Skip

In the Ikea catalog, the humans are probably real. The rest is CGI.
August 28, 2014 3:26 AM   Subscribe

Ikea migrated from product photography to digital rendering in V-Ray and Max so 75% of its catalog is virtual - down to the afternoon sunlight filtering through soft NORDIS curtains across SLÄTTEN floors near that framed BILD print resting against the BILLY bookcases...
posted by viggorlijah (71 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
NOTHING IS REAL
posted by zsazsa at 3:30 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


MEATBALLS ARE REAL
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:38 AM on August 28 [26 favorites]


Fäken Stöf
posted by chavenet at 3:44 AM on August 28 [20 favorites]


If IKEA catalogues are generated through a highly flexible compositing workflow, it makes it easier to localise them to different markets; from adjusting the size of spaces to not look foreign (a Hong Kong apartment will be smaller than an American home, for example) to having a plausible number of same-sex couples in their tableaus except where they're illegal.
posted by acb at 3:47 AM on August 28 [5 favorites]


Great. Now I have to give my Billy bookcases the Voight-Kampf...
posted by Devonian at 3:50 AM on August 28 [19 favorites]




Their meatballs ain't bad, but IKEA not for their crappy furniture.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:14 AM on August 28


At least we now know that when the singularity approaches and we're all living in the Sims full time, that there will be a wonderfully appointed and well lit IKEA kitchen waiting for us.
posted by sp160n at 4:17 AM on August 28 [9 favorites]


This was foretold in Fight Club.
posted by Phssthpok at 4:35 AM on August 28 [9 favorites]


Oh, good! My partner and I have been looking for more duck storage, and this will suit our place perfectly!
posted by amarynth at 4:42 AM on August 28 [8 favorites]


Now I will have a bookshelf for my Kindle e-book collection.
posted by localroger at 4:48 AM on August 28 [15 favorites]


Next thing you will tell me is that trees are not covered in paper thin veneer and filled with sawdust!
posted by srboisvert at 5:04 AM on August 28 [3 favorites]


Now if you had the crappy weather we have here in Sweden, you'd also turn to artificial sunlight ...
posted by Namlit at 5:12 AM on August 28 [5 favorites]


Presumably the virtual furniture doesn't fall apart when you try to move it to a different room?
posted by octothorpe at 5:21 AM on August 28 [7 favorites]


The cheap Swedish beer in the IKEA restaurant in Chingqing, China is plenty real and that's good enough for me.
posted by ambient2 at 5:23 AM on August 28


Didn't they do this in Fight Club?
posted by colie at 5:25 AM on August 28


Next thing you will tell me is that trees are not covered in paper thin veneer and filled with sawdust!

Well, at least the ingredients are correct...

The nearest Ikea to me has become over the last year noticeably dirtier and more bedraggled. I have been wondering if it is just a single store management problem or if the chain is having issues and has been saving money on maintenance and display upkeep. Perhaps instead, however, they are just waiting on a system-wide rollout of this catalog technology to the stores, where the displays will also be purely virtual and full of beautiful people living beautiful lives.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:28 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Y'all are just buying the wrong Ikea stuff. All my Ivar is sturdy for the ages.

I hate the CGI thing, though. My friend is a designer for in-store scenes at Ikea, and there's nothing I love more than finding his fingerprints on a display (multiples, multiples with one perfectly-contrasting orange thing interrupting the line, and things used as not-what-they-are-for) and calling him up to say I've found his aesthetic Waldo.
posted by sonascope at 5:52 AM on August 28 [8 favorites]


But how do all these huge files get rendered? Does Ikea have it’s own massive render farm tucked away somewhere in the northern Swedish fjords? No, says Martin, ”Everything is done here in house. We have our own rendering system internally, based on commercial components Deadline and spawn rendering in V-Ray connected with some internal tools. We use every computer in the building to give power to rendering as soon as they are not being used. As soon as someone goes to a meeting their computer-power is used, and of course there is overnight when people go home. The system works well, the render queue is emptied out pretty much everyday. Hundreds of images.”

