From the youth-purveyor of culture-and a tita’s love for the trending, this is Tita Trending taking you to the heights of your enlightened tita-ness and the lows of prices in virtually everything.

Jumping right in: First of all, Is IKEA Philippines open yet?

No, the IKEA Philppines branch is not yet open. The target opening which is 2020 was postponed for obvious global pandemic reasons. However, the IKEA Malaysia website recently ran a press release saying they’ll be opening the IKEA PH online store in 2021. This will come months ahead of the opening of their physical Pasay store which is set to open in 2021 as well.

IKEA Pasay City claims to be the Swedish-furniture store’s largest one in the world yet. This IKEA would become the 10th international franchise for the brand, in-development alongside their 11th branch located in Mexico set to open around the same time. I guess the Swedes have become the new Spaniards set out to conquer unexpecting hijas and hijos with their plastic veneer buildable cabinets rather than religion. Although, consumerism may as well be considered one.

The Way of the Enlightened Tita

Consumerism and minimalism aside, the way of the tita is to follow the trends and right now, home renovation and redecoration is what’s up. If you take a peek into the Youtube cinematic universe of actual houses where Pinterest pins seem to have come alive, you’ll know that over half of the “budget tips” our white kumares will give you basically boils down to ”just shop at IKEA, it’s like a dollar-store for furniture.” And while biyahera titas are privileged enough to visit nearby IKEA branches like the Singapore or Taiwan branch, most of us don’t get so lucky. So we’re left to await the day when the swedish meatball drifts into our shores.

Now that it’s coming however, how ready are we? We all know how much money we lost when H & M first opened in the Philippines in 2014 for flimsy slip dresses in every color, and printed t-shirts which now probably collects dust at the back of your closet. When it comes to the irresponsible way Pinoys shop, the Swede’s really know what’s up.

An enlightened tita however, doesn’t fall into the trap of “i’ll know what I want when I see it” because honestly, you’ll probably want 90% of the store. Are we going to buy 90% of the store? No. Are we going to spend 3 hours deciding between two tea towels that we want? No. Are we going to take a look at the catalog, see the specific item that we like and then list them down in terms of priority while taking note of our budget? Yes, Annalyn Mae. Yes, we are.

The Way of the Enlightened Tita 2

Now, you may not really know this, but IKEA’s full catalog is available online 24/7. What’s great about catalogues is that you can see the item you like without the “add to cart” option which is ideal for the impulsive 99% of us.

Another great thing about it is it doesn’t just show the pieces, the IKEA catalogue presents them. So when you’re looking to buy a swivel chair, you don’t just get a look at the swivel chair, you’re presented with its ideal style setting. Truly mind-blowing. Almost as revolutionary as their boxed furniture idea.

If you’re not into the full-length reading style of catalogue browsing, just head back to our Youtube cinematic universe of home renovation and take tips from thumbnails that look like your actual Pinterest Pins.

The Youtubers will more than likely tell you which pieces they bought, often even linking them in the description boxes. So really, there’s no excuse for saying “i’Ll KnOw WhAt I wAnT WHeN I sEe It.” Mama mo.

Tita Trending’s Top IKEA PH Recommendations

Of course, since you’re already here, we might as well go over my personal list of IKEA finds from almost a year’s worth of curation in great but responsible anticipation of the physical IKEA store.

The items have been selected according to look, customizability, importance in daily life, price (compared to similar items of a different brand), and of course uniqueness. The last criterion is probably the most important, as it stresses the importance of supporting local businesses. If we can buy it from local artisans who probably offer a much better quality of work, we buy it from local artisans.

  1. Lersta Floor Lamp – $19.99 (~Php 966.98)

IKEA Lersta Floor Lamp (photo from: IKEA website)

Honestly, I already have this one from a legit IKEA reseller from Lazada but it made the list because I can’t wait for people to see this lamp! It’s super cheap for a floor lamp and super stylish too! Definitely, a tita must!

  1. Nesna Nightstand – $19.99  (~Php 966.98)

IKEA Nesna Nightstand (photo from: IKEA website)

I’ve been eyeing this side table for too long now that it actually has its own space in my bedroom already.

  1. Svenshult Wall Shelf – $12.99 (~Php 628.26)

IKEA Svenshult Wall Shelf (photo from: IKEA website)

This practical wall accent comes in white or gold, nickel-plated steel so it’s not that heavy. I also love that it’s grid-lined metal so the dust doesn’t settle on high shelves and you don’t need to clean it as often as a wooden shelf. The grid can also serve as a place to hook your hanging plants or macrame too! Less holes in the walls.

  1. Lennart Drawer Unit – $14.99 (~Php 724.99)

IKEA Lennart Drawer Unit (photo from: IKEA website)

It’s cute. Less than 1k for extra storage space. Need tita say more, amiga?

  1. Helmer Drawer Unit – $ 49.99 (~Php 2,417.77)

IKEA Helmer Drawer Unit (photo from: IKEA website)

I’m admittedly still in two minds about this as it’s got local counterparts which have wheels and are only about a few hundred bucks more expensive than this one. Your call?

  1. Lysekil Wall Panel/ Backsplash – $45 for a 48″ x 19” (~Php 2,176.43)

IKEA Lysekil Backsplash (photo from: IKEA website)

This!!! For renter-friendly home renovations, I highly recommend getting a backsplash. Although I don’t really like the local ones because they’re mostly either vinyl or linoleum, you could check those out in the meantime at your local hardware or home depot.

