IKEA aims to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.
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The IKEA Effect
With IKEA Tampines just a 15-minutes walk away from home, it has become one of my family's go-to places for a casual after-dinner stroll. Somehow, it's always a satisying time there even if we walk out empty-handed.
One thing I love about IKEA's furnitures is how 'interactive' they are, in the sense that many of them require to be fixed by buyers themselves. The idea of buying a funiture and just putting it down in a corner at home is boring! DIY makes the whole process of setting up your house/room much more personal and intimate. Fiddling with small parts and screwdrivers might be a hassle for some, but personally, it's like building my little universe with my own hands, one screw at a time.
Not sure if it's a psychological thing, but walking around in IKEA makes me feel all hopeful about the future even if I have no need to purchase things. I can't be the only one that daydreams about my future house whenever I'm at IKEA, right?!
Surprisingly decent dining destination
IKEA has always been the top choice that came to my mind when i needed any furniture. After my recent study exchange experience in Sweden, my impression of IKEA has changed quite significantly. Dining in IKEA is not only affordable but satisfactory in both its outlets in Sweden and Singapore. Its consistency is one of the quality that surprises me as the meatballs in both places tasted as good, although in my opinion, the portion of the meatballs seem to be larger in Singapore.
Overall, i am certain to go back occasionally whenever possible as my dining and shopping experience in IKEA has been rather satisfactory. *Thumbs up*
Meatballs and chicken wings
Ikea is a good place to shop at for cheap and durable furniture. They really offer a wide array of choices. To add to the convenience factor, you can even find their catalog online before heading down to grab your furniture.
Do I even need to talk about their eatery? I'm sure everyone knows how absolutely delish their chicken wings and meatballs are! Another must try would be their calamari rings. Absolutely the best. MUST TRY.
Alternative theme park
Since people do not need to purchase furniture all the time, I suppose most who come here often come here for the food - it is really cheap and good. A Singaporean childhood is only complete with the memory of getting to eat Ikea hotdogs and ice cream on weekend family trips.
Besides that, though, Ikea is kind of a unique place to just chill and hang out in the company of friends, with the multitudes of nooks and crannies to hide in and surprise an unsuspecting acquaintance, or with the number of knick knacks to pick up and play with - you'll find yourself spending a whole afternoon here without even realising it!
Although I don't have a particular penchant for the furniture, finding them too plain and commonplace, they are pretty sturdy and cheap, so if you're looking to furnish your home for cheap, this is the place for you!
Food first, then furniture
The mention of IKEA will lead me to think of food. Yes, instead of the furniture, I am there for the food. Not because it is out of the world or anything like that. The ambience there is not too bad when during off-peak hours. It is a suitable place to fill your stomach and chit-chat with your friends.
First of all, the meatballs there used to be so good. Notice ‘used to’. I felt that their standard dropped a little ever since the first few times I tried them many years back. Nevertheless, it is still not too bad, especially with the sauce and the jam. Okay if you are to ask what else is good on the menu, I would recommend the chicken wings, although it can get really oily sometimes. Seafood rings, salmon, curry chicken, curry puffs and that should be about it. From time to time, they might have daily specials and the soup is not too bad too. The prices are pretty reasonable as well.
IKEA offers some very affordable and durable furniture. Though durability depends on how the furniture is handled on a daily basis. But generally, furniture from IKEA can last for quite a while. Plus, they have got nearly everything you need for your home; from furniture to home décor and even plants.
If you are looking to give your room or home a make-over, make a trip down to IKEA and you might just find something suitable. At IKEA, there is definitely something for everyone.
I used to go to Ikea purely for the food but now as the completion of the house ticks nearer, i find myself being more impressed with the ultimate purpose of Ikea - Home Furniture and decor.
