This past weekend the family and I went to the new Ikea in Canton. It was quite amazing -- even with a big opening-weekend crowd, the traffic control measures (extra staff in the parking lot, shuttles, extra parking lots) were very effective. The showroom was crowded and hectic but it was actually kind of fun. We didn't have enough time, though, so the next day we went back again! I will probably go again some evening next week. We want to call and find out when their quieter hours are, I'm not sure Ikea stores really have quieter hours, at least not when they are brand new. The buildings must be enormously expensive to staff and operate, so they'd better be stuffed with customers all the time!
I've previously been to Ikea stores in Pittsburgh, Schaumberg (south of Chicago), and Coshocton (south of Philadelphia). They're amazing places. My usual way of dealing with Ikea has been a _long_ road trip followed by a shopping blitz followed by loading things into the car and another _long_ road trip back. Now that Ikea is a 30-minute drive away, we can actually go back a few times without necessarily buying anything -- think it over, look carefully, measure.
We have a grand unified plan for getting our apartment reorganized. It will oerate a bit like a sliding puzzle Isaac's room is to be completed first. Then, we will set up the living room -- this includes getting a new bed for Grace and myself. We're going to relocate our sleeping area down there. Then our vacated bedroom will become the new, larger office, this time with enough storage space so nothing has to be piled on the floor. The previous office will become a bedroom for Veronica -- she's not really ready to sleep in her own bedroom, but we'll gradually migrate her, and meanwhile she will get some furniture and space for her own play. Then, we're going to do something strange with the kitchen -- it will become part mud room, part pantry, part closet. We'll set up a dining area also in the living room, and a small zone will be left for watching videos. This better matches how we actually use our space. At some point the new larger office may acquire some foam insulation for recording, at least a little bit.
It won't be all Ikea, but some new furniture will come from Ikea, and much of our existing furniture will be sold or given away. Isaac's room is going to get a new single bunkbed, with a work area stashed underneath. One wall will be given over to exposed shelving and storage, and books will go in his closet. He has a decorating scheme in mind. I'm partial to some narrow, deep bookshelves made of wood (no particle board). Narrow shelves won't sag under the weight of big, heavy textbooks. We're going to do it all gradually over the next couple of months. We've been in this apartment for about six years, and it has never really felt like the space suited us. The change will be fun!