Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.


Susan and I have been doing some furniture shopping here and there, looking for some new dressers for our bedroom, and a new couch for our family room. We had looked at a couple of different places, looking for some good deals, and trying to decide if we might want to get some “naked” dressers and do the stain and finish ourselves. We found some good prices last week at a store that was going out of business, but we wanted to check out a couple more places this weekend.

Fairly recently, an Ikea store opened in Atlanta. I didn’t know much about them, except that they were supposed to have some furniture with modular designs, and that geeks all over the net were ga-ga over them. We checked some things out on their website, and had some problems navigating, but we were intrigued enough to drive downtown to check them out on Saturday.

Wow. We’re sold. Literally, since we bought two red leather couches on Sunday. And we plan to go back to buy some dressers for our bedroom, bookshelves and DVD racks for our family room, and a loft bed for Mary.

Some observations about the Ikea store:

  • Holy cow, this place is huge! Two levels, each the size of a football field. Plus two levels of parking deck and an adjacent outdoor parking lot. And on top of that, there’s a restaurant inside the store.
  • They’ve got some pretty nice stuff. There are a variety of styles, and some of the individual items are available in different fabrics and colors.
  • Their modular items are cooler than I expected. For instance the “Billy” storage system has base units in various sizes, which can be combined into a larger unit. You can optionally add cabinet doors or lighting, purchase additional shelves, etc. There were also a couple of sofas that can be modularized. You can get a sofa and loveseat, then later you could buy a corner unit and attach them together into a single corner-sofa.
  • Both on Saturday and Sunday, the place was packed with customers.
  • Neither the website nor their printed catalog showed us all of the products available in the store. I can’t locate some of the items we liked the most on their website.
  • The prices are good. Really good. We’re going to be able to get all of the furniture that I mentioned previously for the amount that we had originally budgeted just for new sofas.

If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should. Even if you aren’t in the market for any furniture or other household items, you could get some Swedish meatballs at the restaurant πŸ˜‰

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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36 Responses to Ikea

  1. CT says:

    I think you’re taking this Talk Like a Pirate thing far too seriously… (while skimming, I somehow thought at first that you were attempting a Swedish Chef dialect, seeing as how you’re praising Ikea…)

  2. Angalee says:

    My husband and I experienced IKEA-Atlanta for the first time over the Labor Day Weekend and I have to say ‘Im witt ya’. It’s fabulous and not just for college students like I had always heard. I loved their kitchen remodel options. For the money you can’t beat it.
    Can’t wait to go back!

  3. Kevin says:

    Yup, there is an IKEA close to us in NJ also. I had never been there before a few months and and after my wife and I found IKEA, we were there three days in a row. We bought several Billy bookshelves and have been very happy with them. Price and quality are both great. IKEA is really an amazingly cool store.

  4. Dougal says:

    CT: No, no… That would be more like this.

  5. karalyne says:

    Ikea is one of my favorite stores. I have never experienced an Ikea store until this summer. I was visiting my roommate in LA. We just moved into a new house and wanted to “spruce up” the place. WOW! Ikea had amazing furniture for reasonable prices. Of course being in college is always nice to find cheap prices. We are planning afternoon outing to Atlanta to go by the store. Im glad to hear you have an amazing experience in hopes we will have the same.

  6. Bob says:

    I’ve been buying from IKEA for over twenty years. I discovered the store by accident (when none in North America had heard of them), and fell in love with the place. I still have Billy bookshelves from back then. The neat thing is that if you have some woodworking skills you can modify the pieces and adapt the sizes – they don’t tell you this – so you are on your own. I’ve custom modified a bathroom cabinet set to reduce the front to back distance to get it to fit into a slighly smaller space. I’ve done IKEA kitchens in two houses now, and modified to fit the space. I’m now doing a bedroom wall to wall cupboard and customizing that. I can buy the IKEA cabinets cheaper then buying the wood and building from scratch. I keep meaning to make a website on how to modify IKEA stuff.

    I’m sitting at a computer desk setup built from a series of cabinets that they [sadly] discontinued. It’s about 24 years old now, and still working.

  7. Geren says:

    I’ve been shopping at IKEA for years. We’ve now got two in the area — one north of B’more, and the other just north of DC (there’s yet another south of DC, but that’s too far to go).

    I’ve noticed that 1) not all items in the catalog are in the stores, 2) not all items in the stores are in the catalog, 3) not all items in one store can be found in another store and 4) the web site carries only a small subset of 1, 2 and 3 above.

  8. Geren says:

    LOL! I like how everything on the site is translater into pirate-talk — even the comments! Cool!

