Sunday, 3 May 2009

How Blue Was My Billy?

Since moving into our new flat, we have been short of bookcases. We had lots of these in Dubai - 'Billy' bookcases from IKEA. But we decided not to ship them here because of the cost/bulk/weight thingie. It just would not have been worth it: it would be much cheaper to buy new ones when we arrived. As it turned out, our previous flat was way too small to accommodate such a luxury. The books remained in boxes.

Our new flat is somewhat bigger, and has a perfect space in the dining area to fit two six-foot tall Billys. We checked the IKEA website, and were pleased to see they now do Billy bookcases in royal blue laminate. This would make a pleasing contrast with the light oak flooring and peachy/orangey kitchen cupboard doors. Sadly, IKEA still do not do online shopping, so today we went to IKEA (East) to get them. There are two other IKEAs in Madrid, but we haven't figured out how to get to them by public transport.

It has been well over a year since we visited IKEA East, and since then they have built a massive shopping mall, La Gavia, that connects the formerly free-standing IKEA and Carrefour buildings. It's 45 minutes on the Metro, followed by a 400 metre walk to the mall entrance, followed by an air-conditioned 400m walk to the IKEA entrance, followed by a decidedly dodgy lunch at their cafeteria and probably a kilometre to get round both floors of the store.

I should add that I have not been to a proper shopping mall since we moved to Spain, apart from one or two in England, and they don't count. I really felt like I was back in Dubai for a few minutes there.

All the walking was decidedly knackering. We queued for ages at the checkout, and then went to arrange delivery (you would not believe how heavy these boxes were). That involved another lengthy queue, and I knew from looking at their website that the delivery would cost more than a bookcase. I was quite prepared to have to wait a few days for the delivery, and was amazed when they said it would be this evening.

So, I'm quite pleased with myself. I have assembled one bookcase, without any swearing or left-over screws and whatnot. It stands in the dining area now. It's very nice, but, oh boy, isn't it blue?! I'll do the other tomorrow, in half the time because now I know how to do it.

It is very blue indeed. Blue, blue, blue.

I expect the blueness to wear off when it is full of books (I'll put the blue ones somewhere else, obviously), and MamaDuck is even now plotting to put pots of trailing ivy on top of them.

All good fun.

*This post is not sponsored by IKEA, but it should be.


the real nick said...

Well, as a former interior designer you have obviously a huge advantage in putting up IKEA shelves.

Macthomson said...

Ah, where would we be without Billy shelves. I bought my first lot in 1982 in Munich, and favoured matte black at the time. Further units were added until both sides of a narrow hallway were lined with books and our more corpulent guests chose no longer to visit us.

The there was Berlin set, still black... Added to in Cologne, but in birch laminate.

Birch laminate, too, were the Billy shelves from the Abu Dhabi Ikea. But there was, as Keefie boy also concluded, no sense in transporting them back to Europe.

Now, again in Munich, the existing four low Billy units need augmenting.

I, too, shall go for blue!

Keefieboy said...

Nick: but as a former resident of Dubai, I've never had to do it before...

CafeMark said...

"I have assembled one bookcase, without any swearing or left-over screws and whatnot."

Ah-ha - there's always one! Well done!

Keefieboy said...

CafeMark: there were two tacks left over when I did the second one.

Seabee said...

It is very, very blue Keefie, and with the second one next to it it'll be even bluer. A coat of white paint perhaps...?

the real nick said...

Isn't it a bit excessive to buy two bookcases for that one book?

Grumpy Goat said...

I feel that it is a great shame that IKEA chose to update the Billy bookcases by making them out of fibre board instead of blockboard. The problem is one of shelves bending under the weight of all those dead trees; an affliction not suffered by the earlier version.

A side-effect of the change is that the 90cm Billy is no longer coming in Dubai, nor anywhere else, and it is consequently impossible to buy cupboard fronts for my old Billys.

Ah, my old Billys. Originally purchased in Italy, I'm told, and shipped around the planet by various members of Beloved Wife's family. They survived a tsunami in the Philippines before finding their way to Dubai.

Beloved Wife, at that stage merely an acquaintance of The Goat (and we've been mooching around together for aeons) upgraded to new white Billys, and the beech ones ended up dismantled and unloved outside on the verandah overlooking the Wanton [sic] Chinese Restaurant.

I magnanimously took them away to Grumpy Goat Towers in Sharjah, where they remained until nearly two years ago.

Those same blockboard, beech-veneered Billys now reside in the Crumbling Villa.

Will they make it to Cyprus? Check in a decade or so.un