‘IKEA helped me unlock my creativity’

Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche | Photographer – Gulf News

One of the things IKEA mega fans love about the brand is that unlike other home furnishing outlets you get the opportunity to be part of the creative process.

From the mix-and-match approach to product ranges to the fact customers assemble many pieces with their owns hands, IKEA allows shoppers to use their innate skills.

This was certainly the case for Andrew Samson, the second winner of the special competition IKEA has been running as part of the celebrations for its 30th year in the region.

The Swedish furniture brand put out a call for long-time Dubai IKEA fans and asked them to share their fondest memories. The best two respondents would each bag a Dh1,000 cash voucher to splash in store.

As one of the lucky winning entries, Andrew explains how IKEA has always helped him create his own inspirational little world at home.

“My flat is my tiny cosmos – surrounded by IKEA products from cutleries to blankets to sofas to cupboards to lamps and many more,” he says. “Probably a hundred significant others have already witnessed and appreciated the evolution of my space through the span of 15 years – that’s because of this gigantic brand, IKEA.”

Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche | Photographer – Gulf News

Alongside his winning email, Andrew supplied shots of his favourite corner at home taken over the years – an area where a white, six-shelved cupboard dominates as part of a dining area. This is the first IKEA piece of furniture he ever bought.

“The story behind this item has become rich through the relationships built and best treasured moments in my humble abode,” he explains. “This towering IKEA hunk is part of my fond memories through the years of good chat and chow. Hence, I don’t think I am letting this piece retire anytime soon – although I’m keeping an eye on tons of IKEA pieces that are amazingly fabricated.”

Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche | Photographer – Gulf News

The prize winner credits IKEA with unleashing his creative abilities.

“I have become the interior decorator that I am due to the influential touches of this awe-inspiring brand,” he said. “In fact, a lot of people I know build their dream houses and derive their creative juices from IKEA – myself being a living testament!

“Family members and friends who paid me a visit over the past decade would often utter how my tiny space enticed them. It became our modest arena for live cooking and baking, interior decorating, sing-alongs, and of course the endless storytelling.”

Andrew was born and raised in a small town in the Philippines where exposure to furniture and interior design was scarce as shopping malls were not the giants they are today – and the availability of the Internet was still way off in the future.

“So, home fittings were only seen in magazines and limited television channels – however, my interest in fixing up the home became robust through the years,” he says.

But after discovering IKEA on moving to Dubai in 2006 he let his creative visions have full expression and has never looked back. He says what he really loves about the brand is the ability to be on trend while still having the freedom to be creative – plus pieces are ultra-durable.

Image Credit: Antonin Kelian Kallouche | Photographer – Gulf News

“IKEA furniture seems to fit all sizes and budget. Its cutting-edge designs are on point and last a lifetime. Owning them is like signing off on a partnership with a homemaker. IKEA always exceeds my expectations and has made me a loyal customer. And being recognised by the brand is a celebration of my personal milestones too.”

So, what does this creative Dubai resident plan to do with his Dh1,000 winning voucher?

“I’ve been eyeing a day-bed – Hemnes – as a replacement of my decade-old sofa bed. But don’t worry I’m still keeping my white shelving unit!” he says.

This content comes from Reach by Gulf News, which is the branded content team of GN Media.