178 weeks and 6 days | An ode to IKEA

My name is Caro and I have a bit of a thing for IKEA.

There. I said it.

It’s been one of my favourite places to shop for the last 25 years, ever since the first time, when I joyfully accompanied my mum to choose stuff for university.

But when you find yourself suggest the IKEA café for a date-night with your love, you know you’ve got it bad.

Those iconic yellow and blue buildings are not only filled with fab things for the home but I have a real love of their meatballs too.

And bumper packs of mini Dime bars.

Food and homeware. For me — that’s a heady combination.

I also love the fact that their canteen is full of their own furniture —   plates, cutlery and glassware — ALL own brand.

And more recently they’ve started doing soap and hand-cream, so if you go into an IKEA loo the hand-washing facilities are also now their own product too.

It’s SO clever. For someone who has worked in brand development, these little touches certainly don’t go unnoticed ;)

You could literally move into an IKEA store and have everything you need.

Comfy beds, tasty food, an ever-changing supply of lovely cushions. I LOVE it.

Every time we visit our local store, I am heard (at least once) to say;

‘Aaah I could live in here!’

IKEA hacks have taken the western world by storm; people are creating bespoke items using their products as a base.

I created a bathroom bench from a shoe-rack, for example.


IKEA shoe-rack — makes a fab bathroom window seat

Most people you know will have at least one item from IKEA in their home.

We’ve got a fair few, even though some of them don’t look quite like they did when we bought them.

Their furniture makes such a fab blank canvas and sometimes is just crying out for a makeover.

The chest of drawers in our bedroom had a little face lift; it started out life as an unassuming little unit but with a lick of Annie Sloan — and some lovely new handles — it was transformed into a thing of beauty.


Our IKEA Hemnes chest of drawers after a little makeover

Our home is full to bursting with RIBBA frames, GLIMMA tealights, plants of the week — and I regularly get told off for ‘just popping in for one thing’ and ending up with a carboot full of stuff I never intended to buy.

So that’s it.

I just thought I’d put that out there.

I heart IKEA.

Do you have any shops that you’re a little bit obsessed with? Please tell me it’s not just me!! ;) 

Caro Davies
Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. 9th August 2016 / 7:56 pm

    I’m totally with you Caro! I don’t know how people ever furnished their homes before IKEA?! It must have cost them a fortune! Our house is chock-full of their stuff and I too, regularly get told off for buying too much. Hubby has taken to moving away from the check out while the dreaded transaction takes place and just tells me he doesn’t want to know what I spent!

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:36 pm

      There’s literally just no excuse not to have a nice home these days is there? IKEA caters for every taste — from country chic to industrial modern. And it’s so cheap. Although, to be fair, I’ve been racking up the credit card the last few times I’ve been!!!! Have bought them out!!

  2. Lianne
    9th August 2016 / 9:29 pm

    I’m totally shocked that Hemnes paints up! I’m looking at all my bubbling Hemnes in a new light now.

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:34 pm

      Aaah get your paints out Lianne!!!! Chalk paint doesn’t even need an undercoat!!! Your Hemnes will thank you for it ;) xx

  3. From Day Dot
    10th August 2016 / 7:57 am

    Oh I am SO with you! Their canteen is the most inspiring place, it’s like window shopping while you eat your cheap (but good) breakfast before the store opens, making a mental list of everything you can see that you’re going to buy! And I also love a good IKEA hack, I’ve got a fair few in my house – your chest of drawers is a perfect example, it’s gorgeous! I also have a thing for Home Sense for a similar reason, some bits can look like tat but oh, the possibilities!… #HomeEtc

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:33 pm

      Aaah SO happy it’s not just me!!! I absolutely LOVE it in there!!!!! (Especially the canteen)

  4. 10th August 2016 / 8:13 am

    Oh I am with you on Ikea. Everytime we make a trip back to the UK I request a visit to Ikea. The meatballs too – amazing! :- ) #HomeEtc

  5. 10th August 2016 / 8:26 am

    I have to say IKEA and I have a relationship much like your own, it’s a place of beauty. It is a 2 hour drive for us but I try to go at least 6 times a year.

    Like you I love so many simple things, the fact you can buy plates for less than £1, you can get bedding for a Superking cheap as chips and the meatballs.

