Saturday, November 14, 2009

our day at the magical place known as IKEA

when my clinical director kim sent out a message asking for someone to accompany her to IKEA to help with purchasing furniture for our new day treatment program and therapy offices, i checked my schedule and decided i could fit it in. i'd never been to an IKEA, and i'm hardly one to turn down an invitation to go shopping for the day. so we set out yesterday morning and made it to the IKEA in charlotte by lunch time. this meant an opportunity to eat in the IKEA cafeteria!

i picked out the swedish meatballs, which came with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce. and then, i added some vegetables just to be on the healthy side--and had to get some apple cake. you know how i feel about apple desserts...

kim tried the princess cake--it had marzipan on the outside with a creamy custard and berry sauce inside...
plus it was pretty and girly looking.

and then it came time to look around. kim had already picked out most of the items online, but needed make some decisions once she saw the options in person. and me--well, i just took it all in. i was amazed at the way the various displays were set up, their awesome small apartment set ups that showed how you could have a 250 sq. ft apartment, and the attention to details.

i was also picking out stuff to go in my therapy office at the new building. the colors and patterns immediately caught my attention--i love bright, cheerful designs and any opportunity to include those in my work space!
i don't have many pictures from the actually show floor or marketplace, but it was overwhelming and wonderful and had so many awesome, affordable products. we easily took 3 hours just going through the main store before we got to.... (dum dum dum)

the warehouse.
as we were going along picking out furniture, we were writing down the aisle and bin number where you could find that particular piece. and then we reached this huge warehouse, with 42 aisles about the same size of a sam's club, but with just furniture. and we grabbed flatbed carts and started pulling our items. for an average shopper, this probably isn't a big deal. a desk here, a table set there, maybe a couple of chairs. we were purchasing 5 tables, 3 desks, nearly 30 chairs, a few more plush chairs for my office, a couple of bookshelves and all of the accessories.

yeah, it was a lot. which led to us lining up seven huge flatbed carts to check out...
and an awesome assembly line of moving the cart forward, having the girl scan all of the items and moving it on past the register, then going back to move the next cart forward in line.

(by the way, pushing heavy carts and turning corners with them uses core abdominal muscles. like you wouldn't believe.)

so after we checked out (and i won't mention the total on here, but we did really well based on kim's initial estimate) it was time to load up. and THANK GOODNESS for strong, burly IKEA muscle-man loading guys that helped us load the trailer we were pulling and the back of the SUV.

they weren't, however, allowed to help us strap things down. so we used our master-degree educated minds and figured out a couple of ratchet straps and about a dozen bungee cord options for keeping all of the boxes in place.

it's beautiful, isn't it?
but of course, as we headed back home after a quick dinner, it started raining. and cardboard doesn't mix well with rain. so we had to stop and add the tarp. unfortunately, we had already used up all of the bungee cords. i ran inside the store to see if they had anymore and came back with nylon rope, which we used to lace up over the boxes like so...
pretty clever, if you ask me. i was proud of our ingenuity and using what we could find at a regular old truck stop.

actually, this wasn't just any old truck stop. it offered a wide range of services for its customers...
oh, i'm sure it's clean. and has its fair share of patrons. i mean, who would question the sanitation grade of a tattoo parlor that you find inside of a country pride truck stop restaurant?

so, here's what i got and will be assembling shortly at our "furniture party" we're having at the new office:

one of these for clients, plus a green pillow to put on it
and two of these
with two of these to go on them--this is the pattern that i used to draw a lot of my other colors for the office. by the way, these were $3. $3!

my side table to put between my client chairs.
and lamp to go on it...

then my kids table...

with these cute stools to go with it.
and one of my favorite purchases--my desk, which will allow me to close up my work space when i have clients come in and hide my computer and personal stuff.
and this for my chair, which is retro and should work well when i need it. if i don't have clients in while i'm working, i might use one of the cushy chairs instead...
i'm so excited about putting together my new office and seeing it all come together. i'm sure i'll have more pictures up when it's all finished.

and just for the record, i'm up for another trip to IKEA at any time. seriously. road trip? i'm there!