Monday, September 19

Off the Shelf

For two months, since we moved into the sparsely-furnished Chez Revivalized, our mantra has been: "We can get that at Ikea." Any time we didn't have a needed piece of furniture, we'd invoke the mantra. Any time I looked at our bare windows, I'd breathe it to myself for calm. Especially if I couldn't find something in the mountains of boxes, I'd just say, "We can get that at Ikea."

Back in my heady days of reckless credit, I used to have an Ikea card, and I've been known to spend 500 dollars a pop at Ikea, without buying a single piece of furniture. That happens when you walk up to the checkout line with TWO overflowing carts of Swedish goo-gaws. My predilection for cloudberry jam doesn't help either.

I'm just a sucker for the tidy visions of domestic bliss and charming Swedish packaging. I'm 1/8th Norwegian, my great-grandfather emigrated from Vadso in the far far north of Norway. D. is 1/4 Norwegian, though you'd never know it from his black hair and olive skin. Honestly, I've got a fetish for all things Scandi. I make an annual ritual of celebrating Sankta Lucia Day, and I didn't grow up in Minnesota. One of my favorite television shows is New Scandinavian Cooking with Andreas Viestad. I dream of the day we can get to the Scandinavian countries. I first heard joiking 10 years ago, and I'm one of the only people you'll ever meet who listens to Nordic Roots music, let alone has a CD collection of it (organized by serial number, if you must know). If you share any of these interests or if you too liked Me and You and Everyone We Know, I highly recommend the film Tillsammans.

The thing is we live an hour from the nearest Scandinavian Super Store, so it's not like we can just pop in there for some meatballs. And Ikea is already an exhausting enough experience - without making a big production out of it and pinning all of your hopes and dreams for the functionality of your home on it.

So it is with great surprise that I tell you we spent a mere hour and a half in Ikea yesterday and Didn't. Buy. A. Thing. We looked, we touched, we browsed, we considered, but we didn't buy. Well, it's just an all or nothing thing. And we didn't have the time or the money (remember - no job for me yet) or the energy after a long weekend with family and friends. In the end, we only looked seriously at the Effektiv system.

We want to make the first bedroom, with the bay window, a library with built-in, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Our inspiration is these amazing shelves at Top Pot Doughnuts in Seattle:


Ever since we first saw them, before we even had a house, we knew we wanted them someday. And the fact that we could use the first bedroom as a library was one of the selling points of the house for us.

Effektiv is completely modular, so you can build it to exactly your specifications (shelves, drawers, doors, and bases). And it is a tenth of the cost of semi-custom built shelves we've shopped on the internet. That's the Ikea way, of course. And it sure looks attractive to us at this point.

We looked at three finishes - birch, oak, and antique:

I like the birch, because it is closest to the Top Pot shelves and because I was thinking we wanted a lighter, airier look on the second floor since the trim is all painted white. But D's desk is probably closer to antique, and a library is so Victorian in the first place, so we might go with that.

Building bookshelves is so appealing, because we have, like, 50 boxes of books waiting to be opened and unpacked. But they have to wait for another day (more like a month or two), because we decided to think about colors, measure the room again, envision a system we might like, and go back later to actually spend the kroner. Luckily we don't have to deal with the exchange rate.


At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're singing my song, today! We spent most of yesterday at IKEA, after having had a bundle delivered the week prior. We can't seem to keep enough empty bookshelves in the house. I love floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, too. We just turned our new Dining Area into a mini library. Hopefully we'll get some more photos up tonight.



Post a Comment

<< Home