That's good design.
posted by flabdablet at 5:53 AM on August 28 [4 favorites]


If IKEA catalogues are generated through a highly flexible compositing workflow, it makes it easier to localise them to different markets;

...such as deleting women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue.
posted by iviken at 5:56 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


I especially love how they use this for kitchens. Building kitchens to each country's tastes would be a lot of work. Not just moving furniture around.

Along the same lines, it surprises me that the in-store display at my local IKEA has a "live in a tiny amount of space" apartment setup with custom kitchen and bathroom. Always interesting but owned tiny apartments are not exactly common around here.
posted by smackfu at 6:13 AM on August 28


They switched to CGI because it was faster to render a virtual LAIVA set then to put the damn physical one together.
posted by ChrisHartley at 6:14 AM on August 28 [12 favorites]


It's just occurred to me that they could eventually use that to do a customized Ikea catalog with styling. I could do a style quiz and Ikea would spit out a catalog featuring yellow textiles, folk art and stained wood furniture that made me weak at the knees.

The current interior design apps are pretty cold when assembled. You can put a potted plant in a corner, add some wallpaper and a rug, but it's still an empty unstyled room.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:17 AM on August 28 [3 favorites]


In 2011, I worked at a visual effects software company (The Foundry). One of the company's products was a procedural scene-arrangement tool named Katana, which had been developed at Sony Pictures Imageworks for setting up complex shots (one of the Spider-Man movies was the first live use-case of it, IIRC, and the showreel demonstrates the explosion-in-Manhattan scene in The Watchmen as an example; apparently the node graph that generates the scene graph for that took one guy six months to build). Back then (and possibly now), Katana wasn't an off-the-shelf product; it was something fairly fiddly and complicated which was sold only to large VFX studios and similar firms, with the sales contract involving some engineers from the Foundry helping them integrate it into their pipelines. Anyway, IIRC, there was some talk at the time of IKEA showing interest in buying Katana for managing the renders for their catalogues (which were in the process of going completely virtual); not sure if anything came of that.
posted by acb at 6:19 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


If it does turn out that we're all living in a massive IKEA simulation, this walkthrough will probably be handy.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:20 AM on August 28 [4 favorites]


They switched to CGI because it was faster cheaper to render a virtual LAIVA set then to put the damn physical one together.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:22 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


If we're living in an IKEA simulation, then we face the nightmarish prospect of an IKEA Roko's Basilisk condemning us ot an eternity of furniture assembly if we don't contribute to helping the simulation come about by spending all our money on furniture and meatballs.
posted by acb at 6:25 AM on August 28 [4 favorites]


MEATBALLS WERE HORSE

RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICOLAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!

 
posted by Herodios at 6:27 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


> Y'all are just buying the wrong Ikea stuff.

Yeah, complaints about Ikea tend to parallel complaints about Whole Foods, in that people latch onto the stereotypes of these stores as if they're inviolable truths. Ikea sells some damn good stuff (and WF sells some perfectly decent cheap stuff), although most of that damn good stuff tend to also end up not having much of a price advantage over comparable items elsewhere.

Ikea's solid wood and laminate furniture is usually good and, even when expensive, cheaper than comparable products from other stores. The downside (for me, anyway) is that most of their solid wood furniture tend to be in twee Swedish cottage-inspired designs, which isn't my thing. But we have a couple Poang armchairs in the house as well as a solid wood kitchen table which is a whole lot sturdier (and looks nicer) than what I could've gotten at my local perpetual-clearance-sale furniture stores. That table was hell to build, but then again I only had to do it once, and it was still easier than building furniture from raw lumber; I've done that too.

