November 7, 2006

What Could Fix This Almost-Cool Ikea Blimp Minimalist Toddler Bed?

ikea_blimp_jr_bed

There's a rule about overdoing it somewhere that says when you get dressed to go out, you put everything on, and then you take one thing off.

Too bad the Ikea designers who made this little bed don't know that rule. Called the BLIMP, it's a near-awesome minimalist design, but it takes a greater imagination than mine to fix its dealbreaking flaws.

On the positive side, it's about as Donald Judd-y as a piece of kid's furniture gets. The mattress is set flush with the edge, the whole thing's made of flat planes, it's great geometry. Judd-style's not for everyone, and frankly, his actual furniture can be pretty damn uncomfortable, but it has its moments, and the Blimp gets a lot of that right.

The greatest thing might actually be the finish: it's a tough, silvery, metallic foil laminated around whatever it is Ikea makes the invisible insides of furniture out of [I'm sure it's some no-win combination of sawdust, glue, and kittens]. Matte silver is not a color you see very often in kids furniture, though, and we thought it was kind of refreshing. And a little astronaut would love it.

But for some reason, someone at Ikea couldn't leave well enough alone, and they decided the Blimp needed some holes drilled through the unpatchable metal surface to hold flourescent cargo nets. The other annoyances are small [the ugly safety rail brackets] or big [the Ikea-only, "junior bed" mattress is 20cm longer than a standard crib-based toddler bed], but really, it's just those damn holes.

Even though we saw it at the Baltimore store, the bed doesn't show up on the US Ikea website. but the whole BLIMP Series is there. [ikea.com]

7 Comments

Before assebly, wrap the backboard in ____ [ enter material of choice: birch veneer, wallpaper, fabric, decoupage!, cardboard... cork].

In the holes for the safety rail, mount a little light or mini-shelf.

I saw this in the store and thought it was ok, but I had to ask myself, why the sharp corners on a kid's bed?

The safety rails are not bad as it is just a "clamp on" rail. It can be removed and one would never know it was there. Of course for an actual toddler, it might be best left in place.

The netting is a whole other deal.. ugh.

I agree...the other bed that I think is better...is the Malm, the owner of the store KIDO, in NYC has it in her sons room with a quilt by Denyse Schmidt and it looks great.

[no kidding, that is a greatlooking bed. When they were on display at the entrance, the Malm dressers were always a favorite. -ed.]

1. Lose the backsplash altogether.
2. Why did they use tack-on guardrails? All they had to do was make the sides a bit higher and sink the mattress down into it a few inches.
3. I hate the silver melamine, but that's just me.
4. A few radii wouldn't hurt anything (round the outside corner of those legs), but you'd have to make it out of actual wood to do that.

I much prefer the Vikare extendable bed.

I seriously considered the Blimp and the Malm for my twin boys, but I just couldn't see past those stiches-waiting-to-happen corners.

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