I remember the first time I stepped foot inside of an Ikea store. It was like heaven. I had always been into home decor. As a kid, I loved making my own room decorations, and when I finally got to go to college and decorate my dorm room, it was like a dream come true. And don't even get me started on the magazines... folders and folders full of pictures I had ripped out to save as inspiration (the pre-Pinterest era!). But I had never even heard of Ikea. There were a couple in my state, only a few hours away, but in my small hometown, there was never any talk about it... until college.
I went to college in my home town. It might be a small area, but it is well known for the large, rapidly growing college that's there, and that college has one of the best nursing programs, best business schools, and best educator programs in the entire state. So most of the friends I made were from other parts of the state, closer to the two large metropolitan areas a few hours away. Eventually, a guy I was dating took me home to meet his family and took me on my first trip to Ikea. And I will never forget that day. I was in pure amazement. It must have been torture for him, because I'm pretty sure we spent at least six hours going through every single staged room, opening cabinets and drawers, taking pictures of how they decorated shelves and other things that inspired me. It was a great day in my opinion!
, by Nicole Brzuchalski