How to Survive The Ikea Shopping Trip – My Guide, and Yes it Includes Meatballs!

I use Ikea alongside salvage yards and junk shops to bring the rooms to life and make them my own.

How to Survive The Ikea Shopping Trip – My Guide, and Yes it Includes Meatballs!

How to Survive The Ikea Shopping Trip - My Guide, and Yes it Includes Meatballs!

I love interior design. I adore art. I love beautiful things and want to be surrounded by them. Sadly my budget doesn’t always match my aspirations.

Over the years I’ve lived in rented one room apartments, mortgaged victorian terraces and larger ex-council properties. Whilst renovating my various homes over the years, I’ve made no end of mistakes, some more costly than others. I’ve learned by them.

Let me help with a few tips to keep you safe and sane.

They may just save you from making those time consuming or expensive mistakes.

The best friend of the interior designer on a budget is Ikea. Can you believe it’s nearly 30 years since they opened their first UK store? I’m a self confessed addict. It started with a mutual love of wood and candles and has developed over the years as we’ve both aged and matured.

I use Ikea alongside salvage yards and junk shops to bring the rooms to life and make them my own.



Here’s how I do it…

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How to Build Ikea Flatpack Furniture – My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide – ( Without Breaking a Nail! )

Things that were minutes ago just squares and shapes laid snugly in a well fitting cardboard box are now a three dimensional gorgeous addition to your home.

How to Build Ikea Flatpack Furniture –  My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide – ( Without Breaking a Nail! )

How to Build Ikea Flatpack Furniture - My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide - ( Without Breaking a Nail! )

Do you hanker after well designed furniture but can’t afford it?

How about flat pack? Scared of it looking cheap and wobbly, with poorly fitting doors etc? Be scared no more, Ikea could well be the answer to your problems. Never shopped in Ikea before? Have a look at my shopping advice here.

If you followed my previous advice, you got home safely with all your bargains and flatpacks and are ready to make your house into a home.

Many people, sadly often the lovely men in our lives (I’m not sexist but guys, you know this is true) do not like following instructions. If this is you, then walk away. I can’t help you.

Walk away, with your big hammer, your tool belt and be prepared to break things.  Get your ‘might come in handy stuff’ box, aka toolbox, for all the left over pieces you didn’t think were necessary. You may want to keep the drill handy too, you know you love a power tool. For those who are less gung ho and want to do the job as suggested by Ikea, this post is for you.

Right then, who’s still here?

You did swot up and buy, or borrow, all the required tools didn’t you? No? Oh dear, you may have a problem, or not. DO NOT PANIC! I can help. You will just be reading instructions, or rather following text free diagrams with little pictures of people helping you along the way. No language difficulties here.

Check your watch, it’s not a race, this is a task that could take time. If you don’t have time, leave it. A panicky last minute build could be disastrous. Happy? OK, we’re going in.

My Flatpack Assembly Survival Guide – My 5 Practical Tips

1. Prepare your Construction Zone

Are you ready to go? Great. Get changed, be comfy, wear trainers not slippers or barefeet (bare toes and sheets of glass or wood don’t make for a healthy mix.) Grab a glass of water, it can get heated.

It’s a good idea to cover the floor area or table (only use a table for small projects. Picture frames usually have glass in them, you need to keep it flat. Furniture is heavy, you need to keep it as low as possible.)

Bedsheets / blankets to protect your flooring or carpet are ideal.

You don’t want to produce one gorgeous piece at the cost of scratches and marks on another.

You need as big a space as you can wrangle, spreading out will help you keep track. It’s also safer, you don’t want to be stepping over or on the flatpack pieces during construction.

At this stage it’s worth putting your drink where it won’t get knocked over but you can reach it. You may need extra energy so bring the Ikea Dime pieces, you DID buy some didn’t you?

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New lens – first run out

ensure it doesn’t get contaminated with either dust or splashes / damp, especially when changing lenses

RaptorIn 2015 I invested in a new camera lens. I read loads of online the advice from fellow travellers about the best way of using my DSLR (Nikon D5100)

The best advice I noted was protect the pricey bit of kit i.e. your camera and more importantly to me, my photographs stored within it. To do this ensure it doesn’t get contaminated with either dust or splashes / damp, especially when changing lenses. I therefore went for the just one ‘do it all’ lens. This is a pricey way to go, however what price on memories? I want to be a better photographer, I enjoy it and I want to be able to capture just a few of those awesome sights I come across both on travels and everyday. Those who follow me regularly know my love of street art, Sheffield is a massive source of inspiration for me on that score. I’ll be over there capturing those brief and vital images whenever I can.

The lens I plumped for, after ‘you tubing’ various reviews (thanks to all photographers sharing their expertise) is a Tamron 16-300

This isn’t the cheapest or most expensive however it had a BRILLIANT 5 year guarantee, a major factor in my decision.

It is a little heavier than I’m used to, although I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I Owl 2will be practising with my gorilla tripod and am happy to take any positive advice on how to improve my images, especially relating to my ambitions of using these within my submissions to publishers etc. I know I need to start embedding my copyright within the image.

Here’s a couple of my first images, I have to say I’m thrilled!  I can’t wait to see how landscapes and portraits turn out, and then start on the macro settings…bring it on.

Our ebook…

Woo hoo!!! My writing group is fellow students and Alumni from the Open University creative writing course. I studied that as part of my Literature degree (get me with Ba Hons! who’d a thunk it?)

We have finally released our first collaborative ebook…check our http://steelcitywriters.wordpress.com for a free download. I did a simple photograph of a local Sheffield tramstop for the cover and I’m glad the others agreed to use it, I like it, but then I would wouldn’t I!

I’m busy plotting my storylines for the next release programmed in for summer, and adding to my novel wordcount every week. Today I’m hoping to get some pics of animals, I’m off to see lions and painted dogs, and maybe tigers; yes we even have those in Yorkshire too. We have it all, come see us!

Enjoy your day, drop by for the free ebook and give us feedback, honest but not too brutal please?