February 19, 2013   //  Posted in: Decor, Dining Room   //  By: Emily   //  4 responses

We took an impromptu trip to the IKEA in Burlington, Ontario over the weekend, a stop on our Saturday of belated Valentine’s fun that also included Niagara Falls, the Seneca Niagara Casino, and dinner in Buffalo, NY. This was also the first time I went to IKEA without having so much as a piece of scrap paper with a shopping list on it – it was wildly liberating. Window shopping was more fun than previous trips, trips where we would spend hours trying to figure out what we could or couldn’t buy based on a complicated mathematical equation that took into account how much would fit into the car and how much we could transport across the American border without encountering extra tariffs. Said equation almost always looked something like this, and was most certainly harder to solve than any textbook challenge: (KASSETT)(MALM + BJÄRNUM) + 4(GRUNDTAL) + VITTSJÖ.  (For those with no reason to understand what I’m talking about, there’s a limit to how much you bring back into the United States from Canada, and for a day trip it’s only around $200/person with some weird rules around whether or not you live with the other person; we can’t get anyone to tell us what the law really is, even customs.)

Our visits to IKEA are infrequent enough that there’s always new stuff to see, and always merchandise that I overlooked during previous visits when my head was deep into calculating how far forward the driver’s seat could shift without being a hazard on the QEW.

These KLISTRIG placemats are one of my favorite things we brought home. It’s a perfect mix of function and design, and might look damn good framed over a white backdrop or taped permanently to my kitchen wall, like so:

A new KLISTRIG IKEA dining mat.

Priced at just $4.99 (canadian) for a set of 4, they have a distinct Charley Harper-like feel, and that was their initial draw other than, you know, colorful children’s placemats are charming and we don’t own any. Mr. Harper, if you haven’t heard me mention him once or twice before, quickly grew to being one of my favorite artists, thanks to his bold and clean aesthetic. He has illustrated several children’s booksthat someday I know I’ll be splurging on, but I also recently learned that he illustrated The Giant Golden Book of Biology, and it’s one of very few books that I’d demand to have in my own personal library. I immediately assumed that I might have found it in my Grandma’s attic amongst other treasures (she has some great stuff stored mint), but I haven’t come across it yet. If anyone reading this has a copy of finds one in their travels, let me know. (This image is from Wary Meyers Decorative Arts blog):

Charley Harper's illustrated Golden Books

How was your long weekend, and what did you splurge on?

  • genny
    5 years ago - Reply

    I love KLISTRIG placemats! I use them as colorful and inexpensive window films. I have the floral ones on my bathroom windows. Colorful, they allow light in, but you can’t see in.

    • Emily
      5 years ago -

      Gorgeous! Love that idea, Genny!

  • Barb
    5 years ago - Reply

    We do the same thing when we go to the States for a weekend. It’s so awesome that the duty-free limit for 48 hours is now $800. That’s a lot of shopping at places like HomeGoods and Hobby Lobby! The last time we went to PA we came back with our (tiny) SUV packed to the gills and still didn’t hit our limit.

    We splurged on paint this weekend. Benjamin Moore Aura paint is $72 a can here in Canada. Crazy! But it really goes far so it’s worth it in the long run.

    • Emily
      5 years ago -

      Wow! I know Canada’s limits are different than USA’s and I wish ours were as good as yours! How in the world could BM paint be that costly?

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