Reality is now setting in. Our children may be having dreams of sea shells, beaches and climbing on driftwood, but we need to sort out the “real life” things that go along with having bought a vacation home on an island. My husband is great about sorting our utilities and insurance; that is his strong point. My attention now goes to sorting out furniture.
Having a place on an island is tricky, there are not the same ammenities as on the mainland. Having a place on a small island is even more of a challenge. The island we have bought our holiday home on only has a grocery store, hardware store, gas station, book store, pharmacy, a couple of liquor stores, plus a handful of other independently owned shops. Buying furniture on the island is not an option. There is a Sears catalogue pick-up location at the pharmacy, but that is the closest there is to a furniture store.
We tossed around a few ideas of how we could get the furniture for our house. We could buy in Vancouver or Victoria, rent a truck, and ferry it across. Ferry and truck rentals are expensive, and we still need to choose all the furniture in advance. Our final decision….Ikea. We can choose our furniture from our local store, they can deliver to the island location, and delivery for a whole house load of furniture was just a touch over $350. To have our furniture delivered to our door, on the island for $350 seemed amazing. Ikea was definately the way to go.
Now I will admit I might have a small love affair with Ikea. If you walked through my home you would see a lot of Ikea items. We live in a small house. We have children. Ikea items fit small homes, stand up to kid use and are in the “not so precious” price range; all this combined makes their products perfect for a family with five children. The other bonus about Ikea is our children love going to the store, they love wandering the rooms, they LOVE Ikea food. I think my children think of Ikea as meatball and lingonberry juice heaven.
In order to choose our furniture we had to get all the room measurements and then take a really good guess at what would work in the rooms based on the pictures we had. Our realtor, Howard, with Dockside Realty was awesome. Howard not only gave us measurements, we received actual diagrams of the rooms outlining the windows, doors, where the heating units were, everything. Absolutely awesome. From here I drew up scale plans of the rooms, figured out what dimensions of furniture would fit, and then off to Ikea we went.
The whole choosing process took several trips to Ikea. Not only did the furniture have to look good, feel good and fit, but we were also looking for something that could be refinished or refurbished once the time came. We didn’t want to just dispose of the furniture once it was scuffed or stained, we wanted to be able to rework it. It is awkward getting big items on and off island, and just disposing is wasteful, so being able to rework the furniture was a priority.
In the end here are a few items we chose:
The couch was chosen because of the slipcovers; they are easy to replace once they become worn. I chose the square armed couch because it will be easier to sew the slipcovers for this style of couch compared to a couch with curvy arms. The dining room table and chairs can easily be repainted when they become scraped and scratched. The wooden beds for our children can be painted and refinished when the time comes, plus we have discovered it is easy to make repairs to Ikea’s pine furniture compared to a pressed wood style. Being able to make repairs is great, kids can be hard on beds.
Ikea was great to deal with. My husband, who did the order, had a great experience with their customer service. True to their word the order showed up at our door on time.
In addition to Ikea’s great service, our realtor also went above and beyond the call of duty. He met our furniture delivery at our house and even helped carry the furniture in.
Furnishing the house was a great experience all around. I never would have thought furnishing a house from 1200 km away could be so easy.
(Thank you to the Ikea website for use of the Ikea graphics and Ikea product pictures)