  1. Kyrre stool – $15.99 (~Php 773.36)

IKEA Kyrre Stool (photo from: IKEA website)

I know there are tons of local sources for bentwood stools in this lovely beech, (I’ve even purchased one from Offix at just 499 before!) but none so far are as unique as this! It may as well be an accent piece apart from its functional use.

  1. Nissafors cart – $36.99 (~Php 1,789.02)

IKEA Nissafors Bar Cart (photo from: IKEA website)

There are only so many variations of bar carts sold locally so when I spotted this classic sleek looking number, I was instantly sold.

  1. Möjlighet headset and tablet stand – $4.99 (~Php 241.34)

IKEA Möjlighet Headphones and Tablet Holder (photo from: IKEA website)

This is just such a genius! The one reason I haven’t bought headphones is because I don’t know exactly where to put it and now… Möjlighet for only around Php 250!

  1. Örfjäll swivel chair – $ 59.99 (~Php 2,901.42)

IKEA Örfjäll Swivel Chair (photo from: IKEA website)

Since the WFH scheme started, I’ve been on the hunt for stylish office chairs within 3k and this honestly took me! Now, I will settle for nothing but mustard-colored office chairs for my space. Not the best ergonomically but attachable arm-rests are available in IKEA as well.

  1. Oddrun + Stinamaj  Throw- $19.99 (~Php 966.98) ea

IKEA Oddrun Throw (photo from: IKEA website)
IKEA Stinamaj Throw (photo from: IKEA website)

If you truly are one of us who have been scouring shops high and low for those lovely and cozy accent throws, you’re definitely going to be excited for this one as well!

  1. Lots pack of 4 wall mirrors – $9.99 (~Php 483.17)

IKEA Lots Pack of 4 Wall Mirrors (photo from: IKEA website)

You can also source these locally but I think these are the cheapest, good quality ones I’ve encountered yet.

  1. MALSKÄR swivel chair frame – $24.49 (~Php 1,184.46)

IKEA MALSKÄR swivel chair frame (photo from: IKEA website)

Got a vintage chair lying around that would look perfect as an office chair in the after-life? Tada! I have this gorgeous rattan seat that I want to convert to an office chair but could never find the right mechanism for, until now!

  1. Hyllis shelving units – $40.97 (~Php 1,981.52) without cover, $51.99 (~Php2,514.50) with cover

IKEA Hyllis Shelving Units with and Without Cover (photo from: IKEA website)

It’s galvanized steel which is probably why it’s such a steal! Charot. Kidding aside, when you pop the cover on, it instantly converts your shelving into a mini greenhouse! Perfection!

  1. Ofelia Vass 100% Cotton Duvet – $59.99 (~Php 2,901.42)

IKEA Ofelia Vass Cotton Duvet Set (photo from: IKEA website)

This duvet set is made with 100% cotton, seersucker fabric which feels just like linen but without the slight rough grit! The perfect sleep assistant for those extra warm tropical days.

  1. Rothult Smart Lock – $20 (~Php 967.30)

IKEA Rothult Smart Lock (photo from: IKEA website)

This blew my mind. You’re telling me I can convert any regular cabinet I have into secured storage? With key cards?! It’s a no-brainer indeed.

  1. TRÅDFRI Dimmer kit – $ 14.99 (~Php 724.99)

IKEA TRÅDFRI Dimmer Kit (photo from: IKEA website)

I know there are a lot of these available out there. Philips hue is probably the best go-to albeit wee expensive but for a fraction of a cost, you can start smartening up your home with this dimmer set.

  1. Stralla Cord Set – $ 5.00 (~Php 241.83)

IKEA Stralla Pendant Cord Set (photo from: IKEA website)

It’s a rope cord! For pendant lighting! It also has prongs for power input which means you can just buy a bulb-socket adaptor, a ceiling hook for the extra wiring and you’re good to go! No additional wiring required.

  1. Regolit Pendant Lamp Shade – $4.99 (~Php 241.34)

IKEA Regolit Pendant Lamp Shade (photo from: IKEA website)

I’m not sure if Daiso still sells these but I do remember purchasing a Japanese lampshade from them which had more mechanical lines. So this one struck me as a more interesting piece because it doesn’t have those clean latitudes and would look stunning against any backdrop. Also think about combining numbers 17, 18, and 19 together and for less than 1.5k you’ll have a dimmable pendant light moment!

  1. Nisse Folding Chair – $ 19.99 (~Php 966.98)

IKEA Nisse Folding Chair (photo from: IKEA website)

The last one up is one of the most gorgeously sleek folding chairs for a fraction of what it would cost here! The Swedes get to take my money for this one.

Recommended: Tita Trending’s Guide to #aesthetic Glasswares

The Way of the Enlightened Tita 3

The end of this week’s enlightened tita lessons ends here with a tita’s final word to the wise amiga. Although supporting local artisans isn’t always practical nor budget-friendly, it’s still highly encouraged!

My list of IKEA items is, for the most part, products I don’t see local furniture stores offering. I purposefully left out big furniture pieces like cabinetry or couches because reviews have told me they aren’t of good quality.

Price-wise and I have studied this for quite some time, you’re 100% better off getting a local artisan to craft a custom piece tailored for your home. It’s not as expensive as you think, I swear. Especially local artisans whose stores/ateliers you pass by along Marcos Highway or pretty much everywhere are absolutely more deserving of your investment.

So snoop around your city in search of local craftsmen who are probably just right around the corner and could make some of this stuff for you right now. Your unsuspecting neighborhood manongs who are always around for all-purpose fixes, they’re probably knowledgable in putting together your next workbench too!

We titas are practical but patriotism will always, always come at the forefront of our decisions. Bayong eco-bags anyone?

What katitahan topic would you like to ask Tita Trending about?

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