    I too love to hack an ikea purchase, yours look amazing.

    I also have a similar love for TK Maxx homewares or on the days I get to go to Ikea I double it with Home Sense which is next door xxx

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:31 pm

      SNAP!!!! HomeSense AND IKEA — that’s a heady combination!! ;)

  6. Philippa
    10th August 2016 / 8:39 am

    I love your IKEA hacks Caro – your chest of drawers look fab with their new handles! I also love their meatballs, and would happily go there for date night (though not sure my husband shares that sentiment!) :) Philippa x

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Haha! Thanks lovely!! Good job my boy loves their meatballs as much as I do!!! ;)

  7. 10th August 2016 / 9:35 am

    Right there with you! We always emerge with WAY too much stuff!

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:30 pm

      It’s ridiculous isn’t it? I only ever need a couple of bits and always come out with ARMFULS!!

  8. 10th August 2016 / 9:48 am

    Would you believe it if I told you that I have NEVER been to IKEA?

    We had one open up in Norwich last year, but it’s a tiny one – more of a collection pointsl than a real store – and I kind of want the full IKEA experience rather than a taster.

    Maybe one day soon I will make it down to one! Xxx #HomeEtc

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:29 pm

      Nope. That doesn’t compute with me!!! Never been to IKEA? That’s like saying you’ve never been to London!! LOL!! ;)

  9. 10th August 2016 / 11:44 am

    I’m an ikea nut! We finally have a store in Aberdeen, except it a collection point…so only a handful of things to buy and essentially you have to order and return to collect it another day (and pay for the delivery…outcry!) Love what you’ve done to the drawers Caro xx

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:28 pm

      Only a collection point? aah that’s no good at all!! I’d be writing to my MP ;) PS — thanks lovely!! Amazing what a bit of chalk paint can do!

  10. 10th August 2016 / 12:34 pm

    Haha I love this! I went out with a Swedish guy for 4 years prior to Pete and so there was pretty much a blanket ban on IKEA but I just love how you can find anything you need there AND they’ve really upped their quality game in the 10 or so years I’ve been shopping with them. Well worth a trip, we tend to go late evening on a Monday night to avoid the crowds and yes, have been known to stop off in the cafe ;) X #HomeEtc

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:27 pm

      A blanket ban??? Ohmylife — I’d have sacked him immediately!!! You’re clearly SO much better off with Pete ;)
      We always go at around 7pm on a Wednesday. Very civilised — no crowds — and always nice to have our supper in the cafe first, then go shopping with a full tummy!! ;) Love it.

  11. Molly
    10th August 2016 / 3:15 pm

    That made me chuckle to think of you on a date-night at IKEA! I totally agree with you though. The shop I’m probably most obsessed with is Liberty – when I lived in London I was a frequent visitor, and now when I’m up I always pop in, it’s a ritual. But I can afford lots more things in IKEA than I can in Liberty!

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:01 pm

      Haha!! HONESTLY — IKEA meatballs and chips is right up there with dinner at the Ivy — I LOVE it!! And, I’m totally with you. I love Liberty too. But I DEFINITELY have more of an IKEA budget!! :)

  12. 10th August 2016 / 5:37 pm

    I absolutely LOVE Ikea too, but our nearest one is about 2 hours away so I don’t go in often. I think I will need a trip for the new house though. #HomeEtc x

    • 10th August 2016 / 7:58 pm

      You will DEFINITELY need to go when you move!!!

      PS — I’ll come with you? ;)

      • 10th August 2016 / 8:25 pm

        Ikea blogger meet… lovely home-wear with meatballs for lunch… when shall we go?!

        • 10th August 2016 / 8:45 pm

          Hahaah!!!! Can you IMAGINE????!!! That would be my favourite day out EVER!!!!!!! :)

  13. 10th August 2016 / 8:11 pm

    Ha ha I love IKEA too, I always have the smoked salmon when I go thought, it is soooo good. I love what you have done with the shoes Rack that would go well in our eaves in our bathroom with baskets. I need a trip now for that I am on a mission. The boys love going to kit their rooms out too, its so great for bits and bobs x

    • 10th August 2016 / 8:46 pm

      I blooming LOVE it Sarah!!!!! I think I’m a bit obsessed to be honest. I love it all. Tea-towels, rugs, kitchenware, cushions…! ;)

  14. 10th August 2016 / 10:40 pm

    You are not alone! I was very tempted to take my mother off to Ikea in Dublin this afternoon. Her utility room could do with a serious makeover and I was itching to get at it. Sadly she wasn’t.
    I love TK Maxx, Homestore & More and Dunnes Stores too.

