Just like Tempe: Ikea is coming to Canberra. Photo: Louise Kennerley
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As a self-confessed Ikea-fiend you can imagine my horror at arriving in Canberra for a new job only to discover that my favourite blue and yellow warehouse didn’t exist here.
Three months later, a break up left me in a brand new city with very few friends, a bit tender and, more importantly, with no bed.
New chapter, new furniture: The MALM bed from Ikea with bedside tables.
We had moved to the capital together, bringing our joint collection of furniture collated over the years with a fairly large portion from our favourite Swedish retailer.
Splitting up of the furniture was fortunately fairly amicable and left me with some great pieces with unpronounceable names. But still nothing to sleep on at night other than a single pillow.
I had always had my eye on a particular MALM bed with attachable bedside tables, but the ex was never a fan so it had never been an option – until then. But already a bit fragile from the break-up, getting it from Sydney Ikea just didn’t seem like a possibility.
My concerned mother, only able to console me over the phone from Brisbane, asked what they could do to help.
Informing her that no Ikea existed in Canberra – she was as shocked as I – and that the delivery cost was a bit exorbitant just for a double bed, I conceded that I would just go find a bed somewhere else.
A few back-and-forth phone conversations later and my parents had hatched a plan to get me my beloved bed. While Mum had booked the accommodation in Sydney, Dad had consulted with the Ikea website, figuring out the exact measurements of the bed pieces and booking a hire van that was long enough to house it.
We all met in Sydney on a Friday night and after an evening of hugs and bottles of sauv blanc it was off to Ikea the next morning. We loaded the van up and all drove to Canberra, with my brother and I squashed single file down one side of the van and the boxes of bed taking pride of place on the other side where six people would usually sit.
Once it was built and up in my new bedroom, a new chapter of my life began. Even though it took a while to adjust to not having someone sleeping on the other side of it, MALM kept me warm through my first Canberra winter.
Three years later, and I’ve well and truly made Canberra my home, buying an apartment and once again shipping down a truckload of new flatpacks from Sydney. My wall of Billy bookcases is like a warm embrace every time I walk in the door.
And while I probably own more Ikea than one needs in a lifetime, I for one will be loading up on $1 hot dogs and navigating the maze of Scandinavian goodness when the doors are thrown open.
You never know – there might be something else in there that could change my life.