My first encounter with Ikea Panic

This weekend, I experienced something that I'm going to call Ikea Panic. I had only been to Ikea three or four times before, usually with a friend on a mission, but never with any particular purchase in mind for myself (other than a $1 frozen yogurt).

I have a new plan for my living room coming together and it includes casual, slipcovered furniture (right now, the fabrics in there are pretty formal). I settled on a couch (the Alexa from Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams) and want some comfortable arm chairs to either flank or face it. None of the armchairs I was seeing at the usual mall and furniture stores were fitting the image I had in my head. It had to be slipcovered, compact, classic, and affordable. Most of what I was seeing was oversized or too expensive for me to purchase a pair.

On the Ikea website, I saw some cute chairs that seemed to fit my needs and I verified that there were four in stock at the Woodbridge Ikea on Sunday morning. My boyfriend and I got to the store about an hour after it opened and went to see if the chairs were comfortable. During our third or fourth sit in the chairs, I saw some other people looking at the chairs with the same enthusiasm. At that point, I realized that we might be in a race of sorts. There were four chairs in stock. We were at the beginning of the show room. At that point, I got my first taste of Ikea Panic. I had to beat these people to the end! I had to get my chairs!

There was one, legless chair left when we arrived at aisle 12, section 38. There were no simple, white slipcovers. I instructed my boyfriend, who was entertaining himself by rolling up and down the aisle in the cart, to load one chair while I got on line at the help desk. As children pointed at my boyfriend as proof to their parents that the behavior for which they were just scolded was permitted, I tried to distract myself by chatting with the couple in front of me about their kitchen renovation. Still, the thought that I had not beaten the other shoppers to the end was running through my head.

The help desk attendant showed me that three chairs were sold before I had arrived, so I had the very last chair in stock. His computer told him he had at least five white slipcovers in the store and he was able to find two for me, along with the legs of the chair we had.

We left somewhat pleased, but I was a little bummed that I'd have to drive back in a week after new shipment arrives. I don't feel I can share a picture of my little, lone chair right now. I will show you the empty space where my new design plan will hatch over the next few weeks.


  1. i admit i do the same thing as your boyfriend with the ikea carts. hehe.

  2. I always enjoy a post that takes me into the moment. I could see why you would be panicking, I have been there myself...not at IKEA, but when we were car shopping a couple of months ago and someone else was looking at the van we were going to buy. In the end we came home with it. I love the blue-grey paint on your walls and can't wait to see the chairs! I for the first time had my IKEA experince and loved it!

    Enjoy your decorating!


  3. This is too funny because my husband and I just went through this in the Philly Ikea! We had already been to the College Park Ikea to find that they were out of the desk drawers we wanted, so we stopped at the Philly Ikea on the way back to DC after visiting my family in the area. We got the last two sets of drawers! :) It made our day.

    Love your blog by the way and thanks for your comment on our nursery plans - we're so excited to get the decorating (and crib assembly) underway.

  4. I was in the Woodbridge Ikea this past Sunday morning too and know what you mean. After my daughter and I found the sink/vanity we wanted we raced off to purchase it since there were only 4 in stock. My daughter couldn't understand why I didn't wait until we were all finished.

  5. Now, I find myself checking the online stock located to see if a new shipment of chairs has arrived. The nice staffer who helped me said they were expecting 16 in the shipment that was to arrive this week.

    I'm obsessed.


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