I know I’m a bunch of years late to the IKEA trend. The IKEA in New Haven, Connecticut has been there since 2004, and it took until 2021—17 years later—for me to cross the threshold. I didn’t really have a reason to go there—aside from I guess experiencing IKEA—until now since I bought a condo last month.
I’ve been making tons of lists and spreadsheets to help myself organize for the move into the condo—this should surprise no one that I have a whole system figured out—and furniture has been a bit overwhelming, but not unlike everything else I’ve had to do over the last 3 weeks. Like I said in my May recap, my co-workers and friends have been super supportive and helpful during this whole process and my boss suggested I tag along with him and his wife on a trip to IKEA since they were going anyway. And we’d stop for pizza in New Haven, so I was in.
We went down on Thursday since it wouldn’t be as crowded as it is on the weekends. The building looked massive from the highway but as we were walking through the entire place, it seemed like it was never going to end. One cool thing is that there are little mock room set-ups throughout the entire showroom area so you can see pieces put together in a living room or kitchen. And off to the sides they have the furniture out so you can see it on its own or try it out if it’s a chair or couch.
I went in with a short list of things I wanted to get since I knew we wouldn’t be able to fit too much in the car. On my list were two end tables (for my living room), place mats, a napkin holder, and some storage bins.
All of that flew out the window when I saw a dining room set. I was supposed to get a dining room set from a friend that she has in her basement, but the one I saw in IKEA was what I’d want if I were to buy one. So we pondered the idea of me getting the set while we were there and if it’d fit in the car since it’d be the table and 4 chairs.
I got the 2 end tables I was looking for before we headed down to the marketplace, which is another massive space of everything you could imagine. There I got placemats and cork trivets—to use to put hot pots and pans on—plus a tiny horse figurine.
I think that the tiny horse is much more of an impulse buy than a dining room set but I couldn’t pass it up for some reason. I felt drawn to the tiny horse. It could be because I’m Swedish on my mom’s side and I did a whole report on Sweden for a heritage day project in the fifth grade.
My mom’s aunt has sent us Swedish Christmas ornaments in the past, and the tiny horse is actually the Dala horse, which originated in the Swedish province of Dalarna. It used to be a toy for children but has become more of a symbol of the province and Sweden itself. The most common Dala horse is painted red with a harness in white, green, yellow, and blue.
The tiny horse I got is all black but I will display it proudly in my condo.
We eventually made our way to the warehouse where you pick up the boxes of the items you want. If the item is in stock, it’ll have an aisle number and bin number, and you got to that spot to get the box(es). We found the end tables plus what my boss wanted to get on their list; for the dining room table, I had to see an IKEA employee about and he gave me an order sheet with a barcode on it that I’d scan at check out and then have to separately pick up the table. The chairs were in stock in their bin, so we got 4 of those.
After we checked out, I headed over to the furniture pick up area to get the table. It came in two boxes, and one of them was sort of big. So we wheeled the boxes out to the car and as hard as we tried to get the bigger box to fit in the back of the car, it just wasn’t going to fit. Well, technically it would have if I didn’t have to sit in the back seat. So we pulled the box back out of the car, re-loaded it on the flatbed cart, and I went right back into the store to return it. The woman who originally brought out the table boxes to me saw me and was like, “That was quick.”
Everything else fit in the car along with myself in the back seat. My options for buying the table again were to go back down to IKEA with my dad and his pickup truck or order it online; we opted to order it online and have it shipped to my house. It’s coming the end of this month, which is totally fine.
Our next stop was Sally’s Apizza. I’ve never had any pizza from New Haven before, so in preparation for the trip, I watched the Barstool Pizza Review. Knowing the pizza scored a 9.2 made me excited; granted, I’ll really eat any kind of pizza, but Sally’s looked really good.
They had a really nice outdoor area with a big white tent and picnic tables set up. By the time we got there, it was after 1:00 p.m. and the tent was pretty full. We were able to get a table and opted for a plain cheese pizza.
And it did not disappoint. Look at how big it was!!! I fully agree with the 9.2 rating from Barstool. Not a piece was wasted; the 3 of us ate the entire pizza.
Overall, it was a pretty successful day. All of my purchases from IKEA are in my basement and the table has been ordered. Going to IKEA is definitely an experience and you sometimes have to expect you’ll end up getting things you weren’t planning on. Like a tiny horse.