Ikea appeals to me mainly for its pocket-friendly prices and the creative showrooms ranging from small home layouts to bigger homes and different sections like the kitchenette, living rooms, bedrooms and the bathrooms! They revamp their showrooms every few months too! I find inspiration in seeing and taking photos of these showcases for the future house!
However, i still remain skeptical in purchasing the iconic features of the house such as beds and sofas as i have heard that the quality and durability of the furniture is not that good. BUT, their ornaments and other decor items are definitely in my shopping list. Ikea also offers discounts for members which i bagged away some bargains! Basic membership is free, fuss free and instant at their self-service counters!
Two words: Cheap and fun
Almost everybody I know has had an IKEA something. This ubiquitous Swedish furniture manufacturer keeps things really cheap and fun.
Despite using cheaper materials such as compressed particle board and soft pine wood, IKEA manages to incorporate original designs that are functional, aesthetically pleasing and wallet-friendly.
What I really like more about IKEA is the entire lifestyle concept they have built around the furniture, whether it be the food (and the really decent beer I must admit), or the after-sales services such as delivery and installation, membership and the distinctly-Swedish character infused into all components.
A Playground On Its Own
Gosh, I love IKEA. I mean, what's not to love about easy to fix, diy furniture? I absolutely adore the Tampines outlet because it's so huge, it's basically a playground for adults.
Recently, a lady was spotted to be treating IKEA like her own home. She even used the hairdryer and slept on the beds that were on display. It took them awhile to realise which goes to show how ridiculously huge IKEA is that they can miss this woman out.
Another thing I like about IKEA is their selection of children's items from bedsheets to toys. I'm still young at heart and I constantly wish that I could go back in time and be a kid so I could own all the cute stuffed toys and playmats. I've also always wanted to decorate my future house just like the covers of IKEA magazine.
Easy, affordable homes
I like to visit IKEA to get my furniture. My table lamp is from IKEA. It's a nice, sleek, white design, and it uses and LED lighting which is very user-friendly because I don't have to change the lightbulb.
My towel is also from IKEA. It absorbs water very well. The material is comfy and it only cost me $6! I use little plastic glasses from IKEA as well. They're very durable. It looks like real glass, but they're not as fragile! It's very helpful, especially if you have clumsy people at home.
IKEA also offers a whole range of household furnitures from carpets to shelves. I use their bed quilt at home too, and it's really comfortable to sleep with! My favorite part about shopping at IKEA is when you get to sit down and have a nice meal at the upper floor of the shopping centre. They have salmon, cakes, chicken wings, and they're famous meatballs! Do remember to give them a go because their finger-licking good crispy wings and mouthwatering meatballs are very tasty!
IKEA Smaland: Big fun for little ones!
You might remember jumping into a ball pit at IKEA as a child. Back then, it was called "The Ball Room". It has since evolved and now, its bigger and better version is available at both IKEA outlets (in fact, at all IKEA stores around the world) in Singapore.
Smaland is one of my 5 year old daughter's favourite indoor playgrounds. She gets to play there for an hour, which means that I get to shop for an hour, or have a coffee for an hour. It's an indoor playground unlike any other in Singapore. It's built around a whole Swedish forest theme so there are big clogs that kids can hide in, berry pools, bugs and trees. Almost makes me wish I were small again.
Speaking of small, what's interesting is that Smaland welcomes little ones by height, and not by age. Those between the heights of 90 and 130cm are welcome, as all fixtures are built catering to that height range.
Did I mention that it's free? I did not. It is. Absolutely and completely free. But there are a few (though very reasonable) rules, of which these two stand out the most:
1) Parents/guardians must remain contactable and within premises of the respective IKEA store
2) Children must be potty trained and able to use the toilet independently (although sometimes I ask if it's ok for me to zip in and out to be with Poppy in the toilet and they're always accommodating)
Weekdays are generally quieter (we've waited more than an hour to get into Smaland at Tampines once on a Saturday) and there is hardly a queue. Capacity is small because there is a very low co-worker to child ratio.