Friday, August 05, 2011
While Frenchie doesn't find this too terrible exciting....
I sure do.
I just got my NEW 2012 Ikea catalog in the mail yesterday!
For me, getting the newest Ikea catalogue is something I look forward to all year.
I immediately sit down and study each page carefully, noting ideas and dog earing pages that interest me.
There is just something about their catalogue and store that makes me feel good, excited, and freed up.
This year, on page 21 of the catalog, there it was; the "something" put into words:
"To create a better everyday life for the many people".
That is almost the exact same vision statement that I had written when asked as to why I wanted to get my bachelor's degree in Home Economics, and later my Masters degree in Library Science.
Twice in the college application process I had written that I wanted to learn ways to help people and families find ways to run their homes and relationships that would made their lives better and more efficient.
"Every piece of furniture we design and sell has to answer that criterion: does it make everyday life better? Does it make it easier to have guests? Does it get dinner on the table quicker? Does it make home a little more beautiful? If it doesn't measure up to our testing, if it can't handle everyday life, then it doesn't end up on our shelves".
I think that is why I love Ikea stuff so much: Almost everything I have acquired from their store has streamlined my life while still adding beauty. When I found areas in my house frustrated me I often found solutions in what Ikea had to offer...and was delighted at how affordable and stylish their solutions were.
Whether it was slide out kitchen cabinets, washable upholstery, comfortable chairs or long enough drapery, I have found solutions at Ikea that made my everyday life easier.
Has everything at Ikea been a home run? No, but their customer service team has been great at allowing returns or replacements.
Do I know enough about the privately held company to know if I agree with all their investments and political involvements?
I do follow what I can...and for the most part I have found their actions speak in a manner with that suggests this is a company with a heart for families.
A simple trip to their in-store restrooms told me how much they valued children and families--they had provided step stools for children to use to reach the sinks and extra diapers for free. In the store was a place for children to play...and three levels of handrails on the stairs so little ones can hold on too. Every time I visited one of their stores I saw new ways that the company shows how they were thoughtful of families.
With each passing year of my life, I find that I want my home and life more simplified so I can get out and do more. I want to have less that does more.
As I browsed through the new catalogue, seemingly targeted to the 20 and 30 somethings, I realized that Ikea was offering lots of "more with less" options that I had never considered before, ways of thinking, and options that a lot of us boomers will need to consider as we downsize, right size or make do on less income in our retirement years.
Currently my house is close to 3,000 square feet, and frankly, with six bedrooms, that is much more square footage than the two of us need. We basically live in the upstairs portion, and keeping everything as simple as possible has been our goal.
Ikea "gets" that. The last part of their mission statement rings true:
"There's more to life than furniture"....or adding more and more odds and ends to fill up a space.
Ikea continues to amaze me, year after year. Thirty four years ago, when Bernie and I became engaged, we registered at a Danish furniture store, deciding on Scandinavian designed kitchen wear. The clean sleek look appealed to us...even though I was much more of an "Early American" furnishing kind of gal.
Since then we have had contemporary, Early American and French Country style home furnishing. Tastes change...the brown/orange/macrame styles of the 70's gave way to the blue and rose/pastels of the 80's, then the heavy florals/plush forest/deep blue/garnets of the 90's. Our "start from scratch" empty nest purchases were the French country sage greens and highly detailed mahogany/burnished golds/blackened silvers.
I've liked the look of each phase. Probably if we had stayed in each of those house so decorated, I might still be surrounded by that era's signature look.
The funny thing is: A lot of the Ikea products in the 2011 catalog are the same items first sold in the same year that we were married.
Maybe we had the right idea when we started out...keep our living spaces clean, simple and streamlined.
Maybe it just took us living through a few eras to discover we actually had it right the first time.