This morning we headed out to Ikea to redeem our gift certificate. A new one has opened close to us a few days ago and we wanted to check it out. First off, I have to say that I hate the wording Ikea uses in its letters. The certificate stated “use this at your Ikea”, what is that supposed to mean? Is that the one I bought my other stuff at, making it my Ikea I regularly go to, or do they mean just anyone you want? Hubby decided to call and was on hold for 6 minutes and 30 seconds for a conversation that lasted exactly 19 seconds – we can use the thing anywhere we want. Excellent!

The good news is, Hornbach, our favorite home improvement store over here (the chain’s management spent a whole year with Home Depot, and it shows) is right next to Ikea. And in fact, as it turned out we could leave the car parked in one spot and only had a few feet walk to either store. Very convenient indeed!

The Hornbach ROCKS! It is even bigger than the one in Frankfurt and it is much more modern with many, many more cool toys and gadgets. The main mission was to get a sample can of paint for our inside doors and trim and a few other knick knacks…but as always when hitting the home improvement store you think of most stuff you need when you are already there. We ended up finding a saber saw (needed to finish the kitchen) with a laser guide and super high wattage for 29.99 euros – can’t argue with that. Hubby picked up a starter greenhouse for the garden – one of those really low ones used to start vegetables and we even found out we can have the paint for the shutters (weather proof of course) mixed at the store from a paint chip. All in all a really enjoyable shopping experience, and the damage to the bottom line was not so bad.

On we went to Ikea, once again not enjoyable – but what can you do, their products are excellent and we did have a gift certificate. We mostly stocked up on stuff to beautify our bathroom upstairs and a few things for the kitchen, which I will report about later. There are just too many people at Ikea turning into zombies out for the Swedish furniture goodness, not paying attention to anything around them. The lines were long at the cash register and someone went trigger happy on the thermostat and the place felt like a sauna but now that some of the things have found new homes in our upstairs bathroom we know we will go back! Swedish furniture goodness is just too great to pass up!

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