After nearly an entire day at the IKEA store down here in Tempe, Arizona, we came away with some mixed feelings about the whole experience. We’ve always believed that it represented access to decent (and sometimes great) design for a very reasonable price. Back in Vermont, we designed/built a kitchen with Ikea cabinets combined with custom built tall oven/pantry units and it worked out very well.
On this house, we’ve always envisioned using their closet systems for wardrobes in each bedroom (thanks to our friends Marcel and Olga for leading us to them) and any other location where we needed storage or affordable shelving.
However, if you don’t have an IKEA in your city or within driving distance, shipping is a nightmare. Many items they don’t carry on their web site (available in-store only), and even if you show up at the store, they don’t really want to ship it from there! The shipping costs are at least 25% more for whatever you buy, and if you do end up getting “special shipping from the store”, it’s even more! It boggles the mind that they can get this stuff shipped around the world to any of their hundreds of stores, but they can’t easily get it to the last destination - to your house... Very frustrating.