    • 11th August 2016 / 5:17 pm

      Whaaat?? How could she not have wanted to go???! I’d have been there like a shot!! ;)

  15. 11th August 2016 / 12:04 am

    You are not alone my friend. From entertaining the little ones on rainy school holidays to free coffee to cheap but great home decor ideas – surely we ALL heart IKEA?!!! Lovely post x

  16. 11th August 2016 / 8:28 am

    You already know I love IKEA and IKEA hacks, Caro! You didn’t know I can consume the biggest plate of meatballs though. Outed!

    If they give us the ten minute warning I’m heading for ikea as I think that’s our best chance of survival in a post nuclear society.

    Love the painted drawers!


    • 11th August 2016 / 5:19 pm

      Hahaha!! That really made me laugh — I read it out to my husband! We both agree — a brave new world in IKEA — hahaha!!!!

  17. 11th August 2016 / 6:32 pm

    Oh heart IKEA too! It’s over 2 and a half hours to get out closest one but there are rumours of one coming closer soon & im already bubbling with excitement! I even stopped off in one after landing back from New York just to pick up some breakfast bar chairs. Shopping & jet lag, an interesting combination!!

    • 13th August 2016 / 12:29 pm

      After New York??!! WOW — that’s dedication!!!! Loving the idea of that Jo!! ;)

  18. 11th August 2016 / 7:10 pm

    You can never just pop to Ikea for just one thing! I actually need to go but am trying to avoid going with the kids, I know I will spend twice the amount I would anyway – but they would love the canteen! x

    • 13th August 2016 / 12:27 pm

      Get a babysitter and go one evening, midweek. After 7 is always good — go and have your supper there!! I LOVE it, but always have to plan my trips carefully!!! ;)

  19. 12th August 2016 / 9:58 pm

    I love Ikea too, I’m just not such a fan of going there – or their car parks. Unless it’s an evening trip and that’s doable. I once went there on a saturday, because I had to. Big mistake as the saying goes, but still love their stuff!! Thanks for hosting #homeetc XX

    • 13th August 2016 / 12:24 pm

      We always go at around 7pm in the evening — usually on a Wednesday. Very civilised. No crowds and there’s always a space in the carpark!! ;) I avoid weekends like the plague!! ;)

  20. 13th August 2016 / 7:39 am

    Just love their stuff too! You are proof that a home doesn’t need to look like their catalogue either! Love what you did with the chest of drawers. Looks like a classic piece!!! Super post Caro and it’s making me want an Ikea trip!! xx

    Thanks for being a fab co-host :) #HomeEtc

    • 19th September 2016 / 2:53 pm

      It’s funny isn’t it? For a relatively cheap homeware store, they’ve managed to span the generations and come up with some real classics!! Totally love it! :)

  21. 13th August 2016 / 7:41 am

    Just love their stuff too! You are proof that a home doesn’t need to look like their catalogue either! Love what you did with the chest of drawers. Looks like a classic piece!!! Super post Caro and it’s making me want an Ikea trip!! xx

    Thanks for being a fab co-host :) #HomeEtc

    • 13th August 2016 / 12:23 pm

      Haha!! I LOVE it — I don’t need any excuses for a trip to IKEA!!! Just the meatballs alone is enough to make me want to go!! ;)

  22. 14th August 2016 / 8:40 pm

    We used to live a short drive away from the Bristol branch & I loved going there…always in the evening when it’s quieter. It’s a rookie error to go on Saturday afternoon or in January sales or the school holidays…have you seen the size of the queues?! We haven’t made a trip to IKEA for over a year now since we moved away from Bristol. Your post has made me want to go back! #HomeEtc

    • 19th September 2016 / 2:51 pm

      I haven’t been for a couple of months and am getting withdrawal symptoms!!! I think an IKEA mission is in order!! ;) (on a Wednesday evening obvs) ;)

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