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We Got The First Look At Ikea Hej Home, Ikea's First Experience Centre In The Country

Ten-Second Takeaway

Ikea is finally in the country and we have proof of that. We checked out the Swedish brand’s first experience centre in Hyderabad and here’s what you can expect.

Hello Home - Ikea Style

Located in Hyderabad at The Forum Sujana Mall, the Ikea Hej Home {hej means hello in Swedish} is actually housed quite close to the massive store {40,000 sq ft of it apparently}, which is currently under construction in Mindspace, Madhapur, the IT hub of the city. The experience centre has been designed just like a home with the different rooms done up to look like a personal space — with a living room, dining space, a cosy bedroom and bathroom, a kitchen section and a kids play area.

Expect the best of Scandinavian aesthetic coupled with Indian touches and accents. As you enter you can admire Ikea’s rather pretty linen and textile section, a comfy bed set up with beautiful sheets, bed covers, quilts and loads of soft toys. There are gorgeous rugs, with plenty of colour {an aesthetic Ikea has specially created for its Indian audience, because guys don’t we just love ourselves some colour?}, plus curtains, upholstery and more.

Good Housekeeping

Neat freaks, you will absolutely love how many cool designs are there for you to store, organise and declutter your lives. From the gorgeous modular kitchen in pista green, which has deep drawers that contain everything from garbage sorters to special racks for your dishes and spoons and even your dishcloths to hang in a clean space. All the minimalist tables in the living rooms double up as storage spaces and sofas hide within them for even more space. In the bedroom, your baby’s cot is adjustable and can be made longer according to his or her height.

We loved this gorgeous paper lamp {see image no 3} which is definitely going to be a conversation starter. And let’s not get into how cute the kids section is with its wooden toy trains, a gorgeous doll’s house, framed pictures and a toy telephone. We would gladly use all of this as home decor. You will also find plenty of pots and plants {fake but they look absolutely real} to put in various corners of your house. The dining space comes with shiny industrial lights and long community tables. Plus, there is a going to be a sustainable section where you can score furniture and decor made with upcycled wood and other material.

What's In Store?

While the Hyderabad store will open only in June 2018, the experience centre hopes to get patrons interested by making them sign up for loyalty programmes, experience the Ikea concept and also participate in plenty of workshops, contests and more. Post Hyderabad, Mumbai is on the cards with the store all set to open in Navi Mumbai {that’s when we hear their e-commerce might get launched too} in September 2018. Then there is good old Bangalore coming up in 2019. Post which Delhi and Chennai will follow suit.

But how does Ikea plan to deal with the Indian heat and dust and the durability factor, which furniture in India so requires? We spoke to John Achillea, store manager for Hyderabad, who explained that worldwide Ikea offers about 9,000 products out of which only 7,000 will be sold in India and those that are suited to Indian weather conditions. Plus, their products apparently offer a 25-year durability promise. As for prices, apparently they are suited to the Indian spending power and will be even less than the usual Ikea pricing, known to be quite affordable. The company also made around 800 visits to customer homes across Indian metros to understand their needs, which you will be able to see when they launch their India specific collections. Plans are afoot to build a network of and train local carpenters who will come and help you fix up your furniture once you make a purchase, because well, we Indians don’t believe in DIY, so this is a special service introduced for India.

And if you thought that this is the first time Ikea is coming to India, then you might be surprised to know that the Swedish company has been working in India since 1989 and actually source from here, especially textiles. The company works with two Indian NGOs — Ranga Sutra in Varanasi and Industree in Bangalore to make delicate hand towels, little cloth baskets, cushion covers and more.

If you have visited any Ikea around the world, you must know that food is an integral part of Ikea’s offering and in India too Ikea Food will make its presence felt with plenty of India-inspired food and products sourced locally {we are looking forward to that organic coffee} and some Swedish ones too like their Norwegian salmon.

The writer was invited to Ikea Hej Home in Hyderabad.

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