IKEA may seem like an odd fit for an old Victorian-era home, with its emphasis on modern design, but in many ways, IKEA has a lot to offer.
First, not everything they sell is ultra-modern in design. While everyone is familiar with the classic Poang chairs (which I personally love), IKEA actually carries a number of different design styles, some of which fit into the design of our house quite nicely.
The other major benefit, however, is packaging. Most everything comes flat-packed in boxes (with Allen wrenches), which is sometimes the target of IKEA-based ridicule. But the reality is that old homes were not designed around the idea that anyone would actually be moving large items into and out of them. The hallways and doorways are narrow, with tight turns to be navigated. In a house like this, furniture in a flat, slender box is a godsend.
All of the materials needed can easily be moved into the room where it is to be assembled. Then it only becomes a large item when it's already at its final destination. This stands in stark contrast to moving an innerspring king size mattress up the stairs for our own bed - an activity that required three people, a lot of pushing, pulling, and bending.
Thank God it didn't require a box spring.
It took most of the day on Sunday to put together the furniture for LB's room - the loft bed, a loveseat that converts to a bed, and a side table. But once it was all done it looked very nice.
LB's first night in the room represents the first time that room has been inhabited by a human being in over seventy years.
The two front upstairs bedrooms were, for the entirety of my life and, it turns out, my mother's life as well, full of generations of prior family member's... Well... Stuff[^1].
The rooms were technically off limits - we were actively discouraged by Grandma Marie from exploring any part of the upstairs. She and my grandfather had primarily lived downstairs. When they had children my grandfather went to the trouble of running heat to two (and only two) of the six upstairs bedrooms for my mother and my uncle. The others functioned essentially as unpaid rental units for previous generation's cast offs. But to the pre-teen me these rooms were an exploratory extravaganza - a veritable cornucopia of interesting stuff.
Being actively discouraged meant, of course, that I had to find ways to get up there. During family gatherings, when the adults got into long conversations was often a good opportunity to quietly sneak my way up the steps and have a look around. In addition, both my brother and I stayed with Grandma Marie often when our folks were away, and that afforded exploration potential as well.
Until now, though, I don't know that is ever really even thought of those rooms as a place where people would live (except in the abstract). And now here we are, decades later.
Pictures of the completed room should be coming in the next week or two.
[^1]: I wanted to go for the word crap here, but some of it was really cool. Among the items in the mix of stuff was an old Victrola and an Edison Wax Cylinder phonograph, the latter of which was the item I chose to keep when the estate sale was held for my grandmother's care.