IKEA is loved by many. There is a website, IKEA Hackers, dedicated to projects made from modified IKEA items. Though I generally prefer to buy second-hand solid wood furniture, some items, such as wardrobes, are difficult to find. With big closets in most American houses, freestanding wardrobes are rarely needed and thus scarce in US-based stores. For the wardrobe/armoire I wanted for my living room, IKEA was the best source.
Also, my house has almost no hardwired lighting. Lamps that stand on the floor or sit on a table are easy to find; lamps that attach to the wall or hang from the ceiling... not so much. They are scarce (and pricey) online and nonexistent locally. Having been to IKEA stores, I know they are THE place to find those types of lamps.
One small problem -- the closest IKEA was Salt Lake City, 550 miles away. But luckily for me and the other 2.5 million residents of the metro Denver area, IKEA announced it was opening a store in the Mile High City. With much fanfare, that store opened about six weeks ago.
I was planning to postpone my visit until January, by which time the epic crowds would hopefully be reduced. But I experienced a bout of temporary insanity and decided to brave IKEA today.
What was I thinking!? ;) The place was like a theme park! Event staff guided the line of cars into the parking lot; shoppers queued up to take the escalator. And then it was a huge mass of people slowly following the arrows on the floor as they stared in wonder, mouths agape. Clearly, most of them had never seen anything like IKEA before. I found it hard not to laugh out loud. I dodged around the mesmerized people, picked out some lamps, loaded up a wardrobe, and was at the checkout in 45 minutes (receiving three "where did you get those awesome boots?" compliments on my New Rocks in the process -- FashioNation should give a discount for all the referrals!). More event staff guided us into the elevators, an IKEA staff guy helped me load my car, and I was back on the highway, headed home! Success!
Naturally, I have no intention of just putting together the armoire and placing it in my living room as-is. Oh, no... it needs some GIY first. :)