Our IKEA Shopping Trip (in which Ken and I trek across the state for the sake of a few essentials)

Ken and I ventured out to the east side of Michigan last Saturday for a rare IKEA pilgrimage. Since the Canton store is about a 2 hour trip each way, we’ve only been a handful of times and don’t know when we’ll go again, so we made this one count.

Since I knew we were going, I created a Pinterest board with our “shopping list.” It was super nice to be able to add items and delete items and add my comments and generally have everything in one place. I also referenced this in the store on my phone, which worked well until we descended into the warehouse and my phone decided to die due to lack of internet/motivation in general.

Follow Anne @ Planting Sequoias Blog’s board Ikea List on Pinterest.

As you can see, we didn’t have anything huge on our list, but we had a LOT of little things. I find that I don’t usually love IKEA’s furniture design–I definitely like traditional furniture better, but IKEA has a ton of cheap essentials. Let’s discuss the ins and outs of this trip, shall we?

On detours: On the way there, we accidentally detoured to Flint. Neither of us have any idea HOW this happened, because we were following the directions on my phone and the route was correct when we began the trip. Luckily, we survived.

On curtains rods: One main motivator for this trip was curtain rod hardware and curtains. IKEA has THE BEST curtain prices, in my opinion. We needed 5 total double rod systems that could go up to 152″, so we were *those* people wrangling 10 curtain rods through those crowded aisles. I betcha we spent about $120 on the curtain hardware alone, but we’ll be able to get the whole first floor done with that. WAAAAAY better than Lowe’s/Home Depot/Target/anywhere’s curtain rod pricing.

On curtains themselves: The plan was to get 2 gray RITVA curtains for the living room ($25-$35/pair, depending on length) and 3 white VIVAN curtains for the sunroom ($10/pair). We got the gray RITVA curtains we wanted after digging through the bins trying to find grays that matched (they seemed to all be from different dye lots or something), but our store was out of white VIVAN curtains…so we went with the MUCH pricier white RITVA curtains ($45 MORE than we’d planned on spending; ouch!). We don’t actually regret this much, as we’ll probably be happier long term with the heavier weight RITVA curtains. Also: LILL sheers…

On my favorite IKEA product: hand’s down, it’s these $4 LILL sheer curtains. They hang SO WELL and I want to put them on everythingWe got 6 packages, but I have a feeling I’ll regret not getting more. DRAPE ALL THE THINGS.

On storage stuff: Before we left, we measured EVERYTHING in our house: window height, drawers, cupboards, floors (for rugs). We purchased one of those wooden silverware thingies and found the matching extender in the As-Is section for half off and were thrilled with that, and we got a bunch of plastic-y drawer organizers for our master bath,  junk drawer, pantry, etc.

On rugs: We wanted to find a few rugs (either doorway rugs or area rugs), but we struck out and didn’t really find anything that would work, unless you count the 2 $.99 mats we got for the garage steps and the $10 bathmat we grabbed (neither of which we knew we needed…).

On other textiles: We love IKEA’s $6 down-filled pillows and grabbed a few with some black and white striped covers. I also snagged another oblong black and white patterned pillow. Even though we live pretty far from IKEA and not many people around here shop there, I still gravitate toward things that look “less IKEA-y” over their iconic looks, and these pillows fit the bill. I couldn’t convince Kenny we needed a few faux sheepskins, though I tried. I tried.

On lighting: our yellowish fixtures are getting the boot, as we grabbed 3 $30 ALANG fixtures for our main floor. I also grabbed a $5 light kit that I thought would work for a pendant light above our since, but it won’t, so I have to figure out plan B. Booo.

On impulse purchases: We ended up purchasing all new cabinet and drawer hardware for our kitchen. Not in the plans, but I’m pumped about it. Details to come as soon as I can install them (which has proved to be VERY TRICKY and UTTERLY TERRIFYING–you try adding holes to your perfectly fine kitchen cabinets!).

On my biggest disappointment: I was MOST looking forward to getting 2 of these $12.99 fiddle leaf fig trees, but they had ZERO in store. Still so sad about that.

On some $.79 cards: Ken is a saint. I’d found these cards online (disregard my “iconic IKEA” comment above: I NEEDED THESE). We could not find them ANYWHERE in the store though, and both of us were getting tired. We checked out, loaded up our car, and I checked to see if they actually had them in stock. They DID, and Ken humored me as we went back into the crowded store, got the cards, and waited for a good 15 minutes in line to check out. Again: Ken is a saint.

On Trader Joe’s: We also don’t have a Trader Joe’s near Grand Rapids, so we detoured to one near Canton and stocked up there too. TJ’s: COME TO GRAND RAPIDS.

Here’s just a smidgen of our haul:


Our receipt said we purchased 90 items (GAH) and we spent about $550 (don’t think about it; don’t think about it), which considering our most expensive item was some $35 RITVA curtains, is IMPRESSIVE.

Until next time, IKEA–it’s been swell.

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