Tuesday, June 03, 2008


As I twittered the other day, we've been having fun with IKEA's kitchens. It all came about by accident. Thomas and I went to IKEA last week and were looking predominantly at wooden and white kitchens. One of us, I am no longer sure which, suggested that the high gloss coloured kitchen doors we had seen would be daring but given they didn't have an in-store model it'd be a bit too brave to opt for it in the dark. I googled IKEA to see if they had a picture on their website and realized the prices were in dollars, oops, I was in IKEA USA. I switched and immediately noticed the examples of kitchens and decor in the UK were different. Excellent! That meant that by hopping from IKEA USA to UK to Sweden to Japan to Canada etc I'd get lots of decor ideas.
Above are 3 kitchens as advertised on Canada, Russia and UK respectively. Trawling the 3 sites I found IKEA assumes Canadians won't buy wide drawers, Russians prefer black to green, they don't seem to sell green doors in Russia at all. Looking in detail at all the kitchen ranges worldwide, I became fascinated by the job of IKEA kitchen brochure photographer! Often whole cabinet fronts are changed, the cooker hood is swapped over but the vegetables on the work surface remain untouched. Sometimes a full glass of juice in one photo becomes a half glass in another - I guess whoever changed the fronts got thirsty! Looks fun, though - maybe I'll apply for that kind of photography job just for the fun of seeing how it is done!
Of course another thing occurred to me while I was trotting the globe - a price comparison. I was gobsmacked to find, for example, that IKEA Sweden, the mothership itself, charges exactly twice as much as IKEA Denmark for several of their identical models, despite similar taxes. Naughty - I suppose they are counting on home-grown loyalty. I, for one, would be driving to Copenhagen if I happened to live in Malmö. And even in the EURO zone they don't hide this fact. I found a kitchen being sold for around 1900 Euros in both Italy and Spain retailing at a mere 700 Euros in Belgium! (Dad says there has to be some incentive to move to Belgium!)
All in all I had a fun day surfing my kitchen-to-be!
Oh, and I wonder if I am becoming too frequent a visitor to IKEA... as I turned into the car park yesterday my parents had to laugh when a little voice from the back seat exclaimed: Yeah! Léon's havin' meatballs!

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