Michelle Fong, Staff Writer
Bring on the Swedish meatballs and uber deals on home goods. IKEA is planning to open its second store in Ohio in summer 2017, which is good news for anyone living east of Dayton. The store will be located near the Polaris Mall, off Interstate 71. As a frequent shopper at the West Chester Twp. location and with a little help from all of my friends, here are 10 things to love about IKEA.
1. Free baby-sitting!
Where else can you literally drop off your kids to play while you shop in peace for one hour? IKEA stores come equipped with a free supervised play area near the main entrance. One hour of solitude. One hour without, “Mommy, I’m hungry.” “Mommy, I’m bored.” “Mommy, hurry up.” “Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom.” “Mommy, do they have (insert name of popular toy) here?” “Mommy, (insert name of sibling) took my (insert name of favorite object).” “Mommy, you’re taking too long. Just pick one.” Aaah, freedom! Tack! (That’s the Swedish word for “Thank you,” by the way).
2. The best dish towels ever
I stock up on these in bulk with every trip to IKEA West Chester. These little towels are so simple. White towels with a red stripe for 79 cents each. They are durable, wash well and have a handy, dandy little built in hook.
3. Cheap, durable kiddie tableware
Practical and affordable kid-proof cups, plates, bowls and utensils are another hot-seller at IKEA. These brightly colored plastic items are unbreakable and add a little splash of color and fun to any table setting. You can get a six-pack of reusable bowls, tumblers or plates or an 18-piece flatware set, all in assorted bright colors, for $1.99 per set. Deal!
4. Adorable throw pillows
An inexpensive way to make a subtle change to your living room or bedroom is as simple as throw pillows, and IKEA has great deals and variety in this department. They come in bright, solid colors or funky patterns. You can get traditional throw pillows or cushions with interchangeable covers. Prices range from $2.99 to $19.99, with tons of options for $10 or less.
5. Organizational gems
One of IKEA’s trademarks is offering simple, affordable solutions to home organization. The Raskog utility cart ($49.99) can be used for cleaning supplies and wheel from room to room. You could use it for baby supplies, for crafting supplies, for a small nook in the bathroom to store… the possibilities are endless. Kassett boxes (2 pack for $3.99) are extremely durable cardboard boxes complete with labels that can be used for things like media storage, art supplies, small toys, small tools or hats and gloves for each family member on the top shelf of the closet. The Rationell flatware tray ($12.99) is excellent to organize cutlery trays or junk drawers. High quality for low price. The Forvar jar with aluminum lid ($3.99) is perfect to store colorful candy, cookies, snacks, sugar/flour and more. You could use in a bathroom for cotton balls and cotton swabs.
6. Furniture for the budget-minded
Don’t have thousands to drop on new furnishings? IKEA has a solid line of comfortable chairs/sofas and tables that look sleek and modern, but don’t break the bank. Furnishings come in lots of styles and colors. Most have covers that you can machine-wash or dry-clean, and for many models you can get new covers whenever you’re ready for a change. Furnishings come at a variety of price points. For example, you can get the three-seat Ektorp sofa for $499, the loveseat and chaise combo for $699 or the corner sofa for $999.
7. Kitchen gadget steals
The kitchen area is like a candy store for adults. You’ll find aisles and bins of inexpensive goodies that you can fill your cart with. Some personal faves: the stirring spatula ($2.99), a cheese grater with attached container ($4.99), rubber spatulas for 99 cents and more. Basically, stock up on all of the basics and coordinate your kitchen accessories with little effort and little cost.
8. Best shelving you'll find
From bookshelves that can double as storage for just about any room or any need, to sleek wall units to make the disorganized look organized, IKEA can hook you up. Shelving cubes, as I like to describe them, can be used as is or paired with optional doors or baskets made to fit just right. You can get a standard 16-cube unit for $139, just as one example. But be warned. Following the directions to assemble any large shelving or wall unit may give you gray hair instantly.
9. Haven for inspiring creativity
One of the best things about IKEA is all of its model rooms that can inspire your next home improvement or room/space makeover project. Walk from room to room to get ideas on how to piece together IKEA products to create an entire room. The best ideas are stolen, after all.
10. Yummy Swedish meatballs
It’s a proven fact that shopping makes you hungry. IKEA offers some surprisingly delightful foods. The best of course is 15 meatballs served with mashed potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberries for $5.99. You can even buy a 40-ounce bag of frozen meatballs to prepare at home. You’ll discover tons of options in the restaurant as well as snack bar as you exit with hot dogs, fountain drinks and more.