I see-a an IKEA!

Ines and I spent our Columbus Day weekend in Dallas, TX, meeting up with my best friend, Joe, and his wife Kristen.

Unfortunately, when you’re amidst a home renovation, every free weekend that you don’t invest into sweat equity seems like a missed opportunity. Luckily, we were able not only to visit our friends, but also knock out a three or four birds with a single stone.

While we can normally obtain any supplies we need via Lowe’s, Walmart, and Sears; there are often times where our town just doesn’t make the cut. Dallas, on the other hand, is almost too overwhelming, especially for us small-town folk. We started our trek across western Texas with a mental list of things we wanted to accomplish:

1. Have a fun getaway with each other and friends
2. Eat some really good food
3. Find an affordable flooring option for our entire house
4. Make a stop at the IKEA

We had an awesome time visiting with Joe and Kristen, hitting up some good restaurants, watching some sports games, and even attending a local comedy routine. I hadn’t seen them since our wedding, and it was great to catch up on all that has happened.

Ines and I were able to locate a variety of good restaurants, including the Original Pancake House, a Puerto Rican cafe, and an amazing sushi bar near the DFW airport. I ordered up some delicious dutch-oven concoction at the OPH that had me yearning to buy my own. Ines was in heaven eating some of her favorite “home-cooked” PR meals, and the sushi with tropical mojitos were incredible:

 
 
On the Saturday of our trip, Ines and swung by a few Lumber Liquidators around the DFW area in search of a floor for our home. After picking out a few samples, laying them on the ground in different lights, and deciding between affordability and investment, we ended up choosing this be-ute of a hardwood:
 
 
This was both Ines and I’s first flooring purchase, so we were taken a little off guard when the installation materials ended up matching the price of the wood itself. We decided to float the floor instead of gluing it straight to the concrete (easier and slight cheaper); with floating, you have to consider not only the price of the floors, but also the underlayment, T&G glue, T-moldings, spacers, chalkline, tapping block, stair step cuts, plus any tools like miter saws, jig saws, and table saws.
 
We ended up haggling a pretty good deal for the flooring ($2.49/sqft) which was $0.40 off the sale price, and since we were purchasing such a large amount, we were able to get a discount on some of the materials. Yes, the total amount took a bite out of our wallets, but we know that hardwoods are a timeless renovation addition that will easily increase the equity of our home.
 
If you plan on ordering a bulk amount of wood like we did (2 pallets worth), consider that you’re probably going to need a U-Haul of some sort, even if you own a truck (each 4ft. x 4ft. pallet of wood is approximately 3,000 lbs.). Even with our new Chevy, we rented a small 6’x8′ trailer ($60 one way) to haul the other pallet of wood, which also provided a nice dry environment for our underlayment and other materials.
 
 
To top off our house-shopping weekend, we took a trip to the “Disneyland of Homeowners,” the “Mecca of College Dorm Rooms,” the “Capitol of the Thrifty Designer;” that’s right, IKEA.
 
I had heard some great things about this Swedish superstore, but let me tell you, I was absolutely blown away by my first experience. Walking the store is more of a guided tour than a huge shopping outlet like Ashley Furniture or something of the like. The “yellow brick road” of sorts takes you from room to room, providing ideas, custom or pre-built layouts, and merchandise for every living space in your home.
 
Ines was drawn in by the affordable porcelain sink options, while I was mesmorized by closet organizers and custom shelving. Unfortunately, we weren’t really in the market for any furniture, and our massive wood purchase had us feeling a little burnt out, but we knew we couldn’t leave without finding something to implement in our home.
 
Fortunately, IKEA offers some very affordable curtains and other window treatments that we knew we wouldn’t be able to replicate for a cheaper price. We ended up purchasing a mixture of beige and white “Vivian” style curtains for our whole house! Well, at least rooms we knew we needed them. For $20, you can’t beat the floor to ceiling size and coverage (5′ x 9′).
 
While we were sad to bid adieu to Dallas and all its delicious food and house furnishing stores, we were excited to take our wooden bundle of joy back home.