The bottom floor of IKEA is a magical alternate universe where price precipitates need. In this way, it is much like an above-average garage sale. As in: This sort of broken ceramic windmill figurine is only 25 cents? It’s definitely the missing piece on my mantle. Or: I could find a use for this half-rusted metal box, right? (Answer: If you have your tetanus shot, and he shaves off 5 bucks, yes.)
It is the land of the plenty and the land of the cheap. There’s practically nothing it doesn’t stock, and if you bypass the odd rug priced like an outlier or the flatware with the disproportionate tine lengths (honestly though, who designed those?), you’re bound to find, on an average trip, between 7 and 23 things you didn’t know you needed before you walked in the door.
Like objectively ugly box shelves.
This thing has moved with me twice—still packaged and unopened—which should sum up how I feel about it. I can’t remember what I thought I’d use it for at the time I piled it in my cart, but I do remember it being under 20 dollars. A steal! (I live in Brooklyn, which makes buying a 15-dollar shelf feel like you just found 50 bucks on the sidewalk—you’re basically making a profit off of it.)
Two years of packing and guilt-ridden unpacking later, I turned it into a much less ugly thing. Or rather: Our Design & Home editor, Amanda, empowered me and then held my hand through the whole process. Our mission? Make it prettier.
So where does the box live now? Sitting on the floor next to my desk, clearly. But one day in the near future, I will hang it. Maybe I can get Amanda to help me with that, too.
What have you guiltily bought from IKEA that you didn’t need? Tell me in the comments! Make me feel better!