If you are making minimum wage, under the age of 30 or both, IKEA is the answer to every home decor question. Need a couch, bed and full dining set for under $1,000? The Swedish chain has you covered -- it'll even sell you killer mac and cheese alongside, or black hot dogs you never wanted.
Granted, the oversize superstores are likely to kill your energy, will to live and, as documented in an episode of “30 Rock” that was too close to reality, any love for your life partner. But still, there's a certain pride to owning the full set of any one IKEA line that Millennials can get behind. (Oh, you have the Askvoll? I'm more of a Gjöra girl myself).
It's recently come to my attention that IKEA's newest fans aren't the young and recently graduated, but wealthy influencers who could buy anything but literally choose IKEA because how cute that it's so cheap! Is it made of plastic? Oh, it is? That's pretty avant-garde. I'll put it in my second home in the Hamptons.
The aforementioned rich people are the editors of the New York Times and professional decor expert Miles Redd. In a recent feature on Redd's Fire Island home, the author gushes over his furniture from "big-box stores." Redd left the house's original furnishings in place when he purchased his 3,000 square foot summer home to better appreciate "the luxury of simplicity."
OK, except the aforementioned “simplicity” usually just means IKEA shoppers scraped to save the last portion of their paychecks (after student loans, of course) for a cheap kitchen table.
As if determined to offend every working-class citizen, the Times tweeted out the article with a teaser reading, "The zen of underdecorating." Most of us just call that "not having enough money to pay our obscene Manhattan rents."
The Times' discovery of IKEA is exciting and all, but it's likely their readers pay someone to spend hours puzzling over those unintelligible books of furniture installation instructions. For the rest of us, it's just a screwdriver and our wits keeping us from cracking that dining room table in half.