The IKEA Habit: Need vs. Want

What are your IKEA habits? I go once every year or two, bring a detailed list of all the items I wasn't able to find at thrift stores, buy as much as I can possibly carry on the shuttle/BART/walk home, and spend the rest of the day recovering. Due to budgetary concerns, I wasn't going to make the trip this year, but then Poppytalk had to go and post images from the new catalog. I don't need lacy galvanized steel planters, but...

I find the Poppytalk blog endlessly inspiring, full of projects and beautiful objects, and unfortunately, they've hit my IKEA Achille's heel with their picks from the new catalog.

The lacy (non-hanging) planters would be perfect for packaging holiday gifts, a few of the $5 paper lantern could solve my lame-apartment-lighting issues, and those striped/floral pillows would be great for sitting on the floor. I don't need any of them, of course. I do need (want) a duvet cover, magazine files, file folders, a little bedroom rug, and a tiny bedside lamp, and have had zero luck finding any of them at thrift stores over the last year. Those are the kinds of not very exciting but extremely handy things I go to IKEA for, usually finding cheap and stylish versions.

My reasoning/justification is that if I've needed them for a year, I probably need them, so it's worth the cost, the purchase of new goods, and the schlepp to Emeryville. But I never make it out without a couple pretty impulse purchases, and those often end up being my very favorite things. I guess that strict list isn't always the last word on what I need.

Do you ever go to IKEA? Do you go all the time? Do you go for inspiration, or for mundane items? How do you feel after — exhausted, excited, guilty, proud?

MORE NEW IKEA 2012 CATALOG ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
IKEA 2012 Preview: Stylists' Design Ideas Worth Stealing

Image: IKEA 2012 Catalog (US version) via Poppytalk

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After many happy years living in tiny apartments in large cities, Tess has found herself in a big house in a small town.

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