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By Libby Curran
May 03, 2019
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IKEA Home Planning Studio

Australia's first mini IKEA store is open on the northern beaches.
By Libby Curran
May 03, 2019
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If you're a fan of IKEA, but think those huge, daunting warehouses are the stuff of panic attacks, here's some news to make you very happy indeed — the Swedish furniture giant has just launched a new kind of retail offering, and its size and style is looking a whole lot easier to manage.

The brand's Australian arm has unveiled its first Home Planning Studio, a small-format store that's made its home inside Westfield Warringah Mall. And it clocks in at just 98 square metres — a fraction of the size of Sydney's Tempe and Rhode stores.

A departure from the standard IKEA caper, the new offering's focused only on kitchen and bedroom planning, with a bevvy of staff on hand to coach you through the experience via one-on-one consultations and nifty tablets. A two-hour planning session will set you back $99, which is refunded on purchase.

So, if you're just whipping your loo into shape or sprucing up that kitchen, you can forego the mammoth IKEA warehouse adventure and breeze through here instead. And you can do so using some first-of-its-kind technology, too. An in-house projector will let customers envisage different wardrobe solutions in their homes, while a "digital shopping wall" will let you browse and 'shop' IKEA's full range of products. Once you've finished virtually shopping, the list will be transferred to your phone and you'll be able to finish the transaction online.

As an added bonus, the space itself reads like a bubble of serenity (supposedly). The bedroom zone is complete with wafting floral scents and a plethora of wardrobe storage solutions. Meanwhile, the kitchen planning section apparently takes the form of a "wellness sanctuary", offering a raft of storage options aimed at the eco-friendly home chef and entertainer.

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