IKEA — super in any language

We aren’t big furniture shoppers or interior decorators.  Other than shopping for (very lovely) bedroom sets for the kids when they were born, we haven’t purchased a single piece of new furniture since we moved into our condo in Virginia (in 2001).  Our bed frame is the metal one that came with the mattress.  (Sad, I know.)

But, with Jo being here with us for a while, and us not wanting her to have to sleep in the living room the entire time, a change was in order.  We’re moving the boys in together (which they are, at least in theory, very excited about) and Jo will be moving in to what is now Liam’s room.  We have a futon, where she’s sleeping now, but we had to either buy her an actual bed for her room, leaving the futon as our “couch” in the living room, or move the futon in to her room and get ourselves a new couch.  Either way, we needed to buy some new furniture.  Not wanting to spend too much, and not having any real clue about where to buy furniture in Austria, we went for the Swedish solution — IKEA.

IKEA has the plus of being equally unintelligible to us whether we’re in the US or in Austria, so although we had a language barrier, it wasn’t that much more than anyone else would have shopping there, which was a little comforting.  Plus, you can get there via public transport.  Benjamin stayed home with Jo, and Dan & I went shopping along with Liam.  It was really nice (and unusual) to have some Liam time with both parents, and it was easier to navigate getting there and getting through the store with only one child (although we missed having B with us).

We had a great time.  IKEA, apparently, has everything you ever needed (plus a lot of stuff you never realized you needed untill you got there).  We found ourselves a new couch (Jo swears she doesn’t mind continuing to sleep on the futon, and we’re kind of excited about having an actual couch for the first time in over 10 years), a bathroom cabinet, a new rug, some pillows, some duvets (and covers) for the boys’ new room, trash cans, towel hooks, coat hooks and some other fun stuff.  (Seriously, does anyone come out of there with just what they had on their list when they went in?)  And, we did the whole thing — travel there, shopping, figuring out the checkout process (that part was harder in German) and getting back, in just over 4 hours, which was pretty amazing.

And, the best part:  they’re delivering it — ALL of it, everything from the couch down to the towel hooks — on Monday morning.  We came home on the bus and the train with just ourselves and Liam, which was pretty fantastic and a lot easier than trying to carrying home a huge area rug on the subway.

So, it was a great day.  I’m an IKEA convert, and I’m really excited to be getting some much needed and long overdue stuff for our place.  I think Jo will be happy to get out of the living room, too.

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