you could remove it if you really wanted to. I figure that this is an attempt on IKEA’s part to make the chairs “safer”. You know I love IKEA. It means so much to me. It’s such a happy source for a cheap lunch and peace and order and good Scandinavian design at affordable prices, but sometimes I think IKEA is misguided in its efforts to protect us. I mean, why is the travelator always out of service? Could it be dangerous or does it consume too much energy? And what does IKEA have against incandescent bulbs? IKEA won’t sell them anymore and is proud of it. But I don’t want to live in a world with bad lighting and let me tell you, there is still a place for the incandescent bulb today. Why, I was just reading a health article that recommended incandescent lighting before bedtime because it is least likely to mess with the hormones we need for restorative sleep. I feel a bit like Linus making doubtful remarks about the Great Pumpkin when I tell you these things. I really still do believe in IKEA.
Have you seen Illeana Douglas’ web TV show where she works at the Burbank IKEA? If you love IKEA and you have a sense of humor, you must take a look. It’s called Easy to Assemble. Check it out here.
If you like the deck chairs (IKEA calls them beach chairs), be sure to get to your local store quick. These are likely to be a sell-out.
* Why not try a Swedish Arnold Palmer? Just mix 3 parts unsweetened Lipton tea with 1 part lingonberry juice from the cafeteria soda fountain and enjoy!