Since When is IKEA Cheap or Ugly?

[Writing as Norman Rogers]

You’re talking to a man who once spent $4,500 at an IKEA in order to outfit his daughter’s college apartment, which she then refused to live in after she discovered it was haunted by a “Mormon” ghost:
A wealthy Icelandic couple is being sued for installing a cheap IKEA kitchen into an apartment they rented out at a swank hotel in New York City.

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Wednesday alleges that Jon Asgeir Johannesson and his wife installed an “ugly” kitchen from the low-cost household furnishings store into the 16th-floor apartment at the Gramercy Park Hotel.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Paramount Realty Group of America Corp. claims the couple rented the apartment out for about $300,000, then failed to make promised renovations on time.
Miranda contends that the “Mormon” ghost made her feel uncomfortable about drinking wine in her room and was constantly leaving Church of Latter Day Saints materials where she could find them. She had dreams about having bland, obedient children who hid secrets from her. I have no idea what’s wrong with Miranda, but she sure knows how to give me excellent material for my blog.

I can speak with some authority about money, and, in particular, luxury. First of all, the couple went to IKEA and bought a kitchen. Depending on what they bought, it could certainly have been cheap but, by and large, IKEA allows people to actually outfit their home with great designs and very functional pieces. I have had wives who spent tens of thousands of dollars on kitchens, decor, living rooms, bedrooms, and all of that—it’s a sham. One man’s Ethan Allen is another man’s Room Store. Your faux elitism doesn’t impress me the way it used to. And it doesn’t really matter. The so-called “high end” people are just crooks dressed up nicer than the people who sell you reasonable things. There used to be a “high end” version of Home Depot. It was called “EXPO” or whatever, and Home Depot had to close them recently. Nobody was fooled by the pretend luxury, you see. I lived in the third or fourth richest county in America and the EXPO center in that county wasn’t open more than a few years, if that.

Second, I can show you a randomly selected kitchen (above) and most Americans couldn’t even tell you that it is IKEA material. Most Americans are looking for a cold beer and something to fry potatoes on. They’re not expecting functionality and design, and that’s what IKEA gives you.

Third, I would be willing to bet you that the contract between this couple and the landlord left quite a few Nordically-interpreted loopholes. Suck eggs, landlord. You got your kitchen, now go boil and egg and shut up. Icelanders are broke, in case you haven’t heard, and you’re damned lucky they had the taste to use IKEA rather than Wal-Mart.

If you own and maintain luxury property, never leave it to anyone paying rent money to fix it up. Who has brains of mush in this regard? If you think you can call Mr. Foo Foo designer and his dingbat coordinator and spend $85,000 on a kitchen and do better than something from IKEA, be my guest.

I can walk into any IKEA in the world and combine any of their designs and elements into something fabulous. I’m an artist, deep down, who has mastered the world of money, style and love. I can conjure magical things out of pine boards and counter-sinking pieces of tin. I can make the Gods hate me for doing what they cannot. I can crush the dreams of a thousand smart men. I can make a young lady squeal and fart at the same time, just with a look. I can watch the markets and drop the levers and go home at night with untold amounts of money firmly added to my portfolio. I can buy a suit that would look like curtains off the curtain rod on you but look like George Clooney in a dumb movie on me. I can melt stones and hammer metal and run down fugitives and blog like the colossus I am. I’m an American Lion, you see. This is what I do.