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The IKEA Furniture Life Test
In her fascinating, revealing piece on IKEA, New Yorker writer Lauren Collins studies the origins of the ubiquitous Swedish furniture store, parses the culture at IKEA headquarters, and reveals why you can't ever seem to get out of an IKEA store without filling your cart (yeah, they do that on purpose). She also points out how IKEA has changed the culture of home decor: "Choosing a piece of furniture was once a serious decision, because of the expectation that it was permanent.," Collins writes. "IKEA has made interiors ephemeral." As Collins suggests, a person's IKEA purchases reveal her stage of life. First you're buying disposable furniture for a dorm room or apartment share...then it's the slightly sturdier, upmarket couches and beds for your first romantic cohabitation...eventually you're stocking up on cribs and changing tables. Sunrise, Sunset, SNRTIG.
So what does your IKEA furniture say about you? And am I the only one who feels a certain dread upon making yet another trip? I swore I wouldn't buy another LACK table...but...it's just so cheap...and... But when is it time to move on? As Collins writes, "IKEA can also be Swedish for feeling like you're never going to grow up." I know lately I've been feeling that mature nesting urge. I want a new couch, and I have a confession to make: I want it put together by a stranger, and I don't want to have to argue with that stranger about stick-figure-and-hieroglyphic instructions. For heaven's sakes, I'm married with two children. Isn't it time for a piece of grownup furniture?
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