Not so fab freebie

See my full review of the Ikea Strandmon.


People, I am uncomfortable.

It’s affecting me physically, financially and emotionally.

It all began at the start of the summer.

A colleague at work was downsizing. She had furniture–extremely well-made furniture–and she wanted it gone.

I said, “What I’m really looking for is a wing chair.”

She said, “I have a wing chair.”

I said, “I’ll pick it up on Thursday.”

Of course what I really meant was I’d convince Matt to go with me to pick it up on Thursday, as there was no way a wing chair would fit in my car. If you’ve read any of Victoria’s hilarious blog, Matt’s reaction is a lot like Paul’s (although the wing chair is not in any way the same as the kingdom mirror).

So with only slight jeopardy to my marriage, Matt was on board. After he carried the chair out of the house, loaded it, drove it home, carried it into our house and down the stairs to the basement, he stood there, looked at it, and said, “Do you like that fabric?”

I said, “Of course not. I’m going to recover it!” And then I sat down.

And he said, “What’s wrong?”

And very quietly I said, “It’s not the most comfortable.”

Matt was silent.

Since then, the chair has sat in the reading nook in the basement. Occasionally, I sit in it, hoping it’s gotten more comfortable. It hasn’t. I had a friend come over and test it for me. She agreed. It’s just not a comfortable chair.

Flowered wing chair

The seat is too shallow. The back is too straight and too short. The wings are too narrow. This is a sit up straight and balance your teacup on your knee type of chair (which I should have guessed from the fabric). This is not a slouch down, lay back, snuggle in and relax type of chair.

However, I found a chair that is exactly what I’m looking for.

Ikea Strandmon wing chair

Most of you are probably familiar with Strandmon from Ikea. This chair is extremely comfortable. The first time we met (before the uptight flowered one came into our lives), both Matt and I agreed that it is a great chair. You can sit sideways with your legs thrown over the arm and your head is still wonderfully supported by the wings–yes, I absolutely sat like this in the store. The back is the perfect angle to slouch a little bit but still be supported.

I want this chair.

But it’s Ikea. The chair that I have is probably full of hand-tied springs, high density foam and solid wood. There’s no way that Strandmon can match that. Plus, the chair that I have was just $25. Strandmon is $300. Twelve times more expensive!

Sure I’ve spent money on furniture before (hello most comfortable couch ever), but it’s always been a carefully researched decision into an “investment” or “adult” piece of furniture that will last us for years. You may say that $300 isn’t a lot to spend, but the rest of my furniture either came from garage sales or was made by me, so my threshold for sticker shock is pretty low.

The only way I can think of to make this work is to put Strandmon on my birthday list. September happens to be my birthday month. My family doesn’t typically do big extravagant expensive gifts for each other (and yes, in my world $300 is a lot to spend), but I think if all of my family members and Matt went in together, I would feel okay with them buying me Strandmon.

What do you think, family? Happy birthday to me?

Update: Check out if my birthday wish came true… and some more thoughts on the Standmon… in this post.

Update #2: See the finished reading nook here.


12 thoughts on “Not so fab freebie

  1. Definitely put it on your birthday list! Or do what I would do…buy it anyway -). I would also keep the (almost) free chair and recover it when it is convenient. As you said, it is a good quality chair that you will have for years. Think of it as a guest chair, not a ‘me’ chair — it is lovely. Kind of like dress clothes and play clothes. There is always a place to put a wing chair for occasional use, like a bedroom, a corner vignette etc. I have a lovely wood framed high-end chair that I purchased 10 years ago for a song. It has only two reasons for existence. Filling an empty corner with something pretty and providing much-needed overflow seating. When company comes, it is a welcome addition to the room. When I purchased my dining room set, I got two armchairs for the head of the table for the same reason. I can move them easily into the living room to provide extra seating when required.

  2. You could also recover the wing chair and sell it to recoup some of the cost of the Ikea one (which looks amazing, BTW.) Some people actually like uptight, straight-backed, shallow-seated chairs. My friend paid giant buckaroos to get this wing chair and have it upholstered in denim. I thought it would be a great chair, being denim and being a wing chair and all. Boy, was I wrong! The thing cuts off halfway between butt and knees and requires bolt upright sitting. Big disappointment, as I was hoping for a comfy chair to slouch in while visiting her. But she loves it. Her legs are a lot shorter than mine, so I guess it doesn’t bother her. To me, it’s the chair version of a miniskirt, which is plain and simply a no-can-do in my books… o.O

  3. It’s personal, we have two strandmons in our living room. My husband finds them comfortable but I find them extremely uncomfortable and they hurt the back of my legs, I cannot sit in them for long.

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