I had my first (and only) Ikea experience in my 3rd year of studies. We partenered with 4 Swedish design students and worked on a low cost housing development just outside of Port Elizabeth. Because of the Swedish involvement (the Swedish goverment have partnered with the City of Port Elizabeth in some way...) Ikea had decided to sponsor the interior furnishings required for the new homes.
We were given a catalogue to choose which items we wanted, it was shipped to the Port Elizabeth harbour, and we had a ball of a time assembling everything, even the kitchens!
Now I read that the new catalogue is out. And I am bombarded with images of what is on the shelfs, and again I long for my very own Ikea store. It's not that their stuff is soooo wonderful, it's more a case of making good design affordable. When will they come to our shores? ;(