My Recent Ikea Explorations

There are two Ikea’s in Maryland, both of which are a pretty decent hike from me.  One is actually down the street from Devon’s Mom’s house (and his brother has actually worked there in the IT department for well over a decade), so it’s about 45 minutes from me and not really an easy drive on almost any given day.

My preferred store is about 30 minutes in another direction, but has a slightly better drive just because…it’s shorter and it MIGHT not be as backed up with traffic.  Maybe….if you go at 11:30am like I did, anyway.  This store is also ridiculously humongous; like as big as BWI kind of humongous.

Okay, it might not be that big; maybe more Ravens stadium sort of huge.  Regardless, it’s ridiculous.  When I say you could spend the day there; it’s only a SLIGHT exaggeration.  And the way they have the store set up, you don’t realize how deep into the store you really are until you’re trying to find a bathroom or something and you realize you’ll need a taxi to get you to the bathroom because it’s on the other side of the store and upstairs. They even have arrows on the floor to try and help everyone stay in their lane and not run into all the other patrons.

It’s amazing.  I love it there.

I’ve realized, though, that I need to calm my little happy shopping self down though, when I get there.  Because I did (as I have done previously) my shopping first in the marketplace areas and then went into the showrooms.  It was annoying because I had to lug all my stuff around with me.  I should have went first to walk around a bit more casually and not have to worry if my cart is in the way.

They have sooooo many showrooms, it’s almost an entire floor of the store (yes, there are two floors along with the huge stadium size space that they have there) and it’s all broken up into living spaces; so all the bedrooms are together, etc.  I’ve never claimed to have an overly artistic/creative eye, so it really helps me to see rooms fully laid out by someone who knows what they are doing.  Then I can take pictures and help to create my own area.

For instance, this bedroom showroom is pretty much bedroom goals for us:


I had to use the panoramic photo feature on my phone to grab the whole room, so if the aspect looks a little weird, that’s why.

Outside of the area rug, which I’m rather “meh” about, it’s pretty much what I would love. I love the darker woods and wall colors that this room has.  I’ve noticed so many people seem to be moving more toward whites and brights everywhere and that’s not us so much. If you’ve seen our apartment, you can see that Devon and I both kind lean more toward warm and neutral tones with dark chocolate or even black wood accents.  It feels cozier to us.  Like this bedroom; I could sink right into that bed, read a book and go to sleep.  It’s pretty perfectly our aesthetic.

If you know me, you know I’m kitchen obsessed.  I love kitchens, especially well-designed kitchens.  This probably doesn’t shock anyone since I love to cook (and eat).  Devon and I both already have an understanding that whenever we buy a house; unless it’s something new; that the kitchen is getting upgraded/renovated first and probably pretty quickly after we move in….or even before we move in.

When I saw this kitchen showroom, I died a little.  They have tons of gorgeous kitchens, but this is pretty much the picture I’ve always had in my head.  I even immediately texted the picture to Devon because I’ve mentioned before that I’d like a slate gray kitchen before and he kind of looked at me weird.  So I texted him this picture and he was like “oooooh, I understand now, I approve.”  Thanks bro.  I still would have done gray, but at least he understands now.



Even the floors are perfect.

Now, I know I said that I’m not all about the white and bright in the house, but here it makes sense to add some brightness to the space.  All gray would be bad.

I legit just walked around this kitchen for like 15 minutes and played around in the kitchen because this room is fully functional (which is another really amazingly awesome part of Ikea).  I completely just walked around like it was my kitchen and not a showroom.  I didn’t want to leave.  I love it.  I know realistically, having a kitchen this size is probably unrealistic, but if I can at least have this style; I will live in my kitchen.

Now that you’ve taken a walk into Stephanie’s Dream House Fantasy Land; there were a few pieces I found that I just loved.  Like these:


I’ve mentioned before how much I hate our dining room table.  Obviously, we don’t have space for this one, currently, but in Stephanie’s Fantasy-land house, this is pretty much what I would be going for.


I also want this desk.  It’s a good size for my house and I hate my current desk because it needs more storage space.  And I’d be able to hide my desktop tower in that left cabinet. So this might be happening in my house somewhat soon.



But it’s more the shape, style, size of this bathroom sink that I was all about.  We’d do almost anything for a double vanity in this house.  Also would love more storage, so this would make everyone happy.


While these pillows don’t fit my style, they’re so cute.  And do you see that under the pillow?  Yeah, they’re 3.99 each.  You can’t beat $4 for a throw pillow.


So, I got this for Devon because he’s a science nerd and it’s a beaker measuring cup. I’m just so clever.  I showed it to him and he called me a nerd, which was rude, but completely untrue so I let it go.  But it amused me and it was like $2 so it’s now residing in our house.

There was so much else there that I was just mesmerized by.  I walked in at like 12:00 and I left at like 3:00pm.  No lie.  I know some people question the quality and durability of Ikea furniture, but the pieces I’ve had for a long time are still going strong.  I admit I wouldn’t buy all my furniture and stuff from Ikea, but there’s a lot I would (and I’d likely have one of their people come over and put it together because I know better) and have and will continue to do so.

But like I said, next time….showrooms first.  It gives me more play time in the showrooms.



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