Monday, October 10, 2011

A return to the Swedish Behemoth.

DW was recently listening to NPR and discovered, much to her horror, that IKEA was going to be revising their iconic Billy shelving system.  The were planning to increase the depth of the shelves by two, count them, two, inches.  The cause of this reaction was the fact that we had been planning to remake the kid's playroom into a study when they'd outgrown the playroom.  We just hadn't planned on doing it quite this soon - maybe later next year or the year after...

This was not to be.

We had a carefully laid plan for the room after a previous trip to the Behemoth.  We started by turning a corner of the playroom into DD's study area.  Her bedroom is really too small to add a desk, so we put a desk, chair, rolling file cabinet and a wall shelf in the playroom.  It's quite a nice workspace, really.  I tricked it out with some LED lights attached to the bottom of the shelf, a nice leather desk pad and matching trash can and a molded insert for the upper drawer of the filing cabinet for things like pencils, pens and the like.  I'm actually a bit jealous, as DW and DD both have a good dedicated workspace, and I'm usually left with the dining room or kitchen table.

At any rate, we'd planned to add a set of Billy shelves for books and things as well as some comfortable chairs for reading.  That was the plan at any rate.  There was some concern that the additional depth would take up more room than we'd like in the future study.  We decided that we wanted the 'now' version of the shelves.

I figured that I would kill two birds with one stone - I would get the book shelves and some items for DW's Christmas present at the same time.  (No, I'm not telling what it is!)  I created a list and carefully monitored the stock at the IKEA store that we normally visit with the idea of picking it up on a Friday evening after work.

On the appointed day, with the stock levels looking good, I left work a little early and hopped in the car to head down to IKEA.

Thank heavens for good instructions...

After a less than ideal commute down to the IKEA store - nearly a 2-1/4 hour ride through some nasty rush-hour traffic, I arrived at the store and headed in with my list.  I knew exactly what I wanted, so I started with the small items in the "market" and worked my way into the warehouse to pick up the shelves, some doors and some glass shelves.  By the time I had loaded the cart, I figure I must have had 500 pounds or more on the cart - and it was unwieldy to say the least.  As I approached the check out, maneuvering carefully, to see that there were only two registers open that weren't self check-out.  As I approached the register, the cashier switched off her light, but told me that I'd be her last customer.  (WHEW!)  I thanked her when I finally got to the register and she put on a flawless Swedish accent and said something to the effect of, "We strive to provide the best customer service!"

After checking out, I went into the parking lot to load the purchases into DW's RAV4 which I had brought specifically for the trip.  I had folded down the rear seat before going into the store and slid in the smaller boxes without any problem.  I then tried to load in the taller bookshelves.  First of all they were very, very heavy - I just managed to get them out of the rack and onto the cart myself.

They didn't fit.   I took the passenger front seat and slid it all the way forward and managed to just barely fit the package with the tall shelves in.  Then came the doors - I knew they were longer boxes and couldn't see how I was going to fit them in.  Ultimately, I was able to slide them in between the front seats on edge.  I barely had enough room.

At this point, I hadn't had any dinner and it was approaching 7:30 PM.  Being that IKEA has a decent and inexpensive cafe, I went in to get some dinner:

Yes, that is what I had for dinner.   The food is one of the few things that doesn't seem to come with instructions.

As I returned to the car for the ride home, I hopped in and turned the key.  The passenger seat was pressed forward in such a way that the sensor thought that the seat was occupied and proceeded to chime at me that the seatbelt wasn't latched for the passenger.  It did this twice and finally gave up.  However, on the trip home, every time I slowed down for traffic or a stop, these heavy boxes would shift forward again, setting off the seat sensor again.  Only after I got home did it dawn on me that it might have been possible to pull the seatbelt across and put it in the latch to let the car think that the seatbelt was engaged for the passenger, but with all the stuff in the way, I doubt that I could have done it easily.

That weekend, I decided that I'd better put them together to see that I had all the parts and that I didn't need to return anything to the store.  I proceeded to assemble it all in an afternoon.

DW helped me bring it all into the playroom/study and I got it mounted to the walls and wired up.  After all the hassle, I think it looks nice:

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