I absolutely love LOVE all things Ikea. I say that unashamedly and without reservation.

I’ll say it again:

I love Ikea…….. and have contributed substantially to their profit margins over the past seven years.

Not only do I adore the lots of Ikea stuff we have in our home but the actual store is my go-to-happy-place. Maybe too often, you’ll find me walking the maze, following the arrows and dream drooling my designer home.

Oh those kitchens, give me give me.

The 35square meter complete and compact home – imagine that. So little cleaning required. YES PLEASE!

Who says only kids need bright plastic plates and roles of craft paper.

The storage systems – enough to make any squirrel rethink their hibernation habits.

And the in-house restaurant with the best coffee in town. For only 7 dirhams a bottomless cup it can’t not be.  Add 3 dirhams for scrambled eggs and another 3 for baked tomatoes…. I mean really!

So when a blue and yellow Ikea invite found its way into my spam box about two weeks ago, announcing that Ikea “Wants to Visit Your Home” it took me precisely three seconds to shout back “Pick me, pick me, pick me PLEEEAAASSE!”

And they did.

Today.

Today IKEA came to visit at home.

And now I’m more in love than ever.

As part of their customer service and keeping abreast with what the customer ACTUALLY wants, four very charming and highly respectful Ikea employees arrived bang on time (very unusual for this part of the world) and took a tour of our home. They asked questions about what I needed most to make my home more the way I want it (a never ending Ikea gift card please), and whether I have enough storage space (never) and where do I keep my shoes (all over the house, where ever I kick them off.) Shoes seem to be a common nemesis. They uhummed and ahhed and took lots of photo’s while I strutted and preened and puffed the cushions for the millionth time and prayed the pictures did not fall off the wall.

Which they did anyhow.

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This opened up a whole new animated and desperate conversation – how to hang pictures (in Ikea frames)  and keep them hanging in a rented house without making a mess of the walls (which I do, leaving nail craters cos I never measure and the first nail hole is always in the wrong place).  How to get presstick (blu tack) to actually stick in the summer when the heat melts it and leaves a sticky greasy gooey mess on the walls, the pictures off the wall, while driving Lincoln up the wall. This is a mega problem when you have more than a million memories to stick, glue, hammer, double side and threaten onto every spare inch the house has to offer.

Oh how they remarked on the gallery in the kitchen – yes, I even have family pics in their purple-framed finery in the kitchen. Cos that’s where we spend a whole lot of time and seems most everyone congregates and remarks on what a heritage this family has. In pictures and in pleasure.

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They took still more pics of the Ikea hacks….the clock I sprayed white,IMG_7759

the shelving system Linc converted to hang a boxing bag, the plain Billy bookshelves now red. And strangely enough the boys’-more-than-a-million trophies and medals and all things won at sports were snapped and preserved on I Pads and phones and cameras. I knew there was a reason I keep on keeping them. There are medals over the banister finials and trophies on top of cupboards and bookshelves because what else do you do with the result of hours and hours of effort on fields, courts and in pools for 20 plus years. I saw the designers’ mind marking time on how this paraphernalia problem could be solved… so watch this space for an Ikea innovation on how to store hours of hardship and endurance and reward in a case – just in case you don’t happen to have a bragging banister.  Believe me, what ever innovative idea they come up with, it will be beautifully engineered, flat packed and inclusive of all the pieces needed to assemble.

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We chatted and laughed and compared notes all to the background thud of more pictures falling off the walls. Nothing like a timely demonstration.

They remarked on the warmth, homeliness and peace in our home (smile) and wished they had enough time to stay longer.   I wished so too, because I would have brought out my Ikea crockery and cutlery and cake stand topped with chocolate cake and served with organic Ikea coffee and we would have sat in the kitchen, around an Ikea table under the watchful eye of a family in frames.  The four fabulous Ikea employees and me.  Ahhh….but not to be.

Instead they left me a gift bag of delectable Ikea foodstuffs and …..oh heaven….an Ikea gift voucher.   Ikea Christmas decorations, I hear you calling my name….

They also left me a forever more devoted, Ikea-ess!

And surely that’s just what they want. Bless them.

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