Houston has one of the few IKEAs in the southwest, so even with the high price of gas, people drive from Lufkin, Lake Charles and other far-away locales to visit the massive warehouse/store. And who can blame them? IKEA is a destination spot. Wear comfortable shoes, because the store takes up several football fields and the floors are hard concrete. But it you get really sleepy, take a catnap in the bed department. IKEA offers lots of beautifully designed, modern home furnishings at astonishingly reasonable prices. A well-chosen IKEA piece is a stealth way to maintain a certain upmarket look—you can find a facsimile of that hugely overpriced sofa you love in the design mags but is not anywhere close to your budget. Our only problem: everything comes in a box and we've never had an easy time putting a piece of IKEA furniture together. That's what friends are for.
Take a break in the restaurant and order some Swedish delicacies—we love the meatballs—while you mull over mid-century modern vs. post-naughty chic.