In honour of Ikea opening a store in Dartmouth NS, The Manatee published an article about a couple divorcing after a trip to the new Ikea. Very funny – the story and Facebook comments. The Manatee is a satirical magazine, so of course this article wasn’t actually true. But the Facebook stories about Ikea assembly were. One person thought maybe they should point out, hey, this story isn’t real, you know. Clearly someone who has never assembled an Ikea product. Keep your innocence, my dear, stay away from the store.
In the past, I have assembled Ikea furniture and have watched while someone else did. Nevermore, nevermore. However, dismantling an Ikea chair and reassembling it seemed do-able. A hand-me-down, I liked the chair a lot but the cover desperately needed washing.
Still, I was nervous. Maybe buying a new cover would be safer. So I googled Ikea chairs and covers. Do you know how many identical looking bentwood chairs Ikea makes? And chair covers? All with different model names and tiny differences in shape and size. With fitted chair covers, a millimetre matters. Buying online was pretty much a shot in the dark.
Maybe I should wait until the Dartmouth Ikea opens and go there. I’d have to take the chair, of course, so I could directly compare it to what was in stock. Picturing that trip, I decided to take the cover off.
How hard could it be?
I had the advantage of an assembled chair in front of me. I should have taken photos first. But I was fooled into complacency by lots of zippers and velcro fasteners. They must mean easy removal.
I started opening fasteners. Then I saw the screws in the frame went through the fabric. You have to take them out to slide the cover off. So I get the Allen key. Soon the chair was in pieces – seat and back section and two arm and base sections. Ok, start peeling the cover off. Ikea chair covers fit very tightly, to give their sleek look.
Using hands, feet, elbows and knees to hold and peel, I looked anything but sleek when my husband walked in. What are you doing? Eating bonbons and watching tv, what the hell does it look like? Fortunately, that thought stayed in my head. I had chosen an evening when he was out to do this job. Best for the chair and our marriage. I should have picked a weekend! He quickly disappeared, presumably joining the cats and dog wherever they were hiding. I got the cover off.
It looked fine after washing. Now to reverse the process. Just as difficult. Just as much cursing on Ikea and all things Swedish. This time I needed help. One person to hold the chair parts in place, the other to use the Allen key and curse.
After several hours, we got it put together. I’d walk past it just to admire its beauty (never mind the few rumples in the cover). Next day, I saw black hair on the seat and lower back. The cat with fine, sticky, shedding hair had claimed it.
So I strapped a car seat cover around it. That fixed her. Of course, it ruins the visual of the sleek Scandinavian design too. But that cover is never ever coming off again. So it’s either the car seat or cat hair. Likely both.