November 15, 2013

fess up friday - chez v

Have I got a yarn to weave for you today. I've got my partner in crime Emily from Chez V over for Fess Up Friday today and we've got a good one for you. Freshen up your drink and enjoy. And Zuck, if you want to use us for a Facebook commercial, we're open to offers. Emily, fess up with Part 1...

Is there anything better than the thrill of the chase?  Well here is a little ditty for you about a desperate chase, the power of social media, and the
kindness of strangers. 
As a linking participant of the One Room Challenge, I was on a frenzied search to locate a pair of affordable sconces for my bedroom plan aka Project Chinoisy Safari Chic.

With little time, I knew my search would be a lot like trying to avoid bread and cheese.  Not gonna happen.  On a Wednesday, mid-challenge, I headed to IKEA in search of some drapes to hack.  Imagine my glee when I stumbled across the Ranarp clamp spotlights.  I was completely smitten upon first sight considering all the other sconces I was contemplating for my ORC room carried hefty price tags and long lead times.
Ranarp - $19.99.  Say what?!  Done and done.
But like all too-good-to-be-true dreams, I awoke from my design euphoric nirvana state only to realize that they were sold out.  Of course you are, little gorgy industrial glam thingy, you!  Immediately, I sent out a request on Instagram asking if anyone knew of any in stock anywhere.  Like the shot heard round the world, my fellow design soldiers started rallying to the call, one of which was one of my favorite gals in all of blogland, Elizabeth.  It seems she too was on the hunt for the coveted Ranarps.
In the meantime, while my little was busy hopping herself up on a cinnamon roll, I sweet talked a very accommodating IKEA customer service guy into doing a country wide inventory search (which I do not necessarily suggest as it took forever and garnered a lot of evil side eye from the long customer svc queue) only to discover that the lamps were indeed, sold out everywhere with the exception of 17 in Paramus, NJ and 3 in Houston, TX.  I shared this info with Elizabeth and thus began a dual mission to score these lamps through one of our varied networks.
We schemed, we commiserated, we called, emailed, blogged, IG’d and FB’d in an attempt to reach anyone who had peeps near Paramus, NJ or Houston all to no avail.  I even contacted my master finder-of-all-things bestie in Berlin, Germany.
This is the
kinda gal who has a vast network of contacts willing and ready to do her bidding.  She said, yes, she could probably pull it off but to keep checking with other sources as it would take a few to orchestrate.
, on Friday evening of that same week, at 7pm, my sister’s father-in-law, who lives in NJ, happened to be near the Paramus store, and agreed to go pick some up, but would I mind calling to verify stock first.  Hoo-ray!!!!  No problem!!!! Except when I called IKEA another very nice customer svc lady informed me that no, in fact, Paramus did not have ANY in stock.  Is it possible that all 17 sold out in 2 days?!  No, turns out that when my customer svc dude did the country wide search, the 17 he ‘found’ in the Paramus, NJ store where actually in the Elizabeth, NJ store.  Which was no where near where my sister’s father-in-law happened to be at said moment.  Wha wha wha.

Are you still with me?
I know, me neither.
I am exhausted just retelling it. 
Clearly it was time for wine and more commiseration.  Off went another email to Elizabeth detailing how the Holy Grail had slipped through our fingers, yet again.  At which point, I hand off the story baton to her which involves that Friday evening spent feverishly exchanging updates via email over many glasses of wine on my side and probably many G &Ts on hers while my much ignored and frustrated husband could not understand even a little bit about what all the fuss was about. 
Thankfully, Elizabeth’s hubster could!

kisses,  mrs. V

Part 2...

It was not a good night for Emily and me. As y'all may have gathered, I can get myself a wicked case of tunnel vision when I want something. I am like Miley Cyrus when she sees a foam finger - I cannot be stopped.
After days of back and forth, and a Friday night spent emailing at a rapid pace, we were left empty handed. Damn that IKEA customer service rep and his lack of New Jersey geographic knowledge. My New Jersey adjacent sources were tapped as well and worst of all I was running out of gin.

