Particleboard theory

Looks like Ikea-bashing is becoming the underground craze of the 21st century. This comes as a bit of a surprise to me, since I still own Ikea bookshelves that I put together over 20 years ago, but something’s definitely gone wrong with the brand. I bought a new bookshelf unit a couple of weeks ago that turned out to be complete crap: the wood was soft and punky, the widgets pulled loose whenever I shifted the unit around, and when I finally heaved it upright the whole thing tottered like a drunk on high-heels. And don’t even get me started on what it was like to return the thing. What’s the Swedish word for “junk”?

Matt Yglesias appears to have had a slightly different but still blood-pressure-elevating experience with Ikea products, and of course fans of The Wire already know the show’s creator, David Simon, has long had a particleboard chip on his shoulder about the chain’s furniture. See the clip above. Even if you’re not blasted on Jameson during the assembly, getting Ikea furniture from its natural flat state to three dimensions can be a pretty trying experience. But this level of rancor surprises me: has anybody else been burned by Ikea lately?

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4 thoughts on “Particleboard theory

  1. Levi Stahl says:

    I stay away from Ikea products not because they are bad but because going into Ikea makes me dizzy. Too much fluorescent light, too much stuff, too many people. Yikes.

  2. Fred Kiesche says:

    What a shame. The majority of our furniture at home is Ikea and some of it is 24 years old and still in good shape. Too bad they are going down in quality, I need MORE BOOKSHELVES!!!!

  3. geoff says:

    Every piece of furniture I bought there in the last five years has been CRAP. If you get it upright and into the place you intend, don’t ever move it because it will fracture immediately.

    Their rugs are ok, their curtains are decent–but more and more stuff is Made in China.

  4. Samana says:

    I stay away from Ikea products for the same reason as Levi Stahl. They just make me sick :s

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