The composite wood and particle board furniture is more hit-or-miss. The file cabinets and desks in our house are holding up okay but they also don't get a lot of use, and we don't have kids around to stress-test them. The worst I can say is that the table tops I use for desks have foil-thin outer laminates, the edges aren't sealed and the cores are not waterproof. So permanent bubbles and ripples from swollen particle board are inevitable due to scratches, spilled coffee, and the consequences of simply resting my arms on the desk. Still, at $60 for a 7.5 foot wide desk, I'm not expecting any better; these were bought to be used to death and if there's a long ugly aging phase, I don't care.
posted by ardgedee at 6:29 AM on August 28 [10 favorites]


I wonder what safeguard the Ikea artists have in-place to assure CG items are correctly sized relative to other objects in the environments. It would seem pretty easy to size a chair slightly larger than it is in real life. There must be some sort of scale reference in each object file to assure accuracy. At least, one hopes there is.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:34 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


Y'all are just buying the wrong Ikea stuff.

Possible. There's no way to know until you see it fall apart or not - usually it's not durable, especially their particleboard stuff. It's not cheaper than the local big-box/job-lot discounter, and I don't have to drive out to the ass-end of beyond to pick up a book case or storage shelving if I buy it at the Christmas Tree Shop or BJ's.

The home goods are nice, tho, and not usually available elsewhere, or a bargain compared to Wal-Mart/Target stuff of equivalent quality. (I really wish they'd bring back their canvas laundry bags - those and the wine storage bottles are the two most useful things I ever bough from them, and I bought a lot of useful stuff from them.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:36 AM on August 28


It's fun to compare the UK and US catalogs. If you open them in two tabs, you can switch back and forth and play spot the difference. Most of the photos are the same, but some have particular pieces of furniture switched out for no good reason.

For instance, this page in US vs. UK. The only difference is they swapped out the chair. The photo of the model sitting in that chair is exactly the same (which I'm impressed they can pull off.)

Also, it seems like they rewrite all the copy in the catalog for the US vs UK, with tons of little differences but clearly the same base.
posted by smackfu at 6:41 AM on August 28 [5 favorites]


they swapped out the chair

They also rotated one pear, presumably to reflect the well-known fact that US/UK standard pear alignment co-ordinates diverge by 45 degrees.
posted by Segundus at 6:52 AM on August 28 [12 favorites]


Now, all they have to do is create CGI Ikea "co-workers" and all their problems will be solved.
posted by looli at 6:57 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


And in the US version, the paper on the side table is covered up. Probably something European we're not allowed to see. LIKE ATTACK PLANS!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:59 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


There is also a glass of water on the table in the US version, the angle of the table is slightly different and there is a reflection on the bezel of the TV. Which do you think is the original?
posted by ChrisHartley at 7:04 AM on August 28


Always interesting but owned tiny apartments are not exactly common around here.

I always took the Tiny Apartment display as a way of guilt/tripping customers.

As in "...stop complaining about not having enough space for IKEA stuff. Look, we made it all fit in 40 square feet! Now shut up and buy it already!"
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:11 AM on August 28


Whoa.
posted by odinsdream at 7:13 AM on August 28


There must be some sort of scale reference in each object file to assure accuracy.

The millimetre. Everything in a 3D model is, in its virtual world, actual size. The Ikea people would probably start from the same 3D models used to develop the products for production, which they flesh out and make photo-realistic: colour and texture, reflective properties etc.

Even though I have an idea of what's involved (or perhaps because I have an idea) I am completely gobsmacked by the quality and realism of those images. I hate to use clichés, but that's a game changer. I'm still fairly sure though that the images shown here fall into the 25% that's not CGI.
posted by Flashman at 7:14 AM on August 28


It's fun to compare the UK and US catalogs. If you open them in two tabs, you can switch back and forth and play spot the difference. Most of the photos are the same, but some have particular pieces of furniture switched out for no good reason.