Luckily this happened just as the hubs was finishing his movie. "Are you two still talking about those dumb lights?" he said (in an ultra supportive voice). I updated him on the latest and he said, "let's just put this on Facebook". And like that he sent out an SOS on his feed.

Just an hour and a half later he had a response from a friend from high school (which was in Chicago) who now lives in Dallas. Yes, Dallas is not Houston, but she has a friend who lives in Houston who would probably be up for it. "She loves to shop."

Good lord, we might have a winner. I told Emily right away and we both held our breath as my husband texted Dallas and Dallas texted Houston and back again. Houston was in, we just needed to confirm in the AM that the IKEA store did in fact have the lights in stock and she would be there as soon as they opened.

So a perfect stranger agreed to go to IKEA on the worst IKEA day of the week a Saturday to pick up three lights, the LAST three lights in stock in the lower 48, for two crazy ladies in two different states that she had never met. Emily and I squealed and lit a candle that some early bird Texan wouldn't get our lights before our shopping angel arrived.

I had already committed to go to an auction that morning with a client so I called IKEA on my way and they were as (un)helpful as ever, telling me that it 'looks like there are 3 available' but they couldn't be sure. Awesome.

So we waited, and waited, and just as I lost a bid on some fab ginger jars this popped up on my phone.

Three left and they were all ours. I cheered silently and forwarded the picture to Emily. IKEA, I love you again.

As if this woman couldn't get any better, she sent a few more texts asking if there were any other forms of the RANARP we wanted while she was there (the desk lamp is especially lovely). Can this wonderful person please move to St. Louis so I can hug her?!

She shipped them out first thing Monday and on Wednesday morning I had the best package on my doorstep along with the sweetest note (on fab monogramed stationary I might add). Not only did this woman make this trip for people she doesn't even know to a store that is crazy on a quite day but she did it all while sick. And my favorite part - "I took it upon myself to also buy the lightbulbs that were recommended for the light, just in case." I love her.

So in the end this

and this

would not have been possible without our little slice of heaven in Texas. Thank you Marnie and Ann for your kindness. Emily and I would like to buy you ladies a drink.

Have you ever been desperate to get your hands on something? Ever need something and then when you find out it is hard to get it becomes an obsession? Ever want to kiss a stranger?


  1. They were worth it! I was in IKEA yesterday and didn't see any of the sconces but I am worried about the fact that I left the desk lamp and/or floor lamp. I have a feeling that I will end up really wanting them and they will be sold out. Keep Houston's number just in case :)

  2. Did she really do that? On the worst day to go to IKEA ever...a Saturday...UGH! I love's my happy place...but, I would rather eat dirt than go on a hope for humanity is restored. By the way, the green paint color in the bedroom is D-vine.

  3. Awesome as ever EB! Way to close strong. Cheers to you and our TX lady friends! Sorry the text turned out wonky - looks like the spacing btwn paragraphs didn't carry over. Oops.

  4. Oh my gosh that is so flipping nice of her! What a doll! I wouldn't even go to Ikea for myself on a Saturday! I didn't realize you were in the Lou, I grew up in Missouri and one of the things I'm constantly desperate to get my hands on is some Imo's :)

  5. What a LOVELY person!! So interesting what can be accomplished through social media! I so very much love this story : )

  6. Not that is perseverance! And one of the fabulous upsides of social media! What a fabulous gal to do that for you! Happy ending indeed!

  7. Too funny. That is crazy but I will keep it in mind next time I can't have what I want.

  8. Wow, I need a glass of wine now ;)

  9. Love this story! I love a good act of kindness!

  10. Shoppers unite! Kindness comes in many forms...including shopping at Ikea on a Saturday! The bedroom looks it!

  11. What a story and a lovely Texas hero! So happy you guys got your lights they look absolutely perfect and nothing else would have done.

  12. What an angel and what a story! I love it! The Ranarps look amazing in both rooms.

  13. Oh my gosh!!!! That is the most excellent story!! What a sweetheart, I can't believe she did that for you!! So glad you both finally scored your lights!!

