IKEA adventures


This past week was a blessed one with much rest, renewal, family time, holiday traditions, and grateful hearts as we celebrated the gift of our Savior during the week leading up to Easter.

Our full week began on Monday with a trip to IKEA for family night.

For those who are not familiar with IKEA stores, here is a brief overview:

“Ikea is a Swedish company known for its affordable, modern furniture. The company specializes in compact styles, usually assembled by the purchaser at home. With nearly 300 stores worldwide, the store has gained a faithful following of budget-hunting customers, and even entered pop culture.

In the 1940s, the company sold small home accessories and trinkets throughout Sweden. Eventually, the business expanded to furniture making, originally sold by mail order. In 1963, the first store opened outside of Sweden. The brand quickly spread throughout Scandinavia, with stores in Denmark and Norway. Over the next few decades, the store became popular throughout Europe, and opened locations in America in 1985.

As of 2008, the company had stores in 36 countries. Germany has the most locations, with 43 stores throughout the country, while the United States is close behind with 34. With its bold, blue and yellow mega-stores, Ikea has flourished for a variety of reasons, including price, style, and sheer volume of products.

The typical layout of an Ikea store includes one or more showroom floors for large pieces of furniture and various room sets. Small departments, such as lighting and textiles, are scattered throughout the departments. The bottom floor of most stores includes a large warehouse section where boxes of the displayed furniture are available for customer selection. The lower floor also features check-out lines and a section of Swedish imported food available for purchase.”

We are lucky enough to have an IKEA in Pittsburgh and as a newly married couple it was our go-to place for inexpensive, creative solutions for furnishing our home. What I like about IKEA’s products, in addition to exceptional prices, is the creative design elements. Much of their inventory is multifunctional and is designed for smaller spaces,offering creative solutions for organization…

Thus making it a perfect place for our school bus conversion project!

(As well as a perfect place for the little boys to release some pent up energy!)


Toby has now finished many of the cabinets in the bus, including the kitchen (he just needs to add doors) so now is the time to start shopping for organizational tools for small space living.


The kitchen is going in.


The kitchen sits across from the boys’ bunk bed.

 The space available in a converted school bus for 7 people to live comfortably for a month is limited. We need to be creative as we figure out where we will store clothes for 7 people, food, school supplies and books (since we will be homeschooling on the road.)

Even problems like:

“Where will toothbrushes go?”

“Where will shoes be stored when taken off?”

“Where do we hang 7 wet towels?”

“Where do we store the girls’ futon bedding during the day?”

and “Where do we fit a dirty laundry basket or a trash can?”

are some of the problems we are seeking solutions for,

so it was a perfect time to spend the evening at IKEA to get some ideas.

The big kids hadn’t been to IKEA in years and the little boys had never been. It was a grand adventure for all involved. Toby pushed me in the wheelchair, while the big kids took turns pulling our rolling shopping bag,


The little boys ran from showroom to showroom, pretending it was their “home.”



Trying out chairs!


“Daddy, come find me!”


Tyler found his favorite chair!


Everyone picked out their future dream rooms as we walked around looking for items for the bus.


Gracie’s dream bedroom.


Rusty’s dream bedroom.


We had great success. We found some great organizational items, hardware for hanging the bus curtains and the curtains that will hang across each of the bunk beds, a TINY sink for the bus bathroom, among other things. It was a successful visit!

And a perfect adventure for family night!


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