Since I have a little time on my hands today~

Since I have a little time on my hands today~ I drove down to Ikea~ as you know I AM NOT A FAN~ cheap crap hard to put together and winds up in the trash bin within a years time...crap crap crap!
I hate the entire experience~ the building~ the crowd~ the self check out that seems to only work for other people, but not for me?

The ultimate BAD retail experience as far an I am concerned~ and you all know how much I like to shop, so this is saying something....

I feel like the only thing missing from the experience is me dodging bullets while running down the "prearranged arrow marked path"~ then the horror would be complete~ anyone that furnishes their home from this ungodly resource has little taste and less good sense as far as I can tell~ I know you think that this is a rant, ( and it is to some extent) but I am writing this post today, because I realized why this store is one of the busiest in Europe.

When Ikea first hit these shores it was less than popular, no one got it design-wise. I think slowly Americans are cluing in, however the U.S. will never have the same groovy esthetic, because we have no patina, we don't even like patina, we like new and shiny things for the most part. It is one thing to pepper a really beautiful worn European house or apartment with Ikea finds, and another to furnish a lack luster new high rise or freshly build suburban paper house with it. Case in point the fab book put out by Ikea called "Beloved Homes".

I bought a copy , sat down with it sipping an espresso, and found a new respect for Ikea as a company.
The homes featured in this book, show homeowners using the practical and affordable products from Ikea stores in the way they were intended. These colorful and whimsical items are mixed brilliantly with rough hewn ancient beams, and rustic old plank floors. The homes have great bones and formidable pieces of furniture in them. This gives weight and meaning, and presence to the decor.

Pick up a copy next time you are in Ikea and in the coma like flow of lemmings on the predesignated shopping track. Take a cue from the original Ikea shoppers and pepper your mix with Ikea, don't make it the foundation of your home decor.

I am not saying I now love Ikea, I am saying I have a better understanding of this European retailer's concept and vision.

*** one more thing~ for those of you that are going to comment ~ that you have Ikea and use it in your groovy NY loft or rustic country home...I am not talking to you, this is for the non-designer crowd looking for some design guidance ;)

*I feel compelled to say that my good friend and senior deputy editor of home design for Better Homes and Gardens, did tell me about this book a year ago ( she has great taste) and I now have had the time to sit down with it and study it.