Build Diary 48 – Transforming my home office with IKEA!


IKEA – Let me take you on a journey into my past …..


More than 20 years ago, I moved to Australia. I was 18, had just finished high school and had met my then-boyfriend/now-husband, who was travelling in Argentina. I fell in love and moved to Sydney.


I’d grown up in a loving, financially secure home with an architect  father and interior design obsessed mother. But moving to Australia meant being financially independent from my parents. We were 20 year olds living in a rented unfurnished apartment in a beautiful area of Sydney. I was working in a café earning $8/hour and going to music school. We were in love and very happy, but it’s fair to say we didn’t have much money.


The suburb we are living in, Bondi Beach, has a culture of residents putting unneeded furniture on the sidewalk for others to take, and so that’s how we very sparsely furnish our home. We have a mattress on the floor, a wooden box that was used to transport the top of a piano, is our coffee table, as well as an inflatable sofa (ha!), and a TV. It was pretty basic. The beach was 5 minutes from our home. We loved our life together!


Boyfriend proposes and we are set to get married. Our families fly in for the ceremony and are not at all impressed with our apartment. So we are hauled off to buy furniture…..


I have clear memories of that first visit to IKEA. That enormous, cavernous building, full of snaking paths, and filled with delightful furniture and homewares. I was like a kid in a candy store. I could literally buy everything I needed for my apartment in just one shop! It really felt like a Cinderella moment!


A few hours later, we’re back at home, putting together all the flat pack goodies from IKEA. Husband is useless at this, but my industrial designer sister more than makes up for it.


Hey presto, we watch our new home appear before us in a matter of hours! Our super basic apartment is transformed into a real home. I remember feeling that “now I’m actually an adult!”

So IKEA for me, carries a lot of positive emotions. It represents some of my metamorphosis from kid to adult! That feeling of looking around my apartment, filled with new furniture and thinking “this is now my home”. 


When I heard that IKEA was opening in Bali, I knew I had to investigate! I had already shopped online for small kitchen items from IKEA Jakarta a few years ago when I was desperate for a potato ricer and couldn’t find any in Bali. I was sick of mashing potato for my potato-obsessed daughter with a fork, and almost wept with delight when I saw they had it online.


The IKEA store in Bali is a showroom where you can see all the products they offer. You choose what you want and they ship it to you from Jakarta. Easy peasy!


Coincidently, I had been thinking about my office at this time. We had recently redone our floors, and rather than use the random tables and chairs that I had been using previously, I wanted to make it a more beautiful and productive space.


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