I haven't looked at an IKEA catalogue since probably The Great Verdana Forward of 2009 but these images all seem to show items with the thin matte lines around them that people of my generation associate with TIE Fighters and the Millennium Falcon.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:14 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


Bonus! They don't have to pay Amazon royalties for posing their furniture in front of a white background.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:30 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


One more: Germany.

They moved the camera a little so it's not quite as perfectly lined up.

I checked a few more Euro countries but they match the UK mostly.
posted by smackfu at 7:38 AM on August 28


I was at Ikea just this weekend! I took went in with the general idea of "everything in here is affordable Swedish crap" but only maybe like three-fourthts of it was. I kicked a lot of tires, so to speak, and they definitely have some sturdy piece. A pair of nice bookshelves I inherited from my mom apparently came from Ikea.

We didn't end up buying anything because apparently we showed up on the day every college student in NYC decided to buy a futon, but it turns out not only do they have a cafeteria, but a a mini grocery store as well. My wife and sister in law decided to wait outside, which was a huge mistake because they left me alone in a store full of preserved food and I was rather hungry. Here's what I came back from Ikea with:

-Salmon paste in a tube
-Salmon roe paste in a tube
-Lox
-Rye crackers
-Lingonberry extract
-Dark chocolate
-Sprats in oil
-Meatballs
-Pickled gherkins
-Horseradish and herb sauce

I'm actually now considering going back to Ikea regularly just for groceries because all of this stuff was rather affordable and so good and some of it very hard to find anywhere else.
posted by griphus at 7:40 AM on August 28 [4 favorites]


I actually created a CG model of my apartment a few years ago, including some Ikea furniture (I kept it low-detail though). I update it from time to time. It's pretty handy when I need to reorganise the rooms because CG furniture is much easier to move than the real thing.
posted by elgilito at 7:42 AM on August 28


This isn't exactly new as far as using synthetic imagery to sell things.

Car commercials in particular have been doing this since at least the mid to late 90s, first with static shots with complex camera pans/zooms, and now more often with simulated cars composited into "live" scenes complete with complex but subtle blockbuster movie visual effects or heavily composited/edited scenery.

It's not only cheaper (and safer!) than filming a moving car, but it can be customized for various markets for much less money than multiple location shoots, especially since VFX/CGI artists are remarkably cheaper than whole film crews. There's probably the added benefit of being able to make a car look sportier than it really is by subtly adjusting body roll in turns and whatnot.

But it's not just limited to high budget items like cars. They use CGI in ads for everything from toothpaste to fizzy sugar water to ball point pens to shaving razors to household cleaning supplies, either as obvious CGI animation or less obvious compositing and editing.

Yeah, those ultra-clean and ulltra-perfect houses or kitchens may likely have been polished with more than just the advertised squidgy mop or cleaner. They even do not-so-subtle stuff like erasing cabling and wires from appliances or entertainment centers to eliminate visual clutter to make the ads more appealing

And clothing and fashion both in ads and magazine photospreads has been altering reality whether it's editing the body of a model or the clothes themselves for as long as there has been an airbrush. Many times when you see different colors of clothes in print or online catalogs they're just editing the color in Photoshop, whether whole clothes or the images of representational swatches. (I've done some of this work myself. Sometimes product color keys change at the last minute after photography, so you just color-match to the new color keys.)

Less obviously Apple and other phone/device/tech companies use CGI pretty regularly, too, since stuff like dust and fingerprints show up too well on shiny surfaces in close up shots, not to mention the fact your virtual camera and lights don't have to show up in reflections.

Less manipulatively - photo-realistic rendering and visualization is very useful in architecture and design, either as a design tool or a sales/presentation tool. Architectural renderers have been at the forefront since the beginning of CGI simulation, since no matter how expensive the software/hardware is, it's still cheaper than building out a building, or more realistic looking than photographs of a model, and less time consuming and easier to edit than illustrations. Though those still have their place, they're mainly being replaced or supplanted by 3D printing and prototyping as well as holographic prints or virtual/augmented reality.