  14. This was seriously the funniest thing I've read all week - probably because this is SO ME. Omg. How nice of that kind person!! Bravo to your relentlessness!

  15. Such a hilarious story - you guys were like pit bulls on those suckers! If you ever need a NJ IKEA purchase again (unlikely!), give this gal a shout. Paramus is about an hour from where I live in CT and of course I'd hook you girls up :-)

  16. Oh my gosh Elizabeth. Your story gave me the best laugh of the day. Haha. And keep up your persistence. That's the lesson there! Happy weekend!

  17. what a lovely human being! i know all too well about this tunnel vision you speak of. i get something in my mind and i better get it, outta my way!!! :)

  18. She must know what it's like to not be able to get something out of your head. What a sweet lady!

  19. OK, I'm just loving this post. Also, I'm in Houston :)'s
    And, now I'm following!

  20. Such a great story. Wouldn't expect any less from a Texan! xoxo

  21. I ADORE that bedroom! The paint color is perfection, as are those lamps! All worth it in the end!

  22. This is awesome, and what I love about the blogosphere. I love that you and so many other folks out there would get so worked up about an IKEA $20 lamp. I would have told this same tale at a dinner party with my (lovely, but not bloggy/design-minded) friends and they would have tuned me out entirely. I was laughing and nodding while reading this! What a great lady that friend-of-a-friend is. Both rooms were delightfully enhanced thanks to her good will!

  23. amazing story!! ANd the end result is fabulous! The sconces are so beautiful. And I ADORE the wall color. Please share with us what it is. And yes things become obsessions for me quite often. The room is beautiful!!

  24. That is just crazy fun!! Who wouldn't love her, let's all pitch in and send her flowers from the ORC. :) Serious!

  25. This is EXACTLY why I love this whole damn blogging facebooking extravaganza!! This rocks and so did both of your rooms!! xo

  26. Just found your blog through My Notting Hill - and what an introduction! Great story, and beautiful bedroom. We are contemplating what upholstered headboard to have made for my 15 year old, and your headboard is beautiful, and the IKEA lamps are the perfect touch!

    - Holly

  27. For the love of design! What a great story. You guys have much more tenacity than me.

  28. Yes, yes, yes ... I can totally relate to the obsession. I'm absolutely desperate for IKEA's 70" Torsby dining room table. Guess what? THEY'RE OUT. Lordy, it's all I can think about. I've exhausted all known resources. Dang it. Wish I had an angel like yours!

  29. What a great story! I guess there are more design obsessed people out there other than us bloggers! :)

  30. I absolutely LOVE the way Emily's room turned out!! She did such an amazing job! Thank you for featuring her work, and I love this story!

    The Glam Pad

  31. Not only do I love the way they look in your house but I love your story! No one seems to understand how hard it is to decorate the smallest of spaces--I have logged 2 trips to Ikea and 2 to Michaels just for the wrong size frames this past week alone. But all's well that ends well!
    xo Mary Jo

  32. LOVE those lights! I had a similar experience when I was pregnant and wanted a blue IKEA cart on wheels. I checked before we traveled to Houston (where my family lives) and then they only had the floor display in stock (unlike the website said). I stood and touched the display. I pouted and begged and once I was told that I could not purchase the display, I LITERALLY teared up right there on teh showroom floor.

    Ended up buying one off of eBay and paying too much for it. I was obsessed. And I still love it:)

  33. Renewed sense of love for humanity: check. Behold the power of the internet!

  34. The room looks fabulous and you owe Houston big time. There still are nice people out there!

  35. Oh wow, what a story!!! Honestly, you have to love the power of social media - what an angel that woman in Houston was :) I do just want to let you know that I live only 9 miles away from an Ikea and they apparently have 6 in stock according to the website - so if you ever need anything in the future, please just give me a shout, I'd be happy to help ;) Also, that bedroom is all KINDS of gorgeous! xxx

  36. Crikey....that is the best story ever.....seriously!

  37. This is a great story! I stumbled upon your blog while searching for the perfect clip-on light for bunk beds. :)


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