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We have quite a lot of Ikea furniture in our house, as you will see by the reviews to follow this one, and generally I find their furniture to be of decent quality and reasonably priced. This shoe rack, however, is one of the lower quality items we've bought from there, and left me quite disappointed. For a retail price of £19.99, I have to say I expected better from this.
The rack is designed to provide a tidy storage space for your shoes, without taking up too much space. It is quite thin, but deep inside, and has two front opening panels. Both the top and the bottom compartments have a shelf, and according to the product description each half can hold four pairs of shoes, meaning it holds eight pairs in total. This obviously varies depending on the size of the shoe, because I have a lot of slip on shoes and flip flops, it holds slightly more, whereas my partner has size 11 feet so his half only holds four pairs. We don't own many pairs of shoes between us, we thought this was an ideal way to get them away and tidy.
The shoe rack was easy enough to assemble, it only took my man about fifteen minutes to put it together, although he is quite handy with flat-pack furniture. It fitted perfectly against the wall towards the back end of our hallway, and is tucked nicely out of the way. It doesn't come out too far (the width is 28cm, so just a bit shorter than a long ruler), so it doesn't get in the way as you're trying to walk past it, and it can also double up as a sideboard as you can put pictures or candles on top to make it more decorative.
My first grumble with this piece of furniture is that it's quite cheap looking. As I said earlier, we have a fair bit of Ikea furniture, and I've always been pleasantly surprised at how the wood looks good quality and in no way cheap. This, however, only comes in birch, and in my opinion screams "cheap catalogue furniture". It also doesn't seem to come in any of the other Ikea wood options, which is a bit strange if you have other items from their range and want to match them.
Secondly, the unit itself is rather flimsy, and at the moment we seem to be storing our shoes around and on top of the unit to avoid opening it. The reason being, that each time it opens, the compartment comes off its runner leaving the front shelf/panel hanging on an angle. Although it still works if you lift it back into place, it's so annoying I think we've both been trying to avoid having to use it, which kind of defeats the point of it in the first place. It's a bit like having a wardrobe and hanging your clothes up outside and around it!
The issue with the front panel coming unhinged has been resolved a couple of times, but then after a few uses, it happens again. At the moment it houses the shoes we wear least regularly, as we've had no need to move these they just live in the shoe rack, and the shoes we wear most often are kept out of the rack. So at least it's housing some of our shoes and minimising clutter a little.
The shelves themselves are a good size for most shoe sizes, although the unit is thin it's also quite deep. My partner has size 11 feet, so obviously his shoes are quite long, and I have walking boots for work which fit in without any issues. Maybe it's the weight of the shoes causing the issue with the hinge, but we haven't overloaded it so I'm still convinced this is down to poor design.
Overall, I would say this piece of furniture is a good idea on paper, but in reality doesn't live up to expectations. We haven't got round to replacing ours yet, but when we see one which looks less cheap and more sturdy, we will probably send this one to the furniture graveyard.