“ Brand: Ikea / Type: Chair „
I had a wicker chair in the reading corner of my room for many years but didn't like it any more. As I'm even more of a bookworm now that I'm retired than I was before, I decided to treat myself to a really comfy armchair. There's a gigantic furniture store in my town with a great choice of armchairs. They're cosy all right but don't have high arm-rests, something I was dead set on having. I want to rest both my arms on either side while holding a book or my Kindle and when I take a nap, I want to rest one arm on an arm-rest and my head in my hand. When the arm begins to get numb, I change sides. I find this relaxing. My second requirement was good looks, a nice shape and a colour pleasing to the eye. Thirdly, I wanted a not too large seat. My back bottom isn't so enormous, I don't need an area which is large enough for two normal-sized people. I want the arm-rests near my body. Last but not least, I didn't want to spend an exorbitant amount of money.
I spent nearly two hours in the furniture store, sat down in dozens of armchairs and found nothing. This meant a trip to the nearest IKEA store was called for. It's a bit more than an hour by train and by bus away from where I live, but if the trip is successful, I find that time and money are well spent.
The choice is not so great there, and I quickly found the Ekenäs armchair. (Ekenäs is a Swedish place name, all IKEA sofas and armchairs have place names). Its measurements are: width = 86 cm, depth= 78 cm, height = 90 cm. This means it's rather compact. The frame is solid pine. It has a high back providing soft and comfortable support for the neck and the head, it's stuffed with polyester wadding and polyurethane foam. It has high arm-rests! This is the good news but the bad news is that they're a bit too far away from the body, or rather from my body because the seat is larger than my back bottom. I've never seen an armchair with arm-rest inclining slightly inwards, that would be my dream piece of furniture. The IKEA store where I was shows two different covers, a stone grey one and a dark brown one. It's slightly shiny chenille, soft to the touch. A seat cushion is fixed to the armchair with a strip of Velcro underneath filled with the same stuff as the rest of the armchair and 'memory foam'. I like this expression. Soon it will show the negative of my back bottom.
'Wipe clean with a damp cloth' is the instruction to keep it good-looking. Although this armchair wasn't 100% what I was looking for, I bought it because I knew I wouldn't find a better one anywhere else. I found 249 Euro (198 GBP) a good price, too, until I checked my armchair on the British site where it's sold for 28 GBP less. Bad luck. But as I wouldn't get it to the European continent for less than 28 GBP, I decided not to lose sleep over the price. When the shop-assistant was writing down the particulars, he asked me which colour I wanted to have. I knew that stone grey wouldn't fit at all, so I said, "Brown". He asked, "Rust-red brown?" I nodded.
I don't drive and my husband hadn't come with me. He doesn't like this kind of shopping very much. We've got a BMW; if he had come with me, the car wouldn't have helped much because you can't transport an armchair in it. In contrast to nearly all other pieces of furniture IKEA sells, armchairs are not sold in several parts you have to assemble yourself at home. You only have to screw on the four legs. A special transport taxi brought me the armchair on the same day, at 10 pm!, for a lot of money compared to the price of the armchair. But what can one do? I unpacked it and got a shock. It wasn't dark brown like the one exhibited in the IKEA store but rust-red brown. Gosh, what a colour! But the more I looked at it, the more I liked it and now I'm really in love with it. I bought two small cushions in several shades of brown, dark red and sand at Woolworths (Yes! Your beloved Woolies is still going strong in Germany) which seem to have been made especially for my armchair. They support the lower back and look just perfect.
I love reading assembly instructions, there's nearly always something amusing in them. The cover of the armchair is fixed, why then do the IKEA people tell me: Do not wash. / Do not bleach. / Do not tumble dry. / Do not iron. / Do not dryclean? Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't know how to do all this.