Ikea

This weekend we undertook an Ikea makeover on another room of the house–this time, the bedroom. After months of consideration, comparison, measurement, and discussion, we picked out three pieces of furniture to update the room–bed frame with headboard, secretary desk, and a large shelving/storage unit. I took a four-day weekend so we’d have plenty of time to build, move, re-organize and recover.

We did the shopping last weekend and had the big items delivered. The idea was to build all of it this weekend, but we couldn’t stand the wait, so we built the secretary right away last Sunday.

During the week, Ken got the headboard built and mounted to the wall, so by Friday, we only had two (very big) items to do: the Expedit 5×5 shelves, and the Oppdal bed frame.

The Expedit is an easy build, and went very quickly. We had it all put together and took a breakfast break by 10:00 a.m.

At 11:00 we started on the bed, happy that we were getting it all done on day one, and would have the rest of the long weekend to enjoy.

First off, the bed was by far the most difficult build we’ve ever done. It was fiddly, had several different types of screws and bolts to differentiate, and required a lot of crawling around on the floor.


It took four hours, and we were aching and exhausted by the end. We had absolutely no inkling of disaster until we slid the bed frame up against the headboard, and discovered it was about six inches narrower. We dismissed that as a design element, so the truth didn’t hit us until we put the spring box on and it wouldn’t slide in–we’d built a full size bed, not a queen. AARGH!!!

The next several minutes don’t bear revisiting–we cycled through all the stages of grief and several of madness. My first instinct was to go out on Saturday and buy a full-size mattress–ta-dah, problem handled. Of course there was no way we could comfortably sleep on a full-size bed, but that’s beside the point; there was no way we could deal with building another Oppdal frame, either.

Once we calmed down a little, I called Ikea customer service to discuss our options, and the woman I talked to was sympathetic and encouraged us to return the bed–which would mean dismantling it, and we’d need to be careful, because we couldn’t get a refund if it was damaged. So we spent about an hour undoing everything we’d just done, slowly and carefully. Of course, problems happened anyway, the biggest of which was two boards that split at the ends. In my depressed and exhausted frame of mine, I decided that meant we couldn’t return it, and we were just out the money for it. Ken had the idea to put it up on Freecycle, so at least someone would get some good out of it.

We slept on it–the problem, of course, not the Oppdal. Saturday morning, we headed back to Ikea to buy the right size bed, and decided that it couldn’t hurt to talk to the customer service desk about a refund. We would be completely honest about the damaged pieces, and the worst they could do was say no, which would leave us right where we were.

So we talked to them, and the woman at the service desk didn’t say no. She said, “Do you have your receipt?” Yes. “Bring it back, we’ll refund you.” Second major shock in eighteen hours. “But it’s our dumb mistake,” I said, not really arguing, just not believing what I was hearing. “Doesn’t matter,” she answered. “You have your receipt, it’s within 90 days of purchase, and you’re not happy. Bring it back, and we’ll give you your money back.” I was so close to tears that I couldn’t say anything for a moment. She just smiled warmly. I finally said, “You’re building so much customer loyalty right now!” and she said, “It’s how we do business.” So we went home, packed up the pieces of the wrong bed, and drove right back to return them. There was a different person at the counter, and he was just as sympathetic about the mistake, and processed the refund without question. (In case you’ve lost count, that’s three for three on kind and helpful service people.)

It was an incredible customer service moment. It transformed the whole experience for us. It not only made me feel better about this instance, it made me feel better about every dollar I’ve spent (and will spend in the future) with Ikea. For a few minutes, I wondered if I wouldn’t maybe like to see about getting a job with them, even. For sure, I’m enthused about shopping with them a lot more in the future.

The second Oppdal build was so much easier. We knew what we were doing, we got a second power screwdriver so we could work in tandem, and our friend Corvus came over to be a third set of hands and eyes on the project. It only took about two hours the second time, and we were nowhere near as sore and tired as we had been on Friday. We slept very well indeed last night.

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17 Responses to Ikea

  1. Preston Fleming says:

    Love the way your story worked out and love the way your room looks…very astute and very glamorous…. 🙂

  2. kaizerin says:

    Thanks, P! It was quite the journey of terror and discovery, but it all worked out in the end. We’re happy with it–and we’ll keep on doing Ikea makeovers until we run out of rooms!

  3. Ramona says:

    As I am not that familiar with IKEA, I don’t understand how you got the queen sized headboard and the full size bed frame. Glad the second rebuild went better than the first build and yay! for IKEA’s return policy.
    Your room looks amazing. I’m sure you are appreciating the extra storage space. You keep adding reasons I need to come see you!

  4. Preston Fleming says:

    Does Ikea do kitchens? LOL 🙂

  5. kaizerin says:

    R–Ikea is a big showroom on one floor and a warehouse on the other. To get you pieces, you look things up on the inventory control system, and it tells you which aisle/bay to pull it from. The headboard was an optional piece, bought separately, so it came from a different bin. When we looked up the bed’n’stuff bin, we must have selected the Full–and the system didn’t specify by size. The only indicator was the price point, but it so happened the Queen was on sale for the same price as a full, so we didn’t even get that indicator of difference. Very tricksy, and there are definitely some improvements they could make to avoid the problem. It would have been great if either the register (we did self-checkout) or the people in shipping had said, “Hey, did you mean you mean to get different sizes in bed and headboard?” lesson learned for future trips–triple check product IDs!

  6. kaizerin says:

    P–they sure do! Check out Ikea.com–they’ve got beautiful cabinets, counters, tiles, storage, lighting, etc. You could outfit an entire house from them (which we seem to be working toward!)

  7. Preston Fleming says:

    wow…did not know that…I was really trying to make a funny…looks like the joke is on me…I will check it out later…

  8. Emily says:

    Did you use a box spring with your Oppdal? I’m moving soon and hoping to get this bed frame, was wondering if you used the bed slats? If so, do they hold up okay?

    I was thinking using my box spring might look goofy, but your pictures look like you used a box spring and it doesn’t look goofy at all!

  9. kaizerin says:

    Yep, we put a box spring in ours. There are two positions for the supports–higher, if you have slats, and lower for box springs. It works well–the bed’s a little taller than average, but I like that. And the Oppdal is wonderfully sturdy. I hope it works as well for you as it has for us!

  10. Nate says:

    In the lower support position, what is the distance from the top of the side frame to the support. Trying to understand how tall my bed will be if I use the boxsprings.

  11. kaizerin says:

    Luckily, I have a very skinny ruler, so I was able to slide it down alongside the box springs–which turn out to sit 6 inches down in the box. So about an inch of box spring stands above the side of the bed rails, plus however deep your mattress is.

  12. Michelle says:

    Wow, what a story!

    My boyfriend and I are about to move and we’re thinking about getting this bed. I’ll make sure we have plenty of time when we’re going to assemble this bed, it looks like we’ll need it! Ikea does have excellent customer service though.

    I have a question though: how do you feel about the seperate headboard? Does it work well? I tried it out in the store and it seemed squeaky and there was easily a couple of centimeters between the headboard and the bed.

    Thanks in advance!

  13. kaizerin says:

    I like the headboard–it’s pretty hand for tucking away a lot of the things you want right by the bed–Kleenex, Sudoku puzzle books, etc. The angle is nice for piling up a couple of pillows if you want to sit up to eat/read/work in bed. But you’re right, there is a gap there. I have one of those long “body pillows” that I use as a bolster, and it slides partway down, providing a little boost to the regular pillows when I want to sit up, and keeping the gap from eating my sleeping pillow.

  14. Allie says:

    Hello! The room looks awesome! I see you’re based out of the UK but I’m looking into buying the same Oppdal queen bedframe in the US. I’ve been searching around for American bed frames w/storage units (but they seem to be of same/lesser quality)…as it’s been a couple of months since your purchase so I’d like to know if you are enjoying it/see how sturdy it is! Thank you

  15. kaizerin says:

    Hi, Allie! Sorry for the delay in reply–we’ve been on the road this week, just got in last night. We like the Oppdal a lot. It’s very sturdy–and we’re not small people, so you know it’s solid. I love the drawers–I’ve got six sets of sheets and miscellaneous pillow & duvet covers in there, and they’re not stuffed full. It was worth the time and money, definitely.

  16. Rafael says:

    Hey I’m considering buying this bed and was wondering how sturdy it is. I’m 6’3″ at 220lb and I move a lot while I slep so I’m wondering if the bed will be strong enough to handle me plus my girlfriend when she comes over to spend the nights with me once in a while. Your room looks great by the way. Cheers!

  17. kaizerin says:

    Hi, Rafael! My husband and I are both considerably heavier than 220, and the bed is sturdy enough for us–you should be just fine.

    Thanks for dropping by!

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