My daughter and I have excitedly been waiting for our pre-Christmas trek to visit the Dallas IKEA. You see, we are from Seattle, where modernism and contemporary style is common amongst the beautiful Pacific Northwest homes. Upon moving, we quickly realized Texas, with its mainstream traditional (but beautiful) brick homes seems about 25 years behind the times. So IKEA has been on our minds for almost a year…it’s somewhere that will feel more like home. Besides, we love buying a few of their rare and cool Christmas decorations each year.
So off we zipped on the 635 towards the impending traffic and never ending construction, finding ourselves in the midst of crazy impatient drivers, and wondering what we got ourselves into. If you’ve never been to Dallas let me tell you a few things about the freeways here. First of all they are full of more diesel trucks than I have ever seen in all of my 42 years. The lanes are narrower than where we are from, and you will find grandmas behind you going 80 mph while honking for you to go faster. At one point today I found myself sandwiched between two diesels on an all too narrow lane. For a minute I felt like Claude Van Damme doing the splits. Luckily we got out of that situation quickly!
Finally saw it…the blue IKEA building…like a castle just beyond the George Bush Turnpike. Pulling into the parking lot the first thing I noticed was the lack of cars in the parking lot. This is odd, I thought, one can never find a parking spot at the Seattle location. Lucky us, we get the store practically to ourselves. After ninety minutes in the store I think I know why.
I have to pause here and say, IKEA Dallas…you’ve got nothing on IKEA Seattle! First of all the lunch I was looking forward to, Swedish meatballs, steamed baby red potatoes, lingonberry sauce, and gravy was a flop! The potatoes were mashed and the meatballs weren’t even browned, and the gravy didn’t even look the normal color. My son had chicken strips and fries. The strips were more like formed patties of who knows what. The fries kept me from starving!
The design center is on the upper floor and is minuscule in comparison with Seattle’s. It has at least half the designed rooms and only one or two ideas were even eye catching to me. The lower floor is the product and I know from experience the Christmas is always nearest the check out area. I kept thinking, it’s going to be great when we get to the seasonal decor!
Then I saw it. The most disappointing Christmas IKEA line I have ever seen before! Gag me right now at the hideous wire spiral tree. What about the darling silver tin trees from two years ago? They have their famous curtain lights like always, but their prices on them have almost doubled. All in all our IKEA trip was almost an epic fail. I say almost because they had paper stars complete with lights. Those stars saved the day! (I have to add here that TJ Maxx has them this year too, even better colors and designs, but they aren’t lighted).
I’m wondering if IKEA is too foreign in this big state of Texas where traditional and conservative personalities thrive. Don’t get me wrong, I love that about Texas, it’s totally grown on me. But regardless, Dallas should take a few lessons from Seattle to up the anty. I don’t know what happened this year in the seasonal IKEA department. Perhaps they should hire me, I’ve got some creative cutting edge designs up my sleeve ;), but in the mean time I’ll get busy putting together and hanging up my stars.