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Monday, May 21, 2012

Pointers for Window Shopping // Our Trip to Ikea

Happy Monday lovelies! How was your weekend? Mine was great! Purging is AWESOME! The more stuff we trash, the better I feel in our space! We also went to Ikea and did some window shopping... I wanted EVERYTHING, but I showed great restraint! I followed Ms. Gina's advice to define before you design and found it very, very helpful! I thought the whole experience was so good that I pulled together a list of pointers for other window shoppers! Here it is!

Use Key Words & Mood Boards :: Before we left to go to Ikea, I printed out the Home Makeover board I created on Pinterest. At the bottom of it, I wrote out the words that I want our room to feel like when it's finished; words like "elegant, airy, white, bright, pretty." As we walked around, I referred to my paper quite a bit. I was excited when I found something that looked similar to what I had pictured and that fit the description of words. When I caught myself considering something that didn't fit, walking away from it was really easy! If you're indecisive and easily swayed like me, take the define before you design advice and add pictures! 

Our key words are elegant, bright, light, airy, and white!
Only a few things we saw actually fit this criteria.

Measure :: Make sure you know the dimensions of the space before you head out shopping. We measured the length and width of the couch we're trying to replace and having that information handy was very helpful! We kept gravitating to couches that were the same size as our current one, and since the main objective is to go smaller, we were able to eliminate a lot of our options!

Avoid Salesmen :: You don't really have to worry about this at Ikea, but at stores like Value City, the sales people flock to you! My best advice is not to run, but to politely decline their help. I usually say "We're just looking. Thank you!" I don't like to feel pressured when I'm just looking and if I have a question, I'll ask! 

Don't Get Hungry :: We walked around the Ikea showroom, sat, ate, discussed what we saw, ran through the warehouse for what we decided upon, and left... The sitting and eating part was so valuable because we had a chance to reflect and discuss what we saw, and re-fuel for round two!

Take Pictures ::  Again, I'm a person who needs time to make decisions and therefore, pictures are vital! I took tons of pictures at Ikea and Home Goods, and when I got home, I went through and erased the ones that no longer appealed to me... sometimes it's easy to get carried away snapping pictures in the store! What I'm left with is what I know I really like - having seen it, taken a picture, had the opportunity to erase that picture, and look again later!

*Most important for me* Give Yourself Time :: I usually go for stuff when Aaron's on board, but showing restraint gave me time to consider what I'd seen without added pressure, and decide what I like! Waiting to see how the space looks empty is going to help a lot, too! I think in the end this approach is going to result in us designing a space we're really sure-of, rather than one that is reflective of our impulse buys and what's on sale (our usual approach)!  

The only three couches I liked, after looking at dozens ::

White Leather Karlstad (Ikea $899)  

Medium Grey Karlstad (Ikea $499)

Colette Grey Sofa (Value City $499)

I love the last couch but Aaron reminded me, it's dark, which is true. If I picked it, I would definitely need to fill the room with accents that went with my vision for white, airy, and bright, like those awesome miniature ottomans. They make a huge difference! I also love the accent chair. Unfortunately, this entire living room set (chair + sofa + ottoman) would cost about $1,000 and that's more than we want to spend!   

It kind of reminds me of this couch on the Ikea homepage. Even though it's dark gray, the white accents make it work for me! Of course, I wouldn't have realized this - in the moment - at the store, but having had time to think about it, I realize WHY this darker set appeals to me (see the last pointer listed above!).

We both really liked this white dining room table and chairs at Ikea. The only concern is whether we'll have space for it (after the purging and painting, we'll see). It would be an awesome to have a dining room table that doubled as an office, but it wouldn't provide a lot of storage.

When we got home from Ikea, I went through the pictures in my phone and searched the Ikea website to find the stuff I saw and liked. Here's a peak at my current wish list: 

I also have quite the list to Home Goods! It's definitely another great resource for inexpensive accessories! Click the link below to see how well this stuff matches up to my inspiration board!

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All and all, it was a very successful day. Even though we didn't buy anything, we're a lot closer to making decisions on what to include in our *new and improved* apartment during the replenish stage.

 Do you like to window shop?

What do you think of what I found?

What tips would you add to this list?

PS - Our pup is at the vet today because he was limping around last night and this morning. We think he hurt himself trying to jump up onto our bed Saturday night. Thank goodness they could keep him for the day so that I could get to work! I'm so thankful for veterinarians and those people that have dedicated their careers to helping animals! Here he is in the car on the way to vet this morning... Poor guy! Prayers are welcome :)  



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