Canberrans like Todd Wright have been known to spend more than $20,000 on the Swedish flat packed goods. Photo: Colleen Petch
My kids sleep in Ikea beds. My daughter gets changed on an Ikea change table, which will eventually complete its design life journey by turning into a chest of drawers.
I get dressed in front of an Ikea mirror. For the few minutes a day my daughter is actually sitting down, it’s in either an Ikea high chair or on an Ikea rocking moose.
It’ll be Best. News. Ever to students setting up their first share house. To couples moving into their first rental. Grads moving to town for a public service gig.
Our toilet rolls and towels are stored in an Ikea bathroom cabinet. When we sit out on our deck we sit on an Ikea bench seat.
The winding aisles of Ikea. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Our kitchen is Ikea, so too our bookcases and two coffee tables.
Napkins. Storage cabinet. Lingonberry jam. Stove-top kettle. Stools. Lounge cushions. Casserole dish.
All those tea lights? You better believe it.
And do you know what? I don’t even consider myself an Ikea nut.
What I do consider myself is a little bit thrifty and quite a bit interested in having stuff that looks good and performs well.
So that’s why, over the past 10 years or so, I’ve driven countless kilometres back and forth to Sydney to bring a little bit of affordable Swedish style home.
Today’s strongest indication yet that Ikea is finally coming to Canberra will be greeted by many of us with excitement that may confuse and irritate those untouched by the furniture and homewares cult.
They won’t get why bringing this store to Canberra is more exciting than Zara, Apple Store and Jamie’s Italian combined.
Those people have never known the challenge of waking before dawn to tow a trailer up the Hume Highway to be there for store opening time.
They haven’t had every member of the family pushing a trolley piled up with boxes labelled ‘Faktum’ and then had to play Tetris back in the carpark to fit them all in.
They haven’t known their only meal on a visit to Sydney to be a plate of gravlax salmon or mash and meatballs (and no, no horses have died to make the meatballs served in Australia).
They’ve never debated with their spouse those profound Ikea questions like ‘‘Besta or Billy?’’ or checked their kids into Smaland.
And they’ve never found all this to be a fun adventure.
But soon they’ll get the chance to join the procession on the winding paths through the store, without the drama of having to tie down a tarp to keep boxes dry in a downpour somewhere near Marulan.
Ikea in Canberra will be a big worry to other furniture retailers. But it’ll be Best. News. Ever to students setting up their first share house. To couples moving into their first rental. Grads moving to town for a public service gig. Young families setting up home in Googong or Gungahlin. Boomers kitting out their investment properties in Kingston.
The lure of grabbing a paper tape measure, pencil and giant yellow shopping bags will be strong.
From Canberra to Ikea, you complete us. Now hurry up and flatpack yourself here.