New dining room table

As Jack Kerouac said, “If you own a rug, you own too much.”0x00 I think this is one step below that.

I don’t need a dining room table. In fact, it’s now a hindrance since the dining room area used to be storage for various things (my bike, rock band toys, etc) which will need to be relocated. But I’ve always wanted a dining room table. Something as a “nice” place, no TV directly in front of you (living room), 80s decor (kitchen), wires everywhere (don’t get me started on my home office), etc.

This weekend I went down to San Jose to replace my 5-year-old personal colo server in Market Post Tower. On the way back, I stopped at Fry’s in Fremont and browsed for awhile, eventually walking out with a portable keyboard and some soda for the trip home. I didn’t plan on visiting Ikea, but between Fremont and Sacramento (I took 680, so I didn’t pass by the Emeryville Ikea), I remembered that I had recently broken a bowl from my Ikea dish set, and replacing it was a flimsy excuse to stop.

I walked in for a $1.50 bowl and left with a $350 dining room set.

The table is nice. See, Ikea has two types of items: cheap and will fall apart in an hour, and reasonably priced and decent but not top notch quality.0x01 I’m hoping this set falls into the latter category. It’s obviously not real solid hardwood, but the laminated covers seem to be decent quality. It can be configured as a round table (not pictured), or you can release some tension latches under the table, pull the two halves apart, and unfold a self-contained leaf for expanding it to an oval shape (pictured). The tension latches are then re-engaged, which prevents the ends from inching away from the leaf.

By the way, you’ll notice only two chairs. I wasn’t sure if I could fit the table plus all four chairs into the Prius hatchback area, so I only picked up two. Turns out I could have, but I’ll just pick up two more the next time I’m in Sacramento. And of course I don’t plan on leaving a full service setting out all the time.

You know, now that I think about it, a rug would look nice in there.

0x00 I’m not entirely convinced he actually said that. I can’t find a direct attribution, just people who start out, “As Jack Kerouac said…”

0x01 Rambling sidenote, which references spoilers in the Millennium trilogy. If you haven’t read it (I would highly recommend you do) but would like to, stop reading now. It’s interesting knowing that many Swedish people furnish their homes entirely with Ikea. In the beginning of The Girl who Played with Fire, Lisbeth Salander, who has stolen billions from a now-dead criminal, has covered her tracks but is lying low. Under a fake identity, she buys an enormous penthouse suite, but then goes to Ikea to furnish it. In my world, a “fully Ikea-furnished apartment” is the realm of the poor college student living in a 200 square foot apartment. In Sweden, apparently even billionaires shop there. Granted, there are some part of Ikea I drool over. If I ever have a dream home, I’ll probably build most of the kitchen from Ikea fixtures. But there are some areas I just don’t like. I know many rave over their beds, but I have two problems with them. First, I have yet to find an Ikea bed that I didn’t think was ugly (you’re not likely to find something like this at Ikea). Second, I’ve never been a fan of the European style mattress (slatted frame, no boxspring). In summary, Ikea is good for some things, but I can’t see furnishing an entire home with it. Okay, rant over.