What's mainly new about IKEA's use of synthetic imagery is their integrated, flexible workflow and use of their own distributed desktop virtual renderfarm. But even that's not new. I remember using Stratavision 3D back in the very early 90s and even that system had it's own network-aware shared rendering system that used Appletalk and any enabled, idled desktops on the network.

Representing impossibly perfect, completely unattainable platonic ideals in advertising is something we're bombarded with, and consumers are intentionally deeply manipulated by it.

There's a reason why your kitchen/car/phone/body/whatever doesn't look as good as the ones in advertising. It's because the ones in advertising often don't actually exist.
posted by loquacious at 7:44 AM on August 28 [6 favorites]


I've found that CB2 is closer to what I wish IKEA was, unfortunately the prices are much higher as well.
posted by smackfu at 7:46 AM on August 28


And it's the cycle of the internet age:

The Sims imitate life.
Life imitates The Sims
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:46 AM on August 28


I'm actually about to buy a shitload of furniture; does anyone have a hint for some really dead-simple "define boundaries of room, define boundaries of furniture, arrange furniture in room" software?
posted by griphus at 7:56 AM on August 28 [1 favorite]


I use OmniGraffle to plan rooms, but I've heard of other people using Visio, SketchUp, Illustrator, and other software. Almost anything works as long as you define standard scales and stick to them. For example, MS Paint works if you use a standard scale of some kind, for example 1px = 1cm. Even Excel will work to a limited extent (1 cell = 1 cm or maybe 1 in.).
posted by ardgedee at 8:09 AM on August 28


Do not ever buy dressers with particle board bottoms that merely slot into grooves in the sides. The bottoms will warp, bulge and slip out eventually. Ikea's use of locking metal bolts in drawer assemblies also doesn't withstand repeated use. The bolts loosen. Go higher end or Goodwill and find a dresser with drawers with solid wood bottoms and dovetail construction.

The Ikea dresser I owned for years and tried to fix was eventually sacrificed to Anoia, goddess of stuck drawers.
posted by bad grammar at 8:09 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


Do not ever buy dressers with particle board bottoms that merely slot into grooves in the sides.

Amen. Though I've been able to decrease the frequency with which I need to re-slot and re-tighten by applying glue in all the right places.
posted by jjwiseman at 9:19 AM on August 28


I actually created a CG model of my apartment a few years ago, including some Ikea furniture (I kept it low-detail though). I update it from time to time. It's pretty handy when I need to reorganise the rooms because CG furniture is much easier to move than the real thing.

This is where we will host the next mefi convention.
posted by srboisvert at 9:28 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


I've found that CB2 is closer to what I wish IKEA was.

Ugh, I bought a small retro-design kitchen table (formica-style top with chrome edging) from CB2 and the chrome edging started peeling off about 2 months into ownership. Terrible.

My low end IKEA stuff did not survive the last move, save a sideboard that is still in surprisingly good shape for being 10 years old. The particleboard dresser was toast. One of the nightstands broke during the move due to incompetent movers stacking too much weight on it (not really IKEA's fault.)

But the higher end/solid wood IKEA stuff really is pretty great. I have a wood entertainment cart and two wood bookshelves that are over 10 years old and don't look it at all. The new dresser is solid wood and seems much sturdier than the old one. My new sectional couch with chaise lounge is the basically the best thing ever. My only complaint was when we bought it, the box with the slipcover for one of the sections had the wrong size in it, and driving all the way back out to the burbs one day after moving into a new apartment and having to do a full return/refund/re-purchase to get the right size slipcover was really annoying.
posted by misskaz at 9:33 AM on August 28


The HEMNES solid-wood dressers still have the particle board bottoms on the drawers, although I've never had them warp. Maybe it's a humidity thing.
posted by smackfu at 9:57 AM on August 28


... does anyone have a hint for some really dead-simple "define boundaries of room, define boundaries of furniture, arrange furniture in room" software?

