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This weekend’s shopping trip would not have been complete without a stop at IKEA. I was determined to leave with
1) A lighting fixture (or fixtures) for the kitchen,
2) Floor protection stickies for the new furniture, and
3) Upholstered dining room chairs to match the new table.

Unlike every time I have gone to IKEA before, I finally grabbed a cart at the entrance. I guess enough trips with $200 in unexpected purchases has taught me that the grab-the-cart precaution will prevent me from lugging bundled rugs through the store after-the-fact. I’ve been the Idiot Without A Cart (possibly my Native American name if I had one) many times over.

I had a surprising amount of success for a busy Saturday in fall at IKEA. Despite the throngs of shoppers, I managed to get through the display area in under an hour without skipping through departments. If this had been an Olympic sport, I would have at least won the bronze. I even had the time to stop for pictures of Christmas decoration ideas that were scattered throughout the dining room area:

Tablescape at Ikea

I also found a possible kitchen island, but I’m not totally sold on the stainless drawers. The size of the unit is perfect though, so I took a picture of the tag to make note of the dimensions (one of my biggest likes about having a decent camera phone – I never need a pen and paper anymore).

Kitchen workbench at ikea

Next came lighting. I have been searching for over a month for the *perfect* pendant lights to hang in our kitchen but have not had much success (why is it so hard to find simple lights with glass shades for under $50?).

When I spotted this track lighting unit on display, it suddenly opened up a new design plan for the kitchen. I love it when that happens! (Update: The original track lighting has been discontinued but this one is very similar and available!)

Track lighting at ikea

In general, I’m not a fan of track lighting. Most styles seem dated to me and completely lack style. But, much like my noncliner, this particular unit changed my mind. The two ends of this lighting unit can flex in just about any angle, but I like the U-shaped setup the most. The multitude of lights that can be positioned in any direction will allow me to have task lighting in the exact areas I need it without interfering with the visual line of the room – hopefully making the space seem large and clean.

Track light layouts

Once I’d found the lighting fixture, it was on to dining room chairs. Initially, I had my heart set on purchasing two NILS chairs (discontinued) with arms and two without (also discontinued). However, once I compared the more formal HENRIKSDAL (discontinued but the BERGMUND is very similar) chairs with my new dining room table, I decided that four chairs with higher backs would be more suitable for the room.

Dining chairs

The only problem was there were only two chairs available in the store. We grabbed both only to find that one of them had a hole in the box and a hole in the chair itself to match. It worked out though; a new shipment came in the next day and I was able to get the remaining three.

Here is where the story takes an unexpected turn in an otherwise relatively mild IKEA shopping trip:  I got a call from my credit card company about a spike in charges. Not to worry, I thought at first – after all, I’d been shopping that morning for hundreds of dollars worth of furniture. Except… wait a minute… the card they were calling about was NOT the card I’d used to make my purchases. !!!

The bank was calling to check on suspected fraud. Had I purchased a $700 computer recently? Had I purchased $200 at Overstock.com? Had I bought a membership to Netflix and Match.com? Frick. My card had been stolen.

Thankfully, the bank caught it in less than 24 hours, marked my account as stolen, and told me I would be getting a new card in no time. Also, little known to me, but online companies like Dell and Overstock will often verify the delivery address with the credit card company before processing the order through. This usually results in the order being cancelled and no charges actually being billed (even if they were approved at first). I checked my account online this morning and all is well. Not a single purchase in “pending” wound up actually charging to my account, and even if they had, all I would have to do is call the bank once more and have them flag the charge as fraud.

Whew. Quite a scare, and not at all at a convenient time. But, it seems that things worked out OK, my purchases were fine, and I was able to take home all my great deals. Has anyone out there ever had something like this happen to them? Or had a mild freak-out in the middle of IKEA like I did – even if it’s not card-related? Spill the dirty deets. Oh, and let me know what you think of my lighting and chairs!

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  1. I miss living close to an Ikea! I hear it calling my name so much lately; I really need to answer the call soon :) Following you right back! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. My mum just recently had an experience whereby her credit card was used fraudulently – someone tried to purchase a 2K vacation deal! Luckily, it was stopped before it went through, but it was a pain to deal with!

  3. we test drove the henriksdal chair on a recent IKEA trip – quite possibly the most comfortable dining chair. ever. also love their super reasonably priced lighting!

  4. @Amy: My goodness, I'm sorry your mom had to deal with the nightmare too! But thank goodness for catching it early, right?

    @Stucco: Comfort was definitely a factor when we were choosing between the NILS and the HENRIKSDAL chairs. My Dad was our official tester… it was so funny to see his eyes light up when he sat in the henriksdal – it was like there was voltage under his butt! Sitting on them myself, combined with the removable (and washable) covers sealed the deal.

  5. Love your new purchases! And old kitchens + track lights = amazingness. We bought a track light and installed it in our kitchen as well… and then realized that there was no AC vent in that room and it got sweltering in there! Sadly, we had to change out the beautiful track lights for a ceiling fan (with track lights). But hey – we still got track lights in there! (and the others got repurposed for the basement lighting!)


  6. OMG that's so scary about the CC. Good think the banks are on top of it. I love the lighting and the chairs!

  7. LOVE what you bought, how perfect! IKEA is like Mecca to me, honestly. And I'll be checking out that tract lighting ASAP.

    We had someone get Sam's debit card info and code electronically the last time we were at Disney. He had the card in his pocket, but we were having $500 per day funneled out of our account at an ATM in NY! We got the $1500 back (it took me 3 days to catch it. I wasn't really plugged in), but how low can you get?

  8. About the Henriksdal chair – We had four that we purchased a few years ago and liked them. We even found a site (Knesting.com) that makes a wide range of slip covers to fit the IKEA model. We bought two more chairs, but it seems that they are considerably bigger. My skinny ass can still fit on a larger chair, but the chairs won’t fit around the table. Since the nearest IJEA is over two hours away, I’ll guess we’ll just donate them to the local Goodwill store. No so pleased any more.

    1. Hmm, I haven’t heard about them changing size, but now I’m going to have that in my mind if I need to buy a new slipcover. Thanks for the tip!