I have some catching up to do.
-The trip to Minnesota was a success. We got a metric crapload of stuff at IKEA, Trader Joe’s, and Blue Max Liquors. The rental minivan strained to keep up with the sheer mass and weight of all this tightly-packed, mass-produced Swedish goodness:
We got to see the Minnesota side of our family and spend a little quality time with everyone. It was really nice, the weather cooperated, and the Happy Gnome is a highly recommended stop for great food and beer—lots of local produce and a thoughtful selection of brews on tap.
-IKEA assembly was mostly a success. We bought a bedroom set for the spare room (bed + 2 dressers):
an entire office “suite”:
miscellaneous light fixtures and lamps (not pictured), and a TV "wall" for the living room.
Everything went smoothly…except the TV stand portion of the wall. Here it is after I assembled it the first time:
The furniture was listed as 15-3/4” deep on the box, website…everywhere. The problem is that the shelf the TV is to sit on is only 7” deep. Even the stand for a flat screen is considerably bigger (ours is about 12” deep). There is no mention of this anywhere. The only way for anyone to use this furniture as intended is to mount the TV directly onto the back of this shelf as if it is a wall. The problem, of course, is that there is also no mention of this fact ANYWHERE. Worse, it would require 2 additional rails, which of course would require another visit to IKEA or a huge shipping fee.
We decided to improvise instead. She used a router to cut a hole in the bottom of the board that would be behind the TV. This would allow us to slip the TV stand below it, mostly unnoticeably.
Of course, this unique, contoured board with specially-measured holes and couplings then fell to the ground and snapped in two.
The next day, she bought a bracket at Home Depot to repair the board, at least enough so that we could be done with it. We also had to make holes in the board for wires because they stuck too far out of the back of the TV. Fortunately the TV itself hides all this:
End result, with side elements added:
Honestly, it looks great. That said, you may want to stay away from the Besta line @ IKEA. We’ve now had two major problems with products in this line, and being so far away from a store it's not easy to resolve them.
More to come (about things other than IKEA) once I find the time.