The free Flash-based web site planyourroom.com is pretty good (works best in Chrome). I've laid out my living room and my oddly shaped second floor office in there with decent results. They've got a lot of generic furniture options which you can customize in size and colour.
posted by maudlin at 10:00 AM on August 28


Good timing, I had an Ikea catalogue in my letterbox today. It was a real "whoa, guess I live in Europe now!" moment which I always enjoy.
posted by shelleycat at 10:00 AM on August 28


Yeah, I was going to say try planyourroom.com - once you mess around with it a little, it's very straightforward to use. Plus you get to look at the odd layouts they offer as defaults, which seem plainly to be for something other than the US residential market.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:06 AM on August 28


Seconding the crappiness of thin-board drawer bottoms. They sag and then you can't get the drawer open and I've got stuff I may never see again.
posted by colie at 10:08 AM on August 28


This is both clever and wonderful. Count me among those that have lived with plenty of IKEA furniture for a couple of decades and never had any complaints. My only beef with IKEA is that they will cease making products without warning or any recourse – I've had one shelving system (Peter), and several storage series disappear on me. OTOH, they have from time to time impressed with how they have managed to make the package containing a product even smaller. Helmer used to be assembled when you bought it, until they figured out how to flat package it.
posted by bouvin at 10:16 AM on August 28


Sitting here in my IKEA kitchen, in spite of being an architect. The thing is, the price jump from IKEA to proper fitted kitchen is huge. If anyone is offering you a kitchen (or cupboard, or sofa, or anything) at just double the price of IKEA, what you are getting is equivalent of IKEA. Or worse. If you really want quality, you need to go 5-10 times up in price.

I live in a rented apartment, and I am certainly not giving my landlord a state of the art kitchen. IF you have the money, you should get the real stuff. I'm constantly looking for vintage wardrobes for my bedroom to replace the IKEA ones, because wardrobes is something I will take with me when I move.

That said, my goodness how professional and amazing is their work! The level of the rendering work here is just beyond good. Wow! And also the whole cultural sensitivity in their styling - there is a lot to learn here.
posted by mumimor at 10:58 AM on August 28 [2 favorites]


My only beef with IKEA

It is worth noting that IKEA has had several serious issues around labour (including forced labour of political prisoners in East Germany in the 80s when it was growing fast).

It has a complex structure which has made it the world's second largest non-profit (!) organisation; with a value of $35 billion but with declared giving in 2011 of just 65 million Euros it's clear what is going on there...

The founder Ingvar Kamprad is also basically a self-confessed Nazi.
posted by colie at 11:14 AM on August 28 [3 favorites]


My only beef with IKEA is that they will cease making products without warning or any recourse

Indeed. The BENNO CD or DVD storage shelf used to come in two variations: tall and skinny or short and broad. The short one vanished without warning two years ago and the tall one just recently, although it was immediately replaced with the identical GNEDBY. The short broad ones were ever so slightly redesigned and re-released as the BESTA. However, the short BENNO was 22 inches wide and the BESTA 23 and 5/8 inches wide. Guess who has a gap 22 inches and change wide between an old BENNO that was originally slated to be filled by a second unit? Yes, I am BITTER.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:39 PM on August 28


My beef, posted years ago to AskMe: Did Ikea change the shade of their beech veneer at some point?
posted by smackfu at 2:27 PM on August 28


If you buy something, and you think you'll want more of it later, buy it now. This is a universal truism and it goes way, way beyond IKEA. Obviously, this isn't always possible but keep it in mind. I believe the saying is something like, "If you find something you like, buy a lifetime supply."

I remember reading a story, probably made up, in a decades old book. An old guy pulls up to a gas station in a brand new Ford Model T, circa the mid-1960s. Teenager at the pump is amazed and asks about the car. Old guy explains that he learned to drive in a T and never felt comfortable driving anything else. When Henry Ford announced the end of production in 1928, the old guy went to a dealer and bought a lifetime supply - half dozen or so cars. He had all of them put into preserved storage and, whenever he felt the need for a new car, he'd just pull one out and get it running. "This is the last one," the old guy says, explaining that he probably only has a few years of driving left in him and that he bought exactly the right number.

