Speaking of Ikea, here is an excerpt of a  great post written by Sara over at the ever fabulous, A Beach Cottage.  Sarah shares great tips on How to Shop Ikea and not leave there more confused than when you arrived and with more than you planned or need.  As always, we love the warm vintagy  coastal beachy home she has created. Along with the many unique vintage and antique finds she easily incorporates easy budget pieces sourced from Ikea  for a fresh and  one of a kind home.   It’s so beautiful.

P.S. Don’t forget to take your  notes with you when you shop…….

How to Shop at Ikea|My Simple Tips to Shopping at IKEA

By  on May 8, 2012

Shopping Ikea Beach Coastal

1.  plan your trip with military precision – avoid the weekends AT ALL COSTS

IKEA is always very busy at the weekends, indeed it’s a different shopping experience totally, if you can avoid the hoards of people trawling around at the weekend it will be much better for you

2. try to not take your children, but if you do take bribes by the bagful and use the crèche

The Cinnamon Buns always smell delicious

3. Devise a plan of attack including arrival time, refreshment time & what time you hope to leave to avoid traffic etc.

Through years of experience and research optimum arrival time is just after opening (but not at opening time).   Head straight to the cafe upstairs and buy a coffee and treat for one dollar fifty.  Other good times to visit are early evening, you will virtually have the whole place to yourself.

A beach cottage - Shopping IkeaGODTA Mug, $2.99

4. Write a list, or just do it in your head of ‘look-at’ (things you want to check-out) and must-haves (things you must buy)

unless you have planned a full on big trip to IKEA don’t spend ages wandering around the room set-ups upstairs, wishing that you too had all white books in perfect rows, and storage containers in your kitchen with nothing in them.  I love looking around this section and you get some great ideas, but you can spend ages and wind up getting nothing but a head bursting with stuff.

5. In the marketplace get a trolley, do not use the yellow bag unless you want a trip to the physio the next day

6. Don’t buy any gadgets in the kitchen section unless you REALLY need them ask yourself if you would pay double for it?  If no, put it back pronto.

IKEA has lots of little gadgets to make your life easier, in my experience many of them are fantastic ideas, beautifully designed and when in the shop you think they might just change your life, in reality they get shoved to the back of the drawer

7. Do buy mason jars, plain china, bake ware, chopping boards, cutlery, glasses & saucepans, especially stockpots…peruse everything in the 365 range, it’s so very well designed and so very good on your pocket.

Cutting Boards, Slom Jar, $2.99

8. Do spend time in the fabric section with the neutrals…only buy fabric if you are sure it will not sit in your fabric stash for ahem years, while you stroke it

IKEA fabric is very good quality and much cheaper than any fabric store I have ever been in…

9. Be wary of the organisation section, you may find yourself in there for a long time planning, scheming and buying things to make your life more organized. No, that shoe organiser will NOT mean your shoes will be sorted and no you do not need another pretty cardboard box to store junk in.  Ditto the frames section…

Nasum Basket, $19.99

10.  Stock up on baskets and candles. Believe me you won’t find anywhere that gives better value on baskets and if you are into a coastal country look like me a basket or six will change your life….probably Winking smile  Candles are super good value at IKEA and the lanterns are purrfect for coastal style beachy decor without costing a fortune.

ARYD candleholder, $9.99

11.  Spend time in the lighting section.  IKEA does lighting well, it’s good design and a new lamp can change the look and ambiance of a whole room.

Maskros Pendant, $49.99

12. Stock up on the frozen meatballs and the coffee, both are delicious and your kiddos will squeal in delight, ‘mum’s been to IKEA’

13. Be very careful about any kinda cupboard or drawers…I LOVE IKEA as you know and have dabbled with everything over the years and cupboards/drawers have not been my better purchases and nearly always disappointed.

14. Do buy chairs. Unlike the cupboards IKEA chairs are well-designed and last well.  I have everything from stools to my linen covered dining table chairs to fold up extra seating from IKEA, all are comfortable and have survived the demands of the Beach Cottage Crew.

15.  Soft furnishings, slip-covers & bedding, curtains.  I have never been disappointed with any fabric, soft furnishing from IKEA and most of it can be thrown into into the washing machine and/or on a hot 60C wash……..I have many IKEA curtains in this old cottage, some of the neutral linen ones actually came with us from England and are still going strong, thanks to IKEA…they are regularly thrown in the wash

ARV white plate, $2.99

Ikea coasters (no longer available)

Skurar Plant Pot, $3.99

Rotera Tealight Lantern

To read more about “How to Shop Ikea” pop over to A Beach Cottage