The Ikea Experience

Allen Key Image 2Why is the Allen Key so called? – Answer: “It isn’t. It’s called a “hex socket key” (hex short for “hexagonal”). The hex key, or at least its means of manufacture, was devised by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, and patented in 1910. It was produced as the companion piece to the company’s hexagonal socket screws.” ~ Flat Pack Dan

The midweek Word Prompt on GC and my site Weekly Prompts is Hex Key.

Most of you will have seen or used the Hex Key, also known as Allen key or Allen wrench at some time or other and especially since IKEA and those Flat Packs found their way onto our shores.  

Some years ago, I built a flat pack storage unit for my old office, but seeing as it took me all afternoon to accomplish the task, I could hardly describe it as a swift undertaking; nevertheless, I was thrilled with what I’d achieved, at least I was until my late husband came along, admired my efforts and then asked if I’d like him to take off the doors and put them on the right way up!

During the house renovation, just a few short years ago, I gave over my large desk and office room to eldest daughter Victoria and family. Sometime later, I purchased an all-in-one computer, I’d intended to find a little nook in my upstairs sitting room, but as Woody was still a young puppy, I stayed in the kitchen with him and worked on the kitchen table.

Recently I became a little tired of clearing the table each time I needed to eat, or when visitors were due to arrive. So last Wednesday, daughter Sophie and I visited Ikea to purchase a small desk. I’d already done my homework by looking online, and I’d found the perfect size for my upstairs sitting room.

I don’t mind wandering around IKEA; some of the different room designs are fascinating; they have the distinct feel of room sets in a television studio.

Panda diningArriving in the large Dining area, we could not resist sitting the Pandas upright. No slouching; and please take those elbows off the table!

We found my chosen desk without difficulty and after taking a picture of the location, we made our way to the Cafeteria. My lunch of Swedish meatballs looked hardly appetising, nonetheless, it was fairly enjoyable.

Next, we followed the route to the warehouse area and picked up my flat packed desk.

The next day (Thursday), Sophie came over, and we built up the desk. I use the word we loosely because Sophie chose to assemble the desk by herself. 

My New deskAfter moving a bookcase to the opposite wall, we placed the desk next to the balcony doors, which means I can enjoy the views when head searching for inspiration.

I also needed a chair but was reluctant to purchase a dedicated computer chair that would most likely spoil the look of my sitting room. By coincidence, a couple of weeks previously, Victoria was getting rid of some light wooden chairs that had been part of an old kitchen set that had been sitting in the barn for several years.

I am a big fan of upcycling as is Sophie, so after choosing a chair that was in the best condition, Sophie took it home to repair and paint, and as the cover of the padded seat was timeworn, she removed it.

On Friday, we visited a Dunelm store on the outskirts of the city, and for a total of £5, we purchased half a metre of material, part of which Sophie used to cover the padded seat.

Seat CoverRefurbished chairOn Saturday Sophie delivered my new chair and I am absolutely delighted with it What do you think?

What a productive few days – Sophie, you are a star and I thank you for all your hard work.

(C) SueW 2019 Word Prompt Hex Key from Weekly Prompts.

38 thoughts on “The Ikea Experience

  1. OH! Your desk is great! And your chair is so beautiful! Love the fabric you chose! 🙂 It matches your drapes and walls so well! Love the butterflies and birds!
    One of the birds reminds me of Derrick and Jackie’s little Nugget! 🙂

    Sophie did a magnificent job! 🙂

    I laughed at how you put furniture together (the wrong-way doors) and how you help, because it reminded me of me. I’m best at unpacking the boxes, getting all the parts out, unwrapped, and set out so someone else can put it all together. Ha. Oh, and I’m good at reading instructions. (I call them “constructions”! 😉 😀 )

    Those pandas look so well-behaved! HA! I would have set them upright, too! 😉
    HUGS!!! 🙂
    PS…I was gonna’ make an IKEA joke…but, sorry, you’ll have to make it yourself! 😉 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We couldn’t walk past the pandas and just leave them hanging off the chairs, though plenty of others did!

      I did read out a couple of instructions at the point where she looked as though she was stuck!
      Sophie spotted the roll of material just as I was choosing another. And yes, I immediately of thought of little Nugget too! It’s perfect because I have a bird’s eye view of the bird feeders from the balcony so it seemed a most appropriate choice, and you’re right it blends in perfectly with the soft furnishings
      Thank you Carolyn, 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it matches your furnishing and is such serene colors. 🙂
        We love IKEA and have put together desks, nightstands, etc. for ourselves and other people. Again, I’m just the helper as another family member does the hard work, oh…and Cooper always supervises us all! Ha! 😀

        I’d love to hear more about Woody! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me too Carolyn, though I try to avoid it during the school holidays and weekends.