I bought a pair of IKEA bed frame and two matching nightstands about five years ago. My current place is snug, no room for the second nightstand, so it sits quietly in its flat-pack box, waiting and unassembled. No idea if it's been discontinued yet or not, but it's nice to not have to worry about it.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 3:14 PM on August 28 [2 favorites]


I think having a grasp of materials is a biggie with Ikea. Particle board is particle board, and some things are fine in particle board and others aren't. Their particle board pieces at least generally look nicer than Walmart white horrors before they get all saggy and sad, though as someone who's all saggy and sad, I can probably recognize it in advance.

I find their solid stuff pretty unassailable, if you're buying new stuff instead of nice old furniture from a thrift store, and sometimes it surprises me. When my physical therapist told me to sell my Miata and use my motorcycle instead, and to get a damn bed instead of sleeping on the couch like I had for twenty-three years, I bought my first big boy bed there. After horrifying the bedroom department clerk by asking which headboards were most resistant to handcuff damage, I bought $49 Fsellse wood full-sized bed, altered the headboard to match the height of the radiator behind it, and ended up with a bed that's been non-squeaky, non-floppy, sufficiently comfortable for a grumpy old ursine somnambulist, and which has yet to disintegrate when I have houseguests and we're doing bear stuff.

If stuff at Ikea is metal, it's almost always good, solid wood too, and their kitchen stuff kicks butt. I don't own a big floppy Billy just yet and think maybe it's just not my thing, but selection is key.
posted by sonascope at 4:19 PM on August 28


I have a JERKER computer desk, which consists of two metal sidepieces, with a desktop between them and a shelf that can be moved above or below them. Over the past decade of flat moves, assemblies and disassemblies, some of the bolts have become worn and take effort to put in; I suspect it won't make it to the next move. I could have gotten new ones for free from IKEA if they still made the; unfortunately, they discontinued both the JERKER desk and the bolts themselves (which presumably nothing else uses).

I managed to get some replacement sliders for my ANEBODA chest of drawers just after they discontinued the line, after the original ones gave out. I should probably have grabbed a few more, though; another pair has just died.
posted by acb at 2:33 AM on August 29


Ikea Hackers is excellent.
posted by colie at 2:47 AM on August 29


Everyone using the Ikea descriptors to talk about their furniture as if this is a normal way to talk about anything reminds me of the scenes in The Lego Movie where a character who is about to cut loose building starts seeing the Lego part numbers superimposed on the landscape.

Which I suppose means the Singularity is going to involve some unholy combination of Lego and Ikea.
posted by localroger at 5:26 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Every IKEA catalog cover from 1951 to Now
posted by octothorpe at 8:35 AM on August 29 [1 favorite]


Did Ikea change the shade of their beech veneer at some point?

A few years ago I needed to build a bookcase/entertainment-type unit. My original plan was to build it with thick wood planks, but then I saw that my local Ikea had a bunch of LACK shelving components going really cheap in the clearance section. Which in the end turned out to be a false economy: lesson learned, but from working with them I discovered that some components were made in Poland and were just printed plastic laminate, while others made in China used actual, pretty good quality beech veneer.
posted by Flashman at 9:21 AM on August 29


cheap Swedish beer

Alltså... I live in Sweden, and this is definitely not a thing. Cheap, shitty beer at a restaurant is at a minimum (according to the current exchange) $5.75. Good beer (let's say a bottle of Chimay blue) can run you up to $14 at a pub. Buying from Systembolaget is cheaper where the worst beer is maybe $1.50/can and that bottle of Chimay will run you $4.50, but then you're drinking at home.
posted by beerbajay at 1:45 PM on August 29


« Older xylem never looked so good   |   Referee! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post