Well, I am
now officially part of the Ikea generation, complete with birchwood tables, cream colored sofas, plants in attractive pots, candles,
a rug and decorative bowls full of stones. Though it's worth noting,
rather than paying for a little bag of assorted stones I actually
went to a beach at Penmon Point on the Isle of Angelsey in North Wales and picked my own stones.
I have a new lounge. It might not normally be the kind of
thing that would merit a 'meanwhile' but as a friend pointed
out just last night, I haven't written anything in quite some
time, so my new lounge and enrollment into the Ikea generation
seems like a worthwhile subject right now.
In years to come I know I'll read this back to myself and cringe
at the fact that I am so excited to have gotten a bunch of new furniture
from Ikea of all places. I know it's not a classy place and in the
grand scheme of things it's a pretty cheap place, though for now
I shall call it 'cost effective.' But what I should perhaps remind
my future self is that this is somewhat of a minor defining moment
in my life, a juncture when I crossed a threshold from living in
an apartment of thrown-together things accumulated from charity
shops, cheap ex-catalog outlets and by means unknown or perhaps
best forgotten. In this, my new lounge, I chose all the furniture
and bought it brand new all at once, albeit from Ikea.
I feel like I've been on one of those programs where arty people
come into your home and remodel a room on an impossibly small budget.
Except in this case, an attractive lady who surely isn't really
an upholster hasn't done something magical with my old couch. It's
now been retired to sitting downstairs in a room that I like to
call 'the sunroom' but is actually the place where the lawn mowers
and ugly plants live.
I now have two new couches. They face each other across a birch
coffee table that has a glass center and a bowl of shells and sand
in the middle. The room is no longer playing homage to the TV god
(I hate that, when a room completely revolves around a television).
You can now sit here and have a comfortable conversation, though
I'm not convinced that these new couches are as comfy as the old
one... but I don't know, I could be in 'couch shock.'
I would never before have seriously considered a decorative wooden
plate to be a worthwhile allocation of funds. But without wishing
to sound like a metrosexual (I just learned that word) I am pleased
with my purchase. It's a Hultet plate, a really huge plate hand-made
out of bamboo, which the little Ikea tag informed me is the what
the homes of a billion people around the world are made of. I don't
know if that is something I would have picked as a selling point,
The plants that used to be huddled into one foresty looking corner
of what I will now be calling my 'old lounge,' have been placed
into attractive new pots and baskets and situated aesthetically
around the room to give it a more 'organically balanced' feel. See,
I'm even beginning to sound like one of those annoyingly chirpy
TV home renovator types!
I'm going to add a personal touch to all this Ikea-ness though.
I have a ton of digital photographs that I've taken over the last
three years or so and I'm going to hang some of them on the walls
in new picture frames. A mixture of people and places, black &
white and color photographs, something to reflect a little of who
I am and make the room feel somewhat more human and less 'böring'.
There are still a few things I need to get in order to finish the
room off. A lamp would be a good idea. Usually I'd just use the
candles to provide the mellow lighting, but I think a lamp in the
corner might provide the quick alternative for those times when
lighting half a dozen candles isn't convenient.
It's fun being able to do the whole Ikea thing. I've never really
given much attention to furniture before. When I left home I had
little more than a few bags of clothes, some posters, a stereo and
a few boxes of records and tapes. I could fit my life in the trunk
of a car and relocate in an afternoon. How quickly things change.
Like I said though, this is perhaps one of those minor milestones
in life. Not as dramatic or memorable as getting my first apartment,
but in some respects still another rung on the ladder maybe?