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Back when I was young, carefree and single I bought a very small flat, I then went out and bought an Ikea floor to ceiling pine bookshelf to house everything.  Later, when kids came along Ikea was there for me again with their colourful, plastic containers for all the colourful, plastic toys.  But those days are behind us now,  we no longer need child proof, disposable furniture. I thought that Ikea and I had run our course.  But it turns out Ikea has changed too. It still does the basics, but it’s grown up and found a new style – with a more sophisticated vibe.

The kitchens designs are bang up to date, like this textured white gloss number – with a detachable wooden island.

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The dining room sets were a visual treat

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The lamp shades in rich colours with copper linings

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I love these leather chairs, the blue was more teal (they look a bit like Ikea corporate colours in this photo)

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They had rugs to rival Deirdre Dyson, at a much more affordable price of course

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My own personal weakness  was the uber-organised gift wrapping section. Colour co-ordinated products, well displayed.  I think I must be Martha Stewarts long-lost love child (hopefully a bit less jail-y)

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There was also a trip down memory lane – do you remember this lounger?  We had one in this style when I was a kid, it was royal blue and no friend to a young persons fingers. My mum would lay on it during the hot summers in the 70s, whilst listening to the songs of my childhood on Radio 1, occasionally sipping a dry Martini and lemonade – oh the glamour!

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I know Ikea work hard at making them as sustainable and as good value as possible because I have a friend who works for them doing just that. I wonder how long it will be before Ikea produce sustainable coffins or chic ceramic urns for our ashes too?  Then they really would cater for every stage of your life.

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