        I share Woody with Victoria and family, though he’s officially theirs including all financial responsibility 😃. I do doggy day care and whenever they are not here. Living under the same roof he often chooses where to spend his time and will come over to my side of the house whenever the mood takes him.
        This is a link to a previous post about him. Thank you Carolyn. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for the link on Woody! I read it and left a comment! Love the photos! *snort* 😛 😀

        Cooper adopted me when he was 7 weeks old. And he is 10 years now. I can’t imagine life without him.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. We chose Woody, we visited the breeder when he was five weeks old. I’ve always had dogs, usually rescue dogs, but Victoria had her heart set on a Beagle. This arrangement we have suits me very well. He has a lovely personality and is very good company. Thank you Carolyn 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m so glad! He sounds wonderful! 🙂

        I met an elderly woman who’s dog, Daisy, had 6 puppies. And the woman was so shocked and was worried about how to find the puppies good homes. So I went to visit and played with all of the puppies and the littlest one (who I named Cooper 🙂 ) kept coming over to me to play, and to lay down by me. I figured he was saying, “Hey, lady, you’re mine. Take me home.” So, I did! 🙂
        All of the other puppies went to the woman’s family members.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Who can travel through Ikea without eating the meatballs? It’s happened to us on every visit we’ve made. Love the bird material on the chair up cycle, Sue. I do love up cycling, especially when it’s done well like your chair. Another great post, Sue, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those meatballs are tasty. Pity the same can’t be said for their fish and chips!

      Despite all the IKEA jokes etc, Most of their stuff wears really well. Thank you very much Trev.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I keep staring at my new chair, I can hardly believe how different it looks I’m really pleased with it and it’s not too difficult to do either (says the woman who delegated!) so if Jackie is practical I’d recommend it. Thank you Derrick

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never been to an Ikea store–there are none nearby! I had to laugh at your use of the word ‘we’ (loosely). Many years ago, one of my old supervisors used to laugh when I’d suggest ‘we’ could tackle a project. He’d say, “Who is this ‘we’ Lois? You have a mouse in your pocket?” Always made me laugh. But, you and Sophie did a great job with your office space.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lous. The nearest store to me is about forty minutes away and I always enjoy looking around. They have a storage box area that I love, needless to say I have too many boxes!
      Oh, I do like the mouse in your pocket!

      Although I don’t allow Woody upstairs, I haven’t abandoned him completely, he sleeps for around three hours in the afternoon and is old enough to be left on his own so I can move upstairs and work, and I love working on my new desk.


  4. Murphy's Law

    I love your story of your husband asking you if you wanted him to remove the doors and hang them right! 😂😂😂 Don’cha hate it when that happens? Lol.

    The fabric for the chair cushion is so incredibly perfect with the drapes/wallpaper. What a lucky find. I would’ve bought a bit more for throw pillows or perhaps to cover one of those large floor cushions so many people seem to favor now. Woody would love having his very own stylish floor cushion. 🤗

    The finished chair is really beautiful. I would be looking admiringly at it all the time too!!

    Those pandas are a hoot. I’m sure they appreciated you sitting them up straight!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ginger, I could swear I heard the pandas say thank you!

      Sophie and I looked at roll after roll of fabric, finally we chose one that might blend well. Then, I heard Sophie say, “Look, Mum, how did we miss this one?” We both agreed it was just perfect. We have enough fabric left for one cushion and we intend to go back next week to purchase more. Thank you Ginger. 🙂


  5. Great story Sue 🙂 I don’t have Ikea near me – probably 400lms away – I have a shed full of projects and more as now the shed is a workable space, things keep appearing. I will have a Sophie as my assistant any day

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I find Ikea nightmarish, but you did find a perfect desk (and without IKEA, the perfect chair, after intervention). I like the material you (loosely) covered it with. It’s really lovely. And it’s nice to mix things up a bit with new and refinished.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, IKEA can be nightmarish if you mistime your visit, I try to avoid it during school holidays and weekends. Very few places sell desks these days, except for those stores specifically for offices. I was relieved to find just the right size, anything larger wouldn’t have fit.

      I do believe my new chair was also originally from IKEA, but I think we’ve improved on the original and I cannot stop admiring it!
      Thank you for your lovely comments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t have found the perfect size elsewhere and I agree they are very good at this.
      I’m glad you like my chair, I am still very taken with it! Thank you for your lovely comments, 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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