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Is IKEA Right For You?

Written by J.A. Shapira

The question has to be asked: Is IKEA furniture worthy of your home?

We spent a few hours running the aisles of IKEA and talking with employees and customers about their experience. We immediately noticed two things:

1. IKEA furniture is ideal for those on a budget.

2. This isn’t furniture you’ll hand down to your kids.

For the discerning gentleman who prides himself on heirloom-quality appointments in his home, IKEA is not going to be the top pick. While most of the products are made from wood, there is a broad range of quality available at different price points.

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The basics, are really no better than the products you might find at hardware stores or bargain-bin outlets like Walmart and Target. Where IKEA has excelled is in the design.

For those interested in a minimalist decor, IKEA is the perfect blend of clean European design with variations that can bring the look of the room from ultra modern to fairly traditional. The most important factor when considering whether IKEA is right for you isn’t necessarily quality, but whether it will work well in your home.

IKEA is an ideal option for the following types of men:

  • The student or young professional on a budget who wants to avoid garage-sale decor style.
  • The young couple or family moving into a larger home and don’t want to be house poor.
  • Parents with newborns and small children who will have to upgrade furniture every few years.
  • Sellers who need to stage their home for the market.
  • Homeowners looking to furnish a guest room or another area not often used.
  • Those who want temporary yet attractive furniture as a placeholder until they can afford their dream furnishings.
  • People in temporary spaces who need attractive furniture that can be easily disposed of.

The Benefits of IKEA

Let’s face it, IKEA is very inexpensive in comparison to many furniture stores. Not only can you find attractive and comfortable furnishings, but there are upgrade options that use solid wood and are often as good, or better, than the furniture you’ll find at a local department store.

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The other reason people love IKEA is because of what experts call the “IKEA effect.” The IKEA effect is a theory that people become more attached to furniture they had a hand in building themselves than they do furniture that arrives pre-assembled. If you are someone who is handy, IKEA can be an easy and fun project to work on yourself.

The Drawbacks of IKEA

There are a few drawbacks when it comes to purchasing furniture from IKEA. The most common drawback is that the quality – while comparable to many other mass-manufactured brands – remains inferior compared to the craftsmanship you’ll see from Heritage Makers. Of course, that impacts long-term use.

While the furniture from IKEA may look great in two or three years, it’s unlikely it will see a lifespan of 10, 20 or 30 years since it doesn’t rely on classic construction techniques for longevity. This can often mean having to replace furniture which can become more expensive over time. Of course, another issue IKEA customers have to contend with is the value of the furniture.

Unlike some appointments, a sofa or chair from IKEA will never be considered an antique and likely won’t see any return should you need to sell it.

Often, this means having to give the product away whereas many other pieces from heritage makers may see an increase in value over the years.

One concern for many is the safety of their products and the impact IKEA has on the environment. The company has long been known for their mistreatment of forestry around the world. In recent years, some of their products have also come under fire. One example is a dresser that was recalled last year after six children died from the chest tipping over and trapping them underneath.

IKEA was ordered to pay out $50 million to the families of those kids.

While many companies have to deal with product recalls, this particular case saw incidents that caused these deaths and dozens of other injuries over a period of 27-years before authorized pushed for the recall of 29 million dressers and chests sold by IKEA.

 

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Although IKEA has made some improvements, over the years, many environmentalists have harshly criticized the brand for chopping down old-growth forests in northern Russia by its wholly owned subsidiary Swedwood. This may be a big concern for you, but we urge you to investigate it thoroughly to determine what strides IKEA has made to save the environment since this first came to light.

Is IKEA Right For You?

The long and short of it is that only you can decide whether IKEA furniture is worthy of your home. We always argue that long-term value trumps short-term gain, but sometimes you need that temporary couch until you can afford the Chesterfield you’ve always dreamed of having.

By opting for IKEA, you can save money and prevent having to adopt your neighbor’s strategy of gluing pizza boxes together to make a table. One thing is sure with IKEA: They are arguably one of the best options if you value consistent style throughout your home at the most affordable price.


Sources:

Children Killed: Fox News – http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/28/ikea-recalls-29-million-dressers-after-6-kids-killed.html

Tree Logging: The Guardian – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/may/29/ikea-ancient-tree-logging