Wednesday, October 31, 2012



long-distance design help while shopping at ikea 
I was supposed to be in  NYC last  weekend to help my sister purchase some furniture and furnishings for her new apartment. She just moved  in a few weeks ago and desperately needed help making it look descent. My sister is a psychologist and wants to start seeing clients at her own home, which means she has to be able to convert her living room to an office in an instant. 

With a time limit of only two weekends, we decided to try and get as much stuff from Ikea and complement it with furnishings from other shops. I had to postpone my trip to NYC, but promised to be available online and over the phone while they were in ikea . And this is exactly what we did with fairly good results. 

With smartphones and online access everywhere it's easy to communicate ideas. We were texting and talking throughout the whole time, so that she was able to focus on the stuff I thought would be suitable for her place.

Being familiar with Ikea's products, which vary in quality and style. I could help my sister focus on the better choices. After all, there's only a limited amount of time the average shopper can spend at IKEA before running for the exit.

So here's the huge advantage of one of us NOT being in the store at the time of shopping - unlike my sister, who was constantly distracted by the mass of people and overwhelmed by the thousands of products in the store, I was able to focus on each product without being overwhelmed. This was a huge help to her. She, on the other hand, was able to sit, touch and feel the furniture pieces and tell me which ones were comfortable for her. 
Later I realized there was another advantage to this combined effort  - while in the store, one could easily overlook a great choice of sofa, for example, only because it's upholstered with an ugly fabric. Unlike her, I was looking at the same sofa online, and was able to see all the choices she had for that sofa and point out out the good ones. Not everyone can visualize it otherwise, and that's were I cam handy. 

so here's what we picked so far:

KIVIK Loveseat IKEA Generous seating series with a soft, deep seat and comfortable support for your back.
IKEA's KIVIK sofa, in light gray
The kivik sofa is contemporary in style and upholstered in light gray, which is trendy but classic - all the sofas in the Design Center in Boston are upholstered in similar colors. The fabric is a blend of synthetic fibers, which means it's more durable then the linen/cotton upholstered sofas that looked nice on display, but will not withstand the wear and tear of use.
This sofa has an extra advantage - you can change the upholstery but simply stripping it off and buying a new one when it's worn.

POÄNG Chair IKEA The resilience of a layer glued, bentwood frame of birch provides excellent comfort for relaxation.
IKEA's POANG leather chair


The Poang chair has been an IKea product for many years for a good reason. It's reasonably priced and with multiple choices of fabric and wood finishes. Changing the upholstered cushion is easy too.

Here's some ideas for rugs:

Or this one:

                                        Bemba Printed Jute Rug


These rugs would nice:

                                    Detailed View

                             SANELA Cushion cover IKEA Cotton velvet with extra luster and softness; nice and soft against the skin.
                                Detailed View               

Here are some window treatment suggestions (top and bottom are from Target, the second one is from IKEA)


                            Target Home™ Medallion Window Panel - 54x84"


So next week, I plan to go down to NYC and help my sister buy a rug, some lighting, window treatments coffee table and some pillows.

If you're planning a shopping at IKEA and would like some help with choosing the right products for your project, contact me. We can discuss your needs before your IKEA trip, and I would be able to help you while you are shopping, no matter how far you are from Newton, MA, where I live,
my contact info:


The most effective way to get design help while you shop