The Devil Ikea

Ade B

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Just returned from the hell on earth that is Ikea (made more amusing by the antics of Junior B who enjoyed it immensly).

Having just priced up pretty much all the loose furniture required for a 5 person office, it came to just over £500 including VAT but exluding delivery.

The insane thing is I would probably struggle to build it myself for that out of 18mm MDF, birch ply and paint. Even with trade contacts I can't get near it for bespoke stuff at the most basic level.

We've got Ikea tables and shelves in the current set up and they've lasted ok over 5 years although the laminated tops have scratched a fair bit on one of the tables. The design is simple and works well with the space and whilst on the one hand I'd love to spend a bit more on the new office kit out of pride, on the other, the price makes it pretty much impossible to ignore.

As I'm sadly not in a position to drop £10k on a fancy italian furniture system it begs the question what are the alternatives? Quality 2nd hand kit costs a lot more and I'm not going for the cheap chinese fake classics.

I'm thinking buy the simple white stuff cheap and spend a little more on light fittings and the meeting table and chairs.

Any thoughts?

Ade
 
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Mudster

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My entire office is fitted out with Ikea stuff, it's modular and simple and does exactly what it's meant to.

The only thing I had to do was core holes in the corner of the desks and fit the plastic jobbies for all the cables to go through. Entire office furnished for up to four people for under £1000.

I then spent £500 on a single chair. £250 on a pair of faux leather brown 2 seater square sofas for the visitors

With nice contemporary lights and a clean paint job you can't go wrong, and it doesn't matter if it all needs doing again in 3-4 years time.
 
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verytalldave

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Good for that type of thing is Argos. Only downside is that you cant properly view before buying. Its nice to get a bit of hands-on to be able to gauge quality, weight and finish. Catalogues don't always give the full story.
 

davidjpowell

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That's a very good price, and if you jazz it up with lighting, and accept it may only last a little while probably good value.

It might be worth getting chairs elsewhere as they are vital to comfort and more prone to wear.

I seem to recall you are an architect - I would think that in your industry it would be more acceptable to get away with the modular as it is more designer focused than the 'beech' expected elsewhere.

I have one client who has spent £45k fitting out an office for 20 people with furniture. (£10k was a board table). They have not gone top of range either, so it does make that sort of money look very tempting.

As you say good quality 2nd hand furniture will cost more, unless you can find someone who is getting rid of theirs. Most 2nd hand places charge to take furniture away so if you offer to do it for free that might be an option.
 

Gucci

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I'm a fan of Ikea, although we don't have the furniture, we have an Ikea kitchen. We've modified it with additional trim and detailing. BUT, we bought it as part of our kitchen diner makeover - £2000 including appliances! (would've been £2800, but bought during the sale). :bannana:

My first flat was mostly Ikea. It served its purpose for 5 years, no damage, no breakage and because it was cheap, I didn't feel bad about skipping it when I moved.

Personally I wouldn't go for Argos, Ikea are far more switched on for style.
 

corned

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Do not buy furniture from Argos!

Slightly off-topic, but a relevant warning nonetheless.

My missus made that mistake a couple of years ago. We wanted a sofa-bed and she got one from the A-word. I didn't think it was a good idea at the time, and certainly not when it was delivered. It was very cheap and shoddy in appearance, but the crowning glory was that it actually had mushrooms growing inside it! When we lifted the seat base to lift out the bed part, we could see where the thing had obviously been damp, and there was a colony of mushrooms growing nicely in there.

They came straight back to take it away. We were very insistent about that! We got the replacement from Ikea, a proper metal frame one, and it was cheaper too!
 

Rory

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I've seen some staggering bargains where people have bought office furniture on eBay, but you could spend your whole life hunting for the right items.
 
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Ade B

Ade B

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That's a very good price, and if you jazz it up with lighting, and accept it may only last a little while probably good value.

It might be worth getting chairs elsewhere as they are vital to comfort and more prone to wear.

I seem to recall you are an architect - I would think that in your industry it would be more acceptable to get away with the modular as it is more designer focused than the 'beech' expected elsewhere.

I have one client who has spent £45k fitting out an office for 20 people with furniture. (£10k was a board table). They have not gone top of range either, so it does make that sort of money look very tempting.

As you say good quality 2nd hand furniture will cost more, unless you can find someone who is getting rid of theirs. Most 2nd hand places charge to take furniture away so if you offer to do it for free that might be an option.
Our most recent office fitout project was £140k excluding furniture!!

Unfortunately we don't have that kind of budget.. Re the chairs, forgot to say we currently have 4 of Vikings finest (red) adjustable swivel chairs which were about £80 each - one more will do nicely. Oh and a couple of bins which can be pricey..

On the design tip - we are hoping that our theory of if everything is white, it looks kind of 'designery' rather than low rent. :D We're setting the tables up as long benches rather than individual desks which also helps. I know that within a week of relocating (Sept 1st) the place will look like a tornado's been through it anyway - all that 'creative' clutter (samples, product literature, books and mags, drawings, empty coffee mugs and random bits of A4) dotted about will obscure anything beneath it.. :rolleyes:


Ade
 

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