Architecture & Design

New series on the blog | IKEA Guide for Immigrants

What is one of the great first challenges of the immigrant? Make a clea
n break. He has a career, has friendships, documents, says in the bank, has the adaptation to so many other issues, but one of the first things is where to live. If you're arriving in Canada or some other country other than yourown, except for a few very special cases, you'll have to "assemble" your home, starting with things of first necessity. Some people choose to stay in furnished properties right at the start until they can rent or, luckily, until they buy their home sweet home, but the time will come, and soon, you will have to get from bed to hanger, from pots to toallhas, the list can get great Believe.

Let me tell you how our story went:

We arrived at the end of September and after about a month and a half in a temporary (and furnished) corner, we managed to rent our first home in Canada. 

We had 7 suitcases when we landed as immigrants and inside them, few items from home, most were books and clothes. 

A day before our move to the new apartment, we researched prices for the item we needed most, a mattress. After all, we needed to sleep somewhere and the floor didn't seem the most interesting. We managed to get the delivery scheduled for that afternoon so that, whew, we had a place to sleep that night (other than the floor).

Our first sweet home in Canada – apartment rented after 1 and a half months around here…
Our kitchen and our first electrometics…

Gradually we were buying the rest of the most important things, but I must remember that the list came from cutlery, plates and cups, bath towels etc ad infinitum. I remember that at the time, 8 and a half years ago practically, there were not so many stores that sold online and so we had no way to search and compare prices as well as now.

I, as an architect, already knew what we needed and my vision of what I would like to see in our apartment, but I confess that I did not know where to start shopping. Many stores, but we had no time or ease of commuting at the time (also with the cold coming) to compare prices, go to a store to buy the sofa, another for the coffee table, another for the drawer. And how to take home all this then (freight is usually charged extra for home deliveries).

Anyway, the IKEA universe has been introduced to us. For those who do not know IKEA, they are stores of a Swedish chain, which resemble Tok&Stok and Etna in Brazil. You go in there and find any and all item you need for your home. In one place. On top of that with a style much more our face than the furniture we saw out there and with affordable prices for us newcomers. I will say that we did not think twice and that although, at the time, we did not buy toooodos the most important items for our house at IKEA, I think today would have been more advantage, for practicality.

IKEA Ottawa in 2007 – nowadays it is not even in this building anymore and is beeeem bigger!
You pick it out, take the stock and go to the cashier, so loaded. Only then you go to the area for home delivery.
Putting together one of the first things – we have this drawer to this day!

Some people think that the store has low quality products or that everything is cheap, but neither one or the other information is correct. Some things you will feel advantage if you get to search in other stores and not everything will last you many, many years, but overall, I think it's the most practical option. You'll have the work (or fun) of assembling most furniture, but believe me, it gives you even a sense of pride when you've just set up your own bed with trocentas pieces. Hehehe

To this day we are super fans of IKEA.

Soon begins the new series of Like a New Home Blog "IKEA Guide for Immigrants" where you will find tips and suggestions of what to buy and where to start in the adventure that is to build your new home in Canada. I think one of the things I never took into consideration at the time, was the fact that some things you buy so, in the early days, will accompany you for many, many years, in future villas and different home settings etc. I tried to choose furniture that would look good not only in that first apartment we rented but also in future, but our tastes change over the years and the "fashion" also right. I do not recommend buying items that you will no longer like after a little while, do not seem to have such usefulness, daily, or that you have to spend again, in a short period of time (if they are things of dubious quality).

So, more like a guide, I'll talk about each environment separately, including even the prices of the items and how much, more or less, would be spent for each environment of the new sweet home.

Of course you can find several other stores the items that I will select from IKEA and inside the same store, the combinations are almost endless, but as an architect, immigrant and someone who has entered a lot of house by Ottawa outside, through work , I think it's a good start. I hope it helps those who are terrified, as we were, in the greatness that is to start from scratch in a new country.

Soon then, to such a bed and or mattress and its environment: the room!

Posts already published in the series: