Ah, Ikea. She lures you in with a promise of a more organized life where the only choice you have to make is between meatballs or salmon. As you move through the beautiful staged rooms you think “I could live like this,” as you grab a pillow with a pear on it and a handful of Syrligs. You treck deeper down into the bowels of the store until she spits you back out with 3 Lack side tables you have to Tetris into an Uber XL.
And yet, every Spring she calls me to fill my house with slabs of new laminated particle board...
|Aries originally buys this to be a bar cart, but after realizing there isn't enough room in their studio apartment for a dedicated booze shelf on wheels, they employ it as a bathroom caddy. One Euphoria makeup phase, a Reddit-group-fueled skincare obsession, and a sale on towels at Target later, Aries rolls the cart into their living room to hold embroidery floss for the Etsy business they’re totally starting in the fall. These days the humble Råskog soldiers on despite being a little wobbly as closet storage for an eclectic assortment of garbage.|
|Sweet Taurus gets so wrapped up in the Ikea Experience™️ that they buy these frozen meatballs in bulk. They see Ikea’s capitalist maze through lingonberry tinted glasses and end up spending another $100 on LED string lights of various impractical shapes. They spend the next month trying to convince you that you’ll love marinated herring.|
|The Kallax Unit provides Gemini with 16 empty cubbies to display the myriad of books, magazines, records, games, puzzles, and collectibles they’ve amassed over the years. The result is like a museum of Gemini’s mind. “Have you seen my book on the history of Herman Miller?” they ask, sliding out a coffee table book with a photo of an Eames Chair on the cover. Obviously, The Twins are using this functional yet completely non-functional cabinet as a room divider, and no matter how cute and curated the tchotchkes are on the front, the reverse is guaranteed to be somewhat grim and, frankly, dusty.|
|This is a great chair to sit in while you drink a glass of whiskey and cry about your ex. Or eat a pint of ice cream and cry about your mom. Or stare out the window at the moon. Or write in your dream journal after a particularly worrisome nightmare about snails. Or drink tea and do a crossword puzzle in ink and then get frustrated when you get an answer wrong and have to go grab the Wite-Out and look in a thesaurus for an eight letter word for “to vanish” (it’s evanesce). Cancer loves this chair.|
|Did you know that NASA has done studies on this mirror? They’re investigating the phenomenon of how these are still being sold at Ikea despite literally every single person on Earth owning one. This reflective slab leans confidently in Leo’s living room offset by a monstera. Don’t judge Leo for owning this monolith of vanity - you know damn well you’re always thrilled to bang out a few selfies in it every time you visit.|
|This toolset comes in handy when Virgo needs to assemble a wall of Malm dressers they bought to organize their growing collection of washi tape. They love the feeling of pride they get when they correctly diagnose a bolt as phillips-head and switch the screwdriver back from the slotted bit. They love even more the satisfying feeling of each tool snapping back into its orange plastic resting place when the project is done. But what Virgo loves most is pointing out that the hammer actually doubles as a mallet if you equip it with the included rubber cap, and then looking at you judgmentally when you sullenly admit that you threw it away because you thought it was trash.|
|No matter how many times you try to explain that this shelf is impossible to install, functionally inept, and just generally wildly impractical, Libra insists on purchasing it. (They may also actively fight you about the necessity of screw anchors.) Once the drywall dust has settled, you’ll have to admit that the shelf looks great. You aren’t sure how, but Libra’s choice of an aloe plant in a Group Partner Face Pot, a thrifted vase and a framed picture of their grandmother really do pull the room together.|
|Look, I know it seems like I’m reading Scorpio to filth here, but how can you call something criticism when it’s just… true? Scorpio wishes this was available in crimson or oxblood, but at least black hides the stains well. The great thing about the Balkarp is that Scorpio can depression nap on it as a sofa and then switch it up to depression nap on it as a bed.|
|Sagittarius experiences Ikea almost like a sporting event, racing to the end in a contest to see who can grab the most useless crap. In whatever imaginary game they’re playing, the Rens is a high-scoring item. The rug brings a touch of semi-gaudy class to their already eclectically decorated apartment. They might put it in their bedroom to add a tactile experience to their morning routine. They might put it in the living room, where they’ll neglect sitting on the couch to lay on on the now hairy floor, crossing off deadlines in their Moleskine planner. Or, they could put it in their bathroom as their ironic nod to those carpeted toilet cover sets.|
|Capricorn does not have time to waste in Ikea. They enter the Swedish Building with a list of the predetermined items and somehow, miraculously, do not stray from it. (???) This pine Struggle Bed is one step away from being a coffin, which hasn’t occurred to Capricorn but I feel like they’d be into it. Atop the slatted bed base we all know so well, Capricorn places an absurdly expensive and downright luxurious mattress - they value their sleep.|
|When Aquarius sees this gray-green monstrosity, their eyes light up with possibilities. Charmed by Ikea’s Truman-show-esque staged rooms and compelled by clever Nordic styling, they imagine that this could function as: a clothing rack, a plant stand, a cat condo (they’re planning to adopt soon), an avant garde shoe rack, or an art piece. Obviously it works as none (0) of the above (look at it), but Nikkeby becomes a symbol of possibility in their mind and they can’t bear to throw it out.|
|Ivar's almost comical simplicity makes it a perfect canvas for Pisces to decoupage with pictures of beaches that make them emotional. What began its life as an unassembled rough cabinet transforms under Pisces’ art direction into a meaningful art object fit to be passed down through generations of wise, sensitive fish.|
Did I get yours right? Did I miss any iconiqué pieces?
P.S. The first (and only) time I made eye contact with Lady Liberty I was at the Ikea in Redhook.
~*written by Pia Marchetti*~