a SVANSBO coffee table (not currently available at IKEA)
In The Girl Who Played with Fire — the second book of best-selling Millennium Triology by Stieg Larsson — the character Lisbeth Salander moves into a new apartment and goes shopping at IKEA — a rather mundane activity that IKEA fans will enjoy as they recognize specific product names and remember some of the discontinued products that are missed.
The section outlining her shopping has been described as "consumerist poetry" by Ariel Ramchandani, a contributing editor to The Economist's More Intelligent Life blog.
To celebrate Lisbeth's list — she spent about 90,000 Swedish Kroner, the equivalent of approximately $12,000 UDS — I've linked to specific products that are still available from IKEA in the passage below. For images of products that are no longer available, see the gallery images!
The passage from Steig Larsson's The Girl Who Played with Fire:
She drove to IKEA at Kungens Kurva and spent three hours browsing through the merchandise, writing down the item numbers she needed. She made a few quick decisions.
She bought two KARLANDA sofas with sand coloured upholstery, five POÄNG armchairs, two round side tables of clear lacquered birch, a SVANSBO coffee table, and several LACK occasional tables. From the storage department she ordered two IVAR combination storage units and two BONDE bookshelves, a TV stand, and a MAGIKER unit with doors. She settled on a PAX NEXUS three-door wardrobe and two small MALM bureaus.
She spent a long time selecting a bed, and decided on a HEMNES bed from with mattress and bedside table. To be on the safe side, she also bought a LILLEHAMMER bed to put in the spare room. She didn't plan on having an guests, but since she had a guest room she might as well furnish it.
The bathroom in her new apartment was already equipped with a medicine cabinet, towel storage, and a washing machine the previous owners had left behind. All she had to buy was a cheap laundry basket.
What she did need, though, was kitchen furniture. After some thought she decided on a ROSFORS kitchen table of solid beechwood with a tabletop of tempered glass and four colourful kitchen chairs.
She also needed furniture for her office. She looked at some improbable "work stations: with ingenious cabinets for storing computers and keyboards. In the end she shook her head and ordered an ordinary desk, the GALANT, in beech veneer with an angled top and rounded corners, and a large filing cabinet. She took a long time choosing an office chair — in which she would no doubt spend many hours—and chose one of the most expensive options, the VERKSAM.
She made her way through the entire warehouse and bought a good supply of sheets, pillowcases, hand towels, duvets, blankets, pillows, a starter pack of stainless steel cutlery, some crockery, pots and pans, cutting boards, three big rug, several work lamps, and a huge quantity of office supplies — folders, file boxes, wastepaper baskets, storage boxes, and the like.
MORE LISBETH SALANDER & IKEA
• LIsbeth Salander
• The Intelligent Life | The Girl Who Shopped at IKEA
• 3 Things We Wish We Could Still Get at IKEA
Originally published 8.23.10 - JL