Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ikea - You don't have to be rich to be clever!

I watched too much “Restaurant makeover” on Asia Food Channel and began to think that I can actually revamp my room on my own. Yes, it may sound silly, but I am not thinking of knocking down walls or even to re-tile the floors. I have planned simple work – clean the room, painting the walls (hardest), throw away some old stuffs etc.

I started the planning weeks ago. I had wanted a small table so that I can do some writing and computing. My old computer table looked like it is going to collapse soon, so went shopping at Ikea to get some stuff for my room. That shopping trip was one of my happiest days in months. I really love it there, simple design furniture at cheap price. I can go there every week and will not get bored. :)

I think Ikea is really one of those businesses in the world who cares and not only focuses on making money. I read in a book about Ikea and it fascinated me. The boss started out as a mail to order furniture supplier in Sweden. They would send catalogue to people by mail and thus save cost on advertising which is still being done now. Because of its humble beginning, it has always come up with ideas to save cost, so that they could provide affordable furniture to consumers. Now they are also environmental conscious – Singapore’s outlet charge for plastic bag and in a way encourage shoppers to bring their own bag. I also remember reading that the boss still travels in economic class despite his fortune.

What I like about Ikea is how user-friendly their shop and product is. They always try to make things easier for you. The lack of saleperson is also a plus point. I don’t people to bother me while I shop. I will look for them if I have questions.

I have to tell you all about this software that Ikea develops and provided on their website - Home Planner. Users can download for free and use it on their computer. It helps them to plan what to buy without having to step into the store. The software first requires users to key in the size of their room, then user can just drag and drop real items which was sold in their stores into the plan, so that they can conceptualise how their room will looked like with Ikea furniture in scaled down real life proportion.

User can chose to view the room in 2D and even in 3D view~~!! User can rotate the room in different directions, judge whether Ikea's items will fits into their room decor and most importantly how much those items will cost etc.

How cool is that~!!!

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