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SPECIAL ISSUE: THE AGE OF AFFORDABLE | BREATHING ROOM

A sleek oasis for the tired shopper

November 10, 2005|Craig Nakano

Hi there, Poang. Hello, Cendy and Nandor and Emmabo. You chairs all look so chipper in your Scandinavian splendor. But here in Burbank, inside an IKEA store brimming with bargain hounds, what I really could use is a little peace. A smidgen of quiet. A respite from the 10,000 others plodding along the blue-arrowed aisles with me today.

Searching for a Zen moment inside a bustling 220,000-square-foot superstore seems futile, like playing slot machines: The harder we try, the more desperate we appear.

The pull, however, is inexorable. Flimsy paper measuring tape in hand, yellow shopping bag slung over slumped shoulder, we slog on, past the Perfekt shelves, beyond the Brunskara quilt covers. Just as we're about to hit umlaut overload, it appears: Karlslund. Lounger. A graceful wave of steel, wrapped in lacquered rattan and topped with the Hasto headrest. Not an official lounging area, just a display. "Lie down," it calls out to tired feet. "Breathe," it says. Rest and watch the huddled masses pass by, yearning to break free. Ah, nirvana. With checkout just around the corner.

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