IKEA – Let me take you on a journey into my past …..
More than 20 years ago, I moved to Australia. I was 18, had just finished high school and had met my then-boyfriend/now-husband, who was travelling in Argentina. I fell in love and moved to Sydney.
I’d grown up in a loving, financially secure home with an architect father and interior design obsessed mother. But moving to Australia meant being financially independent from my parents. We were 20 year olds living in a rented unfurnished apartment in a beautiful area of Sydney. I was working in a café earning $8/hour and going to music school. We were in love and very happy, but it’s fair to say we didn’t have much money.
The suburb we are living in, Bondi Beach, has a culture of residents putting unneeded furniture on the sidewalk for others to take, and so that’s how we very sparsely furnish our home. We have a mattress on the floor, a wooden box that was used to transport the top of a piano, is our coffee table, as well as an inflatable sofa (ha!), and a TV. It was pretty basic. The beach was 5 minutes from our home. We loved our life together!
Boyfriend proposes and we are set to get married. Our families fly in for the ceremony and are not at all impressed with our apartment. So we are hauled off to buy furniture…..
I have clear memories of that first visit to IKEA. That enormous, cavernous building, full of snaking paths, and filled with delightful furniture and homewares. I was like a kid in a candy store. I could literally buy everything I needed for my apartment in just one shop! It really felt like a Cinderella moment!
A few hours later, we’re back at home, putting together all the flat pack goodies from IKEA. Husband is useless at this, but my industrial designer sister more than makes up for it.
Hey presto, we watch our new home appear before us in a matter of hours! Our super basic apartment is transformed into a real home. I remember feeling that “now I’m actually an adult!”
So IKEA for me, carries a lot of positive emotions. It represents some of my metamorphosis from kid to adult! That feeling of looking around my apartment, filled with new furniture and thinking “this is now my home”.
When I heard that IKEA was opening in Bali, I knew I had to investigate! I had already shopped online for small kitchen items from IKEA Jakarta a few years ago when I was desperate for a potato ricer and couldn’t find any in Bali. I was sick of mashing potato for my potato-obsessed daughter with a fork, and almost wept with delight when I saw they had it online.
The IKEA store in Bali is a showroom where you can see all the products they offer. You choose what you want and they ship it to you from Jakarta. Easy peasy!
Coincidently, I had been thinking about my office at this time. We had recently redone our floors, and rather than use the random tables and chairs that I had been using previously, I wanted to make it a more beautiful and productive space.
Above are the photos of my old uninspiring office.
I learned that IKEA has a new service to help people just like me fit out their office (they also do hospitality projects and businesses) called IKEA for Business. You can send them your inspo, measurements and what the place would be used for. In our case, our two home offices. They send back an interior design plan with all the furniture you need and the layout you want.
There’s no doubt the range of products has changed dramatically since my first foray into IKEA over 2 decades ago. There is now so much to choose from so I knew I could make it work. I wanted to have that little smile of nostalgia as I go into my office every morning.
While my house is more styled, I wanted an office that is both functional and beautiful. There are 2 adjoining offices. 1 room needs to fit up to 6 people! We are a very collaborative team so it’s good to have everyone together so we can bounce ideas around and inspire each other.
Another concern is that the sun produces a lot of glare in the afternoon so we have to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact us. We spend a lot of time editing photos and videos so we need an unobstructed view of our screens.
Connected to this room is another room that will be used for more privacy. Sometimes we need to have small meetings there, or record podcasts, or even use it as a guest room.
In both spaces we need lots of storage but, as always, it needs to be visually appealing too. I never want to work in a boring office!
The result, two beautiful and functional offices with plenty of storage. The main office, fitted with a large table for my team and I to work and share ideas , and storage space for our fabric collection and a second office to be used for meetings, but also as a guest bedroom if family visit.
I’m so happy with how it all looks and feels. Finally we have an office we are proud to show off!