I went to IKEA and bought a Lack, which is their made-up name for a coffee table. It was cheap–only $25–and easy to assemble. It’s a little narrower than the one it replaces and much lighter. It’s dark and has clean lines. It is very Swedish. And it looks sharper than the heavy, glass-topped table it replaces, which looked more appropriate to something you might find in your grandparents’ home around 1975.
I also replaced my dresser, a piece of furniture that came with me when I first moved to Vancouver in 1986. So this is not just a piece of furniture that looks like it came from the 70s, it actually did come from the 70s (I had it for a few years back in Duncan). Of late it had gotten incapable of containing all of my clothes, with my running gear and jeans piled on top. But it’s one of those things you never really think about until you finally do and then you’re navigating the IKEA maze, picking up the three boxes of boards, screws and braces that will take hours to assemble and voila, I have a new giant dresser that fits this century and holds all of my clothes. And it smells nice, too.
My current nightstand is a stack of six cardboard boxes in a pair of 2×3 stacks. These are filled mainly with books I will never look at again and covered with a blue bath towel to give it a “level” surface. This doesn’t look like grandma furniture, because it lacks any style at all, even simple kitsch value. It does look a bit like what a poor student might slap together (the boxes were cheap because, like IKEA furniture, they had to be assembled). I’m going to replace this soon with an actual nightstand.
I have no idea why I literally waited decades to replace some of these things, much like I have no real idea why I am suddenly doing it now, but it feels right and good and I feel a little less tacky and very slightly more stylish for having done so.
Also, now that I look at my computer desk, I suddenly want to replace it, even though I don’t need to. Like I need a drawing table next to it or a separate place for the printer or…something. It’s suddenly inadequate. But we’ll see. It’s actual furniture, so it isn’t as high a priority as a stack of boxes. That was a bit of clever improvisation that was never meant to be permanent, but much like the dresser, it’s just there and I never thought about it, but now that the thinking has started, the furnituring will continue.