I think the whole world is buying Ikea. This would account for their billions in sales. How did this race to the bottom of quality and expression happen? Have I purchased Ikea items, yes I have. Why? And what?… It’s their kitchen cabinets–they are in stock and ready to be installed and I have installed four kitchens and a utility room. By the way Ikea cabinets aren’t cheap and are not without issues on the installation.
I did an experiment a few years back. I ordered the Ikea kitchen cabinets for a rental unit and I ordered a custom 12-foot wood cabinet for my pantry. It’s five years later and the custom cabinet is looking like new and still fresh. The rental unit cabinets are looking a little worn, not fresh. I imagine in five more years the rental unit kitchen will look dated and worn out. The materials are completely different: solid wood vs foil wrapped board of some type. Quality costs more and lasts longer.
So for speed, I sacrificed quality.
I’ve checked online the average cost of a sofa– its is $700 to $1500. AND you can get it today in six different colors. My mother was an expert on quality. She had an eye. She could spot quality from yards away. I loved the way her hand went over the fabric; it was like watching an artist touch marble. She taught me the lesson “spend your money wisely”. Our family sofa with seven children made it through 40 years with a redo now and again. It makes sense to spend more, for a better, longer-lasting item. it’s just smarter. Mom continues to teach me.
My first furniture purchase was a loveseat, pull out queen bed. Living in NYC, it was the mecca for all friends to stop and stay a weekend to “visit” and see the sights. We are talking the 70s and the love seat cost $699, solid wood butcher block sides and slip covered cushions. We were struggling creative artists and the loveseat was beyond our budget. But we got it — a piece of quality and craftsmanship. (Today with inflation that loveseat would cost closer to $3,000.)
It was a workhorse. Dozens of sleep overs and hundreds of butts on it. When it came time to move out of the city, I washed the slipcovers and hoped someone would find it on the street and take it. We headed out with the cushions to a nearby dumpster. As we were climbing up to put the cushions in, a younger couple asked what we were doing…. They said they wanted cushions and the loveseat and they helped carry the loveseat/queen bed down the three flights of stairs… Recycling in the 80s!
Quality, quality and quality. Ask your friends and family if they are getting rid of any pieces that you like. The farmhouse look started way back when, because the next generation respected the quality and timelessness of the design. Furniture needs to be seen, touched and sat in before purchasing. Buy what you love, be open to new ideas and it will always work out.