IKEA Exeter - Opening Day and our Garden Haul #ad

I am no stranger to IKEA… since my student days I have been regularly stocking up on crockery, soft furnishings and novelty ice cube trays on an annual basis. I have never lived closer than 100 miles away from my nearest IKEA however and therefore it has always been a bit of a trek. When I found out that IKEA was opening a new store in Exeter, it’s safe to say I was pretty much ecstatic. 

The Wonderful Everyday Tour 

IKEA held various events in and around the local area called ‘The Wonderful Everyday Tour.’ A cinema screening of Paddington in the impressive Exeter Cathedral, handing out delicious cinnamon buns in Drake Circus in Plymouth and a Hot Dog stand in Torbay were just some of the fun ways that IKEA got the community involved in celebrating the new store. We went to visit them prior to the store opening at their event in PrincessHay in Exeter where a comfortable lounge area had been set up to relax in the city centre.

Opening Day 

So opening day arrived on May 10th and it was safe to say that Exeter was ready. It was on all the local news, some even ‘reporting live,’ from the store! There were traffic signs, diversions and new lanes in place as we approached the store but surprisingly and luckily, it wasn’t nearly as busy as we were expecting. We arrived at about 10.30 after the ‘official opening’ with all the balloons and cheering and found a parking space really easily.

We were greeted however by some lovely, enthusiastic staff adorned with flags, Daim bars and Viking hats. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and it was so much fun to explore the new store. 

Luckily Jonah was in school, so it was a relatively relaxing experience with just Winter to contend with. Although it was busy, it wasn’t overwhelming, and we enjoyed browsing the showrooms before hitting the Market Hall below. The show rooms were as you would expect from IKEA, however I enjoyed that fact that they had styled larger ‘apartment’ models rather than individual rooms which you could walk through and experience. And yes, of course we stopped off for meatballs before heading downstairs.


What we bought 

We went in with a plan and that was to pimp up our garden. We have recently moved into our new house which, for the first time has its own garden and not just a concrete yard. The decking was bare, and we were ready to accessorize! I was surprised at just how much we were able to get with our £200 voucher that IKEA kindly supplied us to spend on the opening day and although admittedly we spent A LOT more than our voucher, this is a collection of items that we allocated to that budget.

* SOLVINDEN Lighting chain with 12 bulbs - £25 

* BEVILJA Tray - £3.50 

* SINNESRO Lantern - £7 

* GILLHOV Cushion - £13 

* APPLARO Wall Panel Shelving Unit - £90 

* DUVHOLMEN Cushion - £28 

* FROSON Grey Cover – £18 

* ALOE VERA potter plant - £3.50 

TOTAL: £188

I love the splashes of colour that the SOLVINDEN string lights and the GILLHOV cushions bring to the garden now. We did actually also buy a whole furniture set too, which we will share in another post, but these colours really set off wonderfully well against the grey DUVHOLMEN cushions. 

The store had a brilliant area for outdoor furniture, accessories and both indoor and outdoor plants called The Glass House where we stopped to enjoy a coffee. In fact, the whole store seemed to flow with more of an open and eco-friendly vibe than other IKEA stores that I have experienced.

Overall, we were really impressed with the design and feel of the store and the variety of styles and designs that were available at such affordable prices. There were little touches as I’ve mentioned, such as The Glass House and its little coffee station that made the experience in store even more enjoyable. We will absolutely be returning again soon… in fact we have been several times since the opening already! 


If you’re local to the area why not visit the store for yourself? You can find it at 1 IKEA Way, Exeter, EX2 7RX. 

We have worked in collaboration with IKEA to create this content in exchange for gifting products. All opinions are our own.