  9. Tore says:

    I don’t really see a lot of good in Ikea. Since we are on the subject of piracy… they steal… copy directly from independent designers, knowing full well that they will profit even though they have to face a few lawsuits. A woman I know invented a kind of collapsable play apparatus for kids. She couldn’t afford to have it produced. Ikea was not interested. After a few years the patent pending timed out and Ikea launced it as their own original design. Not technically theft, but still somewhat immoral in my book.

    My biggest problem with Ikea is that their furniture has terrible quality. It falls apart. If you take into consideration the lifespan of an Ikea bookcase compared to a real crafted one, the more expensive craftmanship will end up being cheaper since it will outlive several Ikea items.

    Personally I am against huge corporations flooding the world with glossy advertising and useless products. When your plane comes in for a landing in Paris, the first thing you see… before the Eiffel tower or the triumph arc, is a huge Ikea sign. I don’t want to support that. Also, allegedly, they use child labor in third world countries. But that is just hearsay.

  10. tiffany says:

    I waited, begged, pleaded and even wrote letters to Ikea’s HQ to get them to come to Atlanta … I love the place, and the shopping experience is top-notch. The Ikea on Long Island, for example, has lockers in addition to the kiddie corner and cafeteria.

    Re Tore’s comments: I think people know that Ikea’s furniture isn’t top-quality when they buy. But that’s the point: they’re looking for furniture that’s somewhere between milk crates and heirloom. Ikea fits that niche nicely.

  11. Stacey says:

    IKEA – Chicago! It’s the only reason I go visit my brother. πŸ™‚

  12. Tore says:

    hehe. Here in Scandinavia we have had Ikea for as long as I can remember. And I don’t know anyone who don’t hate it deeply. These enthusiastic comments make me think of how when I grew up there was no advertizing on tv here and people petitioned the tv stations to get those fun lovable commercials they had only seen while on vacations abroad. Everyone was extatic when tv ads finally were to arrive. Trust me… the novelty will wear off.

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  14. Estara says:

    Having had Ikea in Germany for quite some time now, I find it fascinating what details you highlight about the store (most of the German bigger furniture stores have restaurants, so that struck me especially). I use Ikea when I can’t afford anything better. Although I believe they have come a long way from what my parents occasionally bought in the 80ies. Still, for my first flat it works, and the really important furniture (bedroom and office chair) I already bought in much better quality. Still, enjoy it! All a question of different tastes.

  15. CountZero says:

    Sweet…. I have grown up in Germany, so I never bothered ’bout countries where Ikea might not be as accomodated as here… well, what I wanna say is, here it is pretty common, nothing special about it any more, there is merely no household of students and other young ppl where you would not find at least SOME ikea stuff.

    quality is quite okay, my parents still use their “billy” stuff they bought in the mid-80’s, and myself still uses some of it as well, as it was my first furniture for my first own flat. but prices are odd now… ikea used to be MUCH cheaper (with better quality!), but as with everything else they got pretty expensive with the change to the Euro currency here in Europe. Especially when you keep in mind that we have several other similar corps like hagebaumarkt, obi, metro, hornbach and so on. And the worthiest stuff of furniture I use is handmade from a friend of mine, unique designer stuff no-one of my age without being a millionaire could afford to buy πŸ˜‰

    So, closing the loop to my post’s beginning: your enthusiasm ’bout Ikea is pretty sweet, but’ll wear off for you as well, especially when you’ll move to another flat some day and you’ll make the experience that, if you’ve achieved to assemble the Ikea stuff the one day, this does NOT include disassembling it the other day without destructing it πŸ˜‰

  16. Anne-Lise says:

    The first IKEA store here (Netherlands) opened in the late 70s (I think it was one of the first stores outside of Sweden). My parents bought me a desk then and I’m still using parts of it right now. The other parts are in my storage space but I can set up the whole desk again if I need to. Lots of other stuff in my appartment is IKEA too. And despite what everyone else here says, I like the place.

  17. Jason says:

    We’ve had one in Houston for long enough that they’ve had to tear it down and build a bigger one. My wife and I remodeled our kitchen from the studs up with IKEA furniture and have enjoyed it ever since. My only beef with them is the whole “we have to order it from Sweden” thing, especially with kitchens. We probably spent 12 hours there over the course of several months picking up our kitchen piece by piece. They are flexible on their 30 day return policy when it comes to kitchens though, which is nice when your parts show up one at a time over 2 or 3 months.

  18. Jason says:

    What a noob I am, closing out the wrong tag.

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  20. Tore says:

    Hehe. Seems like I am the only one who is less than enthusiastic about the concept. My last encounter with one of their iq tests was on Sunday when I had to assemble a small book case for my mother.

    “Deliver us from Swedish furniture” (Dust Brothers)

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  22. kd says:

    I’m in Vancouver Canada, we’ve got 2 Ikea stores here.

    Some of their stuff is very nice, cheap and affordable.

    But beware, some of their stuff is complete junk. I bought a dresser from them that fell apart too easily and have had other things go bad.

    Pick and choose what you buy, make sure its well constructed, the modular design can be a downfall on some things.

    I have to agree with Tore, if you want high-quality, long lasting stuff, I’d go elsewhere.

  23. Sian says:

    It’s worth going to Ikea just for the meatballs, yum yum yum!

  24. Dee says:

    Can anyone tell me what is the actual address of the headquarters of IKEA worldwide? An address, phone number or email for the chairman would be most helpful. I want to write the him direct with serious copaint. Thanks!

  25. Maurice says:

    ikea is established in everyone and profits from taken defying any competition. But in fact pieces of furniture last with life! It is pretty, it is accessible but that breaks!

  26. John says:

    You’re not the only one with a not-so-positive take on IKEA.
    Trying to get answers from customer service is like trying to get compasion from the Tax Collector.
    The quality, well, lets just say that Chinese products are cheap not inexpensive. Unfortunately, it would seem that Chinese workers have neither the wage motivation nor ethical inclination to produce high quality products. Japan flooded (and won) the market with inexpensive electronics and cars in the decades past WWII but we are all aware of the high quality intrinsic to Japanese goods.

    It’s funny that IKEA poses as an environmentally friendly company… If their products were more durable (high quality) rather than disposable (crappy) it wouldn’t be filling-up so many dumpsters and landfills.
    Don’t get me wrong, imaginative design and ingenuity are not missing from IKEA products, good craftsmanship is.

    The CEO for IKEA Group is Anders Dahlvig but getting a contact address for him is virtually impossible.
    If anyone has it… PLEASE post it!

    TRIVIA: IKEA is and accronym from the founders name, house name and village or Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (IKEA). Interstingly enough, OIKIA (pronounced ee-KEEH-ah) is the formal noun for home or house in Greek.

  27. wenjie says:

    I am searching the headquarter of IKEA customer service department as well, and have a serious complain about IKEA’s sofa like to talk with their manager. the only possible address I found as list as below:
    “IKEA International A/S in Humlebaek, Denmark. Ny Strandvej 21, DK 3050 Humlebaek, Denmark ”
    Does anybady konw about more detail of the contact person; email address; phone number, PLS post here.

  28. Gill Thomas says:

    We assemble for IKEA customers in the Atlanta area and are interested in finding out how IKEA customers are doing in the assembly process and how the process can be better? we are looking to use the comments as a guide for our services also and welcome comments at

  29. Gill Thomas says:

    Customer service at IKEA Atlanta is handled by a very sweet lady by the name of Angela Lewis and her staff. The contact number is 404-249-6257 ext.1446. she is all over the building and may be hard to catch at her desk but I will assure you that she and the after sales staff work very hard to see to every issue surrounding the after sale experiences with IKEA products.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I bought a dresser from IKEA for my daughter and it falls apart all of the time. It seems that the twist and lock screws constantly untwist and the drawers and dresser falls almost completely apart. Looks nice, but be careful with the big heavy furniture.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t wait for Ikea to come to Atlanta but now regret ever setting foot in that store. Their return policy and customer service is a bit wacked. When I got home and opened a rug I purchased there found it very dingy and stained. Just nasty. Maybe it was a return from a previous customer or the folks at the warehouse used it to wipe their feet. Who knows. When I tried to return it they claimed they do not return stained items insinuating that since I didn’t return it immediately I did it. Every manager I spoke with said their quality control prevents this from happening so it must have been me. Nice. Sell your customers crap and call them a liar. Truly a no-service store. You are on your own. I can’t see myself ever going there again and I loved the store. I couldn’t wait for it to open here. Wasted energy. Buy with caution.

  32. Justin Miller says:

    Here’s the contact info from their Yahoo Finance page.
    Ikea Group
    Address: Box 640
    SE 25 106 Helsingborg, Sweden
    Phone: +46-42-267-100
    Fax: +46-42-132-805

  33. Private says:

    I have delt with Ikea only on one purchace . Lest it be said we do not want them in our area
    I have had NOTHING but negative to say about them … I can honestly say that They suck .
    I did find some resolve with
    Customer service at IKEA Atlanta is handled by a very sweet lady by the name of Angela Lewis and her staff. The contact number is 404-249-6257 ext.1446
    And she is nothing short of a very KIND person I wish the rest of the staff would take after her
    and learn something ..I had gotten a blind for a safe room for treatment of Migranes …
    The stuff to mount it was smashed , they did not want to replace it . That is till I contacted Angela
    she is ASWSOME !!

  34. Does it matter? says:

    Email address for ikea CEO:

  35. Architectural Design Services says:

    Quite a lot has been said about the Ikea showroom at Atlanta, although it is two to three years old already, they still get